The "something" and the objects


(Extract from The Psychological Comedy. Josi Corti Edition 1932)


The indescribable state

When man finds in him only the possibility for things to be what they are ... when he feels in him only the totality of what appeared to him as a multiplicity to overcome or dominate ...

And this Present is in a kind of Poetry in the broad sense that it will have its image.

The state of the disintegrated I cannot be described. The disintegrated I acts. It acts in space and time. It acts because it is there where insoluble questions no longer arise, because they are out of date. Before, he did not act: prisoner of time he was only struggling, and these convulsions multiplied around him his prisons. He did not act, because imprisoning himself is not a real action. To act is to dissolve the prisons. It is, by adhering to the present, to use time, space, the concrete, to make "advance" others: "to advance" is not progress towards the future, but reabsorb the past.

The state of the disintegrated I cannot be described. Trying to describe an indescribable country does not provide the exhausted vagabond with the means to get there. The false food of metaphysical speeches would be even worse: it only uses the desire that some people have to wake up, to plunge them even deeper into sleep.

Claims of the intellect

Let's start from the beginning, without taking any abstract notion for granted. Leaving with a baggage of this kind is carrying with a thousand fatigue an unconscious datum, like a closed suitcase from which one extracts as a final discovery what one had always carried on oneself. Without wanting to anticipate our Philosophical Comedy, let us cite the example of all the philosophers who establish their systems on the notion of being. Whether it is Spinoza (whose genius could not overcome his time) who from his first sentence refers to "what nature can only be conceived of as existing", or Mr. Jacques Maritain (to whom his time does not was able to give genius) who would like to start a philosophy by noting that there are objects "which are" (!), they all go on a journey with God in their suitcase, that they triumphantly emerge in a form or the other, a few hours later. Objects that are ? let's not go further. The theological system is already complete. Why play the clown, the retractor? It is not appropriate to pretend from an objective point of view when doing abstraction. One can objectively observe a scientific phenomenon, one cannot objectively abstract. Metaphysicians are retracters: they retract themselves.

To answer abstract questions with abstract metaphysics, as men have done for centuries, is to be caught in the game of the intellect, and to hide the cause of this game, which is psychological

The claim of the intellect is vitiated from its origin. Because how can one resolve the ego, according to one of its faculties? My intellect can direct my entity towards a particular activity, but it cannot turn against this entity itself (which for it is being), and destroy me as me. You might as well ask a blast furnace to burn itself. You might as well ask the rules of chess to explain to us why men play chess [1] .

The two instruments of our method

Let us leave the abstractions there. We will use two instruments in our investigations. The first instrument will be scientific observation, the analytical study of historical and biological causes and effects, which constitute the two environments (society and Nature) of the human being considered in his physiological and psychic totality. The second instrument will be the bottom - or rather the ceiling - of our psychic life, that is to say the inexorable observation: "There is something". This second instrument will be our compass, from which we must never deviate. Scientific research can indeed be directed in a thousand different ways. For example, if we examine a game of chess, we can examine fragments of the chessboard under the microscope, we can examine the players, we can try to solve a chess problem, but we can also try to understand why these men play chess. Our psychological ceiling will prevent us from wandering in dead ends, it will keep our research in the ultimate direction , and will make us research the why of the why, the cause of the game that is being played.

We will see then that men are sleepwalkers, that the solutions to their ultimate problems are only dream solutions, and that it is rather for them to wake up. Let us see what their dreams are made of, let us examine all these human selves, such as Nature has formed them, and such as they are transformed in their turn by their works; let us try to discover what natural relationships these selves should establish with their surroundings, in order to tend towards their natural outcome; and finally see what can be their accomplishment.

But is there a natural outcome for human selves? In other words, does the very object of our presentation exist (since, in short, we propose to expose the ultimate reason for being of the ego)?

Let us not consider, for the moment, the stage of death, which obviously leads to everyone. The question is not there. If we think that an object will be destroyed, that does not prevent this object, today, at this very moment, from being there, therefore from expressing something. The selves, all the selves in the world, act and desire, regardless of what their death will be. What are they trying to express? What do they strive for, what do they aspire to and is there a natural way of life for them [2] ?

Objects are and are not

Let's see for starters, if from the fundamental notion "there is something" and from the immediate and simple observation of the universe as it presents itself to us, we can identify certain details. The universe that we see, let us try to describe it according to our fundamental psychological datum, because since this datum irreducibly belongs both to our subjective universe and to the objective universe, it may be that at this meeting point we may understand these two universes at the same time, and thereby solve the problem of the self.

The statement "there is something", when it turns outward to examine this something, finds us very embarrassed. Indeed we note that nothing in the universe is ever stable, that our observation, however minute it may be, cannot rest at any time. Everything is movement; not only the matter from which things are made is hidden from our analysis, but from the most banal object that we meet, it is impossible for us to say what are the elements which it needs to be this object. This table has four legs. A table with a broken leg is still a table. But a table from which the four legs have been torn is nothing more than a wooden tray. When did it stop being a table, when did the table stop "being"? No one can ever answer this simple question. And when the carpenter assembled pieces of wood to make his table; at what precise moment did its boards cease to be boards, to become a table. No one knows. The same is true of everything we build. This chain frame, when does it become a car? We could try to answer that it becomes a car when the job is finished. But this answer does not stand up to examination, because it is obvious that a car, even when it does not have its headlights, tires, etc., is still a car. And again: here is a car that suffered a terrible accident, it is in pieces, but it is still a car. It is said of this object, from which an accident has removed certain elements, that it is still a car, while of this same object under construction, which lacks precisely these same elements, it may be that we say that it doesn't is not yet a self!

On the other hand, let us place this table and this car, objects of our discussion, under an enormous pestle hammer. Now everyone will agree that at a given minute, there is no longer a table or a car, but wood and metal debris. A stamping machine shows us that a sheet of metal can transform from one moment to the next into an indisputable object.

It is the same with natural phenomena. The vague down that pretends to want to push on the chin of this young boy, is it a beard? Obviously not. In some time we will be able to see on this chin an indisputable beard. When is the beard a beard? And this baldness? One, a hundred, a thousand hairs fall out. When is the baldness there? By cons here is an egg. Suddenly the egg is broken, and the chick came out: at a specific moment something new happened. Here is oxygen and hydrogen in two tubes: at a precise moment we see water appearing. Let's heat this water: at a specific moment steam appears. Here is a cloud: suddenly here is the rain falling ..., etc ... Nature, just like human activity, gives us examples of slow transformations during which it is impossible to establish zones, impossible to say when the object is there, and on the other hand it also gives us examples of sudden transformations, of jumps, which allow us to affirm that such and such an object is there, when it was not there, or that such object is no longer there, while it was there.

These observations, which illustrate the dialectical method, and to which metaphysicians only respond with abstractions, oblige us to examine the universe, and all the elements which compose it, in its dynamism, in its perpetual transformations, and oblige us to employ dialectical reasoning, where the rigid logic of theologians wants to force us to choose between the absurd and God. They pretend to make us choose between being and non-being, and as non-being is impossible, since this table is striking our eyes, the being of this table wants to take responsibility for leading us to the Supreme Being, without our having the right to protest. If we come back to this fundamental error of logic, it is not yet to make a deep criticism of it, but to mark how sterile it is to want to abstract an object from the world around it, since, very often, we it is even impossible to know what makes this object itself.

Objects, provisional states of movement

The observations made above make us say that what is commonly called an object is a provisional state of movement , a state whose limits we often cannot trace either in time or in space. Indeed, not only does an object change its appearance, evolve, is still table or not yet table, already a man or even a child, etc., but each particle of which the most massive object is made, this rock, this lead mass, is made up of particles in infinite movement, and these particles are made up of other particles in vortices, etc, so that the solid matter is hidden indefinitely, until being nothing more than movement.

In addition, we find that it happens in these provisional states of movement, to change state so slowly that we do not know when this change occurred, and that it also happens that a state suddenly passes to another state, which is clearly different to it. We therefore say, of all the states of motion, that they are states of unstable equilibrium, susceptible of sudden breaks .

Now, all we can see from this inevitable "something", everything from ourselves to this planet, to the sun, to the billions of solar systems around us, is just one perpetual transformation. An object only exists as an object from the determinable or indeterminable moment, when other objects, which expressed a certain state, are transformed into a new state which can no longer be expressed by them, but that expresses the new object: it is its birth. The object is then called to traverse a curve, which inevitably will lead it to a new state, which it will in its turn cease to be able to express. The object will then be destroyed: it will be his death. This new state will in turn be expressed by new objects and so on.

Thus, we cannot say of the objects that they are or that they are not. By objects we mean everything that is in the "something". The objects that express states of movement are not only tables, cars, our planet, the stars, but emotions, ideas, and the I, the subjective world itself. Indeed, we cannot conceive an I without something which is this I; and we cannot conceive of the perception "I am I" without something which perceives that its "I" is an entity.

If the subject experiences an emotion, here he is in motion; if a crowd experiences the same emotion, here it is caught in this movement. If an idea germinates in a brain, here is a new movement, a new state of balance that is emerging. Do idealists want to imagine that ideas exist independently of men? That there is a universal intelligence? This belief ultimately only amplifies indefinitely, until it encompasses everything, the I, which suddenly becomes divine, and attribute to this I states of movement: intelligence, kindness, etc. Amplifying the problem does not solve it, does not change it in any way. This divine I is still "something" which expresses itself through movement, and no theologian of the world, after having recoiled the problem as long as he could never have been able to tell us the nature of this something. In the final analysis, we therefore find, in the subjective world, as in the objective world, the irreducible "something", which is expressed by movement.

The universal "plus"

This leads us to the following observations, quite general: 1 0 the "something" that we are obliged to admit, is expressed by movement in continual transformations, by movement unstable, elusive, capable of temporary equilibria and rapid ruptures; 2 0 the totality of these movements gives a positive result: the "something".

So we say that the totality of life and annihilation, constructions and destruction, movements towards the plus and movements towards the least, falls towards states of reduced movement and ascents towards states of accelerated movement , that all this universal set of objects which express the most, and of objects which express the least, attractions and repulsions, fertilizations and sterilizations, that the struggles, the sufferings, the catastrophes and the cosmic peace and human, that in a word all the sets of opposites are resolved at each instant in more and not in less. If we thought that the universal totality of opposites could tend towards the least, we would imagine that the entire universe is in the process of self-destruction, that it tends towards nothingness, and that the "something" one day will volatilize in the absolute and total nothingness, which we cannot conceive of. No human mind can imagine a universe emerging from nothingness or ending up in nothingness. The most mythical minds involve a God who creates, and God is indeed "something", and Brahma is also "something".

Let us therefore establish, as a postulate, the impossibility of the passage from something universal to an absolute nothingness. The "plus" of the universe, is the absolute permanence of "something ", Because there is something [3] . The "something" (of which all the manifestations of the universe are moving expressions, which continually change and transform), we can now call it any positive term we may need, while holding on to mind that this positive term is not opposed to negative, but embraces and dominates it. We can say of this "something" that it is universal life, and that this life is the set of lives and annihilation; we can say of him that he is the essence of things, that is to say the whole of the essence and the transient; that he is the permanent, that is to say the permanent resultant of all that is not permanent ` ; the absolute, the truth, that is to say the totality of what tends towards fullness and of what tends towards emptiness, the totality of what is true and what is false.

Truth resulting from the universe

These terms will have nothing in common with the abstract concepts of Truth, of the Absolute, etc. The idealistic and mythical philosophers, who, from Antiquity to the present day, erect before the unconscious humanity the Good, the Beautiful , the True, as sovereigns associated with a Supreme Being , these make abstraction. Their sovereigns (Good, Beautiful, etc ...) are fixed, unreal points, inventions of their mind, which have nothing in common with the universe as it is. On the contrary, by defining the permanent, the essence, the truth, the life, etc ... as the result, the totality of all the movements of the universe, we only translate our absolute impossibility where we are to doubt that there is something as a compulsory result of all the most opposite movements that collide in the universe. Thus, our conception of truth is essentially dynamic: truth results from the universe. It is the impossibility of the universe not to be there. It is the positive result of the universe, at all times. It is therefore a perpetual truth in motion.

t would be inaccurate to want to view this truth in a purely objective way. It is both objective and subjective, in an irreducible way. It results, in an extremely simple way, from our smallest possible affirmation, and from our greatest possible doubt. It is therefore in no way a metaphysical truth. What is the use of seeking this truth, and how will we seek it? It will serve to discover the natural relationships that exist between the manifestations of the universe and its permanence, between objects and their essence, between man and his reason for being . We will seek it out, studying things according to the states they express. The result of our research must be practical; it must bring about a new orientation of the human, that is to say create a new value, by means of which men will be able to reach the new state which calls them. This value will be the basic value of the new civilization.

Object (movement) inner contradiction. Relations with the "more" of life

Let us return to our objects as expressions of provisional states of the movement. It now clearly appears that since the total movement of the universe has a meaning, which is positive, any object can, at any time, express this movement, or express the opposite (negative) movement. It also appears, that in the end, the natural movement of the universe, (i.e. the permanence of the universe) will be the winner. Thus, an object can express only one direction, or it can express two. Indeed, every object is part of the universal "something", and in this quality, the positive permanence of the universe is in it, as in everything. But against this permanence, the object can act negatively. We can then conceive of a struggle between the object and its essence, which in any case leads, inevitably, to the death of the object, that is, that the object, conquering its essence, manages to suffocate it, and survive in the permanence of its form, which then becomes a permanence deprived of life, that is, the essence destroys the object.

If we manage to understand this phenomenon, in relation to the human ego, and to the civilizations that men create, and if we act in accordance with the natural direction of the universe, we can suppress, by going beyond them, all human problems, and reaching the state of Knowledge. An example will make this clearer. Here is a fertilized egg, in an incubator. We examine it, its shell is hard. The egg is rigid, it takes a relatively violent shock to break it. It is necessary that the egg is hard: it shelters a life which is formed slowly. This egg, motionless and rigid, expresses a life which, at every moment, becomes something "more". The hard shell of the egg, because it is hard enough to resist, helps the most universal life. It does not only protect the new life against the outside world, but also against this life itself: if the shell was not hard enough, the chick would break it too quickly, it would be born before term, and the new life would be in danger. And indeed, the chick can only be born when it has the strength to break its shell. The resistance of the shell is subject to the need for a positive sense of the universe. The egg, as an object, will be fatally destroyed as soon as it interferes with the expansion of life through the positive sense of the universe. It will be destroyed following a fight between the beak of the chick and the resistance of the shell. This struggle will be necessary: ??the shell will only resist in order to better protect [4] . But if we imagine that the egg has, by accident, a too hard shell, the egg could be stronger than the chick, and conquer as an object, with, as a result, the death of the choked chick. The egg as an egg will have paid for its victory with its own death.

By manipulating a fertilized egg, we can understand what is the positive meaning of the universe which is expressed by this egg, and act so as not to hinder life in its development. We can also opt for the integrity of the shell, immerse it in a calcifying solution, and find that this object is beautiful. We will not be long in seeing that this external rigidity only shelters the decay of a life that could not have been born.

Similarity of the self and an eggshell

We propose to show that men, inside their isolated selves, are, like chicks in the bud , in a pre-natal period. It is possible for us today to break these shells of the ego, and the very fact of breaking them would prove our aptitude to live; or to attach ourselves to this shell, and to die of it suffocated. Today this birth is possible, human nature can "jump into a new state. Today, because historical determinism has led us to this terrible and magnificent necessity. Those who will understand that life cannot be faithful to the shell that protected it, but that it must be faithful to its own dynamic power, and that it must break down the very thing that allowed it to reach this point. of rupture, only these, the revolutionary craftsmen of the human being, will conform to the order of Nature. The others will identify with the rigid hull, and will be broken. Here doubt is not possible: resistance will not be able to overcome, life must arise. And this last point, we propose to demonstrate later. We will demonstrate it, by proving that the human is the prisoner who has hitherto developed thanks to this rigid protection, but which can only be born by breaking it, by asserting its power over it. The human, delivered from his individual prison, is the universal, there is life itself, the "plus" of the universe, it is the most intense expression that our planet is susceptible to create, it corresponds to a new kingdom of nature, which is as different from the men most strongly seated in their personalities, as these are different from anthropoids .

Destruction of the m o i by an internal push

We will see that the evolution of species, and the evolution of the subjective in nature, are one and the same phenomenon. To introduce the dialectical method into the psychological domain is to definitively resolve the problem of knowledge. To live this solution, to apply it in daily life, is to come to knowledge. The "I am I", human psychic entity, is the result of an evolution. The race of human selves has an origin, it must in turn be the origin of another race. It comes from something, it tends to generate something else. Gifted with consciousness, this race can today apply to itself the results of its observations, and thus become a conscious process which, in Nature, tends to constantly create new forms which orient themselves towards the universal positive. The ego, as an entity, driven by historical necessities, can today go, in its doubt, to the point of revising the absolute certainty that it had had for millennia of being associated with being. He can go so far as to understand that his essence may require him to break. Until now, the self had said to itself: "I am being, and being cannot destroy itself, by definition. Today the ego can understand that it was only an envelope, and that if it could justifiably identify with life as long as it protected this interior life, it is opposed to her, today, birth day. Its raison d'jtre, today, wants it to break; its essence demands that it break; let him lose his life , so that it finds itself, not as me, but as life.

The destruction of the self by life itself , the fruitful destruction, by inner life, of what has hitherto protected it, that is the Apocalypse that we are living today [5] . All the other diagnoses of our time are only superficial. And if we think that the totality of human baggage, cultures, traditions, etc. is based on the certainty that the self has always had up to now to be living reality - except a few paradoxical sentences of the Buddha, of Jesus, etc - if one thinks that all the values ??which preceded our revolutionary epoch (epoch which started towards the middle of the last century) must be recreated for vital necessities, one sees par r what pains the new humanity must still pass , since the old humanity must die, destroyed by its own hands.

This destruction is its own accomplishment. This very simple notion is very difficult to understand with regard to the ego, because in its field any affirmation involves an equivalent negation, and if one is not careful, can only create misunderstandings. The only way to go about it, to have any chance of explaining yourself, is to consider any object in a dynamic way, and to situate it in relation to its evolution and that of its environment. Going back to the example of the egg , we can say that its shell must be broken, but only after an internal push. To say eggs in general, that according to good and beautiful supremes, their shells must always be in crumbs, or always be intact, would be nonsense. And yet this absurdity would be in all points similar to that in which the idealist philosophers, metaphysicians and theologians have fallen, on the subject of the human person. Their religious and moral precepts take no account of the vital movement. It would seem absurd to these legislators of "Good", that "Good" could suddenly, at a turning point in history, be the opposite of what it had been so far. It would seem absurd to them that, just like the shell of the egg , the human personality is obliged, if it wants to complete its role, to be shattered.

The ego is indeed a shell, since it is isolated, enclosed within itself

The fact that a self feels isolated, the fact that it perceives itself as an entity, the fact that it gives itself limits (they may not be very precise as regards the elements that make up the I , but "I-am-not-you" is an indisputable limit), therefore therefore, the ego must be studied as an object, just like any other object in the world.

Now, it is not only the eggshell that can, without apparent modifications, first express the most of the universe (when it protects interior life) and then suddenly! express the least (when it opposes birth): this mutation of sign is common to all objects in the world, which at a given moment, according to vital needs, can without being modified, express the least, where they had previously expressed the most, and vice versa . And if we imagine that this object had given itself an immutable law, an ideal, an archetype , a god, here is that faithful to this image, but traitor to life, this object, by virtue of what until point-l` had worked in the direction of the universal, sees the universal turning against him. For it is not he who has changed, it is life; it is not he who is illogical, it is life; life is not logical, it is dynamic.

The struggle between the object and its essence

Any object, plant, human being, organization, can at some point, and as an object, oppose its own reason for being; and to it, it may be appropriate to break the object. In other words, every object is an expression, the structure of which can at some point oppose its raison d'jtre. This conflict is visible in the economic field, where any increase in the means of production tends to exceed the limit point that can be managed by one's own organization. The rupture of the frames due to the development of the production instruments which these frames made possible, is a fundamental revolutionary necessity. This conception is the very basis of the Marxist analysis of the revolution. Our presentation introduces this same concept in the psychological domain, and we will indeed see that the ego which constitutes the framework ( the egg ) of self-awareness, is fatally caused to be shattered by the very development of this self-awareness . We will find this same law in all areas of life when we study the world more generally as expressions.

Any object, from the point of view of universal life, should be seen only as an expression. We have already said that no object has intrinsic value. No "soul" is immortal, because only the immortal is the result of all the movements of the universe . No object is immortal, no idea, no form, nothing that one can conceive or perceive is immortal. There is nothing that can exist in itself. No human or divine existence can be immortal. But this entity, this object, this idea, this concept, associate or oppose universal life, according to whether they are modified or not, in submission to what life requires of all its expressions, whatever they are . By expressions of life, we mean everything that exists, everything there is, without exception. Nothing can pretend to be more than an expression and nothing can be less than that, from the grain of sand to this fantastic being that believers call God.

The whole human drama lies in the struggle of men against their own essence, when, as expressions of life, they cannot adapt to life . This struggle is suffering. Suffering is the opposite of the natural state, because man is not like a manufactured object which cannot modify itself, but it has within itself the means to always adapt to its essence, it that is to say in the positive sense of life. This means, he has it thanks to an instrument, consciousness. Consciousness, developed to its maximum, is the very instrument by which life changes itself, in the human race. The completely conscious man is constantly changing, because instead of identifying with an object - his entity - he identifies with the reason for being of this object - life. If at a given moment he must choose between life and him (between the chick and the shell) he will choose life, without costing him, but quite the contrary, because he will find his supreme joy in it. Its center will move and even go so far as to shatter. This constant identification with life does not and cannot involve suffering. A suffering God is only a poor unconscious being, who has failed to identify with life. He is such an incapable God, whom Christians worship [6] .

The problem of "something" in the present is self-sufficient

But let's summarize before going further, or rather backtrack, because we have anticipated some of our conclusions. We would like to forgive us for these anticipations, the aim of which is to orient the reader in a field where notions of the past become sources of error. But this should not prevent us from proceeding step by step.

The notion "there is something" has led us to its corollary: this "something" annot become nothing, therefore this something is a permanence. The objective examination of this something has led us to establish that this permanence is the result of all the movements of the universe, that is to say the sum, the totality of all that composes the universe. This permanence is therefore the constant victory of "something" over "nothing". It is the very essence of "something", which makes this "something" there. It is therefore the victory of the essence of things over things themselves. This constant victory is the absolute. It is a dynamic absolute, made entirely of movement, and which is a perpetual transformation, because there is nothing in the Universe which is not movement. And indeed the totality of our doubt made us reject any absolute concept, any rigid idea with regard to a Good or a True, or a God, etc, like cause and finality of the world. This True or this God, etc ... it would still be "something". This new "something" adds nothing to the universal "something". Does he claim to have created it? This claim translates as follows: "Before something, there was something". Does it pretend to be its purpose? It means, "After something there will be something". It's a tautology, however you look at it. Does it pretend to say that this "something" which is the universe, has not always been manifested, but that one day it entered into manifestation, and that it will one day enter the unmanifested? This gratuitous and forever unverifiable assertion, in the best of possible hypotheses, only describes a transformation of "something", in the past and in the future, which does not interest us in any way. What interests us is the simple assertion "there is something", whatever the aspect of this thing in the past or in the future.

So here is the next step we can take: we say this: There is no primary cause except in the present. The cause of the universe, and of everything in the world, is as real, and living, and total today, as yesterday or tomorrow. If it weren't, either right now there would be nothing, or right now, something would tend towards nothing, which is impossible. Tomorrow, tomorrow, the problem was, will be the same as today, because there has been and will always be "something". In other words, what sustains the permanence of the universe is there in its totality, at all times. Since it is total today, the universe cannot tend towards it .

At this moment, permanence is total, the victory of the essence of the world is total, since it is enough that there is victory for it to be total . There are no gradations in this, just as one cannot say of a germ that it is a little fertilized or very fertilized: it is or it is not. If it is, the cause of life is in it, in its totality.

Therefore, our fundamental observation prevents us from falling into ideas of primary causes or finality, with regard to the Universe as a whole. It prevents us from inventing in the past or in the future transformations of this universe, which claim to explain ultimate problems, and which explain nothing.

The absolute is the presence of the present

We have just said that the universe does not tend towards anything, that it has no goal, no finality, because, at every moment, is present the totality of Life, the totality of the victory of essence on the infinite directions of movement. This presence is neither a cause nor an end, but the absolute. When we say that the universe has no goal, we are thereby affirming that the absolute is present, that it is the present itself, in time and space: the absolute is the presence of the present . We have said that this absolute does not have a character of fixity, but that it is dynamic, that it is constantly changing, that it renews itself constantly. We have defined it: the permanence of the resultant of all that is not permanent. The absolute is the fact that at all times there is a result of all the elements of the universe. This resultant, at each instant, results from what it was at the previous instant, it is therefore a movement which results from all the movements of the world, and this movement has absolutely no direction, because it is itself even its own direction, so that its direction exists as a direction only in the past.

If we want to reverse what we are saying there, and say, according to idealist philosophies, that this absolute is composed of an infinity of infinites, that it is the absolute being , that is to say that 'it exists in itself in an absolutely infinite way, and that it therefore includes all the infinites of all that exists in itself, if in other words, we grant to this infinitely infinite, qualities or attributes, we must: either attribute to it the totality of the qualities of all that there is in the world, and then we come back to saying that it is the result of all that there is; or else to attribute to this infinitely infinite a universal consciousness having a character of fixity in relation to the universe, to say that the universe is moving towards it, and to say that all the movements of the universe, including the human person, do not are just movements towards him; and in this case, we come to say that the "something" is divided into two parts: one God, being that towards which the other tends; the other, the universe, being that which tends towards God (or towards the absolute). This would amount to saying that the universe is the result of its essence, a result which is doomed to tend towards it. Now, we have seen that this is completely absurd. "Something" encompasses everything there is, is self-sufficient, and implies its permanence at all times. Saying of a part of "something" that it tends towards another part of "something", explains nothing, because, we repeat, "something" is the most absolute of all totalities, it is the fact the most irreducible, the most immediate, which, tomorrow, if it reached its so-called finality, would only remain "something", by changing clothes, which does not interest us in any way.

The purpose of an object, or the presence in it of the universal "plus"

It is well established, let us now see, with regard to people and things (the expressions, in short, of the universe) if our reflections can bring some clarification concerning their reason for being

What is this reason for being, this essence of the object, which always ends up, in one way or another, destroying the object itself? This essence is nothing other than the "plus" of the world, the eternal dynamism of the universe. It is not a part of it, but the whole, since this totality is found in each element of the universe, because this element being there, it expresses the "plus" of the universe, its permanence, which n is not a question of quantity. This permanence is, as we have seen, the present in presence and in act . We will therefore say of an aggregate of elements (which make up this provisional balance of movement, well or ill-defined, which we call an object) that it more or less expresses its raison d'jtre, when it responds more or less exactly to the presence of universal permanence. When this aggregate no longer corresponds to the present, it may be appropriate for the elements that compose it to dissociate, this dissociation being a vital thrust which no longer finds in the aggregate the possibility of expressing the permanence of the universe. The disintegration of this body, its wear and tear, the death of this organism, are therefore always due to a vital burst, which allows the elements now dissociated to recompose elsewhere, otherwise, with new elements.

We will see later, by classifying the objects, to what consequences these observations can lead us. But it already appears that a human individual, just like any other object, may or may not correspond to its raison d'jtre, which is the present in action. If it resides in the permanence of the present, it identifies with its reason for being, it remains in it. If he does not reside in the present, he fails to adapt to the absolute dynamism of universal life, he fails to express it, he finds himself in opposition to his own essence, he is therefore in the process of being destroyed .

The universe, by definition, cannot tend towards its essence, it is this absolute, it cannot tend towards the absolute, since the universe is the totality of "something", which includes both the universe and its essence; but in the universe, each aggregate in particular can tend towards its raison d'jtre, or express it, or be destroyed by it. Therefore, in the universal, which has neither finality nor cause, there exist objects which have a cause and an end ; in the universal, which is a reality without direction, there exist objects which tend or not towards reality, and which have a direction. Among these objects are men. These men live in an absurd, cruel, barbaric way. The universe in its own process is already the absolute. Men can only take refuge in it by considering themselves as one with their particular ends. There is no other harm than that. The best of them strive by ineffective means to discover a truth which they cannot renounce, or on the contrary, discouraged, resign themselves to admitting that this truth does not exist. Meanwhile, the gaping presence of things as they are, is there, total, absolute, real, alive And even to those who perhaps understand, even to those it takes time. It takes time to get into the present. Here is the absurdity which is however a fact. But if indeed this time is necessary, we must really use it to penetrate into the present, to express it, to identify with it, which is the essence of the world. We must not project this time into an illusory future, into a survival or into our annihilation. Because human life and suffering today demand a lot from us; life is too intense, and the suffering is too intense; social disorder has become too foolish, and individual distress has become too pitiful. Life demands that we come to total knowledge, which is the present. Do we have to conquer the present? Not. It is the present that must conquer us, we individuals, we the masses . We, the human masses, must today break Time, and let ourselves be carried away, by the bursting force of the present moment.

[1] ATTEMPT TO SOLVE ME ON THE BASIS OF ONE OF ITS FACULTIES. - To give in this harassing exercise during which one speaks in the name of the ego, one loses it, one finds it, so that the completed system supposes intact this ego of which one has three or four times opened the belly in addition. We will argue that Kant's philosophy, more than any other, revealed to us that it had, in the material world, all the routes of its system, it enlightened us in the center of a universe of categories , where it had its place as a luminous point, which is a sun in the sidereal system. Hence the impossibility of giving a philosophical development a starting point which is only intellectual. The eye is trapped in the object it sees, as glasses are part of the material world which they give as content to our subjective vision. This is Kant's philosophy. (As a negator of all systems founded on a verbal telescoping of thought and matter, and in particular of the one who wants that the possibility for man to imagine being compromises in this notion all that is rebels against it in our impossibility of limiting it). (We should say that the notion of being escapes us because we only conceive of the beginning and that it is impossible for us to give it limits. We can only perceive it). The philosophy of Kant, we retain here that it restored the circulation between the ego and the universe where it is understood, that it removed the temptation to disappear behind the reasoning which it builds. It gave him as limits the limits of what he perceived, led him to discover himself only in the form of a thought of the world - which should not be done for want of playing the homunculus in the subsequent philosophies, anxious to modernize at all costs the idealism of all times.

[2] ASPIRATION OF HAPPINESS. - Men aspire to happiness it will be said. A very unphilosophical affirmation, happiness being only the most vague of vague words, and being able to be defined only as the state to which all men aspire. Here is another set of these utopias whose content we can only describe, to the best of our ability. Our happiness, most often, appears in the operation that dispossesses us of ourselves within the activity that we have chosen. When we act on things until we endow them with the power that was given to us over them, until we feel, in them, act and as created with a view to a fate separated from us by all the thickness of matter , when we obtain an object long desired and whose possession could not be thought in the idea that we made of ourselves, it is our happiness to refer our existence in the existence of these things, or in the possession of this object, to plunge through them into the forgetfulness of the being that we were to the point of feeling the ego burst out on its affective content, and to see ourselves, so to speak, by this affective content, created from outside and created only for the needs of the cause, created in its imminent dissolution.

I can only pass very quickly on these indications, and regret not being able to analyze here the particular happiness of which love is the principle. We would see how in the particular light of love happiness is to create the self, but to create it only in order to better destroy it , as we expose the victim before raising him on the altar where she will be sacrificed. (The happiness of being loved is to feel that it was not the first comer that this love needed, that it was not the first comer it wanted to dissolve). And precisely, in love, the ego in the bliss of being more than ever a ego, anticipates the process of dissolution by digesting time, always saying by compromising a future that does not belong to it, to better represent the intensity of what fills it and threatens to disintegrate it, even pretending to annex and digest the past, as it appears in retrospective jealousy.

The innumerable agitations of the ego all tend, awkwardly, towards something: happiness. I will therefore temporarily admit as truth, this "hunt for happiness" of Stendhal. But I would very much like to formulate here a declaration which will be justified later: we are tending towards the negation of Time, a negation in which the sensitivity would remain intact. Sensitivity, child of Time, devouring Time in the exercise of its highest function. This is what we find, I believe, by digging into the idea of ??happiness and which leads us by other paths to the dissolution of the self. This is what I heard in the following sentence, originally sidelined from this book: "and if it is the search for happiness that drove us, happiness will disappear to one day only represent the content of things" .

Like all words in psychological language, happiness has a static and a dynamic meaning; a sense of state and a sense of action. In the first sense, "happiness" is a state in which man hopes to be able to rest at last: he expresses an aspiration for sleep, for death. The dynamic meaning appears in the expressions: "act, dance, walk, write with happiness", "make a happy gesture", etc. This active "happiness", that of poetic creation, is not known as a state: it is the dynamic feeling of any disinterested act, in the very strong sense of this word.

[3] THE "SOMETHING", BALANCE SHEET OF THE UNIVERSE. - The "something" must be understood independently of all the concrete-abstract, object-subject, being-not-being distinctions, etc. It is simply an inescapable and inexorable, "more than nothing". In short, a balance sheet of our universe is necessarily, and will necessarily always be, at all times, more than zero. The "more than zero" is transformed, but never into a total nothingness, it does not become zero. A pralaya, a potential universe, not manifested, would be "something". We do not think it necessary to insist on this point. What we can notice is this: not being able to tend towards zero, it seems that the universe cannot therefore even decrease. Let us bring this notion closer to that which contemporary science has arrived at: the universe never ceases at any moment, it seems, to grow in a dizzying way. Science would therefore confirm by a purely objective study the accuracy of our dialectic.

[4] DELAY COMPLEX AND CLASS STRUGGLE. - I have analyzed elsewhere (Monthly Carnets 1931), from a social and mythical point of view, the "retarding" function assumed by the castes and the ruling classes, under the pretext of protecting, guiding and educating the masses. This is the expression of an extremely important natural phenomenon, which is the extension of the process of adaptation of species. The ruling classes tend by all possible means to stop human evolution, by keeping men within frameworks, specializations. Now, at each new step towards the human, the new consciousness will only be viable if, through struggle, it succeeds in breaking this delaying force. Until she can break it, it is because she is not clear enough, powerful enough to live. If we understand this process, we also understand the absolute necessity of the class struggle, and what betrayal of the human represents any cooperation within the specializations imposed by the classes in power. If we understand this process, we are definitely revolutionary. I have already said that this process is found every moment in the bible (for example, when the Lord, having instructed Moses to ask Pharaoh for the release of the Hebrew people, reassures him in these terms: "I will harden his heart , and he will refuse. "Likewise, the Lord , having invested Moses, was in no more hurry to do than to rush on him during his sleep in order to kill him; all this is not absurd: this It is only by wrestling hard, against the Lord himself, the sign of power, that Moses proves his legitimacy, and that of his people ..., etc ..., etc ...). - CS

[5] We are referring here to the poem of John the Evangelist who, as in a grandiose and terrible dream, perceives and distorts this reality. - CS

6] "ALL THE HUMAN DRAMA LIES IN THE FIGHT OF MEN AGAINST THEIR OWN ESSENCE ..." - I will show how deep this aspiration springs up, by revealing that it was expressed in a passage from Saint Augustine "Utinam, homo, Romaniane , sibi aptus sit! " And it will be the development of one of the ideas implied by the negation wrapped in the wish above that this kind of panoramic view where I intend to repeat what I said in note on happiness and the hunt for happiness.

I remember that Suarés, in a first version of his writing, had declared: "all the men suffer and would like not to suffer", affirmation to which I could resign myself to subscribe only after having, twenty pages further, taken knowledge of this overview of human drama "all human drama resides in the struggle ..., etc ...

To hear the word suffering in the ordinary sense which brings into play the totality of objective happiness in a negative form, to hear the word suffering in the general sense which supposes that it is the thought of happiness, it can be argued that the worst state for the man is the state of non-suffering, the state where Time develops in the image of a stability greater than Time, state where being is like the cancer of duration; state of decline which has been beautifully described by Rainer Maria Rilke in a poem from "Orchards" which I cannot resist the desire to transcribe in its entirety:

" Tonight something in the air has passed

Who tilts his head

We would like to pray for the prisoners

Whose life stops

And we think of life stopped.

To the life that no longer moves towards death

And where the future is absent

Where you have to be unnecessarily strong

And sad, unnecessarily.

Where everyday trample on the spot

Where all the nights fall into the abyss

And where the consciousness of intimate childhood

At this point fades

That your heart is too old to think of a child.

' It's not that life is hostile

But we lie to him

Locked in the block of a motionless spell . "

This state where life does not make us suffer, where it does not use our infirmities to make us imagine its fullness is the state with which man can hardly be satisfied. He is the one in which the Western religions pretend to make us find our ease, and in which certain physical disgraces, those which age brings, to name only these, would begin to make a nest for our salvation !! I have little to say after having copied the admirable poem of Rilke which marks well the extreme front of the Presence in Poetry, which suddenly supposes an enemy immobility developed against Time, in place of that where time has reached its limits. Desperate struggle for gasoline, suffocation of gasoline in a happiness which is not appropriate for it; because it opposes all living images of happiness, because happiness is like the tranquility of a misfortune which has exhausted all its possibilities. - JB





Le quelque chose ; et les objets par Carlo Suarés - 3e millinaire