Greg in red. Adam in white:
Do your occult theorists have any reasons that can be distinguished from tastes?
Traditional occult philosophy is metaphysics; it is overdetermined by foundational principles. Traditionalists are exactly those fighting against liberal relativism in the name of tradition and guiding principles. What philosophy doesn’t have standards, goals, reasons and values? It’s postmodern theory that has the most complicated relation with this issue. There is a more recent modern magical tradition, whose hierarchies of progress are very structured, but which nonetheless put the person’s own will at the center of the decision.
But most occult philosophy is imbued to the core with the higher values of reason and the greater good. Even black magic aims to overcome the biases of taste and achieve the “true will”. I feel like it is the postmodern aspects of my thinking that are the most pragmatically oriented, and pragmatism can seem like relativism if your only guide to reason is concrete referential truth. But just because I think, following Deleuze that the questions: what does it do? what does it mean?, how does it work?, are more important questions to ask of an idea than, is it true?, should I believe this?, doesn’t mean these are questions of taste.
Your comment (from the last letter) :
Derrida and Godel’s “undecidability” creates opportunity for non instrumental reason, which is the beginning of creative production, but if it was itself sufficient, you would not be having the problems you admit to having distinguishing taste from reason.
… leaves me confused. Can you expand on this for me?
Daniel W. Smith, in this great article on immanence:
makes the distinction that I find to be of utmost importance in this discussion. In addition to the distinct sets of ontological questions mentioned above, there is also the moral questions that are transformed by this line of thinking—called in the article “immanence”. Without a transcendent objective truth, it may seem as though one can only gesture towards a transcendent structure of value in hopes of determining what to do. One feels otherwise no moral ground beyond one’s tastes and one may be lead to feel the impossibility of moral action without some kind of transcendent “call to justice” that one can no longer grasp but only hope or believe in.
In contrast, coming from an immanent position, not starting from the doubt of transcendent ground of Descartes and his progeny but from the Spinozian ontology which is itself an ethics, we no longer have to ask in fear, what should I do? or as Lacan puts the fundamental anxiety, what does the other want from me?, but instead ask, what can I do?, or perhaps, how can I help? what am I here to do? In the first set I have nothing to guide me but my own tastes and a possible ethical call I can never really know for sure. Uncertainty and undecidability reign. In the second, I am always determining what I can do and learning more about what I am capable of and what works. This isn’t relativism, nor is it just a slight alteration in framing. The words represent a big difference, no matter how similar the language may be, as it is in Derrida and Deleuze at first glance. But I see the difference as a possible mark in an important passage.
“Undecidability” marks the passage from foundational calculative approaches to modelling, into the recursive and creative production of new contexts, from the actual to the virtual in Deleuze’s terms. Derrida thematizes the boundary but merely gestures towards a quasi-transcendental determination of value. Deleuze maps the transcendental field not as an a priori structure that determines experience, but as immanent reality of values that we determine through our experience. Deleuze makes a point of mapping the virtual, with the concept as a distinct entity from a proposition.
A concept, in D&G’s “WIP”, is exactly what does NOT have a fixed reference. They equate propositions and science with functions on a plane of fixed reference, while Philosophy they equate with the creation of concepts on a plane of consistency. They go out of their way to critique analytic philosophers’ project of reducing the concept to a proposition and even poke fun at the way American philosophy departments allow small “homeopathic” doses of phenomenological concepts to hybridize with their propositional approaches, producing “strange hybrids of Frego-Husserlianism or Wittgensteino-Heidegerianism”.
The homeopathic dose of transcendental philosophy is allowed, they claim, because propositional logic needs a transcendental logic to secure its foundations, a foundation, they say, which is constructed on the border back up the path science descends, but which is nothing but an abstraction from opinion(doxa) and common states of affairs, generalisations of the infantile tautologies from which propositional logic cannot escape.
In contrast to this “urdoxa” as they call the formalisation of opinion that ties concepts to already constituted states of affairs, D&G do offer their own transcendental logic, a “paradoxa”, which creates “new functions of variables or conceptual references”.
I think the supposed paradoxes that arise not only in logic but in physics, signified by “uncertainty”, and even in the transpersonal psychology of people like Wilber, where the paradox of structure and agency that he rightly links with the logical bind of incoherence and incompleteness, becomes a conscious issue at the stage of consciousness called by him “existential”—the passage from the personal to the transpersonal.
I don’t agree with how he reifies his characterizations of human psychology into universal structures of development but I do think that some kind of existential transition is common for people in our culture, where they come to the stage of realization of the limits of abstract reason as a value system, and yet cannot yet use their reason to see the objectivity of problems as the source of the value which express and modifies that objective virtual structure. Wilber’s description of that transition in “SES” is one of the few places, I remember thinking, that he captured something profound in language that was almost poetic, though of course, as usual, the insight was just lifted from another place, a Tolstoy passage in this case.
Still, it meant something to me at the time I was reading it. Relevant to our discussion, he even notes that a person’s very “tastes” grow stale as all value rooted in the “personal” is seen to be empty and their reason merely instrumental. I don’t completely agree with the “transpersonal” characterization. As Debashish Banerji critiques in his book on Aurobindo’s psychology, the “transpersonal” is a misleading term. So, I would add, is any notion connected with this transformation as being about negating some “ego” or leaving behind all preferences. But the point is still that there is a transition where the old motivations, grounded as they are in selfish reasons, are seen as such, as being nothing more than “tastes”, as “relative”, as biological and cultural programming, as illusions projected onto the world by emotional trauma, and so on.
I would argue, in Wilber’s terms, that this is precisely a common experience because the cognitive line of development often outpaces the emotional development. This is related to Steiner’s critique of the separation of fact and value in learning. It is why he instructed Waldorf teachers to only slowly introduce abstract learning when children are emotionally mature enough and ready to grasp the values in any construct. If one progresses evenly there is no need for existential crises. There is no reduction of pragmatic thought to instrumental reason, because reasons are grounded in the objectivity of a problem and the realization of value, not the satisfaction of “desire”— that is, not the structure of power-seeking that accompanies the essential doubt, the”reactive forces” in Nietzsche’s reactive man lacking creative power. There is no feeling that reason lacks a foundation without proof or transcendent value because the foundation is in the objectivity of problems and the creative values that are their possible solutions, and that value is essentially concrete.
Wilber often calls spiritual consciousness a return to the “choiceless awareness”, which is misleading. But what he is getting at is something that comes about through spiritual practice: a feeling that the decisiveness of conditioning (or in liberal society, the tastes and desires that often do not serve for a decisive ego), gives way to the undecidability of an objectivity grounded in actual states of affairs, which in time can become the true decisiveness that is no longer “choice”, but of joyful acquiescence to the divine, to the “Creative” as they call the virtual in Chinese oracular science.
I personally throw the I Ching all the time, not for it to tell me what to do, but to help me understand the problem. The more I understand the problem, the more “the Creative” works through me some kind of solution to the best of my ability. I no longer have doubt; I just have a drive to understand my life more so that I can become a better and better expression of the values I am here to realize and the problems I am here to explore. I make choices like anyone else, but they no longer feel like choices, since they know longer have the structure of instrumentality and judgment relative to some end, but of an unfolding always determined by my ability to see more or less clearly the path through the virtual maze. The way my life unfolds may be contingent but its structure is part of a larger objective structure that I am helping to further determine and which will define the structure for others in the future.
But Wilber has struggled modelling this. (He should have read Deleuze) At first he just tacked meditative states onto the top of cognitive developmental hierarchies that don’t go that far in the mainstream models. He later realized this wasn’t right, and resorted to differentiating between developmental stages and states of consciousness. Now he even claims that this differentiation between waking up and growing up is a new discovery, that the mystical traditions had no concept of “growing up”, of the development of the outer life and ego. Modern psychology, he claims, discovered this development. Tradition was too caught up in “waking up”, in enlightenment narrowly conceived as inner liberation, for them to pay attention to psychological development issues.
Enlightenment definitely is a fetish of the Indian religions and philosophy that formed during the axial age push against tradition and their groping towards individual salvation, but as usual, he generalizes from what he knows to more than he understands. He knows very little of the esoteric tradition in the West, and Theosophy, which though it was formalized in America by Blavatsky, claimed to be the emergence of Tibetan secret doctrines, and some of what they claim was the secret teachings of the Buddha. Aurobindo would argue that the ascetic development in India was just a distorted reaction to the original Indo-Aryan Vedic teaching which he tried to reconstitute and modernize. In any case, the occult has always been about all the other aspects of psychology besides the narrow experience of personal liberation/enlightenment, but admittedly those teachings have been harder to track or understand when they were visible.
The word “love” is made to do a lot of work here (from previous letter):
“The term (Deleuze’s body without organs) merely connotes a transition, an ability to decondition which then necessitates a voluntary self directed choice of conditions. Not giving a fuck is just a way of saying freedom, not in the negative sense of having no responsibility but in the positive sense of fully willing your responsibility without the emotional pressure of guilt, shame, pride, fear, etc. Only the blissful pressure of love.”
Is it up to the task?
This is just a conversation, so yes I am using the word “love” as a clue, not laying out a detailed description. It is just a stand in for what I have been describing throughout this dialog. One could perhaps characterize love, as it is used here (and I admit it is another abused word, if not the most abused word ever), as the unity of emotions, as coherent affectivity. So in a way, it functions as an opposite or fulfillment of desire, which is the absence and striving for affective unity. One could see them as opposites in some sense, or desire as the animal drive towards affective coherence, love then being a kind of spectrum driven by desire towards greater unity as in some traditional accounts, the Symposium, etc.
Love does have interesting connotations when its negative aspects are factored in. Not only in its less evolved versions, such as animal desire, but also the negative connotations of unity that critics of metaphysics have long pointed out. In the Law of One books, which serve as probably the central theoretical texts for esoteric UFOlogy, the claim is made that higher stages of evolution all depend on types of coherence and unity, but one of the main tracks is the negative path through “self-love”. They claim whole races of beings have evolved on other planets along this line of self-love. The descriptions of these beings and their activities on Earth are some of the most dark and disturbing ideas in the esoteric literature.
“And enlightened people have egos.” According to whom? I have read a fair amount of the Asian literature on various forms of enlightenment and cannot think of anyone who makes such a claim (or what is left of the ego has been neutralized), and a lot of folks who write on the Integral World website would seem to agree. I think you know what you are talking about, but can you point me to someone who writes about this?
Ego is another broad term with various meanings. The different connotations are responsible for a lot of the confusion that people like Ken Wilber have attempted to address unsuccessfully. It is a big topic but I will attempt to summarize and suggest further reading.
Basically, when the more ascetic traditions in the East talk of “ego-death” it is because they are mostly concerned with inner liberation, not evolution and development. Indeed any type of enlightenment is going to cause a shift in orientation from the outer ego to the inner being, with the outer ego more or less affected, depending on a host of factors. But the outer being remains and must go through its own transformation.
In Aurobindo’s thorough analysis of Indian philosophy in The Life Divine and Indian psychology/methodology in the Synthesis of Yoga, he exhaustively marks all the stages and permutations of different realizations and at no point is the ego ever completely negated, though it may become disassociated from a being at death if integration fails and a different path is chosen. Only at future stages of evolution of the human body is the ego, which is tied to it, rendered more and more integrated into more collective assemblages.
But at no point is it “nullified”. What the ascetic traditions mean by “nirvana” is not the elimination of all the illusionary manifestations that make up the world and its structures, but a nullifications of their effect on the inner being as they come to be seen as temporary constructs, as not rooted in the abiding truth that survives all permutations. Illusion may remain but they are no longer bothered by it. Aurobindo thought this ascetic attitude was a distortion that came about because of contingent historical reasons and sought to correct it in a more comprehensive way than had been tried before, as in Tantra.
Tantra and Western occultism he thought were a mixed bag—full of helpful impulses towards countering the ascetic traditions, but also full of muddled occultism. Though much of what he wrote about on these subjects was taken up by Theosophy and Anthroposophy in a much more detailed (Though Aurobindo thought questionable) direction. In Steiner’s Anthroposophy, the development of the ego is not only the whole point of this round of humanity’s incarnation, a development of millions of years, but each historical era develops unique faculties of the ego that enable it to approach higher levels of reality.
(In response to my arguments critiquing persuasion):
I have a different understanding of “persuasion.” It comes from from my training in the field of academic communication departments where persuasion is not used in relation to notions such as conscious manipulation, coercion, or violence. It’s just a word indicating the healthy exchange of ideas that prompts a change of mind. Derrida would certainly argue that there is a measure of violence in every such exchange and I would not deny that, but the worst effects of violence come from intended manipulation as intended interference in someone’s agency to decide by deliberate attempts to conceal relevant information or lines of argument.
I know your definition and I have found it and the related ideas quite useful over the years. I am not arguing with your points at all. I am not arguing for some kind of “non-violent” speech. I am pointing out that the most productive violence, the transformative violence we all crave, is a more effective form of language use and communication, where the quality of being “convinced” of discrete beliefs over and against other beliefs is transformed more or less into “understanding”, here conceived as an experience and a seeing of connections and a forging of connections that outlast the rather superficial action commonly associated with persuasion. I think of this as an extension of your insights not a negation. Your whole schtick has been about the superiority of models that illuminate both sides and forge understanding over the cheap propaganda of melodrama. Yes there is still a rhetorical element in syntagonal narratives and communication, but it has been elevated to a higher good.
I don’t think this is very new or controversial. It is what Socrates is saying about rhetoric and its proper use to draw out the inherent wisdom of us all into conscious knowledge. You just took issue with the wording of my statement about being okay with someone who isn’t open to my point of view. My only point is that even though I may convince someone who isn’t really ready or wanting to understand my point, that I am right after all, it isn’t really worth much. The implication being that yes there are people whose minds I may want to change but unless they are really ready to hear me, a more effective strategy is often to work on the conditions that may help them see the truth and understand more rather than trying to merely convince them of some discrete perspective or belief. I just don’t see things that way any more.
Deleuze’s dismissal of opinions and the sharing of opinion seems pompous at first. “Philosophy is not about opinion”. But he doesn’t mean that in the crude way we understand opinion as contrasted with fact. So much politics is a struggle between people engaged in pointless rhetoric based on attachments to certain words that have certain meaning for them, whether it is “persuasion” or “socialism” as it is so often these days in political discourse. Meanwhile those actually running the world are busy working the long game of creating the conditions for the meanings of words we argue over.
So my point is not moralistic, not about non-manipulation, but about more effective manipulation, or rather effective transformation of the objective virtual and actual conditions for greater ends. I want more good people to acquire power and use it well. Power not in the worldly sense which is a facade—politics is for puppets. But in the sense described here—the ability to make “every thought an aggression” as I quoted of Deleuze before, to become a creator of new values around which the world turns, as Nietzsche described.
(About my quote from Seth):
“You get what you focus on.” That seems too solipsistic. It also seems to run counter to what Derrida argues about the role of the “other” in life and world. The “other” introduces us to precisely what we are not focused on and what we cannot possibly anticipate or predict and intrudes into our lives whether we want it or not. No choice. But perhaps you are suggesting that we get the “other” we deserve based on our direction of focus?
Deserve is a strong word and our tendency to think in these terms has been one of the biggest obstacles to Modern understanding of esoteric reality. Seth gives the example of an entity taking an interest in physical existence that wants to understand why certain kinds of violence happen. They may incarnate themselves into several personalities in order to explore the phenomenon from different angles. They may be in one life a murderer, in one a victim, in another a mystery writer dimly drawing on the intuitions of its other lives.
To us this may seem like some kind of reincarnation and moralistically ascribe some kind or karmic retribution to explain the injustice of a murder victim. But this is a misunderstanding and leads to unfortunate attitudes and understandable reactions. Once again, the deeper game isn’t about punishing or convincing someone not to murder because there are deeper processes at work that must be fulfilled. One may help one soul with a good deed or a strong speech, but the conditions that created the injustice persist. This was Oscar Wilde’s ironic critique of charity. The esoteric side of this was a big part of “It Could Have Been Otherwise”. In one of the last paragraphs I said:
“While we may seem to conquer evil and save the day, are things really that different? From the virtual perspective, does it matter if we stop one tragedy if the conditions that brought it about continue? If by stopping the tragedy or even by vanquishing an evil from our self we merely change the distribution of forces, have we really made a difference? We don’t need to take the alternate timelines and dimensions “literally”, for the point again is that the virtual is right here at the heart of the actual. The other is in me and I in him. We are all each other’s “Counterparts” (which is the name of another alternate dimension TV show). We are all playing out the alternate lines of fate that our other selves—that is, to different degrees along different value gradients, everyone else in the universe—have ignored”
(In response to my quote from Steiner requoted below):
I think it’s necessary to be very careful when attempting to understand what Nietzsche meant with regard to his “affirmative way.” He was not saying something like: “Every idea that does not become an ideal for you kills a force in your soul.” There are many ideas that become ideals that do not create a force of life in the soul. Nietzsche’s entire critique of Christianity illustrates this. What he was saying in my view—and I believe in Deleuze’s view as well—is that life presents us with many great set-backs, sufferings, and bad ideas. We affirm these by surviving them, which means becoming strong enough to transform them into something analogous to the weight-lifer’s weights—they make us stronger when we overcome them, move on, and do not allow them to turn us into victims of resentment but instead better managers of fate.
I think you are conflating different ideas here. Steiner loved Nietzsche and would not have argued with this basic point. Steiner would never imply that all ideals are good just because they animate your soul. As Gurdjieff says, “Love without knowledge is demonic”. But Steiner in the quote you took issue with was making a different but related point. Basically that a learning that proceeds without soul creates a hollowing effect with its own spiritual dangers. Steiner would put it that knowledge without love/devotion is Luciferic if it is spiritual, Ahrimanic if it is material knowledge.
In less esoteric terms one could say his whole Waldorf pedagogy is based on a true Socratic approach to education, “drawing out” the soul and developing its knowledge. So much of the problem in our society is linked to this. I see very little understanding of anything in our experts because they have all been persuaded by fancy arguments and memorized so much propaganda or even potentially good knowledge that they were taught in a detached, decontextualized, and disconnected way. Subsequently, they have little intuition or understanding of what they are talking about.
(on freedom from desire):
“free from desire.” I have never encountered a definition of “desire” that would induce me to want freedom from it (even the definition of the freedom from attachment to ends; I think there is no freedom from ends but only freedom to change the sought for end). Any such freedom I would interpret as a form of absolute death. The whole point of living, in my view and I think in Nietzsche’s view as well, is to learn to live with desire and affirm it along with all the consequences (ends) coming from it. If you insist on such language as “free from desire” or freedom from “attachment to ends” and identify it as a key part of your philosophy of the occult, then I think this identifies a point around which we need to focus maximum attention in order to gain clarity concerning our differences.
I don’t actually tend to use that language because of these misunderstandings, but I am trying to clarify what they mean. It is a key concept in Eastern philosophy, but the Western occult tradition doesn’t put much emphasis on desire or “enlightenment”, because it is not central to their aims. Steiner never uses that kind of rhetoric. My favorite book “Seth Speaks” colorfully critiques the whole complex of concepts. Aurobindo was a Western educated Indian working in their tradition of philosophy, so he does use their traditional language, but in his verbose and detailed explanations, he leaves less room for misunderstanding.
Like so many of our misunderstandings here, I am using a term to signify a change in consciousness, an emotional change, a shift in the way a person is motivated and handles these setbacks. It isn’t contrary to Nietzsche at all but a fulfilment of what he sensed but could not completely embody. An enlightened person has values that they may pursue or make the case for. In fact, like the Steiner quote suggests, these values will no doubt be held quite close to the heart.
But the person’s state of being has changed to make them path oriented rather than goal oriented. Their will is, in true Nietzschean fashion, never frustrated. To have a will that is never frustrated is not death at all, it is true life. It is living each moment in fulfilment of your values, pursuing ends and making the case for them in conversation perhaps, but with a will firmly grounded in the process and all that it reveals in each moment, something that the slightest frustration, fear, or “desire” as pang of emotional fixation/obsession will obfuscate.
(on not using persuasion in education:)
I think this is delusional. It seems we “impose” your values on others in everything we do and say. And there is a measure of violence in this, as I think Derrida argues quite convincingly. The distinction lies in what KIND of violence are we doing when we impose our values. This imposition can be conducted in the least violent way by going out of our way to minimize robbing other persons of the maximum access to all the knowledge and information we may have in making their own decision.
Here forms of censorship are the most common examples of this “robbing”—as we see taking place in N. Korea and much of China and Russia and other places around the world. I’m not here wanting to place you in the category of such censors, but only wanting to encourage more precise talk when it comes to making statements about imposing values. Derrida was quite keen on this, and I guess I’m only following his example here, since it is so easy to think we are not engaging in any form of violence when we act and speak.
I think this is naive. We are the most propagandized country in history. We learned well from the Nazis we brought over and from the advances in psychology (no small part thanks to Freud’s nephew). Censorship is archaic and is only used out of desperation these days and given a P.C. gloss. We have been in full swing censorship lately because more people are questioning the narrative and the elite themselves are in open war over it. But do you really think that when there isn’t explicit censorship that there is no destructive forms of persuasion going on?
The most productive form of rhetorical violence is education and it works best when there is no need for any kind of violence(not to lapse into essentialism here, but again the downgraded term might be part of the valued term but it has been transformed). True education is a patient creative nurturing of novel thinking feeling and willing, not a crude rhetorical persuasion. That is all I have been saying. And we are a country that has been brainwashed on a scale that has no precedent in history partly because we can’t see the difference between education and propaganda, between knowledge and information, between the desire for power and the free creative use of it.
Liberalism is failing as an ideology because people are realizing this kind of thinking is missing something. Most Leftist social theorists are critical of liberal ideology for a host of reasons related to this idea of freedom. Don’t get me wrong, I think we need to rethink liberal values if we are not fall into bad kinds of socialism on the left or right. I am reminded of the second Matrix film where the architect of the matrix tells the hero that people accepted the program better when they are given a choice.
Ken Wilber in his commentary with Cornel West on the films applauded the ending of the third film as illustrating his idea of overcoming choice as the last illusion before attaining the freedom of choiceless awareness.
But freedom is another abused word. Steiner actually had his book “Philosophy of Freedom” translated as “Philosophy of Spiritual Activity” in the English version precisely because of how badly we understand that word. We misunderstand “faith” as well given our familiarity with it from contemporary Religion. Aurobindo analyzes the sanskrit word for faith as being much closer to our “will” especially as I am describing it here, not as a desire for a specific outcome but a will to realize a value in any situation that may arise and therefore cannot be frustrated by any means if the proper faith(will) is there. Or as Gurdjieff puts it: “Conscious Faith is freedom, emotional faith is slavery, mechanical faith is foolishness.”
(in response to my quoting of Nietzsche’s amor fati, love of fate, which goes: “My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.” Greg says):
I don’t think Deleuze or Nietzsche are calling for us to “love what is necessary” but instead to learn to live with it without falling into the nihilism of resentment. That simply means becoming strong enough to move on and not allow the necessary suffering in life to become a source of nihilistic, life-denying motivation.
“Love what is necessary” is a direct quote from the most quoted passage of Nietzsche in our culture. You can argue he didn’t mean what I think he means, but you seem to be only arguing that Nietzsche’s most famous words and which encapsulate his whole philosophy are not what he thinks. Granted he could be ironic sometimes, but my interpretation is Deleuzian to the core and is essential to his interpretation of Nietzsche. Yours is not. You miss the point entirely. The “amor fati” quote ends with “NOT merely to bear what is necessary, but love it”
You say he meant, “just bear it”, or maybe bear it and don’t get resentful. But this makes no sense. This is not a love of fate, this is a tolerance of fate. This is stoicism. Which is what repressed the Greek “arete” and became the Christian tolerance of suffering as a moral virtue. Deleuze emphasizes this difference and hell so do you more or less in your book! In Deleuze especially, he repeatedly emphasizes Nietzsche’s point, which is also the central point in all occult philosophy, whatever language is used, that the lynchpin in man’s existence is becoming an active co-creator of fate by transforming it from a struggle into a play.
As long as one is still “struggling” in Nietzsche terms, “suffering” as the Eastern sages say, then one still hasn’t got it. Here is Deleuze:
“It is characteristic of established values to be brought into play in a struggle,but it is characteristic of the struggle to be always referred to established values: whether it is struggle for power, struggle for recognition or struggle for life — the schema is always the same. One cannot overemphasise the extent to which the notions of struggle, war, rivalry or even comparison are foreign to Nietzsche and to his conception of the will to power. It is not that he denies the existence of struggle: but he does not see it as in any way creative of values. At least, the only values that it creates are those of the triumphant slave. Struggle is not the principle or the motor of hierarchy but the means by which the slave reverses
hierarchy. Struggle is never the active expression of forces, nor the manifestation of a will to power that affirms — any more than its result expresses the triumph of the master or the strong. Struggle, on the contrary, is the means by which the weak prevail over the strong, because they are the greatest number. This is why Nietzsche is opposed to Darwin: Darwin confused struggle and selection. He failed to see that the result of struggle was the opposite of what he thought; that it does select, but it selects only the weak and assures their triumph (VP I 395, TI). Nietzsche says of himself that he is much too well bred to struggle.’°”
One needs to love what is necessary Greg, because truth is exactly only what is necessary. And everything is necessary along different lines because of different reasons. If one does not understand why something was necessary, than they do not see the truth.
So one needs to love in order to understand, but one also needs to understand something to truly love it. Beauty is truth, truth beauty. The Good is the True and Beautiful. This is philosophy, man. Love of truth. Everything else is rhetoric. Which I also love. I love making better arguments, critiquing language use, creating new ways of expressing something….but if you don’t know what someone means by something, if you think that they are “wrong” and not just using poor language, not just misunderstanding something that is essentially true, than any improvement in language will only obscure the truth or reduce it to an “established value”, when it could have been a transvaluation.