Slime, Time, Space

28Jul09

The alchemist term azoth stretches from the beginning to the end in its etymological roots and unites cohesion and corrosion.  This term may have inspired Lovecraft’s gibbering monstrosity known as Azathoth.  This blind idiot god, I argue, is somewhere between or perhaps an interpenetration of Oken’s Zero and Plotinus’ One.

Oken’s zero, as Iain Hamilton Grant points out in “Being and Slime”, the wavering zero as the generator of all slime which thereby asserts that something is merely the repetition of nothing as ideal/intensity or real/extensive and the reason for all.  Nothingness is the reason for all, extended and intensive which must be differentiated from Deleuze’s virtual which appears too much like a crypto-transcendence.  The key is that ideation is preemted by time and not virtualized in subjective terms.

In regards to Plotinus’ One:

The One is a non-concept which is known through its effect as power, foundation and location. The One, as all that is and what is potential, emanates all existents. The One is pure possibility. Furthermore, the One generates intelligence which is the source of being yet this is the Intelligence (nous). The nous, as the container of being, collapses thinking and being in a way somewhat analogous to Schelling.

Substance (the generative slime) becomes nothing more than that which is produced by and acted upon by time. Looking at Schelling the unity of the real and the ideal is both real and ideal in an identitarian way, that is in terms of a thought simultaneity but not a temporal or historical simultaneity. That is, the withdrawnness of nature holds the ideal back but the ideal also moves towards the light, moves forward in time.

As Graham and Levi have discussed in recent posts (and what is a large issue in Prince of Networks) is that of the plasma to polyp equation – that of the crystalization of individual entities if one assumes an underlying unity.  Graham asserts that immanence for Plotinus, for instance, allows only vertical and not horizontal relations as individual entities spring up from the il y a or whatever or plasma.  But does this necessary need to be the case?

Is it impossible to have the polyp from the matter of the cosmological cascade interact with other polyps (objects)?  The One (as the absolute) explodes releasing space/time where pure interiorty explodes in pure exteriority before accretion ressurects the interior.  Objects as all a result from the One may be of the same matter and resulting from the same substance (nothingnesses of the Real piles atop one another as in Oken’s zeroes) but they can interact and have unique existence in terms of time and space.  Azathoth is the horrible specter of this twisted exapanse where, as in Ligotti’s Sect of the Idiot, no object is ever as banal as it seems.

More on this later…

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2 Responses to “Slime, Time, Space”

  1. “Azathoth is the horrible specter of this twisted exapanse where, as in Ligotti’s Sect of the Idiot, no object is ever as banal as it seems.”

    Are you familiar with Azazello, one of Satin’s lead henchman in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, a character framed from the scary clown archetype who brings unsuspecting hypocrites to justice, always less harmless than he seems. I assumed his name was drawn from Azazel, a fallen angel of the Book of Enoch, who angered God by introducing various means of power to humanity, inlcuding weapons and cosmetics (for the ladies) and who went along with other angels, called Watchers, who bred with woman producing a race of insatiable giants. Yahweh was not happy.

    But maybe he drew the name from the old testament personification of wickedness /demon of the desert (this was before Lucifer.) Azazel, Azaz, (rugged, rough) el (strong) was also associated with the early Jewish rite of sending the scapegoat bearing the sins of the tribe out into the wild as an offering to Azazel, into the rugged, dry landscape were it would meet its end falling from a rocky cliff.

    Anyway, as a demonic force who illuminates the folly of hypocrisy and sanctimony, Bulgakov’s Azazello and his friend the enormous cat are very compelling characters. I don’t know if any of this is at all related or helpful, but you snagged me with “Aza,” so that’s what you get.

  2. 2 kvond

    Here is Deleuze on Plotinus and Spinoza:

    http://kvond.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/deleuze-on-spinoza-and-plotinus-and-luminosity/

    So, when you say/ask:

    ” Graham asserts that immanence for Plotinus, for instance, allows only vertical and not horizontal relations as individual entities spring up from the il y a or whatever or plasma. But does this necessary need to be the case? Is it impossible to have the polyp from the matter of the cosmological cascade interact with other polyps (objects)?

    This is precisely Spinoza’s position (Graham is notoriously thin on Spinoza, dismissing him as “too popular”). There is in Spinoza both, vertical causation (in the Plotinus sense), but also “horizontal” causation (as is emphasized by Gatens and Lloyd, in their rejection of Hegel’s critique of Spinoza).

    I would even say as well that the difference between emanation and immanence that supposedly distinguishes Plotinus and Spinoza is not fully defensible as a characterization of Plotinus.

    Deleuze writes,

    “That is to say the One does not come out of itself in order to produce Being, because if it came out of itself it would become Two, but Being comes out of the One. This is the very formula of the emanative cause.”

    But Plotinus writes,

    “How then does [it all] come out
    of a Simple One which has in itself
    no intricate appearance,
    nor any kind of folds whatsoever?

    It is because there is no-thing [oudèn] in itself
    that through this out of itself come
    all things,
    that Being [tò òn] may be;

    through this
    he himself is not existing [ouk ón],
    he, the progenitor of itself. But as such
    this is the prime engendering.
    Being complete,
    to not seek, to not hold, to not need,
    in some kind of overflowing,
    and overplenteousness of itself
    it has made [pepoíêken] another.’

    Enn. V, ii, 1

    Which is only to say that the radical conceptual line that Deleuze wants to draw simply is not as clear as he would like it to be. Further, there does not seem to be an exclusive sense in which horizontal causation is barred in Plotinus at all, but rather, like in Spinoza, horizontal causation is not the FULL explanation of any two events.

    For thoughts on Latourian Plasma and its possible resolution by Spinoza:

    http://kvond.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/is-latour-an-under-expressed-spinozist/

    What is missing is the value of empowered change that occurs with causal explanation, the accounting of real ontological change that happens when one’s Being is increased through the understanding of how something works.


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