06 Oct The Spectre of the Will and Truth
The Albruna Gudrun, from the Maier files series, once said that Truth doesn’t come into the world naked but Truth wants to give herself naked. She is desperately seeking nudity. Jean Braudillard claims that the fact is that this nudity wraps it in a second skin, which no longer has even the erotic charm of the dress. He continues with saying that there is no longer any need to strip her bare, since she has herself given up trompe-l’oeil for striptease. Reality is a bitch. And that is hardly surprising, since it is the product of stupidity’s fornication with the spirit of calculation — the dregs of the sacred illusion offered up to the jackals of science.
Perfection is always punished: the punishment for perfection is reproduction.
Perhaps, through technology, the world is toying with us, the object is seducing us by giving us the illusion of power over it. A dizzying hypothesis: rationality, culminating in technical virtuality, might be the last of the ruses of unreason, of that will to illusion of which, as Nietzsche says, the will to truth is merely a derivative and an avatar.
On the horizon of simulation, not only has the world disappeared but the very question of its existence can no longer be posed. But this is perhaps a ruse of the world itself. The iconolaters of Byzantium were subtle folk, who claimed to represent God to his greater glory but who, simulating God in images, thereby deceived the problem of his existence. Behind each of these images, in fact, God had disappeared. He was not dead; he had disappeared. That is to say, the problem no longer even arose. It was resolved by simulation. This is what we do with the problem of the truth or reality of this world: we have resolved it by technical simulation, and by creating a profusion of images in which there is nothing to see. But is it not the strategy of God himself to use images in order to disappear, himself obeying the urge to leave no trace?
So the prophecy has been fulfilled: we live in a world where the highest function of the sign is to make reality disappear and, at the same time, to mask that disappearance. Art today does the same. The media today do the same. That is why they are doomed to the same fate.
The harmonious equivalence of nothing to nothing, of Evil to Evil. But the object which is not an object continues to obsess you by its empty, immaterial presence. The whole problem is: on the outer fringes of the nothing, to materialize that nothing; on the outer fringes of the void, to trace out the mark of the void; on the outer fringes of indifference, to play by the mysterious rules of indifference.
There is no point identifying the world. Things have to be grasped in their sleep, or in any other circumstance where they are absent from themselves. As in the House of the Sleeping Beauties, (1961 novella by the Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata) where the old men spend the night beside the women and, though mad with desire, do not touch them, and slip away before they wake. They too are lying next to an object which is not an object, the total indifference of which heightens the erotic charge. But the most enigmatic thing is that it is not possible to know whether the women are really asleep or whether they are not maliciously taking pleasure, from the depths of their sleep, in their seductiveness and their own suspended desire.
Fortunately, nothing appears to us in real time, any more than do the stars in the night sky.
The fact that the world is illusion follows from its radical imperfection. If everything had been perfect, the world would quite simply not exist and if, by some misfortune, it were to become so again, it would quite simply not exist any more. This is the essence of crime: if it is perfect, it leaves no clue, no trace. So what guarantees the world’s existence for us is its accidental, criminal, imperfect character. And it follows from this that it can be given to us only as illusion.
We wobble between an illusion and a truth which are each equally unbearable. But perhaps truth is even more unbearable, and we ultimately desire the illusion of the world, even if we take up all the arms of truth, science and metaphysics against it. Our latent truth is that of nihilism, but, as Nietzsche writes, `truth cannot be regarded as the highest power. The will to semblance, to illusion, to deception, to becoming, to change (to objective deception) is to be regarded here as deeper, more original, more metaphysical than the will to truth, to reality, to being — the latter is itself merely a form of the will to illusion.’
Aber die Wahrheit gilt nicht als oberste Macht. Der Wille zum Schein, zur Illusion, zur Täuschung, zum Werden, zum Wechseln (zur objektiven Täuschung) gilt hier als tiefer, ursprünglicher, metaphysischer als der Wille zur Wahrheit, zur Wirklichkeit, zum Sein -- letzterer ist selbst bloss eine Form des Willens zur Illusion. - Nietzche
Read Jean Baudrillard
The Perfect Crime