Category Archives: ultimate responsibility

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 …

Unlimited Responsibility and the Discourse of Mastery

I have been reading Derrida and others on the dangers of a “Discourse of Mastery”. The (vom Ereignis) in the subtitle of Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy, pointing to the author as “enowned”, is of course a subtle indication that it contains a discourse of Mastery, and in fact Mastery comes up quite often within the text. As has been pointed out by Derrida, a discourse of Mastery implies “unlimited responsibility”, and while I do not think this is defensible in a horizontal manner (my responsibility for my cat doesn’t imply responsibility for all cats) it seems to me appropriate that it imply an unlimited responsibility to the cat I in fact own (assuming I owned a cat, which I don’t).

What does this do for human ownership? It means I have unlimited responsibility for the people who are consensually enslaved to me, through their enowning (enabling to own). Working this out in practice is always a situational, ethical problem, but it’s one a Master cannot shirk or shy away from.

My Little Girl

Today emmie and I went probably the furthest into age play that we have so far allowed ourselves. She coloured in a colouring book while wearing a cute little girl dress, then pleasured her daddy in multiple ways. It’s a fantasy I’ve never really gone to before – having a personal history there it was something very odd to think of doing at first. But it is working out rather well with emmie being my little girl and she seems to really enjoy having a daddy. E and mitda have been very encouraging as well as far as this aspect of our relationship goes, even as far as to prod us to actively go further in exploring it. I adore emmie and want to do everything I can to ensure it’s safe for her to explore this fantasy, and I adore all of my family for being open to what can seem like a very strange kink at first to non-initiates.

Xmas and Migraines

I took emmie to a wine cheese and widgets party Saturday afternoon, where the point was to objectify (or de-subjectify as I prefer) one’s slave by not addressing them and simply using them as whatever tool one needed at the moment. It was interesting to see her reaction and the reaction of the other slaves at the event, and also to have some conversation with other Masters. More events are planned that will be different than the more common bdsm style get togethers, the first being a protocol dinner with entertainment by the slaves in the group. While mitda wasn’t quite recovered enough to attend the event she did make it to the xmas party that followed (at a different ranch) and we had quite a lot of good conversation and good times. I played emmie for only the second time publicly, (the first was a very private sort of publicness at a small party) and she did very well, given that I played her rather hard, if only for a short time. She did well with being publicly nude during the playtime as well.

There are a few more xmas events in our community but this party was the big one as far as I was concerned, with a huge white elephant gift exchange (which our family did rather well at) and various other holiday attributes :).

I am definitely planning on switching jobs in the near future. One company has interviewed me but there is some distance between their offer salary wise and my expectations. Two more opportunities came up today (I am taking the day off due to a migraine and the resulting dozyness from migraine meds).

Meeting all the Responsibilities

I’ve officially put myself back in the job market. Some things have come up already, and I’m just finding it unrealistic to live the lifestyle I do and spend 8 hours at work + 4 or more hours a day driving. Not to mention that the personal and professional restrictions in the work environment make it difficult to do a good job, the job I expect from myself, which gets rather frustrating. Fortunately there are lots of tech jobs in this area, and I can keep working where I am and drawing a good paycheque until I have a firm start date somewhere else.

Taking on two slaves has turned out to be a deal of responsibility, and takes a deal of energy and time. It’s time I enjoy and effort I love to put in, when I have the energy to spare. Right now has been difficult for both emmie and mitda in that they are not getting the level of dominance they require for their own personal comfort level. Lack of a dominant presence = lack of care to a submissive, and while I care deeply about both of them it has been difficult to show it, when I leave home at 4:30a and by the time I get home around 7 I’m exhausted and just want bed.

My vocabulary, its origin, and a kid difficulty

Someone I know, a thoughtful person herself, complained recently about my “reinventing vocabulary” in reference to how I write and speak, and it triggered a number of thoughts about vocabulary in general and mine in particular, which in turn triggered thoughts on issues I have had in my development as a whole.

Not that I do, or do intentionally, reinvent vocabulary (well maybe sometimes I do prefer my own terms for certain things, such as “absolute enslavement” 😛 ). I have a fair background in both phenomenology and the philosophy of language, particularly with reference to Hegel, Heidegger and Derrida, and so the language that I most naturally use includes terms and structures that are not unusual in these writers but are not so commonly used. But along with this I have some Asperger’s traits, and fundamentally for me all language is in the first place a foreign language, English as much as symbolic logic, and am often non-verbal for long periods, so language that is unusual and seems foreign to other people doesn’t seem any more foreign to me that what is deemed common parlance. I developed my sense of language despite, rather than because, language in general is a natural or easy thing for me. But I developed enough of a sense of language to serve me decently in what I do because I also had an ability for languages, whether foreign or not :).

My aspies traits have been a concern for me very recently in general. I’m not unhappy about having them – I enjoy the abilities I have as a result and I’m not upset by having had to make a slight extra effort with things like language. I learned language quite well in spite of aspies, and learned other things – such as how to judge people’s perceptions of oneself – that are more difficult for aspies people than for the general population. Overall I’m quite content with the combinations of abilities I have developed – I was lucky enough that my aspies traits weren’t so severe that I couldn’t overcome things that I found necessary to overcome, and I learned many of the things I learned when I was too young to actually notice that it took me more or less effort than other kids.

The reason it has been a concern, then, is not particularly regarding myself, but regarding emmie and her son. Both of emmie’s sons are diagnosed autistics, but the younger one really fits the description of someone with aspies more than autism, while the older one fits the description of a medium to medium-high functioning autistic more accurately. I haven’t spent a great deal of time with her older son, who lives with his father in another state, but her younger son lives with us and is currently 9, which seems to be an important age for a kid with aspies. According to child development guidelines 9 to 11 is the age when children generally become social personalities. Up to that point children are an odd combination of self absorption and parent-centrism, they don’t come across as completely self-interested, simply because their “self” is still integrated with those that raised them, usually their parents in this society.

But between 9 and 11 years this changes, and kids suddenly take an avid interest in one another. Peer pressure first really develops at this age and so does the need to be close to other kids, rather than first looking for parental/teacher acceptance and only later for acceptance by peers. Along with this comes the development of, not self-awareness, but awareness of how one is perceived by others. Aspies and autistic kids are often labelled not self-aware but this is a mislabelling of the fact that they are not aware of how others perceive them. They are aware of their actual “selves” quite strongly as far as I can tell. A striking difference between a fully autistic child and an aspies one, for me, is the difference between not knowing that one is perceived as “ different” or “odd”, vs. knowing it, but not necessarily understanding it or being able to change it.

So her son is having difficulty integrating with other kids at the age that they are all beginning to do so with each other. This could be a very temporary thing, where her son is delayed developmentally and will start to develop that kind of other-kid-awareness a bit later, or it could be a fundamental short-circuit in his wiring – I simply don’t know enough about aspies or her son to be able to judge. From being aspies myself, in a less apparently severe way, I know that an aspies kid “can” learn that kind of awareness even if it’s not altogether natural or easy. But I don’t know if that’s true for every aspies kid or just for some. And if it can be learned by any kid that is by definition aspies and not fully autistic (if there is a hard-and-fast line, which seems doubtful) I don’t know about the best way to go about helping a kid learn it. The kid has ample reason to learn it – at present he gets picked on and his reactions to things – or more precisely how he allows people to see those reactions – makes it all the more likely he will continue to get picked on. Kids are sensitive and emotional creatures. It’s not that “normies” don’t get sensitive or have emotional reactions to things, but they learn more quickly than an autistic child what reactions are acceptable to show in front of whom, and what reactions will cause them to be made fun of or treated as “weird”.

This kid has it both good and bad when it comes to the severity of his difficulties. From the limited exposure I’ve had to his elder brother, he has much more of a chance than the elder sibling of living an apparently “normal” life. Where the elder child will always be treated as disabled in certain functional ways, the younger one may be treated as having been “developmentally” delayed, and may always be “odd” in certain ways, but will likely generally be treated as having “caught up” with everyone else. I use scare quotes on “caught up” because, as with many aspies kids, he has definite abilities as well as disabilities, and overall is very intelligent, so much so that despite an obvious learning disability he is in a regular school at the right grade for his age and is on the school’s honor roll. There are many ways where he will always be “ahead” of the average kids in his classes. Not that you have to have aspies to be intelligent or have abilities, he is simply one of the lucky kids that despite whatever problems and issues he might have, he has these abilities to fall back on.

I hope that with further study, partly of aspies syndrome, mostly of emmie’s son himself, we’ll be able to figure out ways to help him overcome the areas where he does have difficulties. The extra effort it takes him will be worth it in terms of living the life that he will eventually want to choose for himself, and with certain other things being relatively easy for him, he should have spare energy to use on overcoming his issues.

Dasein, Mineness, Authenticity and Authority – the Origin of Existential Decisionism

Dasein is not of the mode of vorhanden because it is not something that we ‘come across’ as we go about (BT, 69), but rather it is close to us, and is well known because it is inseparable from ourselves, but it is little understood in everyday experience because it is very close to us (BT, 69). In addition, Dasein is not zuhanden because it exists but is not for the purpose of effecting something.”

Heidegger introduces the idea of ‘mineness’ as a quality that belongs to Dasein, as being that which is the true nature of Dasein”

Mineness, indeed replaces “an entity’ as the mode of Dasein’s authentic encounterability. However Dasein in fact is encounterable in an ‘inauthentic’ but primordial’ manner through the idea of ‘das Man’, or the “they”, the “one”.

Authenticity and inauthenticity = decisionism – the “they” as consensus, liberalism, against authenticity/authority, the “discourse of Mastery” as per Derrida. Authenticity in Heidegger’s early sense only comes with en-ownment of the Master by the en-slaved. The early sense hence not primordial. The ‘Lord’ is master by virtue of en-ownment by the en-slaved bondsman, therefore reducible. The en-slaved as not reducible. ‘Lord’ is Master only in a relative sense, in relation to the specifically en-slaved. En-slavement by en-framing (technology as techne) as ultimate reductio ad absurdum of Lordship to the en-grasping of the con-cept (Be-griff … “griff” grip or handle, old German). Origin of Heidegger’s transgression – the crucial philosophical mistake of favouring the Lord over the bondsman. C.f. the re-estimation of Being as Ereignis in terms of the mastery of the last god in “vom Ereignis.” Dasein is only encounterable as “mineness” by the Lord after a dialectical sublation, “not-mineness” is primordial.

The possibility of seeing Dasein as either vorhanden or zuhanden results from the fact that in ‘being-in-the-world’ Dasein is constructed of stuff like the world and could be mistaken. Such a mistaking of Dasein for one of the other kinds of being would result in inappropriate relations and behaviour because it would reduce people to being either equipment or mere objects.”

Inappropriate relations or appropriative relations? c.f. the “event of appropriation”. Appropriating as the bringing into what is most proper, das eigen., “own”, ownhood, en-owning.

Previous western views of humanity regarded people as either bipartite, body and soul, or tripartite, body, soul and spirit, and lead to the assumption that a person is a synthesis of the parts, but in Heidegger’s view Dasein is existence, not a synthesis of separately existing parts (BT, 153). Thus, Heidegger argues for regarding Dasein as a complete and indivisible being that enters into relations and intrinsically is a complete, unified, entity. There are multiple Dasein, which necessarily have some kind of relation to each other, whether warm and friendly or hermitic or otherwise, and these relations are characterized by Heidegger as ‘Being-with’ (BT, 160).”

Dasein is not the knowing Subject of Descartes but the unitary facticity of existence as disclosed. “Disclosedness” also involves “being-with” and allows truth to appear and be known as shared truth. “Eternal truth” depends on eternity, something we are entirely unsure about in a finite universe. “Objective” truth depends on the separation of subject/object, but the implicit intent of these notions – shared truth, or truth outside the individual existing human, is validated by Heidegger in the concept of disclosedness. “Truth” may only be disclosed to Dasein, but it “is” disclosed to, not determined by, the particular Dasein. Without requiring the basis in absolute knowledge of Hegel (only valid for beings within metaphysics) Heidegger offers support for the idea of shared truth about facticity.

A Long Day

We spent much of this rather longish day a little high on vicodin and flexeral. After the stress last night and the sorting it out this morning we all needed a mental vacation, at least I did.

The girls remain as they were as far as our relationship goes. There will be no more “topping from the bottom”. They can make requests, yes, but they cannot and will not be upset if the requests aren’t granted.

On a happier note they get fitted tomorrow for their hallowe’en constumes. God knows what I’m going as though. Maybe I’ll go as the host, who always dresses as a Texas rancher. Of course he has the ranch to back him up, our 12 sq ft or so backyard doesn’t really count :).

Crrrriiiitttic !

During a conversation Saturday night a Master friend of mine brought up the “Master’s inner critic”, in the sense of the following situation. When living 24/7 in an absolute enslavement relationship it can be easy for the Master to get lazy at times. Suddenly there’s a “wait a minute, s/he didn’t do … while s/he was doing … – ah well, let it go this time, the game’s on …”, and this happens a few times in a day, maybe multiply that by a few days, and you’ve suddenly let a few dozen “ little things” slide.

Then suddenly you decide you have to correct him/her and set things straight. But the “inner critic” is saying “oh yea, come down on him/her NOW after you were too lazy to do it the other three dozen times”, and it becomes a difficult thing to do. And if it keeps on going the AE dynamic is lost completely, the slave no longer expects correction, and the Master loses the ability to do it and just lets the relationship lapse.

Ironically that very thing happened to me seemingly directly afterwards. Having been faced with two slaves suffering from the muted grays, browns and blacks of the depressive end of the bipolar spectrum, and having been home to take care of some things that I wouldn’t normally have time for, I found that all of a sudden E. was making dinner every night (or scrounging McD’s or KFC for the family), the bedroom, master bathroom, kitchen and closets all looked like thermonuclear test sites and at 7:30am the only person even close to being awake and prepared to leave the house was myself, so I was taking the kidlet to school while E. got ready for work, and my two slaves snored peacefully in bed.

Time to bring out the heavy guns! Yep, I sent an EMAIL, lol. Detailing what wasn’t done and that it had to be done from now on.

Or else!!!!

Or else what?

The inner critic was hounding me on that one but I went ahead anyway. Tonight the kitchen, bedroom, master bathroom and closet have all been cleaned and nitpicked over, we had a wonderful birthday dessertfest with mitda’s mother, and while these sorts of things are not a cure for bipolar depression we’ve discussed emmie’s situation in particular and come up with what I think is a workable plan to help her learn some new coping skills, as well as get her medications sorted out in a short amount of time, all without taking her near a hospital.

Critic, be damned.

Thought at its Limits

Foucault praises linguistics and psychoanalysis as examples of thought at its limits which discovers at the center of knowledge not humanity, but a sort of anti-humanity, a dead end if you will. Both linguistics and psychoanalysis find humanity suspended in a web of language, a language which mediates humanity and allows humanity to constitute an image of itself. But language is not such a stable support network; rather language’s promise of solidity is something like quicksand, an infinitely regressing system which cannot comprehend its own foundation since it has no center or originary meaning to rest on. “From within language experienced and transversed as language, in the play of its possibilities extended to their farthest point, what emerges is that man has ‘come to an end’, and that, by reaching the summit of all possible speech, he arrives not at the very heart of himself but at the brink of that which limits him; in that region where death prowls, where thought is extinguished, where the promise of the origin interminably recedes.” If humanity reveals itself only in and by language, humanity must accept a certain condemnation of silence to never be able to speak of its own origins and ends. Humanity is thrust into the foreground only to be distanced from its foundations, its background, a horizon which cannot speak and which, when approached, undoes thinking (as meaning is undone at the roots of language, the self at the roots of psychoanalysis), leaving only a horizon of the dead.

It is, then, in this context that Foucault speaks of humanity as a recent invention. Only with the elaboration of specific systems of thought which could inquire not into humanity’s ideal or essence, but the functioning of the foreground and the silhouette of humanity against the enabling background. “We shall say, therefore, that a ‘human science’ exists, not whenever man is in question, but wherever there is analysis – within the dimension proper to the unconscious – of norms, rules, and signifying totalities which unveil to consciousness the conditions of its forms and contents.” The subject of humanity was constituted during a certain moment in history which “dissolved” language, that is, an era which knowingly constructed its understanding of humanity “objectively,” in between the spaces of representationality which show how humanity is deployed. According to Foucault, the human sciences address humanity in so far as people live, speak, and produce (biology, philology, and economics), and create its model by isolating and questioning the functioning of humanity when the norms and rules break down, and on that basis rebuild knowledge by showing how a functional representation of humanity can come into being and be deployed (and thus, Foucault will later argue, perfect the techniques of normalization and socialized encoding of rules via totalizing methods of power).

As language is now re-coalescing at its limits, combining thought and unthought, the Other of knowledge must give itself over to the Same. Where the limits of thinking reveal its own basis as its foundational limitations, a new way of thinking is constituted which, as Levi-Strauss says, “dissolves humanity.” Foucault writes, “Since man was constituted at a time when language was doomed to dispersion, will he not be dispersed when language regains its unity?” The “death of man” seems a relatively peaceful event, not where humanity explodes with enormous violence, but a moment where humanity withdraws into the background such that a new array of knowledge can be foregrounded. Foucault does not yet have the advantage of a fully elaborated theory of language; however, if such a unity of language is not philosophized, humanity will forever find itself in a dying state, undoing itself by its own logic without our awareness. Foucault seems to ask that humanity die gracefully so that we can direct our energy to elaborating what is not yet thought, and approach a new horizon of articulation.