Wanted to do a little follow up to clarify some things about the previous post. Had a little Q & A with a friend of mine regarding the content of the last blog post.
John: my post won’t show up on my feed anymore for some reason so i can’t see your comment but let me respond to it in like an hour on here
JH: Yea no worries
John: I only read it once but essentially my response would probably be like–the embrace of subjectivity is the only panacea for an at-large population
that there can be nothing axiomatic and nothing universal no matter how responsible or flexible an ethical system is if it is attempting to be perennial
at least thats what i think you were asking?
that it all has to flow through your own particular hills and valleys, address your subjective deficits and misconceptions and flaws and shit like that
that absolute meaning–which is something that I didnt address–is real if it flows through your idiosyncratic sieve honestly, unimpeded by calcified ideologies and ego-driven lenses
JH: I was more attempting to get at the nature of your big question. So the purpose of writing a book addressing cultural hegemony is sort of lost on me in that it looked like you sought a solution to such a concept through spirituality while also sort of acknowledging that that may be a futile effort
John: yes but only acknowledging that there is no panacea
at least not one that can be definite as an external mythology or system
JH: So your book has a bit of a nihilistic lens then? Or is the goal to push a particular panacea
John: and a proper diagnosis of the problems in white male identity I think is essential
the purpose of the book is to indicate that a state of ambivalence that resonates with the indefinite nature of the current stage of human evolution is the only solution, and the methodology for the application of this feeling of “happy uncertainty” or something is completely subjective, but that all polarities, all narratives are impediments to a life that it is honest and vitally alive
JH: Ok. It’s just the trouble I was having is reconciling how you simultaneously acknowledge the market space for a solution to these issues of identity and responsibility of power, while also claiming, in my opinion wisely, that some of these issues may be inexorable with cyclical power structures
John: even that narrative^ “soft spiritual nihilism” is a narrative that will calcify and impede
JH: Ok i think i get it a bit more, it just sounds like youre searching for an answer you already kind of have
John: they are inexorable in that it will take a long long time is my main point
JH: So you think humanity can be empowered by spiritual nihilism and we lose none of the colorful passions that come along with competing, even dangerous ideologies? And what specific facets of white male or i guess broader culture are you seeking to rectify?
John: i think ascribing a name to “it” like spiritual nihilism is antithetical to what I’m suggesting. There is no way to rid us of the “competitiveness,” and while perhaps ideologies spur a certain creativity, I think they are much more likely to impede it. Ingenuity can only increase when the strictures of an external belief system are removed in favor of complete admission of ignorance, an embrace of personal subjectivity. The problems Im addressing are the ones that come with the polarization of ones self in order to distinguish the borders of ones identity–Im saying that seeking security through exogenous beliefs is dangerous and counterproductive for the ultimate goal–which is not something I pretend to know–but Im speculating that its somewhere up there at an elevated state of consciousness. white male protagonism, white male defensiveness is the most clear and present manifestation of what you could call identity defensiveness, which leads to things like the alt right and white nationalism and all that. call it beneficent solipsism, spiritual nihilism, whatever–those ascriptions do not help because its not a panacea, not a cover-all in that its not a one-size-fits all, discreetly applicable “solution,” its a suggestion of a state to angled toward, and its my opinion that the methodology will always be different. This operates under the assumption that there is a basin of absolute truth that underlies all creation–a greater consciousness–which is canalized by the organic body, more or less. Ideologies narrow the valves, or obstruct the canals, so to speak. The other important thing is that the reason it cannot be physicalized as an “ism” is that it will fail, again and again, and if it is treated again and again as an ideology or methodology to be applied, a certain practical philosophy, then it will be quickly be calcified and disposed of. It might seem vague, glib or unhelpful, but its the explanation of why ambivalence, why an admission of ignorance–especially in relation to the white male identity which is so predicated on the marginalization of everything–other races, the environment itself, God–is the way to contribute to a better world for yourself and others
and, also importantly Im saying that this is only meant to serve as a motivator toward incremental change–that its going to be a very slow, and frustrating progression, and that–as you were saying–perhaps the battle of ideologies will inevitably push that incremental growth and I simply can’t see it, that does less for your own personal growth, something that is always the impetus for more pervasive change–not to mention your own quality of life in a world that is in my assessment pretty uncertain and confusing in its advice for how to become the person you’re meant to be. This is essentially a long-winded way of saying “open your ears/open your heart, you dont have to be right, right now.”
im not saying dont join the DSA, I’m saying dont make anything your gospel
ideologies can be vitalizing but only from a certain distance, a presence of mind that can easily be lost when you drink too deeply of yon kool-aid