A bad case of apotheosis

Yes, apperception involves awareness of one’s own experience of perception and conception — but it also requires adopting other modes of perception/conception, for only these alternate modes of perceiving help us detect the difference between our own immediate perceptions of objects and the objects we perceive, which are always necessarily perceived partially, in every sense of the word. We must shift modes serially and notice how much changes and what (so far!) remains constant.

Without the aid of serial multiple partiality, we confuse our own partiality with direct access to reality, resulting in naive realism, which is non-apperceptive however obsessively we self-reflect on our experiences of experiencing what we take to be objective reality. We stay unaware of what we bring to truth when we know it, and we succumb to apotheosis.

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I’m currently reading Heidegger in his pro-Nazi period complaining about how demonic America was at the time, and how America and Russia were more or less metaphysically identical, and I’m trying to keep my criticisms from turning wholesale against him. It is helpful in times like these to understand the partialities of most radical kinds of right-wing thinking, and what kinds of diagnoses and recommended treatments these modes of thinking almost automatically produce. Or, as they put it, the timeless perennial Truth they recover.

A sample of 1935 Heidegger:

The darkening of the world involves a disempowering of the spirit, its dissolution, diminution, suppression, and misinterpretation. We will try to elucidate this disempowering of the spirit in one respect, namely, the misinterpretation of the spirit. We said: Europe lies in the pincers between Russia and America, which are metaphysically the same, namely in regard to their world-character and their relationship to the spirit. The situation of Europe is all the more dire because the disempowering of the spirit comes from Europe itself and — though prepared by earlier factors — is determined at last by its own spiritual situation in the first half of the nineteenth century. Among us at that time something happened that is all too readily and swiftly characterized as the “collapse of German idealism.” This formula is like a shield behind which the already dawning spiritlessness, the dissolution of spiritual powers, the deflection of all originary questioning about grounds and the obligation to such grounds, are hidden and obscured. For it was not German idealism that collapsed, but it was the age that was no longer strong enough to stand up to the greatness, breadth, and originality of that spiritual world, that is, truly to realize it, which always means something other than merely applying propositions and insights. Dasein began to slide into a world that lacked that depth from which the essential always comes and returns to human beings, thereby forcing them to superiority and allowing them to act on the basis of rank. All things sank to the same level, to a surface resembling a blind mirror that no longer mirrors, that casts nothing back. The prevailing dimension became that of extension and number. To be able — this no longer means to spend and to lavish, thanks to lofty overabundance and the mastery of energies; instead, it means only practicing a routine in which anyone can be trained, always combined with a certain amount of sweat and display. In America and Russia, then, this all intensified until it turned into the measureless so-on-and-so-forth of the ever identical and the indifferent, until finally this quantitative temper became a quality of its own. By now in those countries the predominance of a cross section of the indifferent is no longer something inconsequential and merely barren, but is the onslaught of that which aggressively destroys all rank and all that is world-spiritual, and portrays these as a lie. This is the onslaught of what we call the demonic [in the sense of the destructively evil].There are many omens of the rise of this demonism, in unison with the growing perplexity and uncertainty of Europe against it and within itself. One such omen is the disempowering of the spirit in the sense of its misinterpretation — a happening in the middle of which we still stand today.

 

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