From: D M McNamara (D.M.McNamara@durham.ac.uk)
Date: Tue 21 May 1996 - 12:38:35 EEST
Hello Brett Evill (is that your real name?)
To some extent i agree with you, but i am troubled.....
If illumination does touch 'an essential chord' in us, then why should we
bother fighting it? Surely, if it operates this way, then why should we
resist, as it is the only empirical 'truth' we could know of?
I feel it must be approached as a philosophy, not as something
potentially corrupting, like a 'chaos feature.' Allow me to explain why i
have thought this way all along. it is because the philosophy of
illumination very closely resembles some of the basic arguments of
Nietzsche. Nietzsche would argue that the dualism of truth/lies,
reality/unreality, chaos/law is itself a historical creation of the
consciousness, and is therefore restrictive. Certainly, you may desire to
fight illumination by asserting law, 'morals,' basic 'rights,' etc. but
these can in no way be absolutely verified. Well, your gods may say 'do
this,'but another pantheon will say 'that is wrong, do this.' You see,
knowledge and its usage is just 'the will to truth' - ultimately you get
nowhere because all you are doing is engaging in a battle for conceptual
mastery (would thanatar agree?). Hence 'fighting' illumination by asserting
essentialist dogmas is as bad as being gbaji.
Instead, Nietzsche argues that we should create a 'will to power,' in
transcending that which is held to be eternal we can become the authors
of our own lives. I am aware that this sounds quite heavily 'chaotic.'
But hold, i hear you cry, nietzsche was used by the nazis to legitmate
hitler 'the eternal return, etc.' Well, nietzsche's nihilism was sadly
used for such an end, but it can also be used for good ends....if we did
totally deconstruct the social world, things like racism, sexism and
inequality would cease to exist, because they could only ever exist in a
non-essential, aesthetic manner. Furthermore, we would no longer be
tyrannised by religion or petty concepts like 'good' or 'evil.'
In philosophy such arguments are popular at the moment, because we have
realised that essentialism is unacceptable, even in a pragmatic form.
marx, nietzsche, lukacs, heidegger, foucault, gramsci, derrida,
adorno.....once more in philosophy there is a thirst for freedom and
radical change after the demise of the althusserian orthodoxy, and
because of its nihilistic character, it cannot be dismissed by the mileu
of tolerance as 'just another approach.' Illumination has the same power,
a force for 'good' ends, as well as evil - which is why illumination must
be taken away from chaos, which ultimately has quite unfortunate aims ie.
destroying glorantha. Which although cannot be dismissed on the basis of
'this is wrong,' i feel most would agree that it is preferable to keep
glorantha going than wreck it. Because of this, the gods can become the
servants of mortals rather than the other way round.
(and don't give me any of that new age campbell 'god with thousand
faces' crap, because it just isn't supported by archaeological or
anthropological evidence in ANY way, trust me)
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