Kenneth Smith

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, thinking, consciousness, intellect, modernity, and truth

In characterizing realities no less than in taking positions on issues, consciousness generalizes, i.e. genericizes:  in articulating or formulating, it reduces things, even our own selves, to forms, abstractions, idealizations, types, archetypes, simplisms.  “Thinking” is an activity that ultimately grounds or resolves itself in the satisfying, self-certain form of orthodoxies, preconceptions, uncriticized and imperative norms; and it is overwhelmingly inept to recognize just how pathetic, parasitic or placental is its relation to its “own” fundamental norms of understanding and valuation.  Rarely if ever does any act of thinking grow so laserlike or iconoclastically intensive as to escape from the dense miasma of what is acceptable.  To think what actually is is even more contranatural for humans than to see what actually is:  as subjectivizing as “seeing” is, “thinking” is many degrees or magnitudes more saturated with conditioned biases, delusions, self-deceptions.  A program of hygiene or asepsis for the sanity, acuity and clarity of syncretic or wholesided thinking—a discipline of orthotics for sobering, grounding and polemicizing of well-formed gnoseonoesis—is needless to say unknown in modernity.  Not just language but virtually all of intellect, education, culture, etc. have been adapted into utilities, tools whose very aspectivity militates against the nakedness of “evidence,” which is to say, against candor and against truth:  regardless of what it may be called, “evidence,” even the most obvious and blatant, is in actuality not so “evident” to most people, and the modern development of “sophistication” or “education” typically worsens the obscurantism.

Kenneth Smith

Source: http://www.tcj.com/blog/kenneth-smith-on-the-cave-of-false-consciousness

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, art, literature, spirit, personality, thinking, mind, intellect, life, and psyche

How infinitely happier and more grateful is the whole personality or spirit when it finds something nourishing in art or writing or thinking, than the mere mind or intellect is:  the kinship you celebrate in these personalities is your own dismembered Orpheus stumbling across another fine organ to rejoin to itself.  I put it this way:  aristic psyche loves itself enough to chasten itself, to put itself through boot camp for the sake of being competent for life, alive to life.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, nihilism, douleia, banauseia, aristeia, humanity, personality, ideology, and history

It is inscribed necessarily in human nature that the deformation or cultic-ideological ruin of personality is always more decisively and irremediably accomplished than are any of the precarious and tentative accomplishments of aristic cultivation:  in quite different senses both eudaimonically and dysdaimonically, whoever touches a formative human soul touches eternity.  Children may literally be scarred for life by traumatic abuse that was executed for the benefit of transient doulic hungers or for evaporative banausic prosperity.  And "history" is the ever-compounding consequences of such demented dyscultures and nihilist priorities, the long dark night of the traumatized soul from which one age or perhaps another may struggle to wake up.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, dialogue, education, biases, prejudices, self-determination, self-delusion, polemics, and abysmalisms

Even as most intellectuals and students and "educators" among us imagine they are learning to criticize and sever those prejudices and presuppositions, those biases and preconceptions are mutating like Hydra and putting forth new buds and nodes with new faces on them to go on functioning sub rosa within his "new regime" of clarified and purified self-determination. This unctuous and protean power of biasing principles to vary their manifestation or expression is one of the premier reasons that humans overwhelmingly need living and in-your-face dialogue, need conversational confrontation and polemics, in order to grasp philosophical, spiritual and moral truths, i.e. values and axioms:  without another intensive and acute individual to catch their blindsidedness and call their hand on this permutational untruth, humans only succeed in "rearranging their prejudices," not truly emancipating themselves from their enslaving abysmalisms.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, truth, values, culture, nihilism, moderns, and abstractivism

The "fragility of the truth" in the first place reflects the vicissitudes of the VALUE which truth inevitably has to be, a premier victim of a value-sterilized dysculture, i.e. of a licentious universe where every kind of vile and insidious way to abort what is true, right, just, good, rational, etc. has become all-too possible.  The suppression and dysmorphia of the truth are an accomplished science in banauseia, which intrinsically "respects" nothing (certainly not "truth," the most manipulable of all illusions within this subphilosophical species).  The "death of God," over two centuries ago by now, was merely the early-phase onset of a much more profound, much more structurally corrosive species of nihilism:  moderns were naively glad to be liberated from such a megalo-fuddy-duddy as the ever-prying Jehovah, and it never occurred to them to wonder just what sort of marvelous new cultural solvent had such remarkable acidic power to dissolve thousands of years of accreted religious barnacles.  What ELSE could it cleanse away or annihilate?  And really, what was it itself, the nameless new world-force of banausic "disillusionment" or Cartesian-skeptical "clarity"?  Destroying all alternative mythoi and perspectivisms and norms, what did this <abstractivism> itself have for its latent character and its covert teleological drives and its totalitarian cultural-ideological destiny?  How would it succeed in transfiguring the very modes in which we live and communicate, corrupting everything with an unspoken, unfelt, unseen, scent-free shell of dysrelatedness, a Midas-touch of an interval of distantiation or pathos of unfelt apathy toward all that is natural, human, social, historical, actual, etc.?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, modernity, nihilism, humanity, aristeia, and nietzsche

Nietzsche's realization was astute that modernity had abolished the very prospect of humanity as ancient culture grasped it as aristeia or nobility, or even as medieval Christianity grasped it in the form of spirituality.  Modernity has, from generation to generation and from century to century, an ever-lowering ceiling of minimalist "humanity," an arrant folly of setting up the democratist "human, all too human" as if it could in any way serve as some sort of norm or standard.  It is nothing but a quivering, quavering mass of pathos, a gross form of moral and spiritual and philosophical bankruptcy:  it is one great complex of fault-lines across the superficial plaque of a veneer-culture, a mere mask of humanity over bestiality.  That is what our programmatic war against aristeia ultimately means, the systematic abolition of "man" as well considered as an honorific or value-laden concept.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, norms, culture, modernity, nietzsche, nature, mankind, responsibility, and man

Nietzsche recognized the prodigious accomplishment of the Greeks in at least two seismic insights:  (1) that man was somehow capable of being cultured to become more than just another heteronomous "phenomenon" within nature, society or history, i.e. he could in the most exemplary or extraordinary of cases stand in some sort of parity with the ultimate principles that shape and drive and organize existence (which is as much as to say:  the gulf between aristoi and douloi is as abysmal as the chasm between cosmos and chaos, between arche and hyle or principle and matter); and (2) that in man nature—in actuality culture—had managed to produce a true prodigy of timebinding self-mastery, "an animal that dared to promise" and to make itself live up to its promised responsibility.  Modern behaviorism and economism and scientism have undereaten the foundations of all these normative accomplishments.  All the spiritual and rational and cultural and philosophical achievements of premodern civilization had long ago become nothing more than a treasury of rhetoric for moderns to pillage and deplete.  Culturally considered, modern "culture" is de facto a form of entropy or self-parasitism, a thieving or vampiric world-order that accomplishes nothing whatsoever in the domain of norms; on the contrary it bleeds this domain down to nothing, to pathos.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, politics, and depersonalization

Nothing in our politics is any longer driven or designed by individual humans who have a name and a face; we have sunk from theism into impersonal and depersonalizing deism, a scheme of rule by alien and implacable abstract metaphysical forces.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, politics, illusions, lies, deceit, credulity, humans, modernity, gullibility, deception, civilization, domination, slaves, freedom, self-determination, and self-delusion

Modernity and most of all bourgeois-banausic "individualist" ideologues cannot begin to fathom the visceral lust for domination, whether in the form of demented idiotist-master-types or in the form of demented idiotist-slave-types.  If humans profoundly and rationally wanted to live free and think free, they would in every case have spun out for themselves forms of existence that both prudently and wisely foster an ethos of self-determination.  Moderns are self-delusive beings who cannot begin to face much less fathom their own primal need to be taken care of, to be dependent and directed and consoled and reassured etc.  They are inbred patsies standing in droves on the corner, waiting for the next conscription-bus to come along and give their aimless, dissolute and valueless existences some kind of transcendent meaning by putting them to work in imperialist wars for even more brutal domination over other peoples around the planet.  After the third or fourth war cut from the same veil of Maya, one gets weary beyond telling of man's insuperable mendacity to himself.  "Human nature" is forever a topic unable to be characterized without a word like "pseudophilic."  Most humans prove their vacuum of aristeia, of truth, conscience, rationality, or principles, by their truly dreadful and credulous yearning to be lied to.  We aren't just by accident a species gullible enough to believe what mass-campaigns of organized deception feed us; we were truly born hungry for sweet illusions and delusions.  And nowhere near enough humans succeed in emancipating themselves from the simian lust for narcosis, for soporific virtualities, to make civilization truly feasible.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, money, capitalism, culture, modernity, meaning, and values

The modern world has got a variety of Midas' disease, the one where everything a whore touches turns whorish because nobody can see past the money any longer to the meaning of anything.  I suppose this is "culture" considered as a form of STD, where it isn't natural generation that is the central and obsessive principle of everything but rather Money, the principle of all fertility for artificial generation:  instead of the "gift that keeps on giving," it's the mania that keeps on taking.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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