Love as Being and the Law of Preservation.

In Defense of Lack

There is another angle which we could critique lack from: Bataille’s theory of excess. If we take Bataille literally when he says, “it is not necessity but its contrary, “luxury,” that presents living matter and mankind with their fundamental problems”, then one could say that desire is purely an energetic excess and that there is no lack. — Evan Jack, Libidinal Materialism Contra Lacan

Evan, attempting to utilize Bataille in a critique of Lack as a drive for desire ultimately fails. In an essentialist manner, Evan attempts to posit an essence of luxury as a prime cause of desire. But this luxury presupposes desire in the first place.

The final aim of eroticism is fusion, all barriers gone, but its first stirrings are characterized by the presence of a desirable object. — Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality

This desirable object can only be desired by desire alone, not some independent essence as a causal factor. Even if we presuppose a desiring essence, the subject is presupposed for the cognition of the essence and object. This cognition of which can only be taken in a presupposition of lack, for cognition leads to a self-consciousness which forms a lack of ontological unity.

Law of Preservation

“I would forward that death follows the logic of base materialism. Death is that which life (life is the elevated/ideal) tries to repel and get rid of death (death is the base matter), but life is built off of death, it is built off its relation to death. I am to forward Alexandre Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel here. Kojève makes ‘death the centre of Hegel’s system’. For Kojève, death ‘structures everything else’.” — Evan Jack, La Mort Éternelle

As we all know, Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel is heavily flawed; as such I will be taking this as if Kojève is a separate philosopher independent of Hegel.

It is not death, but the preservation of identity that incurs this basis of phenomenological experience (extremely similar, very minor differences). Drawing from a Hegelian approach, “self-consciousness is Desire in general” (Phenomenology of Spirit, 105). Through this we attempt to consume this Other insofar as we maintain our own identity. “Self-consciousness achieves its satisfaction only in another self-consciousness” (Phenomenology of Spirit, 110). We want ontological unity even, but once again insofar as we maintain our own identity, taking the quote above to the fullest of extents, being-for-me; the Other as if they belong to I. From now on, we shall refer to this tendency toward consuming an Other (in all forms of identity) insofar as I preserve my own identity, and attempt to stay alive so as to keep my identity, as the Law of Preservation (or, LoP).

The next thing I would like to quickly establish is what does Hegel means by Idea, the Absolute, and Spirit (considering they are important concepts for his Philosophy of Right, and Spirit is an especially important word considering its in the title of his most popular book). Referring to how Kain puts it, “[Idea is] aims, aspirations, values, role, significance, and meaning to itself” (Hegel and Right, 2). As for Spirit,

through [Idea’s] activity in the world, [Idea will be embodied in] laws, practices, customs, institutions, ethical life, art, culture, philosophy, religion, and so forth. In this way the Idea becomes objectified, concretized, institutionalized. It is no longer a mere idea, but a reality. As this concretized idea is recognized by its people, it will animate their will, passion, activity, and drive. (Hegel and Right, 2)

Spirit is self-containing. Nothing is higher. The Absolute is nothing but the dialectical unfolding of Spirit, to produce a greater Right (Hegel and Right, 3). Spirit works toward the Absolute (which is already contained in Spirit), it is the Absolute for-itself which is for-another (the Absolute), but an Absolute which self-relates through another Absolute recurring in the same Absolute. This is my method of how we get around the old Kojèvean problem of a self-relating Absolute without being for-another. The Absolute reifies and changes constantly. Also, important to note from this, Spirit is not some mystical concept like the Young Hegelians incorrectly interpreted from Hegel. It is immanent in society, it is society. So the title of “Phenomenology of Spirit” comes from its discussion of the evolution of consciousness, in relation to the Absolute.

A quick note to tag along with this quick lesson, Hegel did not believe in the end of history as Zizek makes it clear with Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature, and Kain makes it painfully clear with: “Spirit never stands still” — Hegel, “[Spirit is] never at rest but always engaged in moving forward” — Hegel, “Spirit is immortal; there is no past or future time at which it did not exist or would not exist; it is not over and done with…” — Hegel, Philosophy of History page. 170–71; see also 215; also 84, Philosophy of History page. 413, etc… I could keep going forever, but I can’t be bothered anymore at this point. Now that this is established, let us move on about the LoP.

The methods we go about this is plentiful and visible everywhere. In a world where truth is identity, and this identity exists insofar as it is immanently in society, we see truth itself obscured by social media. But obscure is an important word I use here, for who am I to claim that which is true in Spirit. But I am Spirit? More on that later. For if the tree falls, and no one hears it or sees it, it doesn’t matter if it fell; for it had no effect immanently on society. The ‘truth’ of something only matters insofar as that which is effected by a ‘truth’. The question of God as transcendental deity is a concept which can’t be answered, even in philosophy (as Barry Stroud made clear). So what do we do with God? Is God dead? Yes. God is dead immanently within society, with the death of belief. Truth only exists in relation to the absolute.

In social media we can see the LoP acting constantly. It is consistently achieved through recognition. This also explains why people are so adamant to get popular, to preservate their identity (although of-course failing, returning back into non-existence). The more likes we get, the more recognition we receive, the more that we feel we are. More on this later as well.

As self-consciousnesses regresses, it forms into pre-socratic forms of post-Skepticism, it makes one question Hegel’s conception of a greater Absolute being dialectically created. After writing this, I read Evan’s Some Thesis #1 in which he makes a similar point to mine in his 10th thesis “Ideological rigidness is too much of a problem for pedagogy to be advanced.” And in this post-Skeptic world, we find that death is not anything other than nothing, or in other words, death is nothing but insofar as it is something but withheld from being. For if being is something, and we are recognized by nothing (not only in the eyes of capital, but those around us. As we are mediated by the very existence of the symbolic exchange social media provides) what are we but death in its embodiment already?

We are already in Hell. It is the earth itself that is Hell, the prison constructed for us by an intelligence superior to our own, in which I could not take a step without injuring the happiness of others, and in which my fellow creatures could not enjoy their own happiness without causing me pain. — Inferno, August Strindberg.

We are death constantly positing itself, and the LoP rebuilds hell apparatuses in an Althusserian fashion.

Love as Being

For something to feel like it exists, it must exist in Spirit. We are not creatures that accept Idea. We want our idea to exist immanently in Spirit. I am advocating for the idea that I shall push forward in Spirit, in that I believe love as the complete. The unity of self and existence. And that’s why we are drawn by love, we constantly fear not being, fear not preserving our identity, fear that we are not. We constantly are not, but wish to exist. And that’s what love is, love is existing. Even in fleeting moments, we posit our self as something that is. That which, even if in a particular moment, exists. Spirit as Spirit.

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