Slime, Time, Space
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.
Filed under: Harman, Iain Hamilton Grant, ligotti, nature, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 2 Comments
Tags: azathoth, lovecraft, slime