Hendrik Steinorts philosophical musings on human nature in our increasingly fragmented contemporary society:
A post-primate Manifesto.
We are primates.
We are tribal.
We are biased.
We are authority driven (ideational or personal).
We are proud.
We are jealous.
We are vain.
We are status driven.
We are possessed.
Through the human, in its most powerful manner, nature opened its eyes for the first time and looked at itself. This re-cognition of itself, of nature in the human and the human in humanity, opened up a hiatus of recognition. This hiatus as the most fundamental, universal and dense centre of intersubjective gravity, confers to the event horizon, in the form of superficial gestures, art, sports, defecation, rumours, sex, secondary importance. Of real importance is that which concerns recognition and the lifelong struggle for it as well as the intersubjective connection that is at the very bottom of one’s own self-conscious matter.
Follow the traces – Existence:
The remnants of Pandoras’ Box
What we are encountering in the present time is a world splintered in factions, splintered in tribalist movements, drawing their partisan football pitch field borders with the chalk of seductive hate. And each of these surrounding stadium structures has a homogenous crowd of its own, every shout, every taunt is reverberating, reinforcing the spectacle, restructuring part for part, argument for argument, the drive, the rush for ecstatic, self-affirming, self-appraisal through the leviathan body of the others.
The rules of the spectacle are rigged, neuronal fetishes operate under the guise of virtue signalling, these, in turn, become the new social currency, the contenders are no real contenders, but a different shade of grey, red, yellow, brown. These enormous echo-chambers, in developed parts of the world sometimes covering fifty per cent of a whole nation, are at the same time the schools of the nation. These schools, ordained with the colours and flags of their sole creed are phenomenologically protruding canteens, beer halls, cafes, sports teams, night clubs, festivals, temples, pyjama parties of quick doses of exhilaration, feasting on this most physico-spiritual experience of collective trance and collective knowledge, all finding a home in that pandora’s box of framed resentment.
Follow the traces – Ethics:
A ‘morphine’ choice to make. Which one would ‘you’ choose.
First pill: “Cultural relativism”
Second pill: “The End of History”
Even the Gods who are leaving this world step by step would not have dared to leave hope, as egocentric revelation and prophecy, alone in this box. Because wise humans and lying prophets rightfully feared ever since, in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and in all the other different colours with which we cover and hide the true body of God – the human flesh and its capacity for abstraction – that dangerous knowledge about the volatile space of meaning which constitutes the difference between that which humans are – as frail animals – and that which they are capable of seeing – as abstract potentials.
With hell having vanished from the public consciousness as a real promise of punishment, lies are being protracted and maintained as truths on rent.
The Gods did not understand that the Box of Pandora itself was fashioned out of the residue of all the things that touched its borders, all the vices of humanity, the vices that tainted hope itself. So it happened that the container became a tainted vessel, devoid of anything which could leave its confinements, it attracted and transformed the human tendency to strive for the difference in reality and envisioned potential. Though with a fateful shortcut: humans forged, on the anvil of popular opinion, in tribal disunity, each for their collective identity, in great public processions, under the auspices of their purposed unwatched watchmen, from the substance of Pandora’s box their own weaknesses into a display of virtue.
Follow the traces – Identity:
Who says Humanity:
- Marx: ‘speaks the truth’.
- Schmitt: ‘lies’.
It gave a poisoned puddle the appearance of depth and a rotten core that of health. It confused the sweetness of derogation with the ambrosia of authenticity. It despised strength and crowned weakness, it lowered the human condition to aim for short term gains, it thickened the walls of echo-chambers and trained its audience into wilful executioners.
Whence in earlier times the priests as spiritual guides were clad in robes to emulate in posture and glorify in colour the beauty of this earth, the gracility of the ott(h)er, the brute force of the bear, the poetry of the wandering water, the innocence of offspring conceived in love, now, fashioned after the vainglory of their motivations, all wear the uniforms of the priest. All are holding sermons on the self, are one in physical appearance, one in mental exercise and one in aspiration. With hell having vanished from the public consciousness as a real promise of punishment, lies are being protracted and maintained as truths on rent.
We operate on symbolic steroids, indignation is our roid rage and the’ signs’ that we use are underlined by a moralised ‘chinese’ whisper. The real enemies of that order are the individuals that are not turning weakness into an external display of -virtue- but who by their own authentic – virtue – believe clearly and individually in the truth that they are professing through words, not by the – virtue – of their own conviction, but by the – Virtue – of their own doubt. And their truth is not only found in language, not only in sound, not only in perception and gesture, not only in dance and thought, but it is also a truth that will be gathered over many contradicting voyages into the unknown. It is a refined sensual & rational epistemic openness to the outer world, won by many internal battles of the self, of a self that is acutely aware of the shattering insight that ‘a truth cannot be won by too many lies’. Those phenomenological aesthetics grant these people an autonomous source of power that keeps them away from the vicissitudes of the masses, it is a youthful spring of renewed reverence, deep learning, rooting oneself within older archetypal forms, becoming an impenetrable fortress, forest, tree that will not be shaken and will not be moved by the inauthentic, by the fury of the irresolute, by that storm of the butterflies, by ressentiment.
Master-slave dialectics – in A Nutshellx
Two people approach each other on dark wooden dunes, as on wave-like patterns of the mammalian brain, within a wooden concave, like a realm of nature, separated by a longitudinal barrier. They look at and recognise themselves first of all in the other, struggle as two, subdue the other, emerge as one – in the other.
Follow the traces – Agency:
Any ressentiment based self-deception will, in the end, undermine the integrity of the self and yield a practical inconsistency that is mirrored throughout one’s approach to the world of phenomena that surrounds us and subsequently undermines any legitimate claim of recognition as lacking the possibility of universal validity.
Performing in credal harmony the verisimilitude of the mind by gathering as much evidence as one possibly can, stick by stick, even if one has to encounter one’s own biases. One puts it together with a lump of natural common sense, clad the torch in a priests robe and a warrior’s tunic, light it with a happy spirit and off one goes, to one’s own prometheia, down from the suffering heights of the Caucasus onto civilisations plain and into the fora of society.
A trained perception will lead to an intuitive sense that appears as a murmur of provisional consent and that grounds an ethic of intersubjectivity. It follows from there that we have to be brave enough to feed into our daily life a multitude of opinions and to seek an intervention á la Camus. Namely to participate in the endeavour of a limited experiment with maximal arbitrations: to take this world and all its phenomena and to withstand a crystalline self-reflection by saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at the same time and by meaning it with the same seriousness and the same objectivity. Though nowadays commonly seen as a situation of cognitive dissonance, it should rather be seen as a healthy symphonic dose of transferring the echo of god’s death, into the ‘Bactrian ritual’ as encountered by the megalomaniac Alexander when venturing into ancient Bactria, through finally eating and stomaching the carcass of god. By announcing the prohibition of cannibalism, civilisation was said to have started. But this article proposes in a daring anthropomorphisation of itself that by eating the body of God, this Feuerbachian Anthropos will disappear and yield a purified world where dignity is not endowed, proposed, achieved, bestowed, but inherent (we take this gilded lock as a souvenir from the cleansed remains). Though the concept of sin in the West appears to have survived its secularisation in the mimetic complex of shaming, calling out and tainting.
Follow the traces – Motivation:
Kantian steampunk mask against ressentiment
A Kantian mask is a permanent installation. It is a permanent, reflective, translucent instrumentarium of categories with which one incessantly observes and judges oneself while observing phenomena that are internally and externally occurring and as such form the accumulative critical mycorrhiza on reality. This Kantian-fungi will increase the surface that serves as an interconnection between the subjective access to the world and the object-centred truth. A Kantian mask replaces the original purpose of a mask – to hide – and transforms it into enhanced access to the world. This mask to discern is ultimately transforming the bearer into an Aristotelian phronimos who is able to distinguish the right means of achieving ends. It is thus that by considering and reflecting more thoroughly, without becoming apathetic, we might sense with much less urgency the wish for an easy affirmative response to phenomena that seem to conflate with our own biases (although our linguistic Colibri nature – to tongue from the most colourful tu-lips the sweetest of nectars – is hard to resist) and to finally come to understand that truth is not a three lettered word.
Cover photo: On the mind – Jakobsstimme by Paul Celan. Image – hortus philosophorum by Anselm Kiefer.