Category Archives: Being

Theology of Leather (tongue firmly in cheek)

I came across a few posts mentioning ‘leather identity’ as who the author ‘is’ spiritually. Since my own journey of learning began in theology I thought I would investigate the theological implications of a spiritual leather identity.

As a theological term, spirit, like psyche and self has a specific meaning. All of these kinds of words (and we can add will, being, god, world, nature etc.) are difficult to define conceptually because they are themselves determining concepts, which as such are never themselves fully determined. Things can only be fully determined via these determining concepts.

Spirit is what determines the “who” of the psyche, our self-identity.  From spirit we always already know who we are such that we know when we are being “truly” ourselves and when we aren’t. As what determines from the beginning, spirit exists in the eternal past, i.e. the past that was always past, not the past that at one point was present. The psyche arises as a response to spirit. All the aspects or “existentials” of the psyche (such as understanding, interpretation, discourse, being-in, being-with, ambiguity) partially actualize that response. Authenticity consists in being true to spirit, which calls us out of inauthenticity in the wordless call of conscience. Although the call of conscience has no content, we always “know” what it means: that we are guilty of not actualizing a true response to our spirit.

God as a perfect being may only, as will, will good. Human beings on the other hand have the freedom to will its opposite. Since this freedom in itself cannot have originated in the living God, human self-will originated as spirit in the dark ground of God. This potential for evil in God’s ground, which although part of God, is unknown even to God himself as the living God, is the cause of God’s coming out of his ground as the living God.

If the identity of one’s spirit, then, is a leather identity, as determining who one truly is. Leather as a potentiality of being, as will-to-leather, must also have existed in the originary dark ground of God.

The living God, as the highest being and the source of all other being, contains all positive potentials of being in himself, so the human will-to-leather must have a corresponding divine will-to-leather.

As a result, someone with a leather identity, spiritually, would feel the call of conscience denoting them as guilty in any situation where they were being inauthentic, not responding appropriately to their leather spirit. They would feel guilty cavorting in the vanilla world, wearing cotton or polyester or rayon, against their true identity as the actualization of their leather spirit.

Concomitantly, the living God of the leather spirit would be the highest leather being, the source of all human leather being, the Absolute Leatherman.

Style as Mastery

I’m going to talk about style and mastery, not simply the style of mastery, something that varies from person to person, something optional, but style as mastery, style as the necessary manner of doing things that changes their fundamental meaning from simple acts to dominating acts.

I was reading an article about dominance in a different sphere, specifically English football, or soccer.  The article was focused on a former Manchester United player, now manager of the nascent New York Cosmos, Eric Cantona.

Cantona puts paid to the idea of moneyball.  While statistically he was a good player, he scored plenty of goals but not the numbers recorded by van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney; he assisted on plenty but not with the numbers of a Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham; as far as defending, United fans put their hands over their eyes whenever Cantona went in for a tackle, fearing he’d be sent off again for another badly timed lunge.   On top of that he only played for United for 5 years, retiring young even by footballing standards.  However in fan voting Cantona was picked as the top United player of all time, eclipsing Rooney, Ronaldo, Scholes, Beckham, George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton among many other greats.

The article made the point that after years of mediocrity (United hadn’t won the title for 25 years before Cantona joined, they won 4 out of 5 in the years he was there) Cantona not only taught United how to win, but how to win with authority.  Not the authority of quantity, outscoring opponents massively on a regular basis, but the authority of style.   Cantona’s style was dominating in that it said to the opposition “try this … you can’t?  That’s why you’ll never be at the level I am …”

Looking at a specific instance, with United up one goal in an away game Giggs sent a cross field pass to Cantona with plenty of space around him and one defender plus the goalkeeper between him and the goal.  The obvious possibilities as a striker are to either hit the ball quickly, low and hard, trying to catch the defender and goalkeeper before they’re able to set themselves to block it, or to knock the ball past the defender, run onto it and therefore have a shot available with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Cantona, instead, controls the ball and comes to a dead stop, facing the defender and goalkeeper.  Then he stabs his foot downward under the ball, causing it to float into the air, catch the cold Lancashire breeze and drift over the helpless goalkeeper into the net.   Rather than an ecstatic goal celebration, Cantona then stands there looking at the other team with a disdainful expression.  Not only has he put United 2 up, a difficult score to come back from, the other team is completely intimidated by the style with which he scored it.  I could give plenty of other instances of Cantona’s style, such as the pole dance celebration after a goal against Liverpool, but you get the idea. During his time at United Cantona was referred to, not just by the fans, but by the rest of the team, as “King Cantona” or simply “Dieu” (God).

In another game, Cantona starts from close to the corner flag, skips past a couple of defenders, stops in front of the goal while the defenders and goalkeeper slide across to try to block the coming shot, then casually chips the ball over them into the net.  Cantona’s composure to the point of casualness, his nerve in front of goal and the apparent ease with which he does what he does, is a big part of his domination of the other team.  Showing strain lets the other know about the difficulty involved, restoring some sense of power to them, whether another team or another person in an M/s relationship.  Cantona, like any good master, makes his dominance look easy and natural.

Within M/s dynamics initially there’s a focus on the what, rather than the how.  Once the what is decided and to some degree achieved, however, there is often a sense of “what next?”.  Any specific what’s, whether rules, protocol, etc. can become either habitual, tedious or both, yet dropping them comes with the fear of “vanilla death” creeping into the relationship.  What seems to be missing in terms of understanding how to further and deepen the relationship is an understanding of style as mastery.  Mastery never consists in what is done but in the way that it is done, the specific style of domination required to dominate the specific slave in the relationship.  At best, though, style is often seen as something optional, an accoutrement to what is done.  Someone like Cantona demonstrates that the style changes the act itself.  Conceding a goal can be recovered by simply scoring one yourself at the other end, but Cantona didn’t just score a goal, in a topological sense he removed the level playing field that had existed by putting the other team in its place, and its place was to be dominated by United.  From that there’s no easy recovery.

Of course style remains something personal, the style with which one does things is, in total, how you are as a person to others.  As a result there’s no manual available on how to use your specific style to further an M/s context, and people seem to be constantly looking for manuals or guides on how to make their relationship work.  Having a sensitivity to how the way you do things affects the person you’re with, though, rather than simply looking at how what you do affects them, can lead to a better understanding of what it is about your particular style that is effective, eventually leading to an understanding of the best manner in which to accomplish something specific while simultaneously enhancing the dominant position you enjoy in the relationship and maintaining the appropriate places you and your  slave dwell in.

Refusal Or … ?

Between my post on refusal and now I’ve had a very odd change in my manner of being.

I had what used to be called, in the conceptual world, a “divine revelation”.  Since I live in the post conceptual (post religious-metaphysical-scientific)  world it was no long divine in any sense.   However it was reflexive in a way that no epiphany could be.  It was a revelation of the nature of revelation itself.

The reflexivity made me suddenly understand Hegel’s Absolute Knowing, Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence of the Same, and Heidegger’s vom Ereignis (from Enowning) simultaneously as attempts to provoke the experience.  Not that they do, but they do at least prepare one for it in a similar way to mystic practice preparing one for divine revelation.  Understanding understanding, as it were, doesn’t give you an understanding of anything in particular.  It gives you a different sense of things where understanding precedes self-conscious interpretation.

More on this later …

Being Bipolar

Having just read a post on a kinky social site where the apparent increase in diagnosis of bipolar and depression was blamed by the OP on idleness, something which was agreed to by a number of respondents, while those that disagreed generally blamed it on doctors’ willingness to prescribe drugs for the slightest bit of sadness.  I felt I should write a post on what it’s actually like to be bipolar.

One of the fundamental things about having a mood disorder is its unpredictability.   Unlike emotions, we don’t control our moods, we are always already in a mood from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep.  Not that one can’t do things that may affect mood in a positive way, but there’s no guarantee any of those things will work on a given day.

A bad depression is not simply a more severe case of “the blues”, it has nothing in common with that kind of emotional state.  During a real depression one is unable to feel anything at all, one is completely numb. Will is one of the first things to go, a little later desire disappears as well.  Someone in the pit of a clinical or bipolar depression is not only unable to will themselves to get better, they’re unable to desire to will themselves to get better.

Attacking a biologically based illness (no major illness is more hereditary than bipolar disorder)  either on a moral stance or a stance of blaming society is simply misplacing the blame for the situation.  Since the beginning of the so-called “age of reason” society has been unable to competently deal with madness.  But madness itself remains.

Back to the unpredictability of moods – imagine not knowing how you will feel from moment to moment, whether your emotional responses will be appropriate or inappropriately modified by a messed up mood, and, which is probably worse, always wondering if a slightly down feeling is the harbinger of a major depression, or a slight elation the beginning of a psychotic mania.  Mood displays the state of one’s being more directly than anything else, which is why the phrase “how are you?” if meant sincerely, refers to the questionee’s mood.  Not knowing how one is going to be from one day to the next, with all its implications on one’s capabilities as well as one’s feelings, can be a terrifying and uncanny way to live.  It is also an extermely mentally strenuous and painful way to live.  Being accused of idleness by someone who has no capacity for these kinds of experiences is an insult born out of  willful ignorance – the information is out there if these fucktards can be bothered to read something before they spout nonsense.

Being and Time; and Place?

I am currently reading a book by the name of “Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World”. Why topology when Heidegger’s most famous book is “Being and Time”? Heidegger’s notion of Being and his notions on philosophy imply a certain situatedness and site, and he was certainly aware of Jasper’s work on the limit-situation, having been the first reviewer of “The Psychology of Worldviews”. I will post more on this topic and how it relates to the M/s situation as I assimilate the ideas therein with the work on the mathematical topology of Being by Alain Badiou.

Ontology and Mathematics

It occurred to me lately (not much wonder since my background is in symbolic logic and philosophy) that mathematics is actually the true language of Ontology, the language that specifically speaks about non-objects, things that are not things, that don’t take part in being, because it is a topology of Being itself, which is never a being. While many things have followed on from that thought I am still working out the most basic of them – the poietic descriptions of Being have been followed by philosophy from Plato to Heidegger, and are therefore far more developed than conclusions that might be able to be drawn from mathematics, but the mathematical conclusions have a much better chance of being communicated to a population no longer in love with or trusting in poetic license.