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PostSubject: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:53 pm

Nyctophobia is a staple of survival techniques.
When one fears the dark, one fears the potential in the unknown.
One cannot see, perceive, and so one automatically assume the worse, so as to protect one’s self from it.
This is cynical, negative, thinking, as it is judged by our current, open, feel-good, liberal, man-made reality.
But this fear of the unknown, presumed to be dangerous, when no evidence is present, is part of all survival techniques.
All mature organisms fear the unknown, as a matter of efficiency.

To be mistaken when one assumes the worse, is to be faced with the perspective of a “positive” surprise, whereas to assume the best, is to risk being surprised for the very last time.
Fear of darkness, of the looming, imperceptible, is not irrational, it is, in fact the most rational of all (re)actions.
It is BECAUSE existence is rare and not inclined to preserve order, that makes this paranoid, presupposition, a position based on reason and on a more profound understanding of the universal aspects of nature.

Is it “cynical,” to assume that whatever lies in darkness, not yet perceived, is more likely to be harmful than beneficial?
Yes – and so natural selection shows a preference for this controlled form of paranoia – this fear based on a hypothesis constructed through experiences with reality.

We are told that fearing the dark is irrational, when it is the most rational of all, phobias.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:36 pm

Only in manmade environments, where the unknown, the randomness of existence, is excluded from participating in the judged, can we hope to find this glorification for carefree “openness” to the unknown otherness.
When behaviors are constricted and forced into a pattern, they call moral or civil, no matter how hypocritical and swinging on a string it might be, can we begin to look-down, with that disdain of a frowning child, upon a staple of survival instinct.
No doubt, fear reaching a level where all (inter)activity ceases, is harmful, but so is this careless, abandonment to circumstance, as if the unknown is best be left unknown so as to not inhibit entering waters full of life-threatening possibilities.

Who, but a spoiled brat, raised in protective entitlement, would consider the risks worth taken worth being taken, when there was no pressing need to do so?

Having your back pressed against a wall is one thing, imagining that you are pressing against it every single time, is another.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:42 pm

The potential harmlessness of the other is one thing; the potential absence of harmfulness is another.
The deciding factor is naiveté, the ignorant bliss of a child, toying with forces it cannot fathom, but that only knows that a, theoretical, benevolent power is waiting on the side to pull it out of harm’s way, when it falls into it with curious, abandonment; naiveté and that sense of indestructibility only an adolescent mind can enjoy.
This, too, is part of feminization.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:44 pm

The idea is that this identification with humanity is so ubiquitous and so strong that no one and nothing can ever stand in the way of its all-inspiring insinuations.
Every man, even if not raised under its seductive premises, will nevertheless, surrender to its spiritual pull.

We see how effective it is when social rules and morays suddenly crumble in mob rule, and that inner, forgotten nature of man, emerges to teach that humble, socialist, loving, idealistic, infantile spirit, a thing or two about fear and consequences.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:48 pm

Funny how fear and its extreme, can be analyzed and condemned as harmful, but love, and it extreme, is considered a harmless plus in a world of minuses.
It’s funny how it is labelled an illness, but this idiotic surrender to faith and to the madness of love is the epitome of health.
Maybe it is because the intentions are different.

If I were concerned with being liked and being appreciated more than I was about being aware and being honest, then my goals would be different.
If I wanted to belong and be accepted, and be immersed, rather than being distinct, and separate, and self, then my motives would be different.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:19 pm


True, cynicism can be manipulated, or manufactured.
A sheltered mind can be trained to be jaded, worldly beyond its personal experiences, knowledgeable beyond its individual understanding, when it has nothing to draw from but these shallow references that are no more than words, repeated and then given a positive or negative tint.
This is where cynicism becomes a social tool.
It can be turned into a dismissal of all rejections of manmade ideals; a way to degrade an attitude that remains sceptical when dealing with human contrivances.
How useful a tool would it be to a Christian or a secular humanist, or a Marxist, to degrade cynicism as hyperbole and psychological baggage?

Take an ignorant, dullard, feed him words upon words, to the point where repetition begins to substitute understanding, and then connect these words with unsubstantiated fears, it cannot justify.
Now, the cynic who draws from personal experiences and an understanding of life, and of human constructs, is one and the same as that adolescent turd who has heard the words, perhaps he has watched a few movies or listened to a few tunes referring to the words, perhaps he has read a few books mentioning the words regarding the concepts, but has no clue about them except that they connect to some social ideal or some “obsolete” idea, long forgotten because it has been “debunked.”

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:23 pm

Cynicism?!!!
I have not begun to be cynical enough when dealing with human ideals that contradict reality.
And what if reality was discovered to be less than “positive” in regards to life and human interests; would reality be considered “cynical”?
Would the world’s disinterest in human declarations and moral imperatives and lovey-dovey, emotional crutches, be considered cynical?

We do not consider the perspective that a tiger is disinterested in human welfare and would sooner eat a man than lick him, as being cynical, but when dealing with one of our own species, then suddenly the defensive idea, contradicting Judeo-Christian morays, takes on that label, which ever since its inception has been connected with the base and the vulgar.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:00 pm

Cynicism only have power, only is relevant, within human construct.
When, said, human constructs have no connection to anything sensually perceived, then cynicism is but an attitude of rejection to these human mythologies.
The positive aspects, regarding acceptance, and integration, have no relevance to honesty.
If I were to discover that a lie benefited me, and that a shared lie was what I was expected to support and pretend that I believed in – to the point where I began believing in the lie – then my honest rejection of this lie would be considered cynical to the ones who wish to protect it from scrutiny and preserve it as the best method of population control.
Cynicism, therefore, is a show of indifference towards hypocrisy which hides reality, even if this hypocrisy is beneficial to it. It is an exhibition of the highest form of objectivity.

If this can be mimicked by minds so protected from reality that they feel invulnerable to it, is a totally different matter.
To know the real, and be indifferent to its costs, is not the same as being told about the real while being sheltered from it.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:42 pm

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs is a familiar fable of Greed.
One cannot believe the overflow of riches, one cuts the goose up to get to the grail...

Cynics, would be the opposite of this greed, and yet.


Quote :
"The person seeking a logical explanation in every case destroys the sense of wonder in everything. For when the logical explanation of something escapes us, that is when uncertainty begins, and thus philosophy." [Plutarch, Quaestiones convivales 5.7.1]



Quote :
"In a remarkable passage to which I have already alluded, Albertus Magnus, attempts in his Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle to provide a convincing account of the internal dynamics of wonder:
wonder is defined as a constnctlOn and suspension of the heart caused by amazement at the sensible appearance of something so portentous, great, and unusual, that the heart suffers a systole. Hence wonder is something like fear in its effect on the heart. This effect ofwonder, then, this constriction and systole ofthe heart, springs from an unfulfilled but felt desire to know the cause of that which appears portentous and unusual: so it was in the beginning when men, up to that time unskilled, began to philosophize.... Now the man who is puzzled and wonders apparently does not know. Hence wonder is the movement of the man who does not know on his way to finding out, to get at the bottom of that at which he wonders and to determine its cause. . . . Such is the origin of philosophy.

Wonder here is not a steady state; it is inherently unstable, a shifter, not only the sign but the principal instigator of movement.
For Albertus Magnus the movement driven by the marvelous is from the blankness of ignorance to the fullness of philosophical understanding.

[P]hilosophy (as Socrates had already formulated it) begins in wonder, while the purpose of poetry (as innumerable poets said) was to produce the marvelous.

According to Descartes-to choose the philosopher who marks the end-point ofthe mental world ofthe early modern voyagers and the inception of a different and more familiar world-wonder is not, as Albertus had thought, registered in the heart and blood; unlike the other passions that have good or evil as their objects and hence involve the heart, wonder has only knowledge as its object and thus occurs strictly in the brain. This relocation would seem to detach wonder from the source of its somatic authority-the experience ofsomething very much like a heart attack- but Descartes too insists on its immense strength, a strength that derives from the element of surprise, 'the sudden and unexpected arrival of this impression. This surprise does not cause the heart to contract, in Descartes's view, but at its most extreme it causes a drastic alteration in the spirits ofthe brain which rush, as it were, to bear witness to the object of wonder:
And this surprise has so much power in causing the spirits which are in the cavities of the brain to take their way from thence to the place where is the impression of the object which we wonder at, that it sometimes thrusts them all there, ... and this causes the whole body to remain as immobile as a statue, and prevents our perceiving more ofthe object than the first face which is presented, or consequently of acquiring a more particular knowledge of it. This is what we commonly call being astonished, and astonishment is an excess of wonder which can never be otherwise than bad. (pp. 363-4)

A moderate measure of wonder is useful in that it calls attention to that which is 'new or very different from what we formerly knew, or from what we supposed that it ought to be' and fixes it in the memory, but an excess of wonder is harmful, Decartes thought, for it freezes the individual in the face of objects whose moral character, whose capacity to do good or evil, has not yet been determined. That is, wonder precedes, even escapes, moral categories. When we wonder, we do not yet know if we love or hate the object at which we are marveling; we do not know ifwe should embrace it or flee from it. For this reason wonder, Descartes argues, 'has no opposite and is the first ofall the passions.'

Similarly for Spinoza - in whose account wonder was not, strictly speaking, a passion at all, but rather a mode of conception (imaginatio)-wonder depends upon a suspension or failure of categories and is a kind of paralysis, a stilling of the normal associative restlessness of the mind. In wonder, 'the mind comes to a stand, because the particular concept in question has no connection with other concepts.'
The object that arouses wonder is so new that for a moment at least it is alone, unsystematized, an utterly detached object of rapt attention.

Wonder-thrilling, potentially dangerous, momentarily immobilizing, charged at once with desire, ignorance, and fear-is the quintessential human response to what Decartes calls a 'first encounter' (p. 358).
Such terms, which recur in philosophy from Aristotle through the seventeenth century, made wonder an almost inevitable component of the discourse of discovery, for by definition wonder is an instinctive recognition of difference, the sign of a heightened attention, 'a sudden surprise of the soul,' as Descartes puts it (p. 362), in the face ofthe new. The expression ofwonder stands for all that cannot be understood, that can scarcely be believed. It calls attention to the problem of credibility and at the same time insists upon the undeniability, the exigency of the experience.

Hence the ease with which the very words marvel and wonder shift between the designation of a material object and the designation of a response to the object, between intense, almost phantasmagorical inward states and thoroughly externalized objects that can, after the initial moments of astonishment have passed, be touched, cataloged, inventoried, possessed.

The marvelous is a central feature then in the whole complex system of representation, verbal and visual, philosophical and aesthetic, intellectual and emotional, through which people in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance apprehended, and thence possessed or discarded, the unfamiliar, the alien, the terrible, the desirable, and the hateful. By a 'system of representation,' I do not mean to suggest that there was a single, perfectly integrated mimetic practice. In this period, as in many others, philosophy and art are distinct and often opposed-the former seeking to pass through the wonder that the latter seeks to enhance." [Greenblatt, Marvelous Possessions]

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:19 pm

The idea that one must remain in awe struck wonderment for the most mundane shit, is truly fascinating.
I would say that the very fact that reality is fluid, and that man can never know anything absolutely, would mean that there will be an infinite supply of wonderment.
But to remain on the infantile level of mysticism, where the obvious is given this magical air just so that you do not lose the primal, the childlike, the simple, is a woman's perspective.

How else can a female remain fascinating, when love (emotion in general) and sex are totally demystified?
I can enjoy a nice meal without making it into something mysterious or more than it is.
If I try, then the meal better be something exceptional.

I can understand the position of not exposing Santa Claus for what he is, but then again, once i know how do I return to that childhood wonder?
A bit of eggnog, perhaps...a barrel full.
Then, maybe, a "what the hell" sort of attitude, to get me in the mood to pretend that the magician is truly magical.

The sense of wonder is relative to the mind.
To a primitive, a reflective glass, is something sublime...would he want to remain fixed on trinkets, wanting to remain innocent, naive, gullible, willing to sell his land for a few beads?
Maybe I'm too cynical to be so obtuse; maybe the other sacrifice, when the sacrifice of mind to a God, cannot be justified, is the sacrifice of childlike abandonment.

Maybe knowing what dancing is, makes dancing something you cannot fully surrender to.
Maybe that's part of growing up.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:53 am

Satyr wrote:
The idea that one must remain in awe struck wonderment for the most mundane shit, is truly fascinating.
I would say that the very fact that reality is fluid, and that man can never know anything absolutely, would mean that there will be an infinite supply of wonderment.
But to remain on the infantile level of mysticism, where the obvious is given this magical air just so that you do not lose the primal, the childlike, the simple, is a woman's perspective.

How else can a female remain fascinating, when love (emotion in general) and sex are totally demystified?
I can enjoy a nice meal without making it into something mysterious or more than it is.
If I try, then the meal better be something exceptional.

I can understand the position of not exposing Santa Claus for what he is, but then again, once i know how do I return to that childhood wonder?
A bit of eggnog, perhaps...a barrel full.
Then, maybe, a "what the hell" sort of attitude, to get me in the mood to pretend that the magician is truly magical.

The sense of wonder is relative to the mind.
To a primitive, a reflective glass, is something sublime...would he want to remain fixed on trinkets, wanting to remain innocent, naive, gullible, willing to sell his land for a few beads?
Maybe I'm too cynical to be so obtuse; maybe the other sacrifice, when the sacrifice of mind to a God, cannot be justified, is the sacrifice of childlike abandonment.

Maybe knowing what dancing is, makes dancing something you cannot fully surrender to.
Maybe that's part of growing up.          

If I leave rationalizing things aside for a moment, then every experience is like a labyrinth.
I might have walked through that labyrinth yesterday and taken some turns and come out, understanding something, rationalizing it.
I can walk through that labyrinth today and be compelled or compel myself to take different turns and come out, understanding something else, and rationalizing that too.

Point being, to me, it comes down to a question of "is that all there is to it"...? and examining that question in deed.

Would there by any philosophy if rationalizing the world and knowing it for what we do now, stopped us from turning over old thoughts, old labyrinths, old routes, trekked a hundred times already and yet... if we cynically stopped at the certainty 'I have already taken that route before and know what's at the end of it'. ....

Wonderment is literally to me wondering at the certainty of questions like, 'was it that much only?'

Santa claus and tooth fairies are soothsayings for the fragile, we know that and no mysticism needed to make us appreciate the functions they perform; while the cynic may stop there, it could also be a question of strength and how much farther we can re-interpret and make it mean something else too,,, a question of our will.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:22 pm

To wish that there was more to it, and to presume that there is more to it, are two different approaches.

In all cases one must rely on experiences to guide us towards what is more or what is less probable.

when a lion approaches me in the savannah, am I paranoid to assume that it, most probably, wishes to kill and eat me, or should I be less cynical and give a benefit to doubt and watch what happens?

I don't know, natural selection seems to favor the paranoid approach, because nature is not superfluous nor does it waste its energies on gambles.
If a more romantic idealism has gripped your culturally determined soul, then please feel free to do as you wish.

Speaking for myself, as I obviously always do, I try to place myself outside the situation, I try to detach myself from the event, and to come to it from a point of view which rests in the before man created civilization and ideas.

This I consider getting to the root of the matter, or my bottom<>up thinking.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:32 pm

Satyr wrote:
To wish that there was more to it, and to presume that there is more to it, are two different approaches.

In all cases one must rely on experiences to guide us towards what is more or what is less probable.

when a lion approaches me in the savannah, am I paranoid to assume that it, most probably, wishes to kill and eat me, or should I be less cynical and give a benefit to doubt and watch what happens?

I don't know, natural selection seems to favor the paranoid approach, because nature is not superfluous nor does it waste its energies on gambles.
If a more romantic idealism has gripped your culturally determined soul, then please feel free to do as you wish.

Speaking for myself, as I obviously always do, I try to place myself outside the situation, I try to detach myself from the event, and to come to it from a point of view which rests in the before man created civilization and ideas.  

This I consider getting to the root of the matter, or my bottom<>up thinking.

But why do you assume I speak of a romanticism, when questioning the certainty of 'is it all there is to it'?
The opposite of a cynic need not immediately be the extreme opposite.
More Roman-tique Realist than anything else...
My cynicism says everytime I go into a savannah, I am bound to meet a killer lion.
My wonderment would compel me to wonder 'what else?'... to be alert to what other kinds of creatures must be roaming there if I went there again... or what kinds of rare plants, vegetation i perhaps might stumble on...
This cynical certainty that a savannah is definitely going to be swarming with killer lions and "nothing but",,, thwarts the wonderment and alertness to other discoveries.
Paranoia is a positive in untested environments,, but in an environment where you have gathered enough experience, I think it suffices to be alert to any sudden event, than being unrelentingly paranoid... an overstrained nerve becomes exhausted and eventually useless when needed.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:46 pm

Lyssa wrote:
But why do you assume I speak of a romanticism, when questioning the certainty of 'is it all there is to it'?
The opposite of a cynic need not immediately be the extreme opposite.
I do not speak of extremes.

If I remain skeptical about cultural and social bullshit this is called cynical.
If I include the possibility that the other may be lying, this is called cynical.

I call it naive to not do so.

Lyssa wrote:
More Roman-tique Realist than anything else...
My cynicism says everytime I go into a savannah, I am bound to meet a killer lion.
My wonderment would compel me to wonder 'what else?'...  to be alert to what other kinds of creatures must be roaming there if I went there again... or what kinds of rare plants, vegetation i perhaps might stumble on...
And using that imagery, the fact that you are in a savannah and you know something about what a savannah is and what kinds of plants and organisms live there, should inform you as to what kinds of creatures you have a good chance of coming across and which ones you have an almost no-chance of coming across.

This is called probability.

What else?
Most probably something native to the savannah.

Lyssa wrote:
This cynical certainty that a savannah is definitely going to be swarming with killer lions and "nothing but",,, thwarts the wonderment and alertness to other discoveries.
I wasn't so final.
I said what is most probably there.
One does not gamble with his life when there are lions around.

Lyssa wrote:
Paranoia is a positive in untested environments,, but in an environment where you have gathered enough experience, I think it suffices to be alert to any sudden event, than being unrelentingly paranoid... an overstrained nerve becomes exhausted and eventually useless when needed.
Knowledge only establishes the probability level.
All knowledge is an approximation.

Only a sheltered mind would tip the balance towards the positive.

The correct approach you may be looking for is that of indifference, or nobility.
To know what's out there but be so confident, or so ready for any outcome, that you go there.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:59 am

Children are quite fearless, much more so than after they've grown up - After they had bad experiences or injured themselves. I did some dangerous, I'd say stupid by now, things when I was young, and after some shocks and injuries I became more careful. Those experiences made me more 'careful'.... but that doesn't mean that my level of foolishness, boldness, or anything like that changed. It could have even grown - because being foolish, adventurous, bold,... while having more experiences, a better awareness of the risks does result in different actions and behaviours.

If someone doesn't know about the thin ice beneath him then he would appear to be very foolish, even stupid, to a person who is aware of the risks and probabilities, while in his own mind it's nothing.

In other words,
A certain amount of foolishness is part of everybody, some have more of it, some less but I don't think that you can measure it by the actions alone because the inner experience could be very different from one to another.

I think, to be paranoid, is a state where one tries to withdraw from his environment because there is a sense of danger which can't be pinpointed and understood at the time. So an immediate gut reaction is to withdraw to safer territory. A fast gut reaction, to get out of potential danger.

If someone can't get out of such a paranoid state, for a prolonged time, although he has retreated to known territory then it would become a burden.

Different people deal in different ways with such a paranoid state, I think. Some may try to find agreement and show submission in such a situation. Different strategies.

I think wonderment, boldness, foolishness,... such qualities are innate to varying degrees in all individuals. And they can and are used by more experienced individuals - just in a more focused more aware manner.

I find there to be a connection between boldness/foolishness and aggression. An aggression which manifests on the outside, in the world. A source of activity. A certain amount of foolishness is the heart of the warrior arche-type - his motivations.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:29 am

Environment conditions us.
Fear is how the mind validates earlier experiences with a particular phenomenon.

If I've been bitten 9 times out of 10 by dogs, I will be paranoid when approaching dogs.
This is not sickness, which is reasoning.
Only a fool would be hurt by a phenomenon and then approach it every time as if he has no clue what it is or what it may do - 'what if'.

In sheltered systems, like the one we live in, fear is considered a detriment to activity,.
Participation is desired to make the production/consuming cycles healthier.

Saving for a rainy day, is a paranoia in this world where we must live for the moment, confident that whatever happens we'll pull through. Death is never a price.

In the wild the offspring of larger brained organisms show this fearless curiosity, part of its maturing phase.
Here the protective entity is not an institution but the parent.

If we compare the behavior of a wolf to that of a domesticated canine, the dog, we see this difference in psyche.

True, a balance must be found so that one does not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Experience must inform the mind, but only after it has taken a defensive stance of observing care.

Trust is built over time, not surrendered to because of some chemical intoxication, such as emotion (love, lust).
But there is a loss of the mystical when reason illuminates a phenomenon. Females lose their mystique, we cannot abandon ourselves to dance, when we know what it is etc.
In this case one must decide what is more important to him/her: awareness or pure animal pleasure; lucidity or hedonism?
Apollo or Dionysus?

Apollo can only surrender to the sensation when Dionysus inebriates him, for a moment.
His light, dims, his eyes cloud over ...he dances.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:53 am

Satyr wrote:
If I've been bitten 9 times out of 10 by dogs, I will be paranoid when approaching dogs.
This is not sickness, which is reasoning.
I agree. I wouldn't call that paranoid at all - just reasonable.


Quote :

Only a fool would be hurt by a phenomenon and then approach it every time as if he has no clue what it is or what it may do - 'what if'.
Fool... that word can have many meanings but I agree with the sentiment - I'd call that described person crazy (as in insane).

EDIT: If it's a dangerous, life-threatening or seriously harmful thing or activity.
At other times it may be about failing self-discovery. Sometimes a realization can be too painful for an individual, to learn it the first time around.

Quote :
In the wild the offspring of larger brained organisms show this fearless curiosity, part of its maturing phase.
Here the protective entity is not an institution but the parent.
I think it's not only the parent though - it's not only reason which is a factor here. Reason is one way how to obtain knowledge, to extrapolate from other knowledge or experience.
To me gut feelings can help as well.
If a child is very well protected in his upbringing and no harm comes his way then, yes, reason is all there is but if a child is allowed to make his own experiences, bad ones - then other mechanisms of survival can form as well. Gut feelings of danger and so on.

The danger is if a child is protected all the time and does not receive reasonable instructions or they are not enough because of the child's temperament then there can grow a sense of invulnerability and other delusions. Reason is all well and good but if the individual has only very limited experiences which confirmed the instructions, or his own thoughts ... then there could grow a sense of unreal-ism.
A fearless-ness which is always dangerous.

A sort of uncecked under-current - the individual thinks he's reasonable and usually he is but at times other parts which usually slumber rear their head and bring him into harm's way. An experience of these aspects, an experience of one's own foolishness in young years can be helpful.

A balance, of course.

Quote :
Experience must inform the mind, but only after it has taken a defensive stance of observing care.
Yes - that stance can be the result of a reasoned mind-set or it can be due to some early non-lethal experiences to form the unconscious or in my views the best - it is something of both worlds.

Quote :
Trust is built over time, not surrendered to because of some chemical intoxication, such as emotion (love, lust).
That's a safe approach, not always entirely practical though, especially in young years. The highest price is paid by those who have a strong capacity for those emotions because they fall deep.
Usually the person with the less deep capacities, or at least, with the less tapped capacities, will be advocating the careless emotional approach - the price is not that high for him/her.



Quote :
But there is a loss of the mystical when reason illuminates a phenomenon. Females lose their mystique, we cannot abandon ourselves to dance, when we know what it is etc.
I find that I'm never done with anything - never completely.
Something becomes demystified, I think I know it, I will become content, satisfied and feel the sad loss of wonder... for a time.
But then I happen to be filled again with fresh wonder and approach it anew, from a different angle and I always discover something new or in a different way.
Again and again.
I think it could just be the mirror of self-discovery.
There seems to be always a new locked door and if the house is big enough even the already known rooms never get boring.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:12 pm

Quote :
It’s Been Getting Under My Skin: Paranoia, Parasitosis, and the Pedagogical Imperative

"When moving through dangerously inhuman territory, several things become potentially useful to the survival of the highly intelligent animal we have become. One is cartography. A second is logistics. Another, offered here by way of an experiment in strategy, might be found in a mapping of the perspectives on paranoia in the thought of Jacques Lacan, Michel Serres, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. For Lacan, for example, paranoia is effectively the foundation of all knowledge. As Jon Mills (2003) has so succinctly put it, for Lacan:

knowledge is paranoiac because it is acquired through our imaginary relation to the other as a  primordial misidentification or illusory self-recognition of autonomy, control, and mastery, thus leading to persecutory anxiety and self-alienation.

Secondarily, through the symbolic structures of language and speech, desire is foisted upon us as a foreboding demand threatening to invade and destroy our uniquely subjective inner experiences. And finally, the process of knowing itself is paranoiac because it horrifically confronts the real, namely, the unknown. (p. 30) In this sense, paranoia is a condition of both madness and of knowledge. Serres (1997) takes up this notion and expands it a little more poetically:

To unceasingly persevere in one’s being, to even go beyond one’s completely developed
perseverance, to overcome while preserving, this is the conduct of madness. Paranoia could  be defined as the expansion of a local, exacerbated trait vitrifying mental space so as not to leave any chance of growth to another variable. (p. 120)

Thus for Serres, paranoia is not just a condition of knowledge but something like a cancer of  being. It is, in Deleuze and Guattari’s sense, a metastasis of territorialization, an accelerating process of the deterritorialization and reterritorialization of desire into a condition of striation — that is, constraint and control — consistent with the growth of what we have come to call neo-liberal capitalism.

Thus in their study of capitalism and schizophrenia, and drawing critically on the work of Melanie Klein (1975), Deleuze and Guattari treat paranoia and schizophrenia as two ways desire can flow politically and ethically. And while the debate over Deleuze and Guattari’s use of these two terms continues to be heated and at risk of gross over-simplification (e.g., see Reynolds, 2007 and Williams, 2008), it is fair to suggest that in general, Deleuzian theorists view schizophrenia as a positive flow of desire into creativity, emancipation, and actualization of the new, whereas paranoia indicates desire enclosing itself and sedimenting into patterns of regimentation, fascism, and oppression.

If, as Lacan suggested, paranoia is the condition for all knowledge, we should not be surprised if our educational institutions reflect and sustain a  paranoiac social organization that serves the function of reinforcing both the striations and the libidinal flow of the neo-liberal capitalist machine. As Serres (2007) has remarked, “The
institutions of culture, of teaching, or of research, those that live on messages, repeated images, or printed copies, the great mammoths that are the universities, media, and  publishing, the ideocracies also, surround themselves with a mass of solid artifices that forbid invention or break it, that fear it like the greatest danger” (p. 93). To go a step further, we might say knowledge’s paranoiac processes serve a more generalized pedagogical function as well, one that extends well beyond the walls of classrooms to other forms of social reproduction and control."

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue May 20, 2014 7:32 am

Between living like a dog and considering people dogs, my cynicism is of the latter sort.
As everything modern this word has also been recruited into the urban vernacular to direct the mind towards the image of a dark, spiteful, person, seeing enemies everywhere, happy with nothing.

Surrounded by naivete would shift the meaning of cynic to a position approaching realism.
A pessimist would be, for a child, anyone who thinks Saint Nick spreading joy and gifts once a year, as most probably a ploy.

The idea of a selfless act underlies the modern conception of cynicism.
The idea that every act, though an expression of self, is motivated by a consideration for other, with no personal reward.
In this Saintly myth the Judeo-Christian world-view evaluates the selfless act as the supreme act of grace, and what supports its fairytale goodness is the identifiers defining what the "self" in selfless means.
The detachment experience from nature/past reconstitutes the sense of self as an idea(l), like God is the idea(l) man, later replaced by the institution or the actor of fame, fortune and extraordinary beauty playing the part of perfect citizen: a jack of all trades, but always concerned with the welfare of humanity.
Cynicism, in this paradigm, is a detriment to perfect integration.
How can you partake in such goodness when you refuse to give, refuse to identify with the sacred identifier: human?
Human not as a sexual identifier, but sanctified, raised to the heavens from where God is toppled, as an authoritarian monopolizer of the title.
Now all can sit in His chair, and become the multifarious faces of the Holy One.

Cynicism becomes a word describing this refusal to be a part of it, to sit in that chair, benevolent, all-knowing, kind, compassionate.
The urban alienation makes the multiplicities a natural source of anxiety. Paranoia is what they would call this survival instinct.  
Paranoia is an indelible aspect of modern cynicism.
To be a cynic, is to be a paranoid, delusional, that sees selfishness in all motives - a devilish caricature of a deplorable, sad man, living on the streets like an animal: included but refusing to participate in kind.
The "healthy" ones bask in the grace of the all-encompassing selflessness of the secular god, now reborn from three-dimensional to multidimensional humanity.
So, complex, so mysterious, and still so caring about each and every part of its manifestation; each and every face but a fake image of the oneness - self-less because now "human" is the self, and "less" refers to the many masks this self wears.

Sex-less, race-less, with no past, no divergence.
Humanity fornicating with itself, emerging out of nothingness (divine birth), un-dividedly divided as a game, play.
'Love thy neighbor' is self-love, because the individual has no other self but the communal one.
Selfless refers to this loss of self, and the gaining of a bigger Self within which all acts are selfless.
Paranoia a sickness from the past, where the other was a threat.
Now de-clawed, de-fanged, neutered, reduced to an idea(l), the natural anxiety a stranger produces turns into a remnant of a primitive past that no longer applies - an illness man has overcome with the establishment of ego as a sin that became, in our scientific world, an ailment.

The very feeling of fear/anxiety, now a dirty word.  
What use for anxiety does a domesticated pet have in its controlled, safety of its master's home?
A pet must be friendly, open, kind, playful, ready to please. Living in the house, confuses its sense of self.
Some pets think of themselves human.
In time, perhaps, when enlightenment reaches a new high, maybe they can also be included in the nondescript mass of Self.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:08 pm

Alain de Botton wrote:
"That said, deciding to avoid other people does not necessarily equate with having no desire whatsoever for company; it may simply reflect a dissatisfaction with what—or who—is available. Cynics are, in the end, only idealists with awkwardly high standards. In Chamfort's words, 'It is sometimes said of a man who lives alone that he does not like society. This is like saying of a man that he does not like going for walks because he is not fond of walking at night in the forêt de Bondy." [Status Anxiety]

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:49 pm

Ernst Junger wrote:
"On the whole, a reading of the thing induces fear, and that not so much because of the horrors but rather because of the complete security with which the secret contract that exists between people is broken. The impression is roughly as if someone in the room would raise their voice and say, "Since we are now as animals together among ourselves . . . " [Grausame Bucher, in Das abenteuerliche Herz]


Quote :
"What did the cultural Marxists learn from Weimar Germany?

They learned that the Sexual Revolution, in order to succeed, had to be a slow and gradual process. “Modern forms of subjection,” the Frankfurt School had learned, “are marked by mildness.”
Weimar had failed because the pace had been too frenetic. People were aware they were being corrupted. That was fatal.

To corrupt a nation effectively one must make sure that the descent into degradation is an infinitely slow and imperceptible process, one miniscule step at a time—…" [Lasha Darkmoon, The sexual decadence of Weimar Germany]



Weimar Sexual Cynicism

Quote :
"Leftists needed a theory to explain the workers' stubborn conservatism. Georg Lukacs's theory of false consciousness and Antonio Gramsci's theory of ideological hegemony frt the bill nicely. Both theories suggested that a large part of the power exercised over the working class was ideological lathel than military. The owners of the means of production, in other words, had discov- ered that ideological suasion was far more effective in the perpetuation of their own rule than coercion. Armies and police forces were useful in putting down insurrections, but it was preferable if insurrections never took place at all. If workers came, falsely, to identify their own interests with those of the ruling class, then revolution was an impossibility. Hence, political activists had a mission to expose ideologies, superstitions, and fixed ideas that kept people in their place. Once the old ideologies stood in the naked light of class interest, nothing could come between the people and revolutionary action, between theory and practice. Explain to people the way things really are, and they will behave as they ought to behave: in their own self interest, not in the interest of the ruling class.

Yet "false consciousness" is only one part of Sloterdijk's definition of cynicism. The other part is "enlightened." The combination of these two terms seems to be a contradiction in terms, since "false consciousness" is false precisely because it is not enlightened. An enlightened false consciousness is no longer a false consciousness. In Luk6cs's and Gramsci's theory, the workers behave incorrectly because they do not know any better. If they knew better, they would act in their own self interest. Sloterdijk's definition is a product of post-1968, post-New lrft German leftist disillusionment. It is working class theory without the working class. What Sloterdijk is getting at is that the work- ers do know better, that in fact everyone knows better. In other words, there is no point in trying to educate or agitate people, to bring them the facts so that they will behave in their own best interests. They already know the facts. Modernity, Sloterdijk suggests, is already enlightened. People know what the right *ring to do is, and they still do not do it. They know, for instance, that they should not be ddving cars which pollute the environment or eating hamburgers made from slaughtered cattle or drinking coffee from Latin American dictatorships or eating bananas from the Dominican Republic, but they do all these things anyway. That is cynicism, according to Sloterdijk. Sloterdijk adds that the great historical example of a cynical society was Gemany in the Weimar Republic. Why was the Weimar Republic cynical, according to Sloterdijk? Because everybody knew that catastrophe of some sort was preprogrammed, that they were dancing on the edge of a volcano, but no one did anything about it. As a paradigmatic example of Weimar cynicism, Sloterdijk cites the financial journalist Malrny in Erich Klistner's novel Fabian Malmy knows that the Ger- man economy is on the brink of collapse, but nevertheless he supports the government's disastrous economic policies. Malmy declares, "I am lying..'. But at least I know I'm lying. I know that the system is wrong. In the economy' even a  biind man can see that. But I serve the false system with everything I've got. This is enlightened false consciousness. Malmy knows that what he is doing absurd and harmful, but he does it anyway. Strictly speaking, "enlightened false consciousness" is not defined by lack of knowledge but rather by lack of action. Cynicism is theory without practice. The cynical person is the smart person who fails to act on his or her smartness. Cynicism is enlightenment minus courage and morality. The cynic believes nothing can be done about an already bad situation and looks out for number one.

An attempt at schematization is in order. Enlightenment is supposed to follow a specific pattern:

A) There is an inhumane ideology, for instance the Christian religion, which helps to dominate and oppress people.
B) That inhumane ideology is exposed and eliminated, for instance by buming churches or executing priests, or simply by ignoring its precepts in such a way that, Nietzsche had suggested, God "dies."
C) In the place of the old, inhumane ideology, comes a new, humane, enlightened morality in which people recognize their own best interests and are kind and good not because God or the Pope or the King tells them to be so but because they see that being kind and good is tt rational, the right thing to do.
Cynicism follows steps A and B, but not step C. It eliminates the old ideology, but it puts nothing in its place. It paves the we not for enlightened humanity but for nihilism and violence.

In sexual cynicism, the old, inhumane ideology which had helped to domi- nate and oppress people in step A was the ideology of love. This ideology ideal- ized the beloved woman, but by putting her on a pedestal it also rendered her powerless. Historically, the ideology of love progressed through various stages of acceptance and disillusionment. With reference to the worship of the beloved person in the ideology of love, Horkheimer and Adorno write that the excessive nature of romantic idealism made cynicism inevitable, gualanteeing a dialectic of illusion and disillusionment, madonna and whore:

"When feelings are raised to the level of ideology, the scom with which they are treated in the real world is not eliminated. Compared to the starry heavens into which ideology transports them, real feelings always seem too vulgar. This discrepancy only contributes to the banishment of feeling. The elimination of feelings was already implicit in the formaliza- tion of reason."

Horkheimer and Adorno are careful to underscore the fundamental nature of sexual cl.nicism. If, as Freud had suggested n Civilization and its Discon' tents, Eros was the primary force for the creation of society, the force that bonded people together, then it was not just another ideology.lo Rather, it was the fundamental force at work in a]l societies. Nevertheless, Freud had insisted that while love was the necessary prime force in social organization, it was by no means sufficient. While society needed Eros to bring people into communi- ties, it also needed a countervailing force for the society itself to be productive, since Eros, unhindered, would lead people simply to sleep and make love and stare longingly into each other's eyes all day long. There had to be a force to counteract Eros. Hence Freud had already sketched out a place for sexual cyni- cism, not just in the Central Europe of the 1920s, but in all periods and places of human history. Horkheimer and Adorno followed Freud's lead. They saw that the all-too romantic Odysseus had to leave Calypso and Circe behind in or- der to become a productive bourgeois individual. Enlightened man - and Horkheimer and Adorno really did mean nnn, not woman here - puts shackles on his feelings, ties himself to the mast in the name of progress.

At the height of the feudal era in the Middle Ages, the ideology of love is expressed in the love songs of the troubadours and the Minnesinger; Cervantes' Don Quixote represents the first, gentle attack on that ideology by one of its representatives, while the novels of the Marquis de Sade express the final mocking of the ideology at the hands of the aristocracy itself. At its height, the aristocracy, like Don Quixote, upholds the sacredness and uniqueness of love; at the moment of its decline, it succumbs to a decadence and cynicism that make Dulcinea look like the pure virgin Quixote had mistaken her for. Likewise for the bourgeoisie. It begins its ascent to class power by attacking the sexual decadence of the aristocracy - in plays like Lessing's Emilia Galotti and novels like Richardson's Pamela - and upholding an ideal of marriage based on pure, true love. Around the beginning of the twentieth century, in the art and poetry of the central European Jugendstil, the ideology of romantic love experiences a powerful renaissance expressed memorably, for instance, in Rudolf G. Binding's poem "Love," or in paintings like "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt. And in the utopian visions of expressionism, the concept of love becomes a universal ideal. But by the end of the First World War, and with the decline of expres- sionist utopianism, the most advanced bourgeois thinkers, like the declining aristocracy before them, rejected the ideology of love as hypocritical nonsense. Horkheimer and Adorno explain this rejection as partly the result of economic changes which marginalized the family, formerly the center of social and eco- nomic structure.ll The ideology of love had served to support and guarantee the dominance of the bourgeois family. By the beginning of the Weimar Repub- lic, however, "the family is dying out," as one woman in Erich Kdstner's novel Fabian suggests.l2 Since the bourgeois family no longer played a cmcial role in the economic structure, the ideology of love was no longer necessary. In other words, Weimar sexual cynicism was closely connected to the disintegration of the family as not just a social but also an economic unit:

"Under the aegis of heavy industry, love was eliminated. The decay of the small property owners, the decline of the free economic subject affects the family: it is no longer the previously famed kemel of society, be- cause it no longer forms the basis of bourgeois economic existence. Children no longer grow up with the family as their life horizon, the in- dependence of the father disappears and with it resistance to his author- ity. Previously subordination in the family home sparked in girls the passion which seemed to lead them into freedom, even if they found freedom neither in marriage nor anywhere else. Once gids have a chance at a job, they are barred from love. The more generalized becomes mod- ern industry's demand that everyone bow down to it completely, the more everyone ... becomes a little expert, an existence forced to look out only for number one."

Horkheimer and Adorno add that the disintegration of the family unit and the spread of sexual cynicism result also in a war between the sexes. Sexual cynicism is frequently expressed as a debunking not only of love, but also of women, with whom the ideology of love had been associated. The woman who is no longer rendered powerless on a pedestal as an object of adoration is now rendered powerless as a sex object. The liberation from the ideology of love re- veals itself as enslavement to an ideology of sex.

If Klaus Theweleit's exhaus- tive studies have shown nothing else, they have shown that hatred toward women was widespread in the culture of the Weimar Republic.

The best example of this kind of modernist, enlightened hatred of women is the Italian futurist Filippo Tommasso Marinetti, who had already declared war on women before the outbreak of the First World War. Marinetti explained his "scom for women" in a tract entitled, tellingly enough, "Against Amore and Parliamentarianism." Marinetti equated love and parliamentary democracy as similady effeminate silliness. In this tract, Marinetti associated women with the entire romantic culture of the nineteenth century bourgeoisie, asserting that amore - love - was nothing but the invention of poets. "We are convinced that Amore - sentimentality and lechery - is the least natural thing in the world. There is nothing natural and important except coitus, whose purpose is the futurism of the species."ra Significantly, the rejection of all forms of roman- tic ideology went along with the rejection of women themselves, since for male avant-gardists the ideology of love was specifically female and effeminate:ls

We scom woman conceived as the sole ideal, the divine reservoir of Amore, the woman-poison, worrnn the rnagic trinket, the fragile woman, obsessing and fatal, whose voice, heavy with destiny, and whose dream- ing tresses reach out and mingle with the foliage of forests drenched in moonshine.16

Marinetti presents himself as the opponent of a powerful and oppressive ideology. He refuses to endow the procreative act with a romantic, obfuscatory ideology, and he insists on seeing it as merely useful and necessary, not as the ultimate goal of or even a prime signifier in human life: "The camal life," he declares, "will be reduced to the conservation of the species, and that will be so much gain for the growing stature of man."l7 For Marinetti, writing shortly af- ter the end of the First World War, "Sentiment is the typical virtue of vegeta- bles," and "family feeling is an inferior sentiment."

The bureaucratic organization and regimentation of sexuality during the First World War, intentionally carried out by the German High Command in order to maximize fighting efficiency and minimize the risk of sexually-transmitted dis- eases, made romantic love one of the casualties.2o One of the chief fruits of the

High Command's labors were brothels organized and run by the military' with separate brothels for officers and enlisted men. In these brothels everything had its hxed price. The military ran these brothels in a completely unromantic, ob- jective, no-nonsense way. Just as it sought to provide soldiers with food and clothing, so too it sought to provide them with sex.

Literature gives evidence of this exhaustion by showing us that sex no longer has any associations" to higher ideals.2l One male character from a left-wing war novel, Four Infantry- min,by Ernst Johannsen, echoes Marinetti's words in the German context. The chief character in this novel is an educated soldier, a university student.

Here is a rist of what our hero hates:

"The modern - and not only the modern - hypocrisy and mendacity with respect to sex. It's fascinating _ the lying, the euphemisms, and the naivete. In our beiles rettres. coitus is always the efiect, love is aIways the cause. The pretense that without love ihere is no need for coitus, that love is the only thing that awakens sexuarity, that love can be found as frequently as human beings can be found, with the result that the entire world finds itself consciously and unconsciously duty-bound to act out the comedy of true love, which is practically a unique case. Our belles lettres are primarily responsible for the overvaluation of rove and women. They tend to present men as donkeys, they are constantry chewing the cud of love and coming to an end witir wedding bells…."


Horkheimer and Adorno write that "the unavoidable consequence already implicit in the cartesian division of human beings into mental and physical substance is... the destruction of romantic love. Romantic love is seen "as a mere cover-up, a rationalization of bodily impulses." Their judgment is an accurate description of the attitude projected in this war novel and in much of the disillusioned, sober literature of.the weimar Republic. What is noteworthy in the student's attitude is not just his rejection of love, but also his intentionally disillusioned, enlightening pose. The student purports here to be breaking a romantic ideological taboo, to be pushing the enveiope of allowed speech. He and his comrades are in agreement that the wordy purple prose of romantic literature values women entirely too highly with reipect to men. The student's comrade Job avows, of donkeys act as if they were in paradise when their angel gracefully deigns to take the horizontal position.' Sex here is mechanized and has become a function. It has nothing to do with love or with any of the other romantic bourgeoise
myths created around it over the course of several centuries.

Horkheimer and Adorno write that modern sexual cynicism is characterized bv the decoupling of sex from love, mechanical motion from human affection. This decoupling is viewed as progress. "The dissociation [between love and sex], which mechanizes lust and transforms romantic longing into a con game, is a lethal at tack on love itself.'

All utopian and idealisti longing was viewed as immature and chidish, and the truly realistic course was the renunciation of idealism and the acceptance of the unremarkable, boring ordinary, quotidian existence of life in an expanding, rationalizing capitalist society. This was supposed to be the end of ideology. One was disillusioned, cynical, unemotional. One had had enough of grand projects to change the world, As one of the central constituents of utopian thinking and a foundation of war ideology, love had to go.

Sexual cynicism in Weimar is intimately connected to other cynicisms, par ticularly political cynicism. As Freud suggested, the family and society are miror images of each other. Ontogeny repeats phylogeny. The woman of ques- tionable character to whom one comes back after the war is also Germany herself. She has betrayed one, left one out in the cold, stabbed one in the back, and is, in fact, when it comes right down to it, a whore. She is no longer the beautiful virgin one went to war and risked one's life for back in the idealistic days of 1914. Nevertheless, Germany is one's own. One wants to do the right thing by her. Therefore one becomes a Vernunftrepubliknner - a Republican of Reason, not of love. Love in all its forms is disintegating: love for one's country as well as love for the opposite sex, the family, and God.

The prostitute becomes one of many symbols of female sexuality in the Weimar Republic. She is, after all, the first career woman. The prostitute is the woman who is already integrated into a market economy. She knows that everything has its price. And most important, she knows that love is a romantic illusion and a danger to her economic success. For her, love is not an ideal, but a commodity.

As the prostitutes of Mahagonny sing, 'We are the cuties of Mahagonny / By paying well, you'll get whatever you like.'

Bertolt Brecht's plays throughout the Weimar period, from Baal through the Threepenny Opera, give ample evidence of sexual cynicism. [-ove as a ro- mantic idealization of an adored person is hard to find in Brecht's plays. Baal is the vitalistic sex god immune to weak human attachments, the city Mahagonny is the city where everything, including every sexual perversion, is allowed, and Mack the Knife, that friendly rapist, murderer, and thief, ridicules the very insti- tution of marriage by entertaining several wives and making a mockery of the marriage ceremony itself.

Andreas Kragler, the veteran hero of Brecht's Drutns in the Night, becomes for Brecht the embodiment of Weimar sobriety and Weimar sexual morality. Kragler returns home after four years to find his girlfriend pregnant by and celeb,rating her engagement to a man for whom she feels ne levs - all to the tune of a popular song called "I Pray to the Power of [,ove." "You are a whore!" Kragler tells his girlfriend Anna, adding to his friends,

"One ought to beat her, beat her, beat her! Throw stones at her, throw ffash at her! We ought to destroy your little tunrny, you sharrrless hussy! Aren't you in heat? Does the little bundle of joy feel good in your belly? Shameless hussy!"

But venting his feelings apparently makes Kragler reconsider. After all, his girlfriend is a wealthy heiress, and he has no money; so he betrays the political revolution which, in his misery, he had helped to start, flees the vengeance of the reaction. and announces to his comrades: "I am a swine, and this swine is going home."

Kragler takes his slutty wife back horre. He does not love her, but he is a realist - a Vernunftrepublikaner in the realm of love. In general, the sentence "I am a swine", declared with no desire to change oneself for the better, could stand as the slogan of weimar cynicism.

Whereas Brecht emphasizes the freedoml engendered by the breaking of raditional moral taboos, Toller emphasizes thel pain of loss.

While Brecht's heroes are sexually vital and unmistakably, enthusi- | astically, heterosexually male, Toller's classic antihero is the unfortunate vet-l eran Eugen Hinkemann, who returns from the war no longer the strong, hand-l some man he used to be but rather castrated and unable to satisfy his wifel sexually. Lacking a penis, Hinkemann is tormented by the sexual cynicism of thel Weimar world around him, which asserts that love is nothing but a four lenerl word. Hinkemann fears that his wife scorns and despises him, and he is over-joyed, if only briefly, to discover that in fact his wife loves him not for his bodyl but for his soul. As he tells his friends, "He knew that she loved him in spite ofl everything. The woman ... how can I put it? ... it doesn't even seem possible.... The woman loved ... his soul." Hinkemann is a romantic idealist. And yetl Hinkemann's longing for romantic, spiritual love is completely out of step withl the world around him, which is peopled with prostitutes, pimps, and other sexual cynics. Because of his longing for a spiritual love, Hinkemann is viewed by his contemporaries as stupid, unenlightened.

Hinkemann is a kind of romantic Rip van Winkle, a traveler from the prewar era lost in the sober, loveless objectivity of the Weimar Republic. He has a time fraveler companion in Ernst Toller's classic depiction of the lifestyle of Neue Sachlichkeit, Hooray,We're Alive! Although he possesses functioning mascu- line sex organs, this play's hero, Karl Thomas, is just as lost without love as Hinkemann had been. A refugee from the revolutionary, expressionist era in which one fought hard, loved deeply, and made the revolution for a better world, Karl Thomas cannot get used to a world devoid of love, revolution, and belief. Emerging from eight years in jail, he finds himself in the middle of so-called 'relative economic stabilization" in the year in, the height of Neue Sachlichkeit. He sings mournfully, "I've lost track of the world,/The world has lost track of me." In this sober, objective era, all ideologies and dreams of a better world have been unmasked. All utopias are dead, including the utopia of love. What remains is technology and engineering. When Karl Thomas meets Eva Berg, his old lover and fellow revolutionary, he wants to give himself to her completely, to worship her as her lover, but he finds that she has changed fundamentally. "You shall be my tomorrow and my dream of the future. It's you, you I want, and nothing else," he declares expressionistically to her. But she, all Neue Sachlichkeit, replies

Eva: I have to be alone. Please understand me.
Karl: Don't you belong to me?
Eva: Belong? That word is dead. No one belongs to anyone else.
Karl: Forgive me, I chose the wrong word. Aren't I your lover?
Eva: You mean because I've slept with you?
Karl: Doesn't that bind us together?
Eva: Exchanging glances with a stranger on a windy street can bind me closer than any night of passion. A night of passion doesn't need to be anything more than a very pretty game.

"Is anything holy for you?" asks Karl. 'Why use mystical words for human things?" she replies.
When Karl tells Eva that during his eight years in prison the fire of idealism has died in Germany, she replies that it is not completely dead, but rather less dramatic, less emotional, more objective. She explains that if humanity is to reach its sober, enlightened goals it has to get rid of all romantic illu- sions and delusions. "We can't afford to be children any more," she says. One has to be a realist about politics, economics, and love.
Eva, who works a full- time job at a chemical factory, and belongs to her trade union and to the SPD, now has two children by another man. These children. astounded bv Karl's revolutionary romanticism, cannot believe that he was stupid enough to want to create a world govemed by brotherly love.

Fritz: And were you stupid enough to think you could win? Grete: Yea, you were really stupid.
Karl Thomas: (stares at them) What are you saying?
Fritz: You were stupid.
Grete: Really stupid.

These are sober children without any illusions. It is the older Karl Thomas, still stuck in history, revolution, and love, who is the child.
Fritz Lang's classic film Metropolis clearly shows the links between sexual cynicism and all other forms of Weimar cynicism.

Siegfried Kracauer examined in his study 'The White Collar Employees', whose thwarted emotional needs are funneled into what Horkheimer and Adorno called the "culture industry." Where love fails as a great, lived emotion and experience of commitrnent between two human beings, it can at least be trivialized ad nouseam in popular songs - what Keun calls the "stupid little melody that sticks in your head."
As Kracauer wrote of one young woman long before the onset of the Roberta Flack era, "It is not she who knows every hit song; rather, it is the hit songs that know her, that are emptying her out and killing her softly."

A subcategory of sexual cynicism is the rejection, even the tabooization of pregnancy and motherhood, all conditions closely connected to family forma- tion. The new woman with her flapper look is not a mother. She is flat-chested, with thin hips. Pregnancy and children are a disaster for her.

One of the many reasons for Marlene Detrich's phenomenal and enduring suc- cess as a popular singer and movie star is that she became the symbol of the non-effeminate, non-romantic female. In her movies and songs, she had dis- carded the ideology of love and had become as cold, hard, and cynical as any man. when Professor Rath proposes marriage to her in The Blue Angel, she laughs at himjust as detghtedly, ifnot as derisively, as Dulcinea had laughed at Doi euixote. And in the song "Where is the Man?" ("Wo ist der Mann?") she turns the tables on male sexual cynics like Brecht and Marinetti and accuses men of being hopeless, naive romantics who mistake sex for love. A 1920s incamation of Frank Wedekind's Lulu, Dietrich became the female sexual cynic men both desired and feared. Her enlightened false consciousness posed an existential sexual threat but also an irresistible challenge. Her message and the message of Neuc Sachlichkeit in general seemed to be that enlightened, modern truman beings would have to resign themselves to lives without love. Like God,
Santa Claus, and ideologies of a better world, love was a fairy tale that one outgrew as an adult.

Yet the popular songs, the incessant harping on love, and the marketing of love as a commodity point to the survival of love as ideology even in a modem, enlightened world. What seems lost in the higher culture finds refuge in the growing mass culture. Tristan and Isolde may have left the opera stage, but they can now become an operetta or a musical, where instead of the Liebestod the audience can eat its love and have it too in a "happily ever after." What is lost in lived experience and in high culture becomes the stuff of the new mythology of popular culture. Their unfulfilled longrng is profitable, and cynics know how to use it. To sell toothpaste, choco- late, flowers, greeting cards, stationery, even - and especially - political parties. Everyone misses family values. As Berta's cynical lover asks her, 'TVould you prefer it if I were to lie to you?" Berta answers, "Yes, lie to me, that's easier to take."

The ultimate cynic is the cynic who knows that people do not want to be en- lightened and do not want to be cynical and so takes upon himself the burden of lying so that the people will be happily willing and grateful to suspend their disbelief. The ultimate cynic cynically attacks cynicism itself and, while continuing the economic destruction of love and the family, nevertheless holds up the lost ideal for nostalgic longing while identifying scapegoats to blame for the ideal's loss." [Stephen Brockmann, Weimar Sexual Cynicism]

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:08 pm

Stephen Brockmann wrote:
In sexual cynicism, the old, inhumane ideology which had helped to domi- nate and oppress people in step A was the ideology of love. This ideology ideal- ized the beloved woman, but by putting her on a pedestal it also rendered her powerless.

I think I've heard this line before, somewhere. I think it's used or was used by feminists (among others), but I don't get how that follows. Why does putting someone on a pedestal render them powerless?
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:31 pm

Putting someone on a pedestal socially is how you restrict their behavior by social expectation. If they slip up on their behavior and don't regain their balance, they will fall and fall hard. That's social ostracization. The feminist movement, slut walks, are an extreme reaction to women being put on this pedestal and the resentment is that men seemed to be content socially with minor slip ups.

Now the the tables have turned and white men are on a pedestal (without the benefits) - if you slip up and are racist or sexist or misogynist in the smallest of ways, you will be ostracized to the degree women once were. The only problem is that men don't have a father/family to fall back on as women did.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:12 pm

Yes, putting women on a pedestal usually means assigning to the ideal female attributes that restrict her power. For example, the ideal of females as chaste restricts her sexual power. The ideal of females as gentle and non-aggressive restricts their physical power. The ideal of a female as submissive in relation to men restricts her general power compared to men. Of course, feminists find such restrictions unacceptable, they want the female ideal to be one that allows females to use their powers to their full extent without facing shame, which also often includes inhibiting the powers of men and using other male powers (of the state) to empower themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:25 pm

Anfang wrote:
Stephen Brockmann wrote:
In sexual cynicism, the old, inhumane ideology which had helped to domi- nate and oppress people in step A was the ideology of love. This ideology ideal- ized the beloved woman, but by putting her on a pedestal it also rendered her powerless.

I think I've heard this line before, somewhere. I think it's used or was used by feminists (among others), but I don't get how that follows. Why does putting someone on a pedestal render them powerless?

By putting her on a pedestal you're placing expectations on her that she can't possibly fulfill, because the ideal your assigning to her is unrealistic (and she knows it). Her power is not to be found in that unrealistic ideal. Obviously, in today's world, she can take advantage of being put on a pedestal(so technically it doesn't really render her powerless), but is this where her true power is?

Whether you put her on a pedestal or not, she's still going to be playing to whatever ideal you project on her (This might be the very nature of flirting... when a man sees a woman what he really sees is his ideal dancing)...

Quote :
In Laura: A Journey into the Crystal (1864) by George Sand (real name Aurore Dupin), the polar tradition of divine femininity which Dante and Ibn ‘Arabi exemplified, the confused modern dregs of which are explored in Vertigo, is deftly subverted. The protagonist, after getting lost in a delusory world of Arctic questing for subterranean crystals, in which he saw his beloved Laura as a gloriously radiant being, is rescued and confronted by the real-life Laura, for whom his affections have been lacklustre. She says to him:

"Viewed through your magic prism, I am too much; through your disillusioned, tired eyes, I am not enough. You turn me into an angel of light, a pure spirit, and yet I am only a good little woman without pretensions. Think: I would be very unhappy if you forever consigned me either to the firmament or the kitchen. Is there not some boundary possible between these two extremes?"

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:24 am

(Leftist.)


Weimar Comedic Cynicism: Charlie Chaplin

Quote :
"This essay seeks to challenge the postwar marginalization of Charlie Chaplin’s films within the canon of film theory by arguing for their crucial significance as complex meditations on the precariousness of utopian desire.

Chaplin’s corpus was vital in the gestation of the ambivalent approach to mass culture that characterized Weimar Critical Theory; secondly, that the juncture between Chaplin and Weimar thought owed much to a shared tendency to view the utopian potential of modernity as something that rebounds from within the very forces of capitalist reification; and lastly, that in both Chaplin and Weimar thought, the volatile interplay between reification and utopia is exponentially complicated by being processed through the relay of affective cynicism and its own ambivalent functions.

Benjamin’s attempt to theorize the aesthetico-political function of cinema registered this counter-factually hopeful response with particular poetic force:

Benjamin wrote:
"...film furthers insight into the necessities governing our lives by its use of close-ups, by its accentuation of hidden details in familiar objects, and by its exploration of commonplace milieux through the ingenious guidance of the camera; on the other hand, it manages to assure us of a vast and unsuspected field of action. Our bars and city streets, our offices and furnished rooms, our railroad stations and our factories seemed to close relentlessly around us. Then came film and exploded this prison-world with the dynamite of the split second, so that now we can set off calmly on journeys of adventure among its far-flung debris (2003: 265)."

Like surrealism, whose fantastic assemblies of the exploded detritus of a reified world forged startling forms of uncanny connection to aspects of everyday experience that were threatening to disappear into sheer abstraction, cinema was understood as a means of inducing states of disorientation and shock that in fact worked as means of countering the affective atrophy and impoverishment of in- dividual and collective experience.

It is within this broader theoretical context that the parameters of Chaplin’s comic persona were appraised by his European contemporaries. For one, this made the slapstick convention of portraying a comically antagonistic relationship between the human body, natural forces, and the banal objects of everyday life hermeneutically resonant in a historically specific sense.

Slapstick comedy was accordingly viewed as a genre that dramatized the subject’s violent confrontation with a world cluttered with malicious and incomprehensibly self-willed objects, things like the emblematically modern and fitfully self-starting Model T or the recalcitrant fold-up chair that loom large in the urban adventures of Chaplin’s A Day’s Pleasure (1919).

Projected on the hallucinatory space of the screen, Louis Aragon observed, “objects that were a few moments ago sticks of furniture or books of cloakroom tickets are transformed to the point where they take on menacing or enigmatic meanings” (1988: 166); relentlessly exposed to a world that had been reduced to “décor”, Chaplin’s Tramp shed ludic light on the zone where normative relations be- tween subject and object were submitted to constant disturbance.
This principle of an ontological game of musical chairs, the young Aragon would contend, is what shapes Chaplin’s comic vision, haunting it “to such an extent that by an inversion of values each inanimate object becomes a living thing for him, each human person a dummy whose starting-handle must be found” (167). Chaplin’s comedy was in this respect another name for the re-presentation of “the imbrication of the mechanical and the living” (Hansen 1997: 373), one capable of making the reciprocally damaging relations of subject and object the target of collective laughter.

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Paul Louis Ladame had spoken of pre-cinematic mass entertainment as a form that exploited “major neuroses” for their “comic character”, imbuing the comic element itself with a “frightening and mysterious atmosphere” (Gordon 2001: 541).

Benjamin’s “Reply to Oscar Schmitz” (1928) would similarly observe that the laughter slapstick provokes “hovers over an abyss of horror” (1999: 17).

It was not despite but because of its entanglement with such horror that the laughter Chaplin inspired could constitute, in Benjamin’s famous phrase, “the most international and most revolutionary affect of the masses” (1996: 311).
Providing a form of “innervation” capable of nurturing the subject’s politically progressive rather than pathologically regressive potential, Chaplin’s figure could afford the spectating collective a measure of free play that allowed it to work through the crippling effects of technological rationalization:

Benjamin wrote:
"If one considers the dangerous tensions which technology and its consequences have engendered in the masses at large – tendencies which at critical stages take on a psychotic character – one also has to recognize that this same technologization has created the possibility of psy- chic immunization [...] Collective laughter is one such preemptive and healing outbreak of mass psychosis. [...] American slapstick comedies and Disney films trigger a therapeutic release of uncon- scious energies. [...] This is the context in which Chaplin takes on historical significance (2002c: 118)."

The ability of Chaplin’s persona to inspire an affective response that oscillated between the registers of abject surrender to reification and its apotropaic deflection or overcoming depended on filmic embodiment, the literal inscription of what one might call a “catastrophic Utopia” upon the filmic image of the Tramp’s body.

Adorno is well known for his condemnation of mass laughter as the opposite of liberation, “a disease that has attacked happiness and is drawing it into its worthless totality” (1996: 141). Interestingly, however, his response to the laughter engendered by Chaplin’s comedies was far more compatible with Benjamin’s own approach; his brief portrait of Chaplin closes with the remark that it is precisely because of the “proximity” of the laughter Chaplin inspires “to cruelty” that cruelty finds “its legitimation and its element of the salva- tional” (1996: 60f).

In the neurological conception of bodies that spanned the discourses of mass entertainment, media sensationalism, psychiatry, neurology and sociology from the late nineteenth century onwards, a symptomatology centered on mechanicism and automatism linked representations of the hysterical, neurasthenic or somnambulistic body to images of the overworked, self-alienated body of labor.

In either case, bodily transformation and transformability signaled a signifying excess, the refusal on the part of the body to submit to a regime of productive efficiency and economic rationalization. “Rather than exclusively the sign of oppression”, Tom Gunning observes, Chaplin’s mechanical, repetitive and rhythmic movements “violated a certain understanding of the human body and thereby seemed to some viewers in the teens and twenties to open up new realms of acrobatic expression and even physical liberation” (2005: n. p.).

Freed from the limits of the bounded corporeal image, the Tramp’s body took up the features of the mechanical or inorganic world in gags that saw him turn into a water faucet (in A Film Johnnie), a hybrid human-mechanical ensemble (in Behind the Screen), or a pair of disembodied hands taking command of another man’s actions (in A Dog’s Life). As physical and immediate dramatizations of bio-mechanical mutation, such comical gags exceeded the status of simple allegories of technological dehumanization, while also bypassing the retrogressive appeal to the fiction of an organic and coherent self. Transformability, rather, was restored to the utopian function of conveying a relationship to the world that reverted to the felicitous confusion of subject and object, of animate and inanimate entities, in the ludic experience of childhood: “Children’s play is everywhere permeated by mimetic modes of behavior”, Benjamin remarked in 1933; “its mode is by no means limited to what one person can imitate in another. The child plays at being not only a shopkeeper or teacher, but also a windmill and a train.” (1999g: 720)

Eisenstein, by contrast, associates Chaplin’s child-like disposition toward the world with politically impotent regression, especially when looked at from the viewpoint of the demands of a revolutionary proletarian consciousness (1959: 167-97).

An “existence that would be free of the burden of being-one’s self”: this is how Adorno, retrospectively revisiting his relation to Chaplin, defined the “utopia” of “incessant and spontaneous change” that Chaplin’s corporeal mutations allegedly embodied (1996: 60). It was a prospect that a certain kind of negative utopianism dominating German critical thinking between the wars could grasp as humanizing precisely in its rejection of the all-too-human.

What prevents the conflict between reification and utopia from reaching dialectical resolution is a phenomenon we might normally be tempted to view as contaminated by temperamental and contingent factors to an extent that makes it analytically useless: cynicism. But cynicism, as Peter Sloterdijk shows, was not an indifferently private or apolitical affair for Weimar culture. It was, on the contrary, the “culturally dominating” factor of Weimar intellectual life to such an extent that the latter can be considered “cynically disposed like scarcely any previous culture” (1987: 389, 4).

Cynicism as at once the bane of utopian possibility and the weapon against its counterfeiting, the in- strument of manipulation and of demystification, the calling card of a reified and reifying consciousness no less than the harbinger of the ef- fective foregrounding of the grisly state of affairs that prevents genuine change: this, truly, is “dialectics at a standstill.”

Sloterdijk wryly observes, the “extremes” of plebeian, embodied, satirical and subversive kynicism and of the calculative cynicism of power “meet”. The catastrophic utopianism of Dada, for instance, involves a mingling of both “cynical” and “kynical” aspects into a “scintillating complex that evades simple evaluations and uncomplicated emotional responses” (394f). But a similar ambiguity haunts the project of Weimar Critical Theory as well.

Chaplin’s work does not merely justify its prominent place among the intelligentsia of the Weimar left; it also, as it were, furnishes a meta-commentary on the very ambivalences the body of this criticism reveals, mirroring its fluctuating modalities of cruel de- sublimation and utopian warmth, profound disillusion and the commitment to social change, ironic distance and lyrical intensity.

Released a year after the outbreak of the Second World War, The Great Dictator would draw the curtain on the period and on the major creative phase of Chaplin’s career with a vertiginous escalation of the political implications of such abyssal dialectics. Charlie, posing as the Jewish barber posing as the Fascist Dictator, would close his first talking film by using his voice to defend a utopian humanism that both impotently wished away Fascism’s political nightmare and appeared as the latter’s fiendishly cynical joke, a cruel parody of the Weimar left’s redemptive dreams.

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Chaplin function[ed] as the exponent of an abyssal dialectic wherein the conflicting forces of utopia/reification and cynicism/kynicism are kept in permanent suspension, “at a standstill.” Falling prey, it would seem, to the very zest with which he had been singled out as the towering figure of the new art of the cinema before the war, Chaplin’s cult status as harbinger of the promise of modernity had faded by the time Monsieur Verdoux was released in 1947.

Badly damaged by the HUAC-orchestrated Cold War offensive in the United States, Chaplin’s political image was ironically equally compromised in the circles of the postwar European left, largely due to its own disillusion with the optimistic appraisal of the emerging milieu of technologically mediated mass entertainment. The French long sixties, after all, trace one of their foundational moments in the agitationist disruption of the Paris premier of Chaplin’s Limelight in 1952, an event that led to the formation of Guy Debord’s Lettrist International, and, a few years later, of the Situationist movement. In the eyes of the Situationists, the Switzerland-residing, politically neutralized Chaplin of the postwar years was no longer thinkable as a manifesto hero as he had been for their avant-garde predecessors in the thirties; he was rather a manifesto villain, “a fascist insect” (Berna et al. 1952: n. p.), “marked with infamy in the eyes of all those who had believed in the subversive nature of his work and who had accorded him all their affection, as to no other great artist” (Bédouin 2000: 181).

The image of a mass culture messiah who could single-handedly reeducate collective affect and perception in a progressive political direction now appeared utopian in the worst sense, the product of the starry-eyed political naiveté of a generation that had been duped by charismatic vanguardism and swept away by its catastrophic incarnation in Fascism." [Antonis Balasopoulos, Utopian and Cynical Elements: Chaplin, Cinema, and Weimar Critical Theory]

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:15 am

Slaughtz wrote:
Putting someone on a pedestal socially is how you restrict their behavior by social expectation.

Outsider wrote:
Yes, putting women on a pedestal usually means assigning to the ideal female attributes that restrict her power.

perpetualburn wrote:
By putting her on a pedestal you're placing expectations on her that she can't possibly fulfill, because the ideal your assigning to her is unrealistic (and she knows it). Her power is not to be found in that unrealistic ideal. Obviously, in today's world, she can take advantage of being put on a pedestal(so technically it doesn't really render her powerless), but is this where her true power is?

It's true, expectations other people have of us are/can be a resistance to us.
Now, someone could say that women (or anybody or any group) should not have put expectations on them which are 'unrealistic', which are not really who and what they/her is about, but what is it that is actually happening in that moment?

If I behave trustworthy in the eyes of someone then this person will eventually recognise this pattern and put trust in me. This will now restrict me in some ways, or let's say it will push me to be trustworthy (to behave in expected ways) and to not defy those expectations because if I betray the other person's trust I stand to lose/diminish my status as being trustworthy and good will.

But what if the other person is not observing who I am but instead is expecting me to behave and be a certain way which is ultimately a reflection of him/her, behave in a way which is based on his needs and not on my characteristics.
And on the other hand, what if I am creating an image, put on a show, for other people to come to trust me based on manipulating the psychology of the other person in various ways. - creating wrong expectations for my benefit.
In the first case the other person puts false expectations on me, in the second case I create false expectations in someone else.

Feminism doesn't want men to have any kind of expectations in regards to women. Which means to ignore what you observe about women or to not observe much at all and to not create expectations (whether based on observation or otherwise). No paternal element in society. Expectations put on (European) men by women on the other hand are ambiguous but what is expected is that you follow those expectations, which in turn makes them lose interest in men.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:03 am

Anfang wrote:
It's true, expectations other people have of us are/can be a resistance to us.
Now, someone could say that women (or anybody or any group) should not have put expectations on them which are 'unrealistic', which are not really who and what they/her is about, but what is it that is actually happening in that moment?

Unrealistic expectations follow from unrealistic denotations. Weimar sexual cynicism was the logical aftermath of J.-Xt. misogyny and literally attributing the nature of the female as either/or virgin/whore.
The female "was" a goddess, she "was" pure love, in the courtly romanticist tradition of Marion worship, etc., to offset the extreme imbalance at the other pole of Xt.'s own misogyny - the female as a polluting, unstable whore, changing, becoming as the world in flux itself. But the world Is flux. False abstractions render not only the abstracted 'object' - her, but the experience of life itself powerless, stunted.

Positing false idealistic natures [because one is unable to affirm reality, as J.-Xt. nihilism was - "life itself is fleshy and dirty"], lead to unrealistic expectations, that when fall apart, in turn lead to modern cynicism.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:36 am

Lyssa wrote:
Anfang wrote:
It's true, expectations other people have of us are/can be a resistance to us.
Now, someone could say that women (or anybody or any group) should not have put expectations on them which are 'unrealistic', which are not really who and what they/her is about, but what is it that is actually happening in that moment?

Unrealistic expectations follow from unrealistic denotations. Weimar sexual cynicism was the logical aftermath of J.-Xt. misogyny and literally attributing the nature of the female as either/or virgin/whore.
The female "was" a goddess, she "was" pure love, in the courtly romanticist tradition of Marion worship, etc., to offset the extreme imbalance at the other pole of Xt.'s own misogyny - the female as a polluting, unstable whore, changing, becoming as the world in flux itself. But the world Is flux. False abstractions render not only the abstracted 'object' - her, but the experience of life itself powerless, stunted.

Positing false idealistic natures [because one is unable to affirm reality, as J.-Xt. nihilism was - "life itself is fleshy and dirty"], lead to unrealistic expectations, that when fall apart, in turn lead to modern cynicism.

What I draw from this is that a certain kind of man (women and men) has adapted to create and live in a society with such unrealistic expectations. Such expectations are not only heaped on us by someone else they are also invited and encouraged by some to be put on them, to decorate themselves with in various ways. Could be an appeal to being a special snowflake and/or an appeal to victim-status and so forth.

This also ties in with narcissism and (democratic)-solipsism (see chimp-camus) and schizophrenia.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:25 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Anfang wrote:
It's true, expectations other people have of us are/can be a resistance to us.
Now, someone could say that women (or anybody or any group) should not have put expectations on them which are 'unrealistic', which are not really who and what they/her is about, but what is it that is actually happening in that moment?

Unrealistic expectations follow from unrealistic denotations. Weimar sexual cynicism was the logical aftermath of J.-Xt. misogyny and literally attributing the nature of the female as either/or virgin/whore.
The female "was" a goddess, she "was" pure love, in the courtly romanticist tradition of Marion worship, etc., to offset the extreme imbalance at the other pole of Xt.'s own misogyny - the female as a polluting, unstable whore, changing, becoming as the world in flux itself. But the world Is flux. False abstractions render not only the abstracted 'object' - her, but the experience of life itself powerless, stunted.

Positing false idealistic natures [because one is unable to affirm reality, as J.-Xt. nihilism was - "life itself is fleshy and dirty"], lead to unrealistic expectations, that when fall apart, in turn lead to modern cynicism.

Does it follow then that a woman's unrealistic romantic(or financial) expectations of her male partner is a sign of her misandry?
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:39 pm

Anfang wrote:
Feminism doesn't want men to have any kind of expectations in regards to women. Which means to ignore what you observe about women or to not observe much at all and to not create expectations (whether based on observation or otherwise). No paternal element in society. Expectations put on (European) men by women on the other hand are ambiguous but what is expected is that you follow those expectations, which in turn makes them lose interest in men.

I would go further. If you, as a man, simply expect a woman to be a woman(based on your observations, her nature etc), then feminism would consider this too to be misogyny. Feminism would say, she as a woman can never be pinpointed (maybe true in an abstract sense) but yet can simultaneously hold down positions of respect and authority ( so positions, solid platforms, that allow women to scold anyone that dares to say anything negative about the nature of woman). So feminism is a convenient way for woman to maintain a positive image of themselves, even if they should act in an ugly or hypocritical way.
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:13 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
Anfang wrote:
It's true, expectations other people have of us are/can be a resistance to us.
Now, someone could say that women (or anybody or any group) should not have put expectations on them which are 'unrealistic', which are not really who and what they/her is about, but what is it that is actually happening in that moment?

Unrealistic expectations follow from unrealistic denotations. Weimar sexual cynicism was the logical aftermath of J.-Xt. misogyny and literally attributing the nature of the female as either/or virgin/whore.
The female "was" a goddess, she "was" pure love, in the courtly romanticist tradition of Marion worship, etc., to offset the extreme imbalance at the other pole of Xt.'s own misogyny - the female as a polluting, unstable whore, changing, becoming as the world in flux itself. But the world Is flux. False abstractions render not only the abstracted 'object' - her, but the experience of life itself powerless, stunted.

Positing false idealistic natures [because one is unable to affirm reality, as J.-Xt. nihilism was - "life itself is fleshy and dirty"], lead to unrealistic expectations, that when fall apart, in turn lead to modern cynicism.

Does it follow then that a woman's unrealistic romantic(or financial) expectations of her male partner is a sign of her misandry?


Bataille wrote:
"If a society misorganizes the exchange of women, a real disorder ensues." [The Accursed Share, Vol. II]

Bataille wrote:
"Once eroticism was dismissed from marriage, the latter tended to assume a chiefly material aspect, Economic association with a view to reproduction became the dominant aspect of marriage. Where the rules of marriage do come into play, they may have had as their object the whole course of sexual life, but it is as if, finally, their only purpose were the distribution of useful wealth. Women came to be understood in terms of their fecundity and their labor." [ib.]

Its because gender roles are biological, and Xt., after all the 'esoterism' taken out is still a control of resources, resource-management moralized through good-and-evil becomes institutionalized. The exact reverse symmetry cannot be posed because such is the evolutionary role.

In contemporary life, female expectations of financial acquisitions has a natural and unnatural side. The natural has always been the welfare of the genetic line or the species as a whole., depending on the refinement of the culture. In the animal kingdom, a female selects for whatever will ensure the security of her biological future. This is a primal instinct. A woman today who expects a man to be able to give a secure future to her chidren is within the natural. That security can take the form of wealth, intelligence, skills depending on the environment, and how far one is foreseeing the future. Unnatural side is when a man is expected to show surplus - quantity becoming an ends in itself, status display validated by all kinds of socio-cultural mechanisms from how "well-adjusted" he is, the increase/decrease of his market-price (how many chase him then and how he appears in the esteem of other men and women), how he fares with the ideals pre-set, etc.

The secularization of J.-Xt. means the institutions could now take over the same value-systems, the institution becoming the patriarch, and set memes in place. A woman's unnatural financial expectations is that misogyny still unfolding out. This makes women who can stand outside the J.-Xt. dialectics, and select naturally, rare. When communism/marxism liberated the "excess eros" from J.-Xt. patriarchal moralizations, beyond the "purposes of mechanical procreative productivity", the other pole took over and whore-dom was redefined as freedom, the new "good" within the same unchanged Xt. good-and-evil dialectics. If patriarchy championed the species, cultural marxism championed The individual - stirner's atomic anarchic individual. This too is a false idealization, a false abstraction of what individuality is. Anarchism is Xt. extremis, as N. put it.

As for unrealistic romantic expectations, I keep the difference between proof and performance.

Male, the gender, is geared towards abs. order, and striving for his superiority in the open objective world for all to see, standing clear, is proof towards efficiency, setting/lifting/vigorating the standard of the species.

A male who proves only to keep women satisfied reduced to his merely sexual function alone, becomes a performer. [That includes not only a gigolo, a cuck-husband who is erotically reduced, but also that intellectual who thinks with his penis alone and writes with his feminized brain, and the 'bright' technologically hive-minded 'savvy' male.]
Men who seek recognition from a female as a representation or reflection of the objective world are and can be many a times be mistaken for seeking her personal validation, and therefore coming across as needy and weak. He then begins to perform what is expected of him as proof of his masculinity under the pressures of survival, and sometimes as a consequence of his cynicism, his nihilism.

Misogyny is the hatred of the woman-as-such, or the feminine-as-such.
When J.-Xt. perverted nature-as-such, how could the masculine not be affected? J.-Xt. misandry relegated men to the roles of Christ's bride, the fallen man in need of redemption, etc., unnatural emasculation.
Xt. itself is the product of an emasculate spirit, too exhausted to cope with the reality of the world.
A woman who expects a man to be as an all-powerful absolute as 'Christ', or feminists who expect excess eros to be normalized as the semantic limit of freedom or identity are both unnatural. But because the female holds the reins on sexual selectivity, control of sexual resources make misogyny primal, and misandry an epiphenomenon within J.-Xt.

Technology can at the most substitute the female procreative process, but it can't substitute the female procreative role - the selection that is natural, instinctual with billions of years of evolutionary adaptive history, towards efficiency. Feminists and MGTOWs can at the most indulge in this commercial affair of 'buying' offsprings through whatever technological aid, but the selective pressure being eliminated would usher a dysgenic crumbling, a melt-down of the whole species and this ecological order.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:35 pm

Quote :
Lyssa wrote:
More Roman-tique Realist than anything else...
My cynicism says everytime I go into a Savannah, I am bound to meet a killer lion.
My wonderment would compel me to wonder 'what else?'...  to be alert to what other kinds of creatures must be roaming there if I went there again... or what kinds of rare plants, vegetation i perhaps might stumble on...

Quote :
Satyr Wrote:
And using that imagery, the fact that you are in a savannah and you know something about what a savannah is and what kinds of plants and organisms live there, should inform you as to what kinds of creatures you have a good chance of coming across and which ones you have an almost no-chance of coming across.

This is called probability.

What else?
Most probably something native to the savannah.

Well, perhaps prince charming will come out of nowhere galloping on a ..antelope..to confess his undying love bringing many gifts of wonderment for her..

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:22 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Misogyny is the hatred of the woman-as-such, or the feminine-as-such.
When J.-Xt. perverted nature-as-such, how could the masculine not be affected? J.-Xt. misandry relegated men to the roles of Christ's bride, the fallen man in need of redemption, etc., unnatural emasculation.
Xt. itself is the product of an emasculate spirit, too exhausted to cope with the reality of the world.
A woman who expects a man to be as an all-powerful absolute as 'Christ', or feminists who expect excess eros to be normalized as the semantic limit of freedom or identity are both unnatural. But because the female holds the reins on sexual selectivity, control of sexual resources make misogyny primal, and misandry an epiphenomenon within J.-Xt.

Does she? Even in a the most ideal pagan scenario, isn't the ideal set by males?  There's an established, solid base of men for her to choose from.  A Spartan woman, despite her freedoms, is still choosing a Spartan man.  What choice does Ariadne have when she's seized by Dionysus?  Apollo gets his laurel leaves despite Daphne's resistance.  And are these women any less "liberated" because of it?

Also, the hatred between the sexes is deeper than the misogyny and misandry produced by christianity.  Is there a "natural" hatred?  Are these myths a radical transformation of this hatred?
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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:23 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
Misogyny is the hatred of the woman-as-such, or the feminine-as-such.
When J.-Xt. perverted nature-as-such, how could the masculine not be affected? J.-Xt. misandry relegated men to the roles of Christ's bride, the fallen man in need of redemption, etc., unnatural emasculation.
Xt. itself is the product of an emasculate spirit, too exhausted to cope with the reality of the world.
A woman who expects a man to be as an all-powerful absolute as 'Christ', or feminists who expect excess eros to be normalized as the semantic limit of freedom or identity are both unnatural. But because the female holds the reins on sexual selectivity, control of sexual resources make misogyny primal, and misandry an epiphenomenon within J.-Xt.

Does she? Even in a the most ideal pagan scenario, isn't the ideal set by males?  There's an established, solid base of men for her to choose from.  A Spartan woman, despite her freedoms, is still choosing a Spartan man.  What choice does Ariadne have when she's seized by Dionysus?  Apollo gets his laurel leaves despite Daphne's resistance.  And are these women any less "liberated" because of it?

Also, the hatred between the sexes is deeper than the misogyny and misandry produced by christianity.  Is there a "natural" hatred?  Are these myths a radical transformation of this hatred?


The day you posted it, Satyr said he would like to answer that, and I had left it to him.

I'll get back.


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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:34 pm

Where there is hatred there is a repulsion, a threat, to one's own idea(l).
To speak the honest truth, to say it as it is, is not to show hatred, no more than exploring the world as not entirely positive is resentment, nor is admitting the facts about races is an incitement to violence.

Exposing the feminine, as it is, is not to chastise it, but only to un-cover it in its nature underneath Modern decay, trying to pretend it is something else - something the same as a male.  
To expose a liar, and a hypocrite is to reveal his duplicity; it is to bring to light the meme trying to bury the gene in him/her - cover it up in darkness.
There is no hatred in me for the feminine, or any race, or what nature produces, but only for the hypocrite, the pretentious man, or woman, trying to convince herself/himself by trying to convince me and many others, that his act is honest and his integrity is pure.  
A woman happy to be female, and a man happy to be male, is a beautiful thing...like a dog happy to be a dog....but when it tries to act like a cat, it disgusts me - when a house cat pretends it is a lion I am repulsed by it.
Its shamelessness makes me feel its, denied, shame.  

Nihilism is about lies and hypocrisy....overturning is this covering up, burying, pretending, acting.
Like an actor indeed, who buries his true self beneath wardrobe, makeup and learned script trying to convince the world, and himself, he is the embodiment of another, of something other.
A simpleton proclaiming himself a complex, misunderstood genius; a homosexual, or bisexual, male pretending to be the alpha-male!!

That is filth...garbage of the spirit.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:28 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
Misogyny is the hatred of the woman-as-such, or the feminine-as-such.
When J.-Xt. perverted nature-as-such, how could the masculine not be affected? J.-Xt. misandry relegated men to the roles of Christ's bride, the fallen man in need of redemption, etc., unnatural emasculation.
Xt. itself is the product of an emasculate spirit, too exhausted to cope with the reality of the world.
A woman who expects a man to be as an all-powerful absolute as 'Christ', or feminists who expect excess eros to be normalized as the semantic limit of freedom or identity are both unnatural. But because the female holds the reins on sexual selectivity, control of sexual resources make misogyny primal, and misandry an epiphenomenon within J.-Xt.

Does she? Even in a the most ideal pagan scenario, isn't the ideal set by males? There's an established, solid base of men for her to choose from.  A Spartan woman, despite her freedoms, is still choosing a Spartan man.  What choice does Ariadne have when she's seized by Dionysus?  Apollo gets his laurel leaves despite Daphne's resistance.  And are these women any less "liberated" because of it?

Also, the hatred between the sexes is deeper than the misogyny and misandry produced by christianity.  Is there a "natural" hatred?  Are these myths a radical transformation of this hatred?

N. reminds the body of these males capable of sustaining or creating high ideals were the gift of greek women's sensibility to embodying good health. This then becomes a chicken/egg conundrum.
So, in general, one can say, a man can set up whatever ideals, but woman has evolved to detect health. This cant be 'argued' with. At the base level, this is what is 'blind attraction'. Its why inspite of selecting 'instituted' alphas, women tend to revert to the 'bad guy'. At the higher level, what constitutes 'health' takes a more refined and wholesome discrimination.
The default value is a feminine collapse into undifferentiation - which includes the non-distinction of 'any order will do', be it in males or females.
To the more refined, not every order is a positive/superior order.

Note that, in Satyr's thesis, his idea of rare monogamy is:

Satyr wrote:
"There is one form of monogamy which is more noble since it is based no discrimination and embracing need.
Take a sophisticated female, one with the mental faculties that exceed the average of both females and males.
Such a female naturally drawn to the superior, to the higher form of order, and one released from her social and cultural shackles, will not find it easy to find a male to settle for.
The average male, for her, would be like a beast to her; copulating with him, reproducing his seed, would almost be like bestiality.

For such a rare female monogamy would be a fact, simply because there would be few who could inspire her to be as promiscuous as she has evolved to be."

In other words, even the existence of a rare monogamous female is only owing to lack of alpha competitors who could push her back to her default promiscuous value.

If that's the rule for the exception, then I'd suggest there's even a rarer-than-rare monogamy, that is a product of excess. One may come across a female who is committed to the superior at hand, and varied choices of emerging alphas in the open market pose no decisive factor, because triumphing from within disadvantages is perceived to be more challenging and stimulating, than opting for a ready-made advantage. The artist's creative confidence in oneself in fashioning from scratch - sheer pride trumps over easy and attractive opportunities.

That said, there is a balance to be observed in the rule. The female who reverts back to blind promiscuity, as well as the female who becomes immune to competing standards of health or restricted from sampling others, and chooses loyalty to the individual for the sake of loyalty over the health of her species-generation are both depreciations of fitness.

Since the cunning of the mind evolved to complement/supplement the capacity of the body, and female roles evolved to tolerate alien beings inside her, this makes control of female choice the primary phenomenon.

Her stamina and aggression is more noetic than physical. Males roles are vice-versa.
Its only when there Is a natural 'competitiveness' between the sexes, there is Culture - which is the form-alization of superior/inferior hierarchies, including the idea/l of what constitutes superior/inferior.
A superior woman may feel disgust towards a man inferior to her, and that man may feel anger toward that woman feeling himself superior. 'Hatred' of the sexes is this on-going rank-adjustments.

How a culture [a slowly evolving, stabilizing 'centre'] formalizes or spiritualizes this hatred betrays its health; how much objective reality it is able to incorporate beyond you-me relativisms.

One may break down the other's defenses, another may raise their own appeal, another may break down the other per se in the name of breaking down their defenses…
There is a difference between a pagan patriarch and a bully.

A patriarch tries to break and mould a woman in his own image as a worthy substitute, as his alter, to take over should he be gone - to war, to trade, or from life per se. She is his therapon.
A bully cannot stand to see another grow and has to reduce them to his level, and what he cannot attain, he must destroy it, tear apart her life instinct for self-growth.
I do not expect a man to assume female roles and encourage/nurture/motivate the female directly as modernity does,, but someone who cannot stand to see 'any' other, and whose levelling instinct becomes a mission to make robotic drones of the other, killing any spark of liveliness, only 'hates his own self', not the other.

Harmony vs. Homogeneity respectively.
(Harmonie in myth is the daughter of Ares, of war… of affirming unequal ratios.)

Attaining the other by total incorporation (Zeus literally swallows metis) or elimination (Medusa) is a pagan extreme that must be harmonized by Athena.
Attaining the other by bullying and shaming tactics (Lilith the whore) must be dumbed down by Madonna/Virgin/Mother.

If male aggression evokes response of 'hatred' in the female, there are still differences to that hatred; not just of degree, but of kind.

Where the pagan sees the world in terms of sacrifice, the semite sees that as a repression.

Control and regulation of females in the genuine case become a concern for preventing reversion to default blind promiscuity, to give shape, tie it to lofty and time-resistant ideals and raise the Whole.
In the ressentimental case, control and regulation become issues of "dumbing down", and putting a cap on female sexual choice breeds Overall detriment.







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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:44 pm

Lyssa wrote:

In other words, even the existence of a rare monogamous female is only owing to lack of alpha competitors who could push her back to her default promiscuous value.

If that's the rule for the exception, then I'd suggest there's even a rarer-than-rare monogamy, that is a product of excess. One may come across a female who is committed to the superior at hand, and varied choices of emerging alphas in the open market pose no decisive factor, because triumphing from within disadvantages is perceived to be more challenging and stimulating, than opting for a ready-made advantage. The artist's creative confidence in oneself in fashioning from scratch - sheer pride trumps over easy and attractive opportunities.


Female choice is careful, but once made loyalty is assumed to safeguard the investment made.
This is also how age results in conservative psychologies.
An individual who has lived for decades convinced of particular "truths" cannot let them go even when exposed to an insight that exposes them as faulty. The shock to the ego is too much to let go of years of choices and investments made and maintained with further sacrifices (costs) - to accept a lifetime of error would be suicide.
This is one more factor keeping retards retarded.  
Back to females...
A female wants a safe, stable, environment to carry the fetus to term, and then ween it to an age of some independence.
No challenges are wise during this phase of commitment, but only before, as a testing of the male's true health and not his display, and after when a new genetic variant may be more efficient, because environments are also changing.

Females changing their mind has become a cultural stereotype, based on her testing and judging and repeating until the investment is finally made, and then, in nature, nothing staying the same, it must be retested, or left behind - nature is cruel and males are the "expendable sex".  



Lyssa wrote:
That said, there is a balance to be observed in the rule. The female who reverts back to blind promiscuity, as well as the female who becomes immune to competing standards of health or restricted from sampling others, and chooses loyalty to the individual for the sake of loyalty over the health of her species-generation are both depreciations of fitness.


Two points...there is no such thing as "blind promiscuity", particularly when it comes to females.
Even a slut has her criteria...and a whore has her price.
Giving sex for support, or social alliances, is part of the sexual strategy - it is the only way "beta males" get a chance, and why Capitalism works.

Human estrus is concealed, for this advantage to be more potent. She decides who and when gets a chance to fertilize, making rape the male's counter.

Loyalty to the individual with the "species-generation" in mind is something a higher mind, a broader and wider perceptual-event-horizon mind would consider as a restriction to her options, returning us to my thesis.    


Lyssa wrote:
Since the cunning of the mind evolved to complement/supplement the capacity of the body, and female roles evolved to tolerate alien beings inside her, this makes control of female choice the primary phenomenon.


Symmetry of body (beauty) is past health, resistance-potential to Flux, as a manifestation of  past/nature, appearing as organ proportionality (order).
Symmetry of mind (intelligence - creativity, humour, flexibility...) is resistance-potential projected as future, as probability, in the un-foreseen.
In some species the female chooses between males who can built the most impressive nest, displaying their mental health, or in cuttlefish the male who can outsmart bigger, stronger competitors, exhibiting mental potential as future probability.
In the human species mental flexibility, linguistic creativity, innovation, also participate in a female's evaluation of fitness... and not only inherited but also as potential future development.

This depends on the mental quality of the female - more intellectual females will choose based on mental qualities rather than physical ones, and older females, having been taught a lesson, or two, in life, may adjust earlier standards taking life experiences into consideration, making physical symmetry, and her own genetic gratification, less relevant.  
They will make compromises to adjust to the environmental conditions.  



Lyssa wrote:
Her stamina and aggression is more noetic than physical. Males roles are vice-versa.
Its only when there Is a natural 'competitiveness' between the sexes, there is Culture - which is the form-alization of superior/inferior hierarchies, including the idea/l of what constitutes superior/inferior.
A superior woman may feel disgust towards a man inferior to her, and that man may feel anger toward that woman feeling himself superior. 'Hatred' of the sexes is this on-going rank-adjustments.


A female having the genetic upper-hand, before Paternalism restricted it so as to incorporate more males into the system and convert them from indifferent, free-radicals, and shit disturbers, to invested members (good citizens), is genetically inclined to test and doubt and change her appreciation of the males vying for her sacrifice and trust.
A more base female will be more instinctive, intuitive, hedonistic, in her judgments, whereas a more sophisticated female, may take into consideration the dominating masculine power of the institution, offering this stable, consistent, resource abundant environment (taking it for granted) for her to carry out her genetic role.  
In this case she will compromise on the inferiority of the specific male, within a strictly monogamous environment, to contribute and support her investment in her culture, her people, her bloodline - she happily becomes a memetic filter, as a superior calling to genetic filtering.
Genetically she may desire another, but memetically she will be content in fulfilling her role.



Lyssa wrote:
A patriarch tries to break and mould a woman in his own image as a worthy substitute, as his alter, to take over should he be gone - to war, to trade, or from life per se. She is his therapon.


This is why women were married-off young, and as virgins.
With no experience she could be moulded in accordance to the male's essence, and ends.
Now it is the institution doing the moulding, making the male the one who must compromise and become a surrogate female, or remain celibate and childless - with no family.  



Lyssa wrote:
A bully cannot stand to see another grow and has to reduce them to his level, and what he cannot attain, he must destroy it, tear apart her life instinct for self-growth.


This is assuming that the male is inferior to the female, and that his/her options are limited, otherwise the female would not tolerate such a thing, and the male would not care to go through the effort of "breaking her down".
Growth, after mating, in a monogamous environment, would mean that the female, having reached a certain age, may possess more genetic potential than the male, and may, in time, surpass him...and he is trying to keep her beneath him and as his own.

In more natural sexual environments, where only a few males pass on their genes, most remaining excluded from the gene pool, attraction happens immediately and automatically and it is sustained as long as it is require to produce one, or more, offspring.
It may evolve into something more than sexual, from erotic to agape, but sometimes there is no more than the physical, instinctive, attraction; the erotic (lust) and nothing more than that.
If there is a social/cultural restriction on sexual behaviour this means, in the latter case, that both sexes may have to endure one another for a lifetime - with the system filling in as male provider and defender, this leads to divorce - in the former case the relationship deepens, acquiring an additional dimension that may add or subtract from the passion of the erotic - depending on the particular genetic dynamics.

In the quote cited, an above average female either finds some male on her level, or as near as possible to produce the feminine reaction in her, or a male who is superior to her.
If it is the first her restricted options may help her settle for the best she can find, and if it the first, she cannot find someone better, because males on her level or above are already rare - depending on her level of intelligence and beauty (physical and mental symmetry).

The factor of habituation should also be mentioned.  
An investment in trust and time and resources also makes starting a new investment more problematic, as age increases.
With no time or stamina to take the risks again, a form of habituation evolves - the two mates being shaped by their (inter)action, like when patterns are shaped by their (inter)action to produce a stronger congruity (harmony increasing over time).
What was part of each individual's aggregate patterns is lost in attrition, and what is in conjunction, remains, or may be added to - in the case of living organisms, creating a stronger more stable bond.
External attrition, if it is not so great as to produce a break, will only serve to push the unity together.  

If I apply what I've described [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] slightly altering the relationships to include will, choice, and awareness  (only applicable to living organisms, and not all patterns) then an initial coincidental similarity (harmony) may stabilize into a relatively harmonious congruity, in relation to patterns that are less similar, or whose patterns (inter)act in a pushing away, and do not "click" (harmonize).
The environment being less "attractive" pushes the two similar patterns together, even if they are not perfectly in-tune, not in perfect harmony.  
The internal conflict, you describe, will begin the attrition process either resulting in a break, or in a slow increase in harmony - like pieces that break free which cannot fit into a relatively stable combination, in relation to an external Flux of patterns which push the two together by providing more friction than the one present between them.

In the case of lifeless particles, this external friction may be an extreme heat-pressure shaping the two pattern by pushing them into an (inter)action which results in a strong bond - the two patterns harmonizing, by losing what is in disharmonious between them (friction)...in a human context it is struggle, near death experiences such as those experienced in war, environments that channel the individuals to the point of near death, where bonds are forged stronger - whereas sheltering, un-challenging, un-threatening environments, of resource abundance and safety, produce shallow, weak, bonds.
In both particles and individuals it is the pressures of the environment that burns away any disharmonious parts in the patterns, to produce stronger unities.
This "conflict" of male/female, over time, within a world full of shared threats and challenges, makes the relationship stronger.  

If one or both sides feels no external pressure, no threat, and/or is aware of nothing challenging then a frivolous, ephemeral hedonistic bond is maintained until the slightest pressure breaks them apart - a stronger bond can only be broken by an external force (patterned or non-patterned dynamic) superior to the aggregate energies, multiplied by time to produce efficiency (synergy, harmony).

Monogamy and Paternalism is a force that pushed the unity into closer bonding, not always effective when there is no experience, and no innate commonality.


******************


An interesting side-effect of all its is that those males who are excluded from the gene-pool, for one reason or another, may turn to each other for bonding, in some homoerotic compromise, similar to homosexuality among penguins where absence of enough female penguins forces males into pair bonds - accumulated energies requiring release.
A similar effect occurs in all-male prisons.
This may, or may not, become expressed physically, and may remain a noetic fornication where one plays the role of receptive (ready and willing) woman, and the other of imposing male - catcher/pitcher.
Physical copulation may be replaced by mental copulation - one seeding the other, penetrating and expressing his dominance, the other playing the part of tolerant, receptive, female.
This behaviour has been observed in lions, where the dominant pushes out adult competing males.
The excluded may roam on the periphery of the dominant male's pride, alone or in groups, waiting for the opportunity to usurp and take over a pride of their own.
These bonds, forged in austerity and shared battles, may prove to be long lasting - continuing even after they've taken over a pride.
I suspect that the dominant of the duo will become alpha, and the beta may be given special privileges.
In wolves the dominant passes on his genes and the inferior males play the part of supportive partners, often challenging the male's health - testing it as females would.
In primates the inferior males coexist under the shadow of the dominant male, offering their services to the females, supporting them in their inter-group, social battles, babysitting, offering food, ect... and receiving secret sexual access, unseen by the alpha-male, to keep him around.  


******************


Two warriors find themselves on a common battlefield because they share an idea(l) - this is the first connection.
Whatever differences they may have will seem insignificant after they share common threats and enemies, or share needs/suffering - this is the second connection.
They will share mortality, their inborn limitations/imperfections, forcing them to make compromises and take risks - this is the third connection.     
 

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:40 pm

Philosophical Cynicism.

Hegel and Wittgenstein

Excellent page by a committed leftist; explains the Hegelian background to Wittgenstein's devaluation of philosophy, and how he meant it.

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PostSubject: Re: Cynical Diary Sat May 14, 2016 11:32 pm

Antisthenes.

Quote :
"Of Socrates himself, as an antithesis of the modern cynic, we can say that it was love, the love of the souls, that moved him and gave direction to his life:

"I cannot recall any period of my life," he says in Xenophon's Symposium, "when I was not in love with somebody" (viii, 2).

In Plato's Symposium (177d) we hear from Socrates that love is the only thing that he understands.
This capacity and this commitment to love were inherited by the Cynics, beginning with Antisthenes, from Socrates; and from him, too, they derived the idea of the divine origin of their mission. It was from what they understood as their union with God that they drew the strength that supported and guided their mood of protest, which is not contrary to, but in accord with, their rejection of the ways in which traditional religions structure the relationship between human beings and God.

For Parmenides and for Antisthenes, then, only that language in which we utter what is, is language; the rest is empty sound and a source of confusion in which appearance takes the place of reality, and in which the meaning of things is altogether obscured.

This extreme position concerning the function of language is reminiscent of what Jonathan Swift, a man of Cynic tendencies himself, wrote about the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver's Travels: in his fourth voyage, Gulliver finds himself among the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses, whose language he wants to learn. He soon discovers a problem: they, unlike the deceptive Yahoos or humans (of whom Gulliver is a specimen) cannot lie and cannot express what is not, because their language does not allow them to say "the Thing which is not." The Master Houyhnhnm explains this point in these words:

The Use of Speech was to make us understand one another, and to receive Information of Facts; now if any one said the Thing which was not, these Ends were defeated; because I cannot properly be said to understand him; and I am so far from receiving Information, that he leaves me worse than in Ignorance; for I am led to believe a Thing Black when it is White.

"that is, "that which is not cannot be and, therefore, cannot be said."

We come then to this hypothesis concerning the first proposition of Antisthenes' logic: language has only one function, namely, to unveil what I discover to be the truth about the world. As soon as this function is adulterated, as when I use language to cover up the truth, two inevitable consequences ensue: first, my language ceases to be language and becomes a concatenation of meaningless sounds, since what is not cannot be spoken because it does not exist; and second, evil enters into my soul, for I have become a friend of what is not. It is for this reason that Socrates says to Cebes in the Phaedo (115e) that

"inaccurate language is not only itself a mistake: it implants evil in the human soul." Inaccurate language, that is, falsehood and deception, beclouds the mind, and fills it with darkness, the τυ + φος that the Cynics sought to dissipate. It gives the appearance of knowledge and understanding, and creates, as the Master Houyhnhnm said to Gulliver, a condition worse than ignorance, since it furnishes us with nothing, that is, with what is not. Hence, in order to avoid this condition, in which most people live and which is at the root of all human troubles, it is necessary to deny even the possibility, sometimes translated inadequately as 'freedom of speech'. This translation could imply the freedom to use language deceptively or falsely, and thus it is more appropriate to render the Greek term with the phrase 'truth-telling'.

Definition is impossible unless it is ostensive, we can understand both its roots and its implications. Antisthenes' conviction in this regard is that predication is impossible. I cannot define anything in terms of components or a universal concept. For instance, if asked, What is a man?, I cannot construct a general definition and say, "Man is a rational creature," or "Man is a featherless, biped animal," or anything of the sort. Man in a general sense is ultimately nothing, the Thing which is not, for nowhere in the world does Man exist. There are, on the other hand, people, individual persons, and each one of these is distinct and different from every other person and every other thing. Each has a proper name by which he or she is identified. Thus, when asked for a definition of Man, our only option is to say that such a thing does not exist, for persons, who obviously exist, can be 'defined' only ostensively, that is, by pointing to the individual persons. A definition, such as the one in which we list common denominators like 'rational', 'featherless', or 'biped', is useless, because it cannot include all the characteristics and features that constitute this man here and now. Diogenes Laertius ( VI, 40) recounts that when Plato once defined Man as biped and featherless animal, Diogenes proceeded to pluck a chicken, which he presented as Plato's example of a man. We could assume that Antisthenes would have proceeded in a similar way, because for him. too, a general definition is an empty definition; it says nothing and leaves the definendum undefined.

Antisthenes' quarrel with any theory of general definition applies not only to persons, who can be identified by a proper name, but to every imaginable existing object, for every object also has a 'proper' name. A thing can only be itself and nothing else, and as such it cannot be subsumed under a general category or class. Thus, in order to 'define' a thing, we must be ready to use 'the finger method' and say, "Here is the thing; it is this-thing-here-now and cannot be anything else." Every other sort of definition, such as that in which a quality is predicated of a subject, , that is, a series of words or a long discourse that means nothing at all. In such an insistence, however, it is clear that we would be demonstrating our unwillingness or perhaps our incapacity to grasp the meaning of universals, and our commitment to remain entrenched in the realm of the concrete and the immediate, and this is precisely the stance adopted by Antisthenes and, after him, by many of the later Cynics.  It is an extreme form of logical nominalism that maintains that things can be named only by their 'proper' names. It is not surprising that, armed with so radical a view, Antisthenes could not but have stood in opposition to Plato, specifically in regard to the latter's theory of Ideal Forms, and to Aristotle's theory of predication.

This rejection of predication in any form, as well as this banishing of universal concepts, may have eventually led Antisthenes to an abandonment of metaphysical inquiries and scientific pursuits, if indeed such philosophical preoccupations had ever engaged his imagination. Rodier finds in his extreme nominalism both the cause and the consequence of the thoroughly anti-scientific and anti-speculative direction of his philosophy.  His refusal to entertain even the remotest possibility of defining anything in terms other than of itself could not but have resulted in his militant "contempt for science," according to Rodier. This contempt, already present in Socrates, especially as he is portrayed by Xenophon in Memorabilia I, i, 11, is undeniably found in Antisthenes and, through his influence, in Diogenes. Neither metaphysics nor physics, nor astronomy, nor mathematics, nor, in fact, any other scientific branch of philosophy has any relevance for him. His only concern, at least as he reached his Cynic stage of intellectual development, is exclusively in the domain of ethics, but not ethical theory in which universals and definitions play so great a role, but ethics understood as a concrete and ostensive mode of life in the individual human being. With Antisthenes, therefore, Cynicism sets its course in the direction of practical ethics. For him, accordingly, the key philosophical questions are not What is it that I can know about the world? or What is the structure of the universe? or What is the nature of reality? or even What does human existence mean?; but rather What is the best and most rational way for me to conduct myself in a world that is filled with confusion and obfuscation? How can I attain happiness and serenity in the midst of so much blind and uncontrolled striving on the part of those who surround me? How can I liberate myself from the social and political fetters with which the irrationality of the human world seeks to immobilize me? To what extent can my example as a free spirit illuminate the path of others, so that they, too, may set themselves free? How can virtue become actualized in my daily actions? How is it possible to practice the art of truth-telling, an art that begins with the study of the meanings of words, and that compels me to call everything by the right name? How is it possible "to break the thread which ties human beings to their illusions"? These questions, not the others, are the kernel of Antisthenes' thought.

Here we have the kernel of Antisthenes' thought. He presents himself to us as a man who experiences the suffocating effect of the atmosphere of his social and political world. On account of his illegitimate birth, he has always been an outsider, and he views the world in which he lives as a foreign land, a sort of wasteland. Beyond the frontiers of Attica, the wasteland extends itself in all directions. He is endowed with an unusual gift, which from another perspective can be regarded as a curse: a tremendous lucidity or clarity of mind. This gift has been embellished and fortified by his Sophistical training and particularly by his experience of the Socratic presence. He looks around himself and recognizes hardly any redeeming features in the human world, which, as Schopenhauer would say, is bankrupt. Religious beliefs have no appeal for him; in fact, he finds them meaningless. The gods may not be more than expeditious inventions fabricated by the ruling class in order to control and stupefy the human herd. This idea he may have learned from Critias' Sisyphus. The political world presents to him a sad spectacle: wars, factions, falsehoods, greed, cruelty, and, above all, profound stupidity. The social world, with its atavistic customs and irrational regulations, is not much better. The speculations of the philosophers and the claims of the scientists leave him unimpressed; in fact, he is convinced that they amount to nothing, and are only linguistic games of no significance. Everywhere, then, nothing is worth anything. People rush as if on a race against time and death, grabbing and grasping anything that comes their way, trampling on one another, giving the impression of being awake, but in reality they are immersed in the stupor of intellectual obfuscation, blindly pursuing transitory pleasures--the illusion of happiness and, at the bottom, they are unhappy with themselves and generate unhappiness for one another. Antisthenes feels entrapped in so abominable a world. All around him there is senseless human noise. In whatever direction he turns, he finds inexorably the same enthroned nonsense. Even his best friend, Socrates, is gone, removed from life by a world that could not tolerate him. What, then, will he do? He may entertain the idea of ending his life right then and there, but he chooses to linger in the world for a while, because he thinks that despite of this, he can change the currency of the world, at least for himself, by declaring himself an absolute rebel, the Absolute Dog.

Now then, a rebel, as Camus put it in The Rebel, is "a man who says 'no'," because "things have lasted just too long." Antisthenes, just as Camus' rebel, realizes that "things have lasted just too long," and simply says "no," "No" to what? "No" to practically everything: "no" to religion and superstition, "no" to governments and politicians, "no" to social conventions and restrictions, "no" to the enticements of pleasure and power, "no" to the pretensions of society. What Gomperz called his "abysmal contempt for traditional ideals" appears to recognize no limits.

Perhaps the most important of his ideals is the recognition of reason as the sole criterion of the worth of human actions, ideas, and feelings. Nothing can be undertaken and nothing can be even entertained until reason--personal reflection and thoughtfulness--has delivered a positive dictum. Hence, neither tradition nor emotion can have a determining role in human behavior. To do, to speak, and to think only that which, after rational consideration, appears to be the right thing, is his commitment. Evil lies in the state of obfuscation--weakened reason--that characterizes most people most of the time. Evil, therefore, is a sort of ignorance of what is right, an ignorance that allows persons, communities, and nations to grope aimlessly amid alternatives.

For the development of reason, the individual needs only himself. The world can prove to be an obstacle, for which reason it is necessary to bracket away the world in order to neutralize

its influence. The Cynic must learn not to need the world, and to be willing and able to dispense with what the world offers, such as possessions, wealth, honors, positions, pleasures (which produce the illusion of happiness), and even knowledge. The Cynic must become, therefore, self-sufficient.
The practice of self-sufficiency requires a commitment to discipline, ἀσκησις, and this requires a willingness to accept and endure pains and suffering ( ), as was exemplified by the paradigmatic Hercules who endured and suffered so much without ever complaining or seeking to minimize his pains. 80 It is not that suffering and pain ought to be sought for their own sake, for that would convert Antisthenes into a masochist in the ordinary sense of the term. Antisthenes' asceticism is a rationalistic commitment to the practice of discipline for the purpose of strengthening character and assuring self-sufficiency, and this commitment requires the avoidance of excessive pleasures, including what we might call 'the easy life', which most people seek and cherish, because pleasures pervert the will and befog the mind.

Finally, Antisthenean virtue, while not itself the result of intellectual enlightenment or lucidity, is the necessary and sufficient condition for the advent of enlightenment or lucidity. In this sense, then, virtue precedes wisdom, for the wise person is wise because he is virtuous. The choice to live a certain kind of life, the ideal life of the Cynics, clears the mind of its inveterate fog and confusion, and then, and only then, do we become wise and are we allowed to enter, as self-sufficient monarchs of ourselves, the kingdom of the wise, the only community of which the Cynic can be a part. Antisthenes' view of virtue became the basis on which classical Cynicism developed. The self-sufficiency, the freedom, the rationality, the rebelliousness, and all the other features of Cynicism, all are a function of the conception of virtue, just as Antisthenes held it in his mind and exemplified it in his behavior." [Luis Navia, Classical Cynicism]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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