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Philosophy

Damocles

The essence of a human life is in so many ways its natural orientation towards anything and everything other than death, negation, extinction and the oblivion of forgetting or of being forgotten and yet so many of our actions, behaviours and mental abstractions lead and leave us so perilously close to the abyss. There is a bias and symmetry within us, perhaps at some irreducible logical level or as some paradoxical property of living, that draws us towards the destructive and the haunted impropriety of Thanatos and a teleological closure that only exists in language and abstraction. Is it precisely because we might only ever truly value life in contrast to that which it is not as some kind of inadvertent economic principle or offset of the entropy of living structure into the dissipative chaos upon which it so implicitly, intrinsically and intimately depends? Are our little flaring arcs of living only ever rendered significant of meaningful in contradistinction to the complete absence of experience, meaning and value that death manifests? Are we bound in irredeemable orbit around that which we are not, around the unintelligibility that perhaps lies at the core and as the kernel function of whichever logic we inhabit and that holds us even closer than all the joys and wonders we so rightly celebrate? Is, that is, there an intractable death-wish that accompanies all lust for life and is it so profoundly visceral that it sits in a blindspot we can never truly see or understand? Is the endless cycle of tyrannical failures in our shared memory of history a measure of the essential enigma of a living being so tightly entangled with its opposite that it must always and unknowingly invoke or cultivate it? Is the only solution to peace (and war) the complete unravelling of subjectivity through a kind of recursive bootstrap and logical anarchy in which we sidestep the dichotomy of living and dying by engaging with the possible fact that they could only ever have been alternate views of the same, single and unified entity? Is the sword of Damocles the cost and burden of self-determination and as a consequence must we surrender ourselves to find ourselves?

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