The Dialectics of Repression.

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Parodoticus » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:24 pm

Jakob wrote:Parodites,
You have accurately represented my position, that life would have no impetus to continue if suffering was the basic value. I have previously understood that you object to this idea on the basis of the standards Darwinist-scholarly claim that suffering is what drives organisms to eat and such. I have refuted this as well, by observing that since man is conscious and capable of terminating himself, he would have done so if suffering really is the deepest, most basic drive.


I have addressed this. Man suffers with animals insofar as suffering, designated in its first order, is need. In mitigating this, in fulfilling need, man attains to happiness; but this happiness exists only as an oppositional force to the basic suffering or pathos of need. When that suffering vanishes, so does happiness. And here man begins to suffer strictly as man-- he suffers from the lack of happiness. Here the basic meaninglessness of suffering gives him a sanction to life; in this point he begins to learn how to justify to himself his suffering, in the name of the happiness he has lost. Here marks the ring that has bound him to life, as a Tantalus.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Parodoticus » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:27 pm

If you read my post more carefully we could have avoided that. But I have addressed that clearly, so you might want to re-read it.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Parodoticus » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:34 pm

Your reduction of my position to Darwinist tripe only accounts for that first order pathos and suffering of need, and nothing else; not the elaboration of the second, human order of suffering which I have pointed out.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Jakob » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:22 pm

What you have done is defined suffering as joy.
This is in essence correct, as suffering is a form of existential rapture, which is the ground on which life persists.

Of course you do explerience this rapture as well, but it comes mainly in the form of suffering, which is what leads you to believe all rapture is a form of suffering.

What you have done is defined existence by your own experience. The depth of this is also the depth of your error. Perhaps you are one who has misunderstood as fundamentally as possible the nature of life. Of course this is much more admirable than to superficially understand life correctly, for on different levels it provides you with real insights - it gives you great rapture.

Instrumental here is the depth, not the error. Your understanding is a means to an end - the end is experience, consciousness - of which your valuation is through and through positive, which shines through in some of your aphorisms, which I must say are more interesting than most things published on this site at this point.

This is my perspective on your thinking, which is to say, on your personality. I find it always regrettable when the moderators here choose to ban someone - invariably it's one of the rare members who have an original perspective.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:35 pm

There's a thread, here, on the various issues around people being banned.

IMO, if a person is banned for repeated infringement of the rules, their 'original perspective' is no mitigation whatsoever.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Jakob » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:38 pm

Coatless wrote:There's a thread, here, on the various issues around people being banned.

IMO, if a person is banned for repeated infringement of the rules, their 'original perspective' is no mitigation whatsoever.

your use of '..............' with original perspective says it all!

Yes, rules are there to be obeyed, we should use them as the standard for everything.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:52 pm

Jakob wrote:Yes, rules are there to be obeyed, we should use them as the standard for everything.

I hardly think you'd enjoy this place if there were no rules.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Jakob » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:21 pm

Coatless wrote:
Jakob wrote:Yes, rules are there to be obeyed, we should use them as the standard for everything.

I hardly think you'd enjoy this place if there were no rules.

Why are you even in this thread? Do you have anything to say? What is your rationale for interrupting this very interesting discussion?

I despise the moderators standards for closing threads and banning people. I think they should ban people who parasite on threads, making idiotic, mindless oneliner jokes to draw attention to their social adaptability, away from the topic of the thread.

Why are you in this thread? Why are you fouling it up with your comments on banning? This is a great thread, a lot of teaching is in here. I know most moderators will probably snicker at it - because it is too out there - not simple enough, not social, general, normal enough. But this is one of the few occasions that a thread got interesting, that someone actually comes to saying something. That is cut off now by some evaluation of proper behavior by some people with no interest in what they person they banned had to say. That is obvious enough.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:38 pm

It seems I cannot answer your comments without risking upsetting you by discussing an issue tangential to the subject of the thread- even though you're instrumental in that tangent yourself, by responding to my post regarding it and by asking me to respond to your response. Drat.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Jakob » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:57 pm

This banning business really is a violation of my rules. What transgression of ILP rules could possibly be horrible enough to ban members who contribute valuable content? I mean certainly no powerful government would be so stupid - as we know the US pardons the worst warcriminals if they possess knowledge that is useful. It's just indifference, it must be - estimation of Ascolo's contribution as useless. Or just 'rank stupidity', to use Fausts terminology, if it was deemed useful. Anyway, this ethic of banning people who are so deeply involved with philosophy that they have actual knowledge to share surfaces rarely, because it is rare that someone is involved so deeply. It is somewhat clear now that mainly the posters with some weight behind them get banned.

I think I've done much worse to Ascolo then he to anyone else here in this thread - but I did it less openly - it was veiled in philosophical terms, as most 'crimes' here are committed. It slipped by the censors - the censors are mindless machines, incapable of judging content, only seeing form. I think I'd enjoy this board more if social judgment and numb indifference were punished and passion was a positive criterion.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Jakob » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:02 pm

Coatless wrote:It seems I cannot answer your comments without risking upsetting you by discussing an issue tangential to the subject of the thread- even though you're instrumental in that tangent yourself, by responding to my post regarding it and by asking me to respond to your response. Drat.

Wow you managed to formulate that very well. The fantastic paradox created by me responding to a comment that I did not value. Incredibly interesting. Do you by any chance have an idea about what has been discussed in this thread?
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:36 pm

Ascolo has so far raised a point which has not been challenged: that the mitigation of suffering in the natural-animalistic sense of need/lack and the first-order happiness that this produces is of the same type and quality as that second-order happiness which is attained in a state of enduring and sustaining sufferings (being in suffering so as to be in happiness, ie. states of first-order happiness) for the express purpose of making sure that happiness does not flee him. The idea that these types of happiness are fundmentally no different in quality or essence is at the heart of his philosophy, and we must address this issue if we are to understand him. Happiness of this higher type, second-order happiness, rests upon the circle of suffering and its mitigation (its redemption, or its going under), and we experience this ourselves: how often do we desire something greatly, and finally get it and there is a surge of brief happiness, and then - nothing. The desire turns to habit and a taking-for-granted, and the raw happiness which the striving-for and achieving of the desire created is gone, replaced by a passive background state of, once again, a taking-for-granted, a given, and now the removal of this given would generate its own sufferings.

Another points that needs to be addressed if we are to seriously understand and examine Ascolo's philosophy is, namely, how does man redeem his second-order suffering and thus attain a permanent or at least basic minimum level of stable happiness? First-order suffering is redeemed by achieving the material or psychological conditions in one's life such that the need/lack of that suffering vanishes - what then is the equivalent process by which second-order suffering (the suffering not from the lack of physical-animal needs but from the lack of happiness itself) is likewise mitigated and prevented? It would seem that the only way in which this second-order suffering can be redeemed is though attaining for oneself a constant or near-constant state of happiness, a state of being in happiness itself - being happy is the only way to prevent second-order suffering. One must 'be happy' in order to avoid second-order suffering -- in fact, it doesnt matter where this happiness comes from! This is why love, sex, drugs, food, entertainment, philosophy, dreaming, playing games, writing, walking in nature, enduring conflict, achieving a creation and personal goal, all of the activities that men can find meaningful and pleasurable can generate this fundamental meaning for man precisely because they are creating within him a state of being of happiness. Why does the simple act of 'being happy' seem so totally meaningful and complete, underived, simple and perfect, and likewise why does it tend to vanish when we examine and question this happiness?- precisely because it is not the means by which the happiness is attained but the being happy which counts. It is a delicate balance on a knife's edge to maintain a state of being in happiness in order to avoid second-order suffering while at the same time not redeeming one's first-order sufferings (in the act of being in a state of second-order happiness) so much so that the first-order happiness which mitigates second-order suffering thus vanishes. Thus man's life is a constant struggle to be happy, in any way he can, in order to avoid the deeper suffering of the lack of happiness itself.

Does this seem circular? Yes, because it is. This is the heart of man, a circularity or perhaps 'vicious circle' as was mentioned previously. This is why life seems both meaningful and meaningless, why happiness seems so easy and natural at times and then flees from us in the next moment.

The real question is, Is the second-order happiness which is generated by man's habitual and constant scurryings to 'be happy' and thus avoid second-order suffering a fundamentally different type of happiness, different in quality and essence from basic first-order happiness? Or rather, Is the happiness of being happy (in one's actions, thoughts, activities), is this state of being happy which is of a deeper and also wider berth and scope truly different in essence from the simple pleasures and fleeting joys that result from man's mitigating the sufferings and lacks in his life? This is the most essential question here, if we are to get to the heart of Ascolo's philosophy.

Ascolo tells us that no, this happiness is not different, it is the same. I disagree - but not because I think Ascolo is wrong; I disagree because I think his view is not the whole truth. I think that in most cases second-order happiness is basically no different in its passive, reactive and dependent circular nature as simple first-order happiness, but I think that a higher type or pure form of happiness can form itself into and of a new essence, what I will call innocence, a creative self-affirmative joyousness of man's will, of his subsuming his consciousness to this will and boundless joy of creative self-affirmative expression. To invoke a metaphor I used to this effect, I think that the happiness which man can potentially (but rarely does) give birth to within his soul is a diamond forged from the coal and carbons of suffering and basic animal happiness (physical-mental pleasure), that through tremendous pressure and heat of friction man can *create* a totally new type and form of happiness which becomes self-affirmative and transfers over and transcends into a new form, a new essence in fact. This transfer takes place precisely at the moment where happiness ceases to be dependent upon suffering or first-order happiness (pleasure) - when 'happiness' (the human will) escapes the cycle of suffering/redemption. -- happiness freed for its own sake, affirming itself in itself and *innocent of suffering* (but this does not mean ignorant of it); an essentially-human-creative willing and boundless joy which eminates from the spirit of man in the form of a perfect diamond glittering brilliantly as it experiences the energies of the world around it, a diamond which is made of carbon and coal and yet nonetheless is now something more, something beyond these, more than the sum of its parts - something new. I think that man *can* (but of course very, very rarely does) create for himself a different form of happiness - and this is where Ascolo and I part ways.

In all other ways except for this final moment of transcendence, the moment where happiness attains a truly self-affirmative state, I agree with Ascolo's views here. He is correct about happiness being a result of suffering, he is correct that man's moralities and values (love, happiness, etc) are derived from suffering, they are functions of man's sufferings, in a direct and absolutely dependent sense. He is mostly correct when he says that suffering is the only value: this is true, suffering is the only value, except for a genuine and truly affirmative joy and willing which is man's highest calling, his eternal return, his Ubermensch.

I believe that the *only* form of existence which man might attain that is not a functionary of suffering is this higher-order happiness of the creative and boundless will, a truly affirmative state of being of the highest joy and will - this is what Nietzsche called the eternal return, true affirmation in an active sense, affirmation of the will for its own sake and thus the overcoming of all willings to nothingness and suffering. In this way and in this way only can man escape the circle of suffering. And it is a thing which most men never attain, but also I think that most of us *do* have some sort of basic "diamond-essence" within us, the barest beginnings of a purely human spirit, despite that we have not yet overcome ourselves and learned to love life: I think that the human spirit is a slow geologic process which is, slowly and with great pains and errors and going backwards and abortions, turning the coal of basic materialist and psychological suffering into a diamond, turning the reactive and denied into the affirmative, the passive into the active. I think Nietzsche sensed this as the destiny of man, as that distant future to which all of human history points, and I think he deals with it in his Zarathustra despite the fact that he does not come to terms with the ubiquity of suffering in the way that Ascolo does. But despite this error on his part, Nietzsche did intuit the heart of man, he came to know what it means to be man even if he did not fully rationalize his ideas and they remained somewhat in the realm of abstraction and psychology rather than transferring over into a truly rational philosophy and a new ground of philosophy.

So if we are going to question Ascolo's philosophy here we need to actually address it, rather than skate around its edges, as has been done thus far. He has not ignored Jakob's views on happiness and suffering as I have seen, because his philosophy is able to explain and incorporate these views within itself. In the sense that Jakob and I are (maybe) in agreement as to the essentially transformative and differential nature of the truly self-created affirmation of the will, in the sense that Nietzsche truly meant the eternal return, there we part ways with you Ascolo. . . . but the discussion is not arrested at this point, because it is still a question up in the air as to whether or not this new happiness, this being of boundless creative joy and self-affirmative will to which I and NIetzsche refer is in fact actually of a different nature than all else in life and existence which is of the 'vicious circle' of suffering and its redemption. *Can* man truly esteem in such a way as to escape this circle? Ascolo thinks not (or rather he seems to think that the ubiquity of suffering is the only value and that the escape into new free spaces outside of man's moralism and deceit is not a new valuation, not an affirmative overcoming in the way that Nietzsche means when he speaks of the eternal return), but I think yes, I think man *can* create a new type of happiness, a boundless joy of the self-affirmative will - I think that man can escape the circle of suffering/redemption, whereas Ascolo things not so much that we cannot escape it but that "escaping" it has no meaning at all, because it is all that there is and ever can be - and yet I admit that I cannot as rationally and clearly as him formulate my logic. This is the task I have been working on, and continue to work on. My intuition, my reason and my logic tell me that this eternal return, that the entirety of the beautiful essence of the Zarathustra is a real, tangible state, a fundamental Difference and a new Beginning for man, a 'first-movement', but I also admit that I have not lived this philosophy in the same personal manner as Ascolo has lived his, and thus in that sense I cannot and have no right to or means by which to critique his philosophy. I have experienced the depth of Zarathustra and the return in my soul, I have attained to vast heights of reason and intuition and sublime happiness, I have justified and derived this philosophy, what I would call the true and often-misunderstood (even by himself) philosophy of Nietzsche - but I have not yet lived it, I have not fought it with tooth and nail for my very existence, I have not been born of it - I have not carried my ashes to the mountaintop. So is my intuition regarding the eternal return and the truly differential nature of this state of being truly accurate? I believe that it is. And I continue to dive within this and within myself to find the answer. I am still, as always, open to further knowledge and understanding. I dont think I have it all right yet, I dont think Ive figured it all out - but I do think, I know, that I am on the right path in that direction.

But my personal reservations and intuitions in no way infringe upon Ascolo's philosophy here - what he has said is correct. Thus far no one here has truly encountered him point-for-point and refuted his reason. All attempts so far have been half-attempts, half-contacts that miss some essential point and logic. I have tried my best to understand and formulate his position, and I can find no fault with it save for its ultimate conclusion, that there is no value other than suffering - I consider this correct in 99.999%+ of all cases, but A) I also do not derive any sort of "depression" or "hopelessness" from accepting this fact (and neither does Ascolo - but likely he does not because he has lived and overcome this idea whereas I have not yet faced it head-on), and B) I still hold to my intuitive reason and to my 'highest hope' and 'most noble value', as Zarathustra writes. To this effect, to how I truly conceive of this distinction here, see in Nietzsche's Zarathustra 'On the Tree on the Mountainside' and 'On the Way of the Creator'.

In all cases, this has been a most interesting discussion topic. I would be totally surprised that this entire forum and website has not revolved around this issue and topic herein discussed, if I did not already know the true essence of this website and of most who pose and flutter around here. All in all, though, I have to extend deep-felt thanks to both Ascolo and Jakob for your exchanges and discussions and ideas. You have contributed much here that I am grateful for - rare does a gem such as this thread has (ironically, considering its beginning) turned into surface on this website, or anywhere else in philosophy, for that matter.

*Ascolo or Jakob I appologize if I have either misrepresented or underrepresented your views here.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Sauwelios » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:44 pm

The Last Man wrote:Ascolo has so far raised a point which has not been challenged: that the mitigation of suffering in the natural-animalistic sense of need/lack and the first-order happiness that this produces is of the same type and quality as that second-order happiness which is attained in a state of enduring and sustaining sufferings (being in suffering so as to be in happiness, ie. states of first-order happiness) for the express purpose of making sure that happiness does not flee him.

Jesus Christ, Last Man... How can you expect anyone to read your endlessly long post after such an opening? And your bleak avatar does not do anything for me to make it more appealing. This has always been the principal problem I've had with your posts.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Sauwelios » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:16 am

Parodoticus wrote:The question, to be more to the point, and to leave the sphere of my humanity, is this: is any pleasure in life, any amount of it, worth that suffering which has been endured by the world throughout all of time?

The amount of pleasure in life does not have to weigh up against the sum total of suffering:

    [T]here is no cumulative consciousness of displeasure[.]
    [Nietzsche, WP 1060.]


To address Nietzsche now, to whom Sauwelios points. Man, and all of bestial life, is born in a state of need. This particular state we designate, in some sense, suffering. In compensating this need; satisfying hungers of both spiritual and physical natures, man (unlike the beast) attains to this "happiness" of which one hears so much of. But this happiness exists only as an oppositional counter force to a force that is much more primary, namely the suffering of need. When that need is mitigated, happiness vanishes. Then man suffers from the lack of happiness; this is a higher order of suffering, and accounts for the basic state in which man spends his life. From these two vantages it is obvious that suffering is indeed the primeval state;

Suffering as a 'state', need as a 'state'---these concepts are meaningless to me without the complement of something even more primary or primeval than suffering, namely that which what is needed is to sustain or enhance. Man is born into a state of 'being'---and whatever this 'being' is, it is more primary than 'needing'. 'Needing' in itself is nothing, unless you conceive it as a 'willing-to-power', in a positive sense as a positive force---a pleasure... That's something I've never understood about Satyr (another banned member): how he could posit need as the most basic fact. Need presupposes that life is good. Suffering presupposes pleasure.


Is it not the essential meaninglessness of suffering which, rather than the curse, was the very sanction of life for man, because it served as the sanction for his madness, self-compromising, his illusions, his beauties? Did it not move man to first begin contriving for himself excuses for the suffering of life, a profound kind of suffering, a suffering from the lack of happiness-- and all of this in the name of attaining to it yet again? This meaninglessness is quite the contrary to the bane of his existence, it is the very binding to the Parnassus ad Gradum of his life. This meaninglessness...

Nietzsche concludes that passage as follows, of course:

    And to repeat at the conclusion what I said at the start: man will sooner will nothingness than not will...

This is what Nietzsche meant by "meaninglessness": having nothing to will. Even 'nothingness' is something to will.---
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:52 am

The Last Man wrote:Ascolo has so far raised a point which has not been challenged: that the mitigation of suffering in the natural-animalistic sense of need/lack and the first-order happiness that this produces is of the same type and quality as that second-order happiness which is attained in a state of enduring and sustaining sufferings (being in suffering so as to be in happiness, ie. states of first-order happiness) for the express purpose of making sure that happiness does not flee him. The idea that these types of happiness are fundmentally no different in quality or essence is at the heart of his philosophy, and we must address this issue if we are to understand him. Happiness of this higher type, second-order happiness, rests upon the circle of suffering and its mitigation (its redemption, or its going under), and we experience this ourselves: how often do we desire something greatly, and finally get it and there is a surge of brief happiness, and then - nothing. The desire turns to habit and a taking-for-granted, and the raw happiness which the striving-for and achieving of the desire created is gone, replaced by a passive background state of, once again, a taking-for-granted, a given, and now the removal of this given would generate its own sufferings.

Another points that needs to be addressed if we are to seriously understand and examine Ascolo's philosophy is, namely, how does man redeem his second-order suffering and thus attain a permanent or at least basic minimum level of stable happiness? First-order suffering is redeemed by achieving the material or psychological conditions in one's life such that the need/lack of that suffering vanishes - what then is the equivalent process by which second-order suffering (the suffering not from the lack of physical-animal needs but from the lack of happiness itself) is likewise mitigated and prevented? It would seem that the only way in which this second-order suffering can be redeemed is though attaining for oneself a constant or near-constant state of happiness, a state of being in happiness itself - being happy is the only way to prevent second-order suffering. One must 'be happy' in order to avoid second-order suffering -- in fact, it doesnt matter where this happiness comes from! This is why love, sex, drugs, food, entertainment, philosophy, dreaming, playing games, writing, walking in nature, enduring conflict, achieving a creation and personal goal, all of the activities that men can find meaningful and pleasurable can generate this fundamental meaning for man precisely because they are creating within him a state of being of happiness. Why does the simple act of 'being happy' seem so totally meaningful and complete, underived, simple and perfect, and likewise why does it tend to vanish when we examine and question this happiness?- precisely because it is not the means by which the happiness is attained but the being happy which counts. It is a delicate balance on a knife's edge to maintain a state of being in happiness in order to avoid second-order suffering while at the same time not redeeming one's first-order sufferings (in the act of being in a state of second-order happiness) so much so that the first-order happiness which mitigates second-order suffering thus vanishes. Thus man's life is a constant struggle to be happy, in any way he can, in order to avoid the deeper suffering of the lack of happiness itself.

Does this seem circular? Yes, because it is. This is the heart of man, a circularity or perhaps 'vicious circle' as was mentioned previously. This is why life seems both meaningful and meaningless, why happiness seems so easy and natural at times and then flees from us in the next moment.

The real question is, Is the second-order happiness which is generated by man's habitual and constant scurryings to 'be happy' and thus avoid second-order suffering a fundamentally different type of happiness, different in quality and essence from basic first-order happiness? Or rather, Is the happiness of being happy (in one's actions, thoughts, activities), is this state of being happy which is of a deeper and also wider berth and scope truly different in essence from the simple pleasures and fleeting joys that result from man's mitigating the sufferings and lacks in his life? This is the most essential question here, if we are to get to the heart of Ascolo's philosophy.

Ascolo tells us that no, this happiness is not different, it is the same. I disagree - but not because I think Ascolo is wrong; I disagree because I think his view is not the whole truth. I think that in most cases second-order happiness is basically no different in its passive, reactive and dependent circular nature as simple first-order happiness, but I think that a higher type or pure form of happiness can form itself into and of a new essence, what I will call innocence, a creative self-affirmative joyousness of man's will, of his subsuming his consciousness to this will and boundless joy of creative self-affirmative expression. To invoke a metaphor I used to this effect, I think that the happiness which man can potentially (but rarely does) give birth to within his soul is a diamond forged from the coal and carbons of suffering and basic animal happiness (physical-mental pleasure), that through tremendous pressure and heat of friction man can *create* a totally new type and form of happiness which becomes self-affirmative and transfers over and transcends into a new form, a new essence in fact. This transfer takes place precisely at the moment where happiness ceases to be dependent upon suffering or first-order happiness (pleasure) - when 'happiness' (the human will) escapes the cycle of suffering/redemption. -- happiness freed for its own sake, affirming itself in itself and *innocent of suffering* (but this does not mean ignorant of it); an essentially-human-creative willing and boundless joy which eminates from the spirit of man in the form of a perfect diamond glittering brilliantly as it experiences the energies of the world around it, a diamond which is made of carbon and coal and yet nonetheless is now something more, something beyond these, more than the sum of its parts - something new. I think that man *can* (but of course very, very rarely does) create for himself a different form of happiness - and this is where Ascolo and I part ways.

In all other ways except for this final moment of transcendence, the moment where happiness attains a truly self-affirmative state, I agree with Ascolo's views here. He is correct about happiness being a result of suffering, he is correct that man's moralities and values (love, happiness, etc) are derived from suffering, they are functions of man's sufferings, in a direct and absolutely dependent sense. He is mostly correct when he says that suffering is the only value: this is true, suffering is the only value, except for a genuine and truly affirmative joy and willing which is man's highest calling, his eternal return, his Ubermensch.

I believe that the *only* form of existence which man might attain that is not a functionary of suffering is this higher-order happiness of the creative and boundless will, a truly affirmative state of being of the highest joy and will - this is what Nietzsche called the eternal return, true affirmation in an active sense, affirmation of the will for its own sake and thus the overcoming of all willings to nothingness and suffering. In this way and in this way only can man escape the circle of suffering. And it is a thing which most men never attain, but also I think that most of us *do* have some sort of basic "diamond-essence" within us, the barest beginnings of a purely human spirit, despite that we have not yet overcome ourselves and learned to love life: I think that the human spirit is a slow geologic process which is, slowly and with great pains and errors and going backwards and abortions, turning the coal of basic materialist and psychological suffering into a diamond, turning the reactive and denied into the affirmative, the passive into the active. I think Nietzsche sensed this as the destiny of man, as that distant future to which all of human history points, and I think he deals with it in his Zarathustra despite the fact that he does not come to terms with the ubiquity of suffering in the way that Ascolo does. But despite this error on his part, Nietzsche did intuit the heart of man, he came to know what it means to be man even if he did not fully rationalize his ideas and they remained somewhat in the realm of abstraction and psychology rather than transferring over into a truly rational philosophy and a new ground of philosophy.

So if we are going to question Ascolo's philosophy here we need to actually address it, rather than skate around its edges, as has been done thus far. He has not ignored Jakob's views on happiness and suffering as I have seen, because his philosophy is able to explain and incorporate these views within itself. In the sense that Jakob and I are (maybe) in agreement as to the essentially transformative and differential nature of the truly self-created affirmation of the will, in the sense that Nietzsche truly meant the eternal return, there we part ways with you Ascolo. . . . but the discussion is not arrested at this point, because it is still a question up in the air as to whether or not this new happiness, this being of boundless creative joy and self-affirmative will to which I and NIetzsche refer is in fact actually of a different nature than all else in life and existence which is of the 'vicious circle' of suffering and its redemption. *Can* man truly esteem in such a way as to escape this circle? Ascolo thinks not (or rather he seems to think that the ubiquity of suffering is the only value and that the escape into new free spaces outside of man's moralism and deceit is not a new valuation, not an affirmative overcoming in the way that Nietzsche means when he speaks of the eternal return), but I think yes, I think man *can* create a new type of happiness, a boundless joy of the self-affirmative will - I think that man can escape the circle of suffering/redemption, whereas Ascolo things not so much that we cannot escape it but that "escaping" it has no meaning at all, because it is all that there is and ever can be - and yet I admit that I cannot as rationally and clearly as him formulate my logic. This is the task I have been working on, and continue to work on. My intuition, my reason and my logic tell me that this eternal return, that the entirety of the beautiful essence of the Zarathustra is a real, tangible state, a fundamental Difference and a new Beginning for man, a 'first-movement', but I also admit that I have not lived this philosophy in the same personal manner as Ascolo has lived his, and thus in that sense I cannot and have no right to or means by which to critique his philosophy. I have experienced the depth of Zarathustra and the return in my soul, I have attained to vast heights of reason and intuition and sublime happiness, I have justified and derived this philosophy, what I would call the true and often-misunderstood (even by himself) philosophy of Nietzsche - but I have not yet lived it, I have not fought it with tooth and nail for my very existence, I have not been born of it - I have not carried my ashes to the mountaintop. So is my intuition regarding the eternal return and the truly differential nature of this state of being truly accurate? I believe that it is. And I continue to dive within this and within myself to find the answer. I am still, as always, open to further knowledge and understanding. I dont think I have it all right yet, I dont think Ive figured it all out - but I do think, I know, that I am on the right path in that direction.

But my personal reservations and intuitions in no way infringe upon Ascolo's philosophy here - what he has said is correct. Thus far no one here has truly encountered him point-for-point and refuted his reason. All attempts so far have been half-attempts, half-contacts that miss some essential point and logic. I have tried my best to understand and formulate his position, and I can find no fault with it save for its ultimate conclusion, that there is no value other than suffering - I consider this correct in 99.999%+ of all cases, but A) I also do not derive any sort of "depression" or "hopelessness" from accepting this fact (and neither does Ascolo - but likely he does not because he has lived and overcome this idea whereas I have not yet faced it head-on), and B) I still hold to my intuitive reason and to my 'highest hope' and 'most noble value', as Zarathustra writes. To this effect, to how I truly conceive of this distinction here, see in Nietzsche's Zarathustra 'On the Tree on the Mountainside' and 'On the Way of the Creator'.

In all cases, this has been a most interesting discussion topic. I would be totally surprised that this entire forum and website has not revolved around this issue and topic herein discussed, if I did not already know the true essence of this website and of most who pose and flutter around here. All in all, though, I have to extend deep-felt thanks to both Ascolo and Jakob for your exchanges and discussions and ideas. You have contributed much here that I am grateful for - rare does a gem such as this thread has (ironically, considering its beginning) turned into surface on this website, or anywhere else in philosophy, for that matter.

*Ascolo or Jakob I appologize if I have either misrepresented or underrepresented your views here.


In addition to this, I need to add a bit more. I think that this view on suffering and its ubiquity can, well I know that it can be very overwhelming and depressing, it has the power to totally usurp and over-ride all other feelings and instincts and values within the mind (as Ascolo testifies to when he talks about his three stages of this thought). I have grapped with this problem lately - do I truly let the fact that all human values and happinesses (most of them, the vast vast majority) are really only functionaries and derivatives of suffering bother me, do I let it consume my values and happinesses? I have answered a decided, "No!" to this question, and not only because I am not ready yet to carry my own ashes to the mountaintop. . . . in contemplating and meditating on this thought lately I have come to a realization I wanted to share, in case anyone else other than me has been strugging this this problem: values and happiness are still values and happiness regardless of from where they are derived and from where they emerge. Humans create, that is our task and method of existence. We are creators. And we create by willing-to, by valuing and esteeming. When the will learns to value and esteem itself for its own sake then we will perhaps truly overcome this circle of suffering, but until that point we ought not to lose ourselves and throw away our values and happinesses merely because we might experience the deeper existential essence of these.

Happiness is happiness, a value is a value to someone, to he whom holds or experiences that value or happiness. This does not mitigate any potential falseness or internal oppositional contradictions that might be present in such things, but then again this falseness and contradiction itself does not, cannot truly mitigate the entirety of the experience and reality of value and happiness themselves. Ascolo tells us that man can never redeem all of his suffering, that a little must always remain? This is true; but on the other side of this, man can never truly 'redeem' (refute, expose, deconstruct) his values and happiness and meaning without a little bit of it remaining left over. Why do I think this? Because once value, happiness are created by man, once personal meaning is generated and experienced, it exists, it is born into the world, into this subject. He creates it himself, man, the creator gives birth to this new entity, even and especially if it only exists within his mind, his own subjective perspective. Truths can and will only be found within ourselves -- any truth or reason which is shared by two or more people is of necessity a false truth or reason. This, to me, is undeniable. Of course this falseness does not mean that such truths and reasons are not useful or necessary in themselves. But they are not true creations, they are not birthings in the same manner as the subject gives birth to value and happiness and meaning within his own soul - this method of man's existence is an individual one, despite that man learns this method from others (from society, from philosophy, from initiation)... the method, once man grows into a mature conscious being, becomes wholly individual.

Basically, while suffering is ubiquitous (near ubiquitous) and at the heart of almost every human value and experience, this fact does not mean that these values and experiences do not exist in the manner in which we experience them. It only means that there is more going on, below the surface, and that a certain degree of self-deception is necessary within man - but Nietzsche knew this, and so did Kierkegaard and Deleuze and probably others as well, that the true primary function of man's consciousness is forgetfulness, and that this forgetting is the most positive and necessary act of the human will (that is, until man learns to will himself, to will to himself). Suffering is not something to cause us a loss of meaning or hopelessness, depression or despair, and neither is the self-deception and space of forgetfulness that sustains us in these conditions. We are human, we are alive, we live and function as humans, and we can be proud of this and affirm it even where this functioning runs counter to what we suppose to be the case within ourselves. Philosophy is, after all (or at least it ought to be), destructive and dynamic and wholly personal.

The innocence of which I spoke earlier, the moment of the birth of self-affirmation and true willing, true creative release and expression, occurs all the time incrementally, it is not only a moment of rare transdendence and overcoming but also a natural state of man. We see this state in very young children who first learn to experience the world around them, the pure spark of joy and total honesty and sincerity in their eyes. . . this spark, this glow of the eyes, is also present in those enlightened ones, those who master themselves and their human condition (their psychology/personality/animality). And this glow, this spark of pure essence also exists when we look into the eyes of our true lover, who holds for us the deepest and most trusting and sincere love imaginable. Those of us who are lucky enough to have had this experience of true human love for another, who have shared this experience in a moment, know what this is like. The innocence and purity of love is a true moment of creative expression, a birthing, a willing-to in the highest sense, even when, in the case of children or of lovers, it is accidental, unintentional, an emergence and imminence which radiates outward as a consequence of that person's nature in that moment.... the sage, the enlightened one, is the only one who truly forges himself in a conscious and willed manner into this state of being an abundant and self-propelled fountain of joy and creative expression (love). But regardless, the state is attainable, it exists, even though most all of us slowly forget and can lose this as we age and grow out of childhood.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:05 am

Jakob wrote:This banning business really is a violation of my rules. What transgression of ILP rules could possibly be horrible enough to ban members who contribute valuable content? I mean certainly no powerful government would be so stupid - as we know the US pardons the worst warcriminals if they possess knowledge that is useful. It's just indifference, it must be - estimation of Ascolo's contribution as useless. Or just 'rank stupidity', to use Fausts terminology, if it was deemed useful. Anyway, this ethic of banning people who are so deeply involved with philosophy that they have actual knowledge to share surfaces rarely, because it is rare that someone is involved so deeply. It is somewhat clear now that mainly the posters with some weight behind them get banned.

I think I've done much worse to Ascolo then he to anyone else here in this thread - but I did it less openly - it was veiled in philosophical terms, as most 'crimes' here are committed. It slipped by the censors - the censors are mindless machines, incapable of judging content, only seeing form. I think I'd enjoy this board more if social judgment and numb indifference were punished and passion was a positive criterion.

What petulant nonsense.

You’re obviously piqued by the banning of AP (and now Parodoticus) because you were enjoying the correspondence. The fact is, this place would be nothing without its rules and much the lesser without the observation of appropriate etiquette. If there were no rules here, it’s unlikely you would have had any discussion to bemoan the loss of in the first place. Imagine driving on roads without laws and regulations- you’d never arrive at your destination. Imagine playing a football match without reference to rules- there would be no sport, and the score would be meaningless. The rules of this forum are here for good reason- not to stifle creative debate but to encourage it.

AP was given several warnings about his conduct, and continued to flout the board rules and advice. He made his choices, whether or not he had the maturity to improve his behaviour to an acceptable standard. As has been said, it was all above board and fair. I happen to think the moderators were exceptionally lenient. In any case, complaining about anyone else for AP’s self-induced banning is ridiculous and petty. Get over it.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:24 am

Jakob, wise words indeed.

Coatless, no offense, but you have nothing to contribute here. Its nothing personal, its just that you are not involved in nor do you seem to understand the conversational back-and-forth that has been going on now for awhile between Jakob, Ascolo and myself.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:33 am

Yes, I do understand and respect that, but it is entirely beside the point. The matter of whether AP should have been banned has nothing to do with his contribution to the debate here, nor is my non-involvement.

If a teenager vandalises a bus shelter but then helps an old woman to cross the road, should society permit the vandalism of bus shelters?
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:51 am

This topic is not about the subject of being banned. Jakob was making comments along these lines in light of this conversation we have been having, and besides that, I wonder what your interest is here, why are you so eager to jump into this conversation which you admittedly know nothing about, as soon as it involves someone getting banned? I would question what your motives are here, and my point I was making is that if you are not a part of this conversation, it seems prudent to remain outside of it. Entering to gloat or flaunt some loyalistic sense of duty to a system of arbitrary rules, rules which are violated on a daily basis by almost every member here, is not pertinent to this topic at hand. Perhaps the Ranting Forum would be a better place for you to demonstrate your admirable adherence to the arbitrary rule of law.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:02 pm

I know the primary topic of this thread is not the banning of members of the forum, but as it happens that issue arose in this thread. Such is the way of these things. You cannot control the structure and direction of free conversation, nor would it be your place to. For what it’s worth, I have no inclination to divert the main topic, but since the (tangential) topic of banning has arisen here, it would seem legitimate to discuss it here. Anyone who’s terrified of being distracted by this irrelevant tangent could perhaps try scrolling past the posts.

My own motive in all this is irrelevant, as is your speculation thereof (though I’d be happy to expound upon it if you’re especially interested. Essentially it relates to the staggeringly obvious fact that the system of rules is absolutely not arbitrary, and it’s perfectly silly to think otherwise).
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:13 pm

As far as I can tell from reading back, your first entry here was to spout an arrogant comment about Ascolo's getting banned. No one was talking about being banned. He mentioned it in brief and then went back into the general conversation. You entered here uninvited and with nothing to add to that conversation, and you distracted it with irrelevancies. Whether this distracting was deliberate or not I will not comment upon, because we both know the answer to that despite your protestations otherwise.

What does it say about someone who behaves thus? Who can deliberately ignore such a vast topic as is being discussed here, in order to enter and slander those who are discussing? Do you make it your personal mission to follow Ascolo around and taunt him until he gets banned for responding to your innane instigations? Or are you just interested in butting in where you are not welcome, where you admittedly have no conversational interest, in order to derail a topic? Do you find this sort of thing amusing? I can assure you that we do not.

It stands that you entered here and began talking about being banned and the rules involved therein. That is and was not relevant to the conversation. You started it here so I am not sure why you are pretending to be hiding behind claims that the conversation naturally turned in that direction -- it did not. You turned it there. As I said, it makes me wonder what your motives are in behaving like this.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:22 pm

[-X

My great interruption and thread sabotage amounted to this post:

viewtopic.php?p=2130946#p2130946

and then this:

viewtopic.php?p=2130949#p2130949

When Jakob commented on banning, I wrote this:

viewtopic.php?p=2130968#p2130968

…in which I helpfully linked to a thread whose topic is banning (so as to avoid derailing this thread). I also added another one-line comment offering my opinion. There followed a series of responses and replies, not instigated by me.

Your questioning my ‘motives’ here just looks like throwing toys out the pram.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:30 pm

Thank you for linking up the evidence so that I dont have to be bothered to do so myself.

You prove yourself wrong, you prove yourself an instigator and derailer with your own mouth here, your initial posts here speak to your intentions and malice quite clearly -- and yet you pretend otherwise. When you yourself even present the evidence which damns you, you turn a blind eye to it and pretend to be something you are not, despite how undeniably false such pretentions are.

I wonder what depth of depravity and intellectual dishonesty must lie within a soul capable of such a feat.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby Coatless » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:34 pm

Wow.

Just wow.
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Re: The Dialectics of Repression.

Postby The Last Man » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:59 pm

Dont think for a moment that your unwillingness to dispute any of my claims has gone unnoticed.

Some advice: pretention begets the necessity for more of the same. Your feigned surprise and disbelief only serve as further illumination to these motives. You might be wise to consider the virtue in silence; for, as I have noted to others here, you betray too much, and it is embarassing for everyone involved.
It is not the strengths, but the durations of great sentiments that make great men. -Nietzsche

Genius never desires what does not exist. -Kierkegaard

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth. -Goethe

The ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. -Weininger

I don't roll on shabbos. -Walter
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