The Underground Lady [Page Sixteen]

Those who complain about how others accomplish their work almost always work less than those whose work they complain about.  In modern society, the absolute negative position on this scale is occupied by the academic.

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Most academic work is designed for use by the adherents of one political sect or another.  This has not always been the case, and apoliticism was part of the original function of academicism, not the school of thought particular to Plato, but to the Stoics who took it over.  This has been conveniently forgotten by contemporary practitioners of the specious art.

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Academicism is dedicated today to making people feel better.  It is a false form of withdrawal from the world.  The old faith, the scholasticism of the monks, was about death and suffering—like life itself—and was accomplished through the intense loneliness of a studied, absolutist reclusiveness. 

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The decline in thinking about existence since Sartre represents as much a turning away from all his ethical insights as the rise in the uncritical acceptance of sexual repression represents a turning away from what is essential in Freud.  So we are now blind, deaf, dumb, and pathetically frustrated.

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There is no denying the existence of the unconscious—or its rootedness in sexual desires.  What that means is that there is much about our existence which escapes our notice.  But, on the other hand, oedipalization may be involved or not, depending on the situation.  The question is, to what extent does this last statement itself represent a repression?

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Alienation from society creates the impulse for fantasy, but it also prevents the fantasy produced from being infused with reality—its shapes and its problems—and so mythos is not used to reveal our condition but rather for power’s sake, for its projects and projections.  This is the job of religion, to contain the radical potentialities of fantasy, and this is why fundamentalism is absolute and insistent.  It must not stray, or fantasy will reconnect with our struggle.

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The Bohemian thinker sees the fable as a powerful and dangerous form.

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It has been pointed out to me by a friend that I tend to use the words existence, life, and reality interchangeably, when they have separate, specific philosophical histories.  I answered that it was only in a premodern time that these words could have pointed to distinct, differentiated things.  They now all gesture to the same thing: existence.  Only a hopeless essentialist would believe otherwise.  As for the philosophical speciation of terms, I couldn’t care less.

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The Underground Lady’s relationship with the past is complicated, and sometimes contradictory, because she takes what she needs in order to destroy what was never required.

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I am not a gnostic, although I use some of their devices.  All the gnostics posited death as an infinitude.  For me it is a dead end.  Those who know the term gnosis and its true meaning will recognize in my borrowing an absolute and radical departure from everything that has come before.  The supposed infinitude of death was the source of everthing in the gnostics.  (Although a similar break to mine may appear in Wittgenstein somewhere.)

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