Carlo Suarés : The Dialectic of the Self

Several renowned thinkers and researchers of the first half of the 20th century were impressed by Marxist thought and the communist revolution in Russia. For them this revolution was a kind of crowning achievement of human evolution. Carlo Suarhs was of this opinion in his book La comidie psychologique published in 1932. But he added that this revolution would be incomplete without a revolution in the very structure of the human me (or I). See also the explanation of Suares himself here. We publish below a first extract from his book on this subject. Certain passages which are no longer of interest today are not reproduced ... Other extracts will be published.

(Extracts from The Psychological Comedy. José Corti Edition 1932)


At the most serious hour in our history, when the masses are moving towards their deliverance, why do we find time to meditate on the function of consciousness?

Because consciousness is the destroyer of the egocentric "me", its works and its idols. Because consciousness is ALWAYS revolutionary; and the proletariat itself becomes revolutionary only by becoming aware of its historical function.

The historical era of humanity begins with the birth of the self. The ego is a product of history: it developed at the same time as the exploitation of man by man.

The function of consciousness is to know the self and dissolve it, thus undermining all the buildings built on it, all the values, past and contemporary, of all dead or dying civilizations, and thus preparing the way for the only truly civilization human: Communism in its higher phase.

Definitions.

We call individual consciousness a consciousness that perceives itself as a separate entity. This self-aware entity we call the self. One of the objects of this work will be to show that self-awareness emanates only from associations contracted by the human aggregate with elements which it imagines to be it. Self-awareness is therefore a dream, a mistake. We say of this state of consciousness that it is sub-conscious. In short, the subconscious is the self. We say of the human state in which "I am," or "I am self," happen to have some sense of reality, that this state is subhuman. Only a state is truly human where man is freed from the associations which made up his self-conscious awareness. In this new state, man, finally conscious, is no longer a self.

The ego is only a contradiction to the absolutely contradictory terms, and the explanation of this point is one of the main aims of this work. The ego therefore always has two poles, which are expressed in all its activities. These poles are found in him, in the form of the unconscious and the conscious. The Freudian unconscious and conscious can therefore only exist in the sub-conscious, of which they are the two faces. When we talk about the unconscious, we will always locate it in the sub-conscious. As for the other pole of the subconscious which we usually consider as conscious, we will designate it by the words daily consciousness, or habitual consciousness, or by other words of the same order.

One of the main associations that make up sub-consciousness is duration. In this association, most, if not all, merge and unite. This association, provoked by one of the most intimate desires of the subject during the evolution of species, when it succeeds in being produced, is that very which individualizes consciousness: until then, the I does not yet perceive myself as than me. Duration is therefore not time, but the representation that the ego makes of it, in its individual dream. There is only duration in the self. The self can therefore never get rid of duration, which is itself, but man can get rid of the self which is duration.

The deliverance of the ego is in reality an absorption of the ego by its own conscious self-awareness, taken to the extreme, attentive to seek all the elements from which it can dissociate in order to better perceive in what it thinks is its unity. . Self-awareness, in motion, is self-destruction. At the end of this process of self-destruction, the ego will have burned down, so to speak, all that it has been able to observe as not being it, it will have been lost, melted into a permanence that was always opposing it , and which we call consciousness. This consciousness is a synthesis of the faculties, of the two poles, which by their dissociation had created the illusion of the self. She is the only creative genius, the source of all human reality. It is outside of all duration.

This creative permanence which has no duration, in which all subjective time has disappeared, we will sometimes call it, for lack of words, eternity. It has no relation, needless to say, with metaphysical illusions, all of which seek uselessly, to eternalize the subject, in a union of time and duration. Let us indicate in passing that since the notion of Einsteinian relativity of time routed the Bergsonian illusion of duration as reality, finalists seek to seize discontinuous time to find duration in the arithmetization of instants without duration. These are the same theologians who construct straight lines without any thickness, by materializing abstract points, which do not have any thickness either, without realizing that this transformation is a simple convention and not a reality. This clarification seems useful to us, because we will speak of the Present as well as of the eternity of the moment. This moment, of which we will speak, will never, in any way, be one of those endless theological moments, which by the virtue of the Holy Spirit become "a present that lasts". It was Mr. Maritain, we believe we remember, who warned his people against the enemy, who, in our apocalyptic era, would come to use the words of Truth to destroy God. He was right, God is in the sub-conscious, and exists only in the illusion of duration.

We will describe the "death" of the ego enough to dispel all doubts on this subject: this death must be the result of a dialectical bursting, from the inside, similar to the rupture of the egg shell, to the birth of the chick. It is superfluous to be criticized here on the basis of the classic principle of contradiction; it is obvious, from the start, that static logic is relegated by us to the realm of the subconscious.

This book is an incentive - an almost desperate call - or nothing. Men must recreate themselves by submitting to the dialectical process of nature. By submitting to it in their blood. The essence of this book is this appeal. Some of his developments may be wrong. In this case, forget them and keep their call. Sometimes apparent contradictions will only follow the development of a process (we must say of the shell of the fertilized egg, first that it is good that it is intact, then that it is good that it be broken). Often words will lend themselves to a double meaning, due precisely to this reversal of the relationships between objects and life, which can occur in this process. Thus the word knowledge signifies both self-awareness and destruction of the self by this same awareness. So we see that "destroying the self" will have no meaning here other than "knowing yourself". It will be the same with doubt. The first act of consciousness is an act of "doubt". It consists in denying an unconsciously accepted identity, an association, etc So doubt becomes synonymous with knowledge. It remains synonymous until total knowledge, after which the doubt disappears, not by suppression, but by transmutation ... etc ..., etc ...

The reader who will really want to participate in the adventure offered to him here, will have to follow the words at all times, to discover the curve. This effort will undoubtedly open up an inner universe, energize it, set it in motion ...

Other words are what they are: to abolish private ownership of the means of production by the coming to power of the proletarian class, that says what it means ... etc ..., etc ...

What seeks to possess, in man, is the self. The foundation of the ego is that of private property, and has the same inner contradiction. Saying "I am me" is an act of exploitation. The man who has freed himself from the spell of this statement is ready to play his part in collective, impersonal work. Its function today, as this book demonstrates, can only be revolutionary.

Methods

We consider Hegel's system to be perfectly coherent, capable of accounting for all the points which he neglected to develop. There is uncertainty about the implicit adherence - or non-adherence - to Hegel's ideas that one can see - or not see - in the philosophy of Karl Marx. Excellent Marxists may call idealists other Marxists whose fault is to have learned like Marx himself in Hegel's school. Thus, from Hegel's system, a philosophy can be born which brings back or does not bring back to him, according to the nature of the men who follow him. We set out to choose a particular point in Hegel's philosophy, which, guiding us through the psychological, allows us to cross the entire Hegelian system, without ever leaving the circle of human experience. Let our exploration bring us back quite naturally, to its last term, to a whole adhesion to the doctrine of Karl Marx, and we will have proved enough, we hope, that Marxism integrated idealism, and that it could not order without violence to the destiny of men foreign to the conscience created or discovered by Hegelianism.

The transformation that the materialist dialectic must have accomplished in the individual (taken in the historical becoming) at the end of its evolution cannot we, starting from the human, go, each on its own, in search of conjunctions who will be able to favor or determine it?

Terrible confusion is about to take shape. We know that, for Hegel, it is impossible to establish a relationship: the candle is white, for example, without this relationship in turn posing the thought that affirms it. The great difficulty of its dialectic, precisely, is this: since the laws of the mind are the laws of nature, that the mind is enveloped with its laws in the existence of things, it is a matter of discovering the order in which things come out of things, that is, in which categories come out of categories. This order is the dialectical order, based on the negation of the principle of contradiction. Marx, who took this for granted, built his materialist philosophy, which is very often misunderstood. Many communists want the fact of putting the object to destroy the being of the one who poses it: the world is as we see it, and the being who perceives it is what this world invents at its last term - not in order to perceive yourself, which would not already be so bad - in order to be perceived

Great Marxist philosophers are struggling to create a material universe in which man is invited. They pose an object; then another object; but how to think, without intervention of the subject, the idea of ??relation: the second object is near the first? In their ardor to create a material universe, but of extinct matter, of matter without entrails, they arrive at this: this relation exists because included in the unity of all material relations. And through this hypothesis they enter a kind of monism, but from where, at least, they are absent. They give to the material world what they dispossess themselves. If asked then what they think of Voltaire: they admire Voltaire. There is a smuggling Marxism which, to collect the French revolutionary forces all imbued with the spirit of 48, is ready to leave Hegel on the way.

Dialectical materialism is materialism + idealism, it integrates known philosophical systems, or it is not. Take the problem of "reality outside", posing as an ignorant who will integrate one by one these philosophical systems. There is the content of my perception which is presented in the form of phenomena to which I must in fact incarnate in thought an impenetrable, unknowable support. Let's call it the impenetrable. For Kant it is the noumene, which will then figure as thought in the categories of the mind. For Fichte the impenetrable it is the self, which creates the world by an unconscious process, to become aware of it through its life. In Schelling's philosophy the subject and the object identify with each other in an impenetrable which is God. All this roughly said. Hegel completes integrating this impenetrable by stating that the laws of thought are also the laws of nature. His truth of the world is wrapped in the fact that this world is. There is no getting out of there. It's the truth of the world that creates it, and to understand its truth is to feel created through it. All this is very clear. But each man has the right to wonder how, object of this magnificent expression: "truth", he will manage to think what is acting on him, to be even in his own thought, in his loves, in his habits, in his food spiritual and material, to be down to the depth of his consciousness an embodiment of his own destiny. Understand a system until you see yourself, by all the forces of his will, understood in him ...

And precisely, Hegel, having integrated Fichte's aspiration into the infinite subjectivity, remains there: the subject, after having asked the dialectical process of Nature to have given birth to it, found in this fact its justification for wanting to live in oneself, in its own concept, as "being", become by concrete subterfuge. Having arisen from the dialectical process, he then pretended to enslave it, that is to say to make it find its continuation in thought: it was enough, he thought, to dissolve in turn the elements of this thought, this movement having to constitute the ultimate culmination of the dialectical movement of all evolution. But this attempt, he could not undertake until he had shaken the ground below himself, in a way far stronger than he could have imagined. For, alas, it was not a "particle of being" which had become concrete, it was the subject (let's say the self here) whose dialectic origin should on the contrary have precisely indicated its end: its own end ! The, me, here, for not wanting to surrender to its dialectical explosion within Nature, is caught in the act of usurpation, since it claims to be in a synthesis, or yet are obliged to be excluded from both the subject and the object that compose it

That this synthesis has not yet been really expressed by philosophers, it seems certain to us. And not having been expressed by them, it forces them to insist on one or the other term of the alleged fusion (which the self wanted it to be only a mixture): on the subject (which thereby, and ultimately destroys the object) or on the object (which ultimately destroys the subject). This debate would have no importance whatsoever (it has none for Sirius, the Earth always turns, and one day will die) if it did not put into play our innumerable lives of martyred masses, and those of millions of men after us, victims of this vampiric "subject", that incessantly are ready to raise the exploiting ego from its ashes.

Let us reflect on this: this synthesis is only waiting to be accomplished with the death of the subject - as a subject - since that of the object can only be found there. This means, not only that the man who becomes dialectic in action "thereby changes the world instead of explaining it", but that this world which he changes, far from being only that of his works, n 'is that of his works that as a consequence of the only change he can create, his own. And indeed, man becomes the place where, ultimately, the process of Nature becomes capable of implementing itself, on itself, by and for itself, it, devoid of beginning, of end, subject, object. A process which, far from submitting to becoming intellectual [1], is the behavior and action of the whole psycho-physiological being, where, in all areas of daily life, the sap, emotional, intellectual, sexual, is found transmuted into a permanent consumption of the past, within a time delivered of any duration.

In the debate between the two camps of usurpers of this natural synthesis, we are therefore on the side of dialectical materialism. We fight with him. He is indeed right. He is right that he crucified the subject in the object. Does he also think he has already buried it? So much the better. This death is the setting in motion of the matter, this setting in the earth is the fertilization of the earth, which has already transformed the sixth part of the inhabited globe. This death is his own resurrection. And we are assured this time of a resurrection that is no longer mythical, no longer sub-conscious yet, because still subjective, but total, but revolutionary; of a resurrection, in the only social order that can suit the Human.

THE DIALECTIC OF ME

(a) General layout

Knowledge: Resolving the "I am I", which is a movement.


We have reached a human crisis, both material and psychological, so deep that it must burst, not only the frameworks of our civilizations, but also all our judgments conceived on what is called "human nature" .

Such an upheaval forces us to seek knowledge beyond the limits reached so far. The materialist dialectic, the only one which has explained human societies in terms of the environments which gave birth to them, is still only halfway through its investigation, stopped before the individual psychological problem. His answers to this problem have yet to reveal anything about the nature of the human being, nor how humans could break through the wall that keeps them from coming into contact with their own essence.

It does not say what this being is, or what it means in the universal economy. She did not explain why man, the most evolved organism on the planet, finds himself linked to a psychological entity which he says is himself, and which he does not know where it comes from, where it goes, why it is there, and what it has to do with the universe. This entity, which in all circles, in all classes, says "I am I", constitutes in its essence [2] a phenomenon that has not yet been understood

The human being is united to an absurdity: thought

The human being is intimately united with a thought which is struck with absurdity. It only exists, perceives, thinks in space and time, yet it cannot understand space or time. He does not see that space can be limited, he does not see the limit; he cannot imagine that time ever started, or that it never started, to end a day, or to never end. If everything has a cause, intelligence cannot stop at a primary cause, at a mysterious and theological cause-in-itself; because the cause of this cause which we would like to be the first has never been said. Intelligence rejects as inadmissible and the "yes" and the "no"; it is before the wall of its own inconsistency. Thought has understood how certain causes in the universe have created certain effects, but it will not go further without understanding that it was thus submitting to the most imperious of its laws, the law of causation, that it only wrapped itself more and more tightly in its own determinations. Time, space, law of causation are the backbone of our thinking.

This pseudo-reality is crumbling today like a house of cards, and this phenomenon is intimately linked to the Economic and Social Revolution which, since the October Revolution, marked the turning point in the whole evolution of humanity.

Orthodoxy is not always a good instrument

But what did the revolutionary philosophers do? They first followed Karl Marx in his materialist dialectic, triumphing over idealist and spiritualist philosophies and all theologies, but without beating them on their own turf, that is to say without succeeding in showing how and why these philosophies are only expressions of positions assumed by the unconscious [3].

Then they explained history and sociology by causes of production and economy, but without answering the ultimate questions posed by human intelligence on the absurdity of its own problems about time, space , of being, of the universe, etc

To these questions, a Plekhanov, who saw in the dialectic of Hegel put back on his feet by Marx, the basis of a complete philosophy, answered nothing; his philosophy, which wanted to answer the ultimate problems, failed in its goal without always succeeding in serving the revolution. To these same questions of a psychological nature, Bukharin, to take another example, recognizes that the argument of psychologists that "the conception of relationships between men presupposes the reciprocal psychological action of the latter", was nothing opposed in Marxist circles [4]. However, this question, although it is still far from being the ultimate question, the last "why", Bukharin dodges it, he simply removes it. With extraordinary lightness, he makes comparisons with the moon and the stars, then he considers men as living machines (which means nothing), in relation to their work in space and time, while it was precisely a question of penetrating the mystery of space and time and of being.

Thus, revolutionary philosophers have easily jumped over idealisms, but have not yet "opposed" anything to contemporary psychology. Instead of a priori wanting to "oppose" something to psychology, on the basis of what is believed to be Marxist orthodoxy (which, even if it could exist would not have said everything), Bukharin would have done better to use both the discoveries of psychology and their own dialectic.

"What will we oppose to those who criticize us? This is what the Orthodox aspirants say. They will then seek, throughout the past, arguments which do not relate to the question, but which, bearing the authority of names such as Marx, Engels or Lenin, strike with excommunication those who have the courage to to apply revolutionary methods to revolutionaries of the past, whatever their size. For some Orthodox, it is heresy to want to go further than Marx or Lenin in the field of knowledge. They forget that events are going fast, and that a child today can understand certain things that neither Marx nor Lenin could understand, for the good reason that these things were not yet there. Such a fact should prove right, and not wrong, the founders of revolutionary philosophy. On this path, we must all wish to be overtaken as soon as we have taken a single step forward. We have not inherited arguments, which we should "oppose" to new enemies, but we have acquired the capacity to assimilate the present, for the use of the truth.

It does not matter to us the preoccupations of the conformists (who besides quarrel among themselves) about dialectical materialism; some assign limits to it by affirming that men will never know their reason for being; the others limit their philosophy even more, imagining that their sociological, biological or electrochemical explanations respond to the ultimate problem of knowledge. Such an illusion clearly indicates that these philosophers have never doubted the reality of the universe in which they move, therefore that they are unconscious.

A dialectical psychology [5]

We propose, in this presentation, to lay the foundations of a new dialectical psychology (dynamic and revolutionary) which alone can solve the ultimate problem of knowledge. This psychology will consider that the ultimate question that man poses, can find his answer only in the cause of the question, that is to say in the entity, the self that questions. The ego will therefore be the key to knowledge, and we will consider it according to the environment which gives it birth, this environment being twofold: society and nature.

In relation to society, we will see how human entities are both created by it and react to it, and by what means they can liberate the social by liberating themselves.

In relation to Nature we will consider the ego as a crisis which occurs in the natural evolution of the kingdoms, when the subjective sense (the I), after becoming conscious and having increased in intensity through the kingdoms below the man, has become acute enough to assume in his own perception the value of isolated entities, of me clearly separated from other me. We will thus resume, in the psychological field, the materialist method, by blowing up its own frameworks, and we will indicate by which ways the ego can and must manage to understand its nature and its reason for being, to pass from the state of isolation in the state of knowledge.

The ridiculous debate over the chicken and the egg

It is absolutely obvious that the condensation of the I in me was the result of human activity, and that this activity was, as always, entirely linked to the relationships between man and nature, and to the relationships of men with each other. Relations determined by the means of production: prehistoric materialism, of course (and once the selves are there, historical materialism in all its rigor). Activity also of a biological order: evolution of species [6]. And in addition, psychological activity: evolution of subjective reactions. Which to prioritize? Here, we may need to make the following statement: In the ridiculous debate over the chicken and the egg, we will never be the ones to take a stand.

We will see that the ego, as an isolated entity, having been created, as by a condensation, by the duality which Nature manifests in all its kingdoms (polarity, sex, etc.), is therefore intended to resolve itself , to burst, so to speak, in a new state, where it will have completely disappeared, where the entity will no longer be there.

We specify: Nature, after having created a kingdom of individuals who say "I am me", must, by their own determinism, create a new kingdom of individuals who will no longer experience "I am me", but whose the sense of individual isolated entities will have been destroyed by excess of quantity.

The bursting of the self

This burst is a new state towards which Nature tends, a state which must go beyond that of self-awareness, a state where the evolution of the subjective through the pre-human kingdoms, manages to resolve the conflict of its antinomy, by its fulfillment within the whole.

This new post-individualized reign is that which, in our presentations we call the true Human, as opposed to the reign of the isolated I, which we see everywhere around us, which it is agreed to call the human and which, from our point of view, is still only subhuman [7].

All of our historical civilizations have been based on the reality of the self as being, and therefore have been subhuman. The ego, created by its environment, reacted on it, and applied itself, not to fulfill its destiny by seeking to burst as an entity, but on the contrary it endeavored to make its entity last, to extend it in space and time, by so-called material possessions and so-called spiritual possessions, by civilizations based on the pseudo-reality of the self. Thus, in order to last, and to develop, the ego opposed its own destiny which is to disappear, it opposed its own happiness which is to be fulfilled in this disappearance. In acting for itself, the self acts against itself, and this inner contradiction has always been the very movement of its history.

"Being, by definition, cannot destroy itself," say philosophers. But the self continues to destroy itself, its actions continue to oppose their own motives, because the self is not being, but a resistance placed in the stream of universal life, and whose goal is to be destroyed.

So the self has a purpose, because it belongs to time and space. It has a beginning and an end, a cause and an end.

The impossibility in which the ego finds itself to understand time, space, being, the universe, the finite, the infinite, etc ... this anguish, this mental and emotional absurdity where it is cornered, the pain that 'he experiences not being able to resolve the original vice of his antinomic subject-object essence, are only the symptoms of an interior struggle between the universal life which boils in him, like water in a boiler, to make it burst, and himself, the embodied duality, which resists as much as it can the bursting which would be and its deliverance, and the accomplishment of its uniqueness.

Revolutionary values must be the consumption of all the past

Our task today is heavy. We must bring to the World Revolution the foundations of a new culture, which will absorb all the mythical cultures of the past, we must show the revolutionaries themselves that absolute and total knowledge exists, and that the Revolution has already given birth to it. To all religions, to all metaphysics, to all philosophies, we can show today that what they pretended to seek by calling it by all possible names, God, the Absolute, the Truth, doesn't is something other than human, this new conscious reign, that by means of the social revolution, Nature gives birth today on this globe.

Our awakening must be the total consumption of the past of the breed. From the point of view of this new birth, new in the whole history of humanity, we will fulfill the fundamental values of traditional human thought, we will define them by digesting them, by finding that they are unconscious and mythical. We will thus oppose the most rooted conceptions on human nature, on morals, on knowledge. Furthermore, we must present, in a single dialectic, psychology and sociology, and apply to one another's methods, which, for many psychologists and sociologists, is appalling heresy. For these reasons, our methodology, may at first, be a bit confusing, and we risk being misunderstood, because each reader will start from his own point of view, and will try to adapt what we say to his own ideas . Nevertheless, and despite all the weaknesses, all the "holes" that a work like ours will present from all sides, we think that it will be able to direct certain minds in a new direction.

We will outline a critical method applicable in general to religious, spiritual, idealistic, and metaphysical philosophies. This criticism will also apply to the civilizations that these philosophies support. As for revolutionary materialist philosophies, we have already found that they have so far studied only limited problems. They explain the causes, which in time and space cause historical effects. They also explain that the human individual changes according to the means of production and economic needs. They explain how ideas, the arts, philosophies, are expressions which, at the same time, arise from the social structure, and modify it in their turn by acting on it. They thus show to what extent individuals are determined by the environment that gives rise to them, and they recognize that these individuals are therefore largely unconscious. They thus assign as a psychological goal to men the conquest of their unconscious, and their liberation from the unconscious determinisms which, until now, had shaped them. All of this is excellent. But let us be frank to recognize that this does not answer everything. Plekhanov and others wanted to delude themselves because they could not go further. They said they have solved problems that they have not even addressed. It was therefore possible to attribute the fault to the method rather than to themselves. On the contrary, we will try to show that this method can and must lead to absolute knowledge.

Why is there a universe, with stars, suns, planets and human beings lost on one of these planets, who have the problem of their raison d'etre, without being able to solve it? These human beings are products of time and space, but how is it that time and space are mysteries to them that their reason cannot unravel? And since everything that these human beings perceive, imagine and feel, belongs to this impossible time-space, everything from then on becomes impossible for them.

And yet everything is there. Matter, in the final analysis, is movement. These men themselves are nothing but movement. Has the movement created time and space? The movement produces things and the awareness that we have things? Movement. Is. What is that ? Why is there a movement? What is he doing ? Where is he going ? Where is he from ? And we, why are we aware? Why do we always ask questions? Why does Nature give birth to anxious questions which cannot be resolved?

To all these questions, metaphysics and idealist philosophies answer with superhuman, divine and spiritual scaffolding, which emanate only from the ruling castes, with the aim of lulling consciences with hope, in order to exploit the masses, materially. and psychologically (psychological exploitation is called spirituality). As for revolutionary philosophies, they say: "Change the conditions of men, abolish exploitation, and you will have a race of free men, who will have the leisure to meditate on these problems and solve them. Either, let's change social conditions by arousing in the masses the desire to become aware, by fighting with all our strength against exploitation, by abolishing classes. The questions we just asked will still be there.

To this, revolutionary philosophers can answer: "These questions are still there today because the revolution is still in its first phase, which is the class struggle, and therefore the ideology to which it gives rise. can only be an ideology of struggle: the revolution does not have time to deal with your questions on the essence of things and men; she must first triumph.

This argument has no value. It is true that the masses in all but one country are still so oblivious as to oppose their own advent. But if some of us manage to raise our consciousness to the level of the events that we will be able to produce because History obliges us to want them desperately, they therefore rise to a total human understanding, and , anticipating the material facts, but which are on the way, they act in their turn on them, in order to precipitate them.

In 1930, a quivering occurred in the human conscience, because it perceived a rupture of balance, a split, a departure, an awakening [8]. Despite the repression, the rage, the blood, the old universe is mortally affected, and it will depend on us that it no longer rises.

We have entered a period in which human nature itself is being transformed, to the point of giving birth to a new kingdom of nature. To find in human history another transformation of the same order of importance, we would have to go back in time, to the origin of history, to the victory of the self over prehistoric man, who , him, was not yet sufficiently individualized to camp his ego in an entity, like a character of comedy in his disguise. The birth of the I, completely individualized and isolated, overthrew the primitive communist order, to the benefit of the Father, of Authority, of hierarchies, classes and ruling castes. Today, it is the whole of these millennial civilizations, built on the ego, which must disappear, which disappears, with its religions, its traditions, and all its cultural baggage. No matter how long it will take in the human age to effectively triumph over all of this subhuman past, we see clearly enough today to build beyond this rubble.

We will then examine these rubble to find the thread of human aspirations through the ages. We will thus reintegrate, in our own culture, the beginnings of the past, as in a retrospective museum, and this documentation can then acquire a relative value. For the moment, let's leave it aside. Let us also curb our impatient desire to push immediately to its extreme social and individual consequences this knowledge which is offered to us, in its entirety, in a single act of thought, and let us examine in its light the fundamental problem of man and the universe, as it stands before us today.

(b) The impasse experienced

1. The minimum of affirmation is what contains the maximum of unknown
The least that can be said about man and the universe is this: "There is something. This statement simply means that there is not only nothingness, and proves itself, that something is said. The expression "there is" does not include, should not include the notion of being. Let us leave this hypocrisy of thought to the scholastic philosophers, who, with this word "to be" are comfortably carried away in paradise by their God. "There is something" is a very simple observation, very uneducated or philosophical, and which involves no detour from thought. It alone suffices to contain the mystery in its totality. Nothing can ever add anything to this totality. Nothing, either, can ever destroy this finding.

2. How, why, by what, is this statement produced?

As soon as we say "there is something", the second finding we make is this: "I said there is something. Indeed, if I started by saying "there is something", it is this observation which is my starting point, it is what matters, and not the questions that arise about the something thing I found. If, after my first observation, I asked questions about this something, objects, their nature, etc ..., I would simply retract the cause of my first observation, and I would rush into an adventure which I do not already know what it is. If I said, for example, that the objects I see are made in this or that way, I would arrive through a series of reasonings, to conclusions about the nature of these objects, and this forgetting to ask the essential questions : What happened ? why did I say "is there something?" Who is it who made this statement? etc.

3. It is the I that is at issue

Thus, if one does not want to evade the problem of Knowledge in theology and in abstraction, one is obliged, immediately, to consider the subject which says: "I said that there is Something. This observation immediately becomes, as much for the I who made it, as for those who listen to it or read it, this: "and I said that there is something". Indeed, when I find that "I said there is something", I see that it was I who said it, and not another, that it is my I, and not another me. Conversely, whoever listens, notices that it is a different I than his own who expressed himself.

4. An I who doubts, therefore who poses the problem of knowledge

An "I" was pushed to declare that he noticed that there is something. What is this event? Why did it happen? What are its causes and effects? And what are the elements that came into presence? If a dog finds that there is "something", for example a bone somewhere, if he remembers this finding, and if he knows that he was the one who found the bone, he and not not another dog, is the phenomenon the same as that of earlier? It is quite different. Why ? Because my observation "there is something", marks in its simplicity, its very clear will to be irreducible, irrefutable, its will to be an indestructible base, which my mind can never doubt, and at the same time, in its same simplicity it expresses the totality of the entire mystery of life and the universe, for all the mysteries are only problems relating to this irreducible "there is something".

Why did I manifest this will? Why did I strive to bring together all of the mysteries, the only evidence that no human mind can challenge? Because even if nothing is real, even if the world is a dream, even if I am a dream character, even if the world only exists in my representation, there is something, and whatever the form of spirit, the starting point, the desires, the intelligence of any being, he will not be able to deny my fundamental observation: he will not take it from me. If I therefore affirmed "there is something", this affirmation is the result of an absolute doubt, of a total doubt, of a complete agnosticism. I noticed, because I doubted; I have seen the minimum that is observable, because I doubted everything.

These are the first reflections of the I, about the event that constitutes its very first observation. After searching everywhere, his complete doubt found the rock he can no longer dig. The doubt here is overcome. We therefore see that when a dog finds that there is a bone, the phenomenon is quite different: the dog does not make this observation in order to express the absolute mystery, and to overcome its absolute doubt about the universe and of himself, about the very existence of the world, but on the contrary, he finds, inside a universe of which he does not doubt, the existence of an object of which he does not doubt either more: the problem of Knowledge did not arise.

5. Having rejected everything, the I finally perceive the problem in its nakedness

Thus, the first observation, "there is something", puts an end to the fundamental doubt, since it forces us to an assertion, which results from the fact that we had eliminated everything. Indeed, if doubt is forced to stop there, it is because he has eliminated everything, it is that he can no longer reject anything, because he has rejected everything. He went further than ideas, than philosophies, than metaphysics, than beliefs, further than the notions of time, space, universe, etc. In short, doubt begins its search from the beginning, in order to rid the fundamental, ultimate mystery, of all the auxiliary considerations which prevented us from seeing it.

6. The problem is there because the I did not get rid of itself

The second finding "I said there is something" expresses that I know what I said, and therefore, in my first impersonal finding, I was already there. So I explain my second proposition as follows: "I said there is something because I doubted. The ego, which, in its doubt, has come to condense in the simplest and most obligatory of observations, the totality of all the questions that exist in the world, this I am no longer thinking about the subtleties in what concerns the subject and the object, the self and the non-self, which are only details of "something". This I was therefore not satisfied with sociological problems, he did not take refuge in an arbitrary notion of his own reality, but he pushed doubt to the extreme limit where doubt is no longer possible. This I removed from his intellect down to the notion of being, because to say "I am", or "the world is", already presupposes a questionable assertion. And yet here is that in the abyss of total doubt, he finds himself, he is obliged to note his own presence: his affirmation, as reduced as possible, was the expression of a phenomenon with two poles, the World and the Interrogation, where the doubt, far from resting in an obligatory affirmation, was found whole, before the mystery which he realizes that he had never started.

7. The I was however dissociated from everything. What is left of him?

So, not only is there something, but there is something (the I) in this something, which is brought to note something, that is to say to touch the bottom of the doubt, as we stop a fall to the bottom of a well.

What is doubt? A dissociation of realities. Where subjective reality is associated with elements, whatever they are, these are not questioned by the subject. When this reality thus composed takes on doubting itself, it only rejects outside its essence elements which immediately become objective. Once the subtraction is done, which remains of the I is able to see that these elements are not part of it. This faculty of observation proves that the I feels real, but that its reality is based on something other than the object of its observation.

Thus, a hypnotized subject believes to see, hear, execute, and that he is ordered to see, hear, execute, and this, without his I dissociating himself from these illusions which he takes for realities. His sense of the subjective is associated with many elements of which he has no doubts. But when the subject is awakened, it dissociates its entity from all these elements. It is the same in dreams, where the subject does not doubt the most improbable universe, but from which it dissociates upon waking. He can only question the reality of the universe in which he lived in a dream after dissociating himself from it.

In the description of the event which occupies us (and I said that there is something), the I, to arrive at such an irreducible observation had to dissociate from everything, exactly as we dissociate from a dream upon waking. And indeed, when we analyze the unconscious associations of philosophers, metaphysicians, theologians, etc., we will see that all known systems are, in relation to our observation, dreamlike. Each child is associated, from birth, with an entourage, then with his first name, his family, etc ... and, as an adult, he still associates with his marital status, his race, his social role, etc ... The selves that we meet everywhere have all dissociated from certain objects, but they derive the notion of their reality from the fact that they are still associated with other objects, from the reality of which they do not doubt. The ego that has accomplished the colossal task of dissociating itself from everything is the only one that has been able to probe doubt in its totality, and reach what is irreducible.

8. There remains a necessity and an impossibility of associating with everything

But it is here that the impossible resides, it is here that we see the irremediably antinomic nature of the ego, because its capacity to doubt everything, until it encounters the irreducible "something" proves that it s is isolated, that he has separated from the world, that he has locked himself in the shell of his own reality "I am me". But now that at the end of this process, he can no longer doubt, he can no longer dissociate further, he therefore remains associated despite himself with the inexorable something, which is the universe as a whole. It is the examination of this final dead end that man can and must live in his whole being, if he wants to be fulfilled in the Knowledge which is the subject of this talk.

We compared the curve of doubt to a fall to the bottom of a well. This image can illustrate the distress of those whom doubt assaults in spite of themselves. In truth, doubt is an ascent, an ascent sometimes dizzying, and it is not the bottom of a well that one encounters, but one bursts the vault of the heavens. Doubt, if one knows how to use it instead of clinging to wrecks, is an enlargement, an enlargement of the psychic being. Indeed, if, at some point, during my investigations on my self, I doubted that my I is my first name, Pierre or Paul, (which the child had not doubted) is that at that time, as I, I associated myself with something else, which is not a first name, but something more, something less particular, from which I can understand my first name instead of being absorbed by him. If I could say that my I could have been called something other than Pierre, it is because, to be able to say I, I no longer needed the Pierre association. I was able to experience I outside of this association, I supported the notion of my I on something other than Pierre, I experienced, for example, that my I is a proletarian I, or an immortal and theological soul.

My doubt then rested in this more general object than Pierre. For a while he lived comfortably in this larger frame, then broke it again to associate with something even more general. We will analyze this process later. For the moment, we grab it at its point of arrival. My I gradually widened, dissociating, more and more, of particular elements, and by associating with more and more general notions, until the moment when, meeting the rock "there is something," he notes that he could only have arrived there by dissociating himself from everything. But he further notes that since he has arrived where doubt is no longer possible for him, it is because he is forced to associate himself with this something which he can no longer doubt, and whose mystery has remained intact, closed, unfathomable, black, total.

The I is therefore forced to see that it is in spite of itself, both associated with something, and dissociated from it, since it notices it. Since he has dissociated his notion I from all that he can conceive, ideas beliefs, attachments, particularities, qualities, etc ... what is left of this I? There remains precisely his last association, absolutely forced, this something which is so universal that it encompasses everything. After having rejected everything, the I, which has not been able to suppress itself, finds itself forced by force, to associate itself with everything, to associate itself with the irreducible totality, of an absolute mystery.

9. The I feel the prisoner of the universal

The I, after having dissociated itself from all the peculiarities of the universe, finds itself in the obligation to remain associated with its universality which is the supreme total of all interrogations. He would like, but can no longer doubt. So here he is a prisoner of the universal, which, in its absurdity, is the extreme limit of experience that the ego can still live, a limit that can only make it change its state, by breaking it. The ego that collides with this extreme limit cannot in fact bear the shock. This inexorable moment of lucidity entered him by crushing it. This moment cannot be prolonged in any way. It is decisive. In the space of a second, the self has to choose: it can die, go mad, or bring forth total knowledge. There is no other way out of these three. He cannot go back. The inexorable is there. The inexorable does not wait. The self suffocates ...

10. The more the question arises, the less it finds its answer. Impasse, which is nothing other than the I.

What is the force that suffocates him? It's the end of his doubt in the absolute mystery. It is the impossibility where it is to doubt that there is a "something" which is only a gaping questioning. Up to now, each new doubt had been for him a real liberation, since he rejected a particular association for a wider association. Now, however universal the association "something" is, it stifles the I because the I cannot get out, and because being the observer, he cannot enter it either.

11. The I, forced to resolve, that is, to destroy itself

We have now described the event that occurred when I was led to find that there was something. This event is the discovery of the irreducible terms of the fundamental problem of man and the universe, whose progress we can summarize: and I asked myself questions about his own nature and the world; he discovered that all explanations explain nothing, because there is always a question, at the end of all the books of philosophy, at the end of all that men have always explained;

his doubt was based neither on theological explanations, nor on scientific explanations, because he does not wish to be consoled, nor to apply his research to objects; he wants to know why he doesn't know; he wants to find the reason why his mind is unable to rest; he wants to know the cause of his interrogation; the problem is indeed the interrogation itself, and not the object on which the interrogation arises; so that I identified with his own interrogation, and that is what he feels compelled to resolve, that is to say himself; he therefore seeks to see what it is made of; he eliminates everything he feels is not him; it eliminates everything; he finds everything; he finds himself, he is imprisoned.

There is something, and there is the I, which is in the absurd position of being obliged to be this something, and not being able. Here is the problem.

12. He is obliged to destroy himself immediately

The I is desperate. It is the impossibility where there is to doubt, which despairs him. This something, which he has to admit, has become his prison. But the prison of what, since this I, having dissociated itself from everything, is nothing more? And if this I in its search, having identified itself with its own doubt, finally experiences that this doubt is overcome by the inexorable "something", how is it that the I is always there? How is it, that forced to associate with "something", it is not simply this "something", that is to say the whole, the totality of all that there is, the universal, where the question can no longer exist?

If we come to tell this I that he will one day come out of his agonizing deadlock, and that through developments, scientific research or religious disciplines, he will break his prison, he will not believe it. He will answer that it is today, now, in the present moment, that he experiences the torture of this dead end, and that time will do nothing for the business. The current and immediate agony which he experiences, could only be diverted, asleep, deceived by time, becoming, or the promises of paradise. The terms of the problem are irreducible, and by complicating them, far from finding the solution, we will disguise it, we will move it away. The cornered I can no longer hear learned foolishness which explains to him that he is a mixture of matter and spirit. Nor can he console himself with the idea that one day his immortal soul will be taken in by the good Lord. Whatever perspectives of bliss we want to offer him, he responds very rightly that even if his I was to be glorified in incredible conditions of splendor, as long as he has both this irreducible "something" and a I who see both himself and this something, the problem will not have advanced an inch, because this I will always be a spectator trapped in the irremediable.

If, moreover, we come to explain to him that he is only the product of the social environment in which he lives, he replies that there is not the question, because whatever the causes that produced it, it is there him, and that in addition he reduced his sense of self to a limit so extreme, that it is common to the whole human race, independently of all circles. If all human beings are not in the same dead end as him, it is that they simply stopped on the way. They have put the fundamental problem of man to sleep by launching on the wrong tracks of their intellect or their passions. Whatever these tracks, they will find at the end of their journey the irreducible antagonism of the I and "something", unless they fall asleep on the way in illusions which will console them. [9]

13. The burst

The I, reduced to its extreme point, and finding itself unable both to doubt something that is the universe, and to identify with it, is finally chased, by its interrogation, even into it -even. Like a caged beast that a red iron pushes towards the only possible exit, the I, chased by the irreducible "something" and the irreducible interrogation, is forced to seek through its own entity, the only exit which it has left . He turns on himself, so what does he find? Nothing. He was already emptied. This I is no longer stuffed with ideas, feelings, perceptions, memories: the notion that it has of being an entity is no longer based on anything.

Hungry, the I turns around inside its deserted entity, and finds nothing, however that doubt, and the impossibility of doubting, harass him without respite.

Finally, on the verge of dying or losing his mind, the I rushes against the walls of this prison which is his empty entity. He will die, he doesn't care. He no longer hopes for anything. He accepts being wiped out.

Here is the decisive gesture, he rushes ... and suddenly like a chick who has just broken his egg, the man, freed, breathes by contemplating the debris of his own entity, which, until this day had first sheltered and fed, then smothered and imprisoned. The human is born, the man who no longer has me, the man who is no longer an entity. It is a birth, a new state in Nature, a new reign. Everyone is born in their own way, but on arrival, which is a departure, everyone finds themselves engaged in common action. To know this experience, it is not enough to understand it, it is essential to live it [10].

14. The awakening, or birth of the Human It is at this birth that all of human history has stretched, that today we must call pre-human. It is against this birth that all the representatives of the civilizations which are fighting against the social revolution oppose today. The human beings, who were created by Nature and their social environments, in their turn acted on Nature and on the social, to protect themselves against what could destroy them, and this protection determined the very thing that comes today to liberate them by breaking the hulls of their entities. Today, the new social dawn is also a new birth of the individual human. To a new social order corresponds a total change in human nature: Nature here makes a "leap". This leap, of course, is brought about by previous developments, just as the rupture of the egg, and the birth of the chick, were brought about precisely by the egg which developed what was to destroy it.

So is Nature. The human being has so far been locked up in entities, for whom the notion "I am me" was a reality, and who have built all their ideologies on this pseudo-reality. Today all of humanity is forced, by the force of history, to orient itself towards notions and ideologies which belong to a new kingdom, to a kingdom in which the individual, having passed his period of isolation inside the shell of his ego, possesses in its totality absolute Knowledge, which the pre-human kingdom has sought in vain to this day

We will study the I in their evolution, we will try to see what they are made of, what is their origin, what is their behavior, what are their possibilities, by what natural ways they can reach their fulfillment, what is this Total Knowledge and which constitutes their new state, and what are the consequences of this new state.

Next chapter

[1] We will see in this work that indeed the intellect can only in this case basely serve the interests of the ego. The materialist dialectic, which puts thought to the step, must be signaled at the origin, and in the meantime, by a very great loss of value in all intellectual fields. Materialist philosophies, which are perhaps the only founded, are in any case in childhood. They envelop a thought which, despite everything within outdated systems and applications has reached a true state of sovereignty; a thought which, by exercising in reverse, was nonetheless successful, because it was thought, to act on reality, to exercise a real power of disintegration and dissolution which triumphed over the constraints that this thought self-imposed, from his awkwardness to practice, at least. As proof, the faculty with which artistic theories had changed, first, the vision of artists, and then that of the public, etc.

[2] ESSENCE. - The abuse of this word in philosophical language has unfortunately obscured its meaning. Let us refer to the etymology: "esse", to be. Which is! always being act or movement, the essence of a particular thing is the very antinomy which makes it exist. The essence of a thinking being differs from the essence of an inert thing only in a tendency to perpetually resolve endlessly reborn antinomies. If we understand by matter, according to Engels, what the mode of existence is movement, we understand that the essence of any thing is the particular mode of existence of matter that this thing expresses.

[3] UNCONSCIOUS. - This word has already been located in relation to the subconscious, which no longer allows us to take it in the sense to which the writings of Freud and Jung have accustomed us. I can only indicate here this new meaning.

The attention to which the unconscious has been the object, the liberality with which the abandonment of its secrets has responded to our investigations, would tend to accredit the illusion that, creator, in a host of special cases, the unconscious was creator in an absolute way, that it is, really, from which we are born at every moment. No, beware! If the unconscious is filled with our goods, it traps us under their weight, and it is by victories won over it that we succeed in being inspired by what it contains.

The unconscious is what the strongest of the goods that hold us manifest in disguise. The individual unconscious is bathed in a collective unconscious, and it is from the latter that it borrows the myths and images that, through us, it reigns over the imagination of other men. Let us think about this: the more an inventor of myths subordinates in the prison of the dream, all the calls of the awakening (intermediate note from which it must appear to us that its discovery took place.

In the subconscious dream there are two desires: that of continuing to dream, that of waking up. The representation of the first desire is the unconscious. Philosophical systems belong to it, as do religions, because they are attempts to bring back into systems, in the prison of dreams, all the calls of awakening (note for the Philosophical Comedy).

[4] N. Boukharine: The theory of historical materialism (Editions Sociales Internationales, Paris).

[5] DIALECTIC PSYCHOLOGY. - From a methodological point of view, it is striking once again to note that a revolutionary psychology is necessarily a dialectical psychology. Old psychology studied the "me" as a static object, an immediate datum, without questioning its origin or its end. Some thinkers, like Bergson, have tried to capture the "me" in its evolution; but always finalist, dualist conceptions, etc. have crept into their theories. Today, the work of the revolutionary psychologist must be:

1 "to describe, from the living aggregate, the births and successive resolutions of internal conflicts which constitute the different modalities of psychic life;

2 "to show that this dialectic is the same as that which develops in all aspects of history: in the history of human societies, it is called historical materialism.

It is this first part which is treated here.

[6] Evolution. - During this work, the term "evolution" will be used repeatedly. However, the meaning we give it is precise; it clearly excludes all others likely to correspond to it, and that is why we want to expose it immediately.

By "evolution" we do not mean to include, under a general idea, a group of biological or physical facts whose immediate causal link escapes current experience. To do so would have been to use an assumption as an existing fact and to be free from doubt.

Etymologically "evolution" means: unfolding (in German: Entwicklung). This meaning is clear. It leaves no room for arbitrariness. An idea, an organ, an animal species, any phenomenon evolves in the history of the world when the posterior state is potentially implicit in the previous state, of which it is only the unfolding. Evolution is therefore a transformation over time, conditioned by the proper nature of the thing which is transformed and which varies within the limits imposed by external conditions.

In no case the idealist conception (Schelling: "there is a principle of elevation, a tendency and a push towards an increasingly higher life") taken up, with a slight variation, by Bergson: ("here exists a push towards higher forms of life "), finalist, or Darwinian of evolution does not agree with what we mean.The first two assume the existence of an ideal type of being which attracts to it, like a kind of magnet, the imperfect forms of life in continuous progress. The last is based on groping observation, looking in the external analogy for a causal link and deducing from this comparison a set of hypotheses on the legality of evolution of which man is the perfect product.

We do not accept these theories. They condition the real by the transcendental, the concrete by the abstract, the existing by the non-existent. A standard form cannot model concrete beings, on the contrary, the standard form is shaped by speculation.

These very brief remarks seemed essential to avoid any misunderstanding. We do not want to know whether or not man is at the top of a hierarchical scale of values: we do not believe in the existence of these values. Darwin's man is worth as much as the idea of moral good.

[7] HUMAN. - All that has so far given itself the name of "humanism", "humanitarianism", was only the glorification of a monstrous and provisional state of humanity. Any conception of humanism based on the existence of individual "selves" leads more or less clearly to a deification of man, to a theology (thus the positivist school).

The social reality of the French sociological school (Durkheim) is, just like the ancient gods, a projection of the individual "me" who wants to go on forever by finding himself in a substance supposed to be less perishable. There is no humanity transcendent to man. Man is human or refuses to be human, and that's it.

[8] 1930. -. Why was there an awakening of conscience in 1930? Probably because it was this year that the world, in general, began to believe in the success of the five-year plan, and therefore to note the existence of two worlds: one under rapid construction, the other in the process of destruction.

[9] AN EXPERIENCE OF A FRAGMENT OF A SECOND. - You can only live this experience for a fragment of a second, because no physical or mental resistance could bear it to continue. It can however repeat itself. Those who have experienced this dead end of the self (perhaps in very different forms) have already gone too far for the documents of human Wisdom through the ages to be able to help them even further. They will only use it later if they want to build a technique, but not to realize themselves.

[10] DIGESTED ME. - THE OBJECTIVE ME. - The I is the telescoping of the inner world and the outer world, the border post between what is in us and outside of us. Boundary post that must be consumed. The removal of the self is not mutilation. Language betrays us. It is digesting the self that should be said, like all strong sensations, basically digesting it, as it is digested in the operation of a creative spirit. Where's Shakespeare's ego? Where is Rimbaud's ego? The digestion of the ego in the creative act, foreshadows its total dissolution (without, however, in general, realizing it).

There is no subjective self, except as returned by a sum of perceptions (we only have subjective self born from perceptions of things in the real world).

The ego is like a summit that things come together to discover, a summit that they discover by rarefying their material (the material of their presence), to the point of accomplishing it in another quality, particular to this which is external to them; summit which has its transparency in the spirit that it thus changes into a spirit.

The self is given to us from without. There is only the light within us that makes it appear. We are a light which enjoys itself only by mingling with what it illuminates.



La dialectique du moi par Carlos Suarhs - 3e millinaire