Assoon as the occidental mind had entered modernity, it started searching for ways to escape it. No motor seems to have been as fruitful for the imagination as picturing what lies beyond, after, behind. If the age of reason was to be the age of freedom, the unconscious that innervates it behaves rather like a bird in a cage — singing the song of the Grand Outside. To the fictions of progress and imminent salvation, the unconscious replies with its fabulations of deserts, labyrinths, mirrors that reflect nothing but themselves.
We believe that any notion of “loss of sense” is an inherently modern problem; not as a trace of something the mind remembers having, but its own way of projecting its otherness into the past as a way to affirm its substantiation. In asserting that the only ‘way out’ lies in an unattainable past, it confirms the necessity of the cage it has found itself populating. It confirms that what it wants is something that it will never attain; the desire of lack, the ‘metaphysical homelessness’. But we also believe in a very different activity of the imagination: parachuting nurses, Dionysian dances, fractal-like monads, limit experiences, ethics of joy… Experiences that affirm that we have never not been in the Outside.
Such experiences trace the circuit of the Möbius strip: outside co-extensive with inside – the image of the plenum, all manner of inside-out monstrosities, that at the same time portrays the maddening sterility of the inescapable surface. Not just surface all the way around, but all the way down too. No above or beyond or behind – everything given all at once and up front. Sounds like a good deal. The problems begin to creep in when we introduce our new found empiricism to the structures and circuits of the archaic, verging on esoteric, doctrines we have inherited and with which we pinned the heavens in place, the ground beneath, and our feet on that. The double movement of this radical empiricism is to, on the one hand, dispel all phantasms, to turn the transcendental and the unconscious inside out and splay their secrets right there in front of us, like a tapestry; but then, on or with the other hand, to unpin those nails that kept the warehouse of thought in place, the stars beyond, and the fields in the distance. The stochastic dance of contingency bursts in – masks and wine, nausea and joyful science. It’s dice all the way down. And those beloved a prioris… well, what if they too were historical, vestigial, caked in sediment, and quickly corroding now that the archaeologist’s brush has exposed them to the light of day?