Freedom from the subject of representations, freedom from the egoity of Being and its truth-discourse: clearly I do not have it within me to bring about such freedom. I am surrendered to chance… irrevocably given over to another, to a response that is not only not guaranteed, but cannot ever be verified in any way. Has anyone been forced to such limits of stupidity in their refutation of themselves, of any given meaning in pursuit of the asignifying excess of infinity?

These words will not explain what this means because the meaning of the pursuit itself escapes me– escapes meaning as such, escapes any kind of articulation because articulated a priori; because pursuit means transport, outside myself, surrendered once again to chance. How much I wish there were some guiding criterion for all this; instead, exposed to the unlimited, the inappropriable event, as to the most commonplace. This experience that outdoes me every day: the invasion into this day of my last. But to access that– could it be freedom after all?

Death: the subject “permanently” expropriated, its truth delivered from sense as such. And so keeping safe the life of sense that it was (is) in all its unapproachable glamour and mystery. “I” recede behind the name given to me; prove that “I” was nothing but some gift given to me, a gift that no less belonged to me than I could adequately receive and accept as mine. An excess over me that exists in me (outside “me”), extimate. I give it back to being untouchable. I don’t consider this a special operation. It seems to me it’s like this for us all, instantaneously. All I could do was revive our sense of this gift, this sense of ourselves-as-gift, not to alleviate our misery, but to give ourselves over to this generosity of being, whatever it is in its surprising inadventicity.

Inadventageous… because our death, no more than our joy, is not an event, is not possible: it does not happen to us, not to any of us; it happens to another, to all of us, presenting itself in view of the living, revealing to the living this “impossible” death about which we know, want to know nothing, and never experience; such that when we die, we recede into the gift we’d always been for others, in which gift we have our one real consistency: in the hearts of others; and unable to know anything at all about this most proper proper of ourselves, revealed as offered once and for all, as unapproachable, untouchable, and so perfectly communicable, we become the open offering of ourselves that we have always “been,” or rather, we show that we only ever “are” this self-offering, this self-exposed-offering to the unlimited— to you, to all.

My nocturnal existence, along with this nocturnal work, would therefore affirm that everything is valid for thought that enters the night of self-expropriation, meaning everything absolutely, since nothing we say escapes our disappearance from what we say. Here where we’re cast outside ourselves, we lead to no destiny, nor to any death. We lead to and are the incessant epitomization of the infinite. But this peak experience has for its culture nothing but garbage. Insignificant in itself, the present in itself is “perfect,” being trash. Our business is to be refused: to make the refuse of self as clear as light.

The whole world lies underneath itself like this, abandoned to constructive intentions and pleasure-seeking tendencies it can’t become conscious of. There’s no convincing anyone of this, since the egoity of Being marshals every fantasy to repress it. All we can say is, “Don’t take it too seriously… it’s just a joke being played on someone else…” All we can say is, it’s different, don’t worry, it’ll get better…

But what’s validated then, in fact, is despair: desperation bordering on dementia, rage bordering on violence. But validated from this strange withdrawal from or indifference to ourselves. I experience myself as acted upon: how could this not bring everything face to face with the abyss of non-meaning? how could I not be overtaken by this sense I have of myself as being a superfluous excess over the All? how could I not be confused by what to do in the face of such a peculiar sense of self? Indeed, what could I do but risk it all?

I see the pan of all time… and in the middle of it I am totally uncontrolled. I envision time going on very easily, very indefinitely, while remaining powerless to effect this momentary expanse of vision in the night. I see the superfluous excess that I am living-dying forever (ever re-turning!) because subtracted from time’s course. What can this vision do but confound everything? Meaningless as it is, once I’ve seen it, there’s no going back. I have to rethink what I am, what is possible, what it is to be, all over now. I have to re-vision…”me”… but in light of this torturing evidence which sacrifices my body to writing, I’m given over to an experience to which no “knowledge” could ever apply. I’m given over to a present whose vertigo alone teaches me about possibility; and in this vertigo, becoming it myself, I’m erased, become whatever any present can be for any “me,” become “one” with whatever is presenting itself right now as such. I become the inverse image, the past freed to this present space, free. “I” teach that the past is not determinative, that the expected future is perfectly virtual, that everything is constantly being rewritten, and that therefore you are free to pursue… yourself, everything risked, the impossible…

“Me”: the jump, bubble, pop of the present itself, whatever, whenever, wherever; codex of displacement, register of agitation, beauty of the clinamen, mobility of sublimity, access to the unlimited, broken rib of exposure, imageless appearance, freedom…

–And if you say “me,” say it with me? The severity of the collision becomes crystal clear. Essentially, we are each other outside ourselves. The depth of what we share: that, indeed, is your self-intimacy, the very life and living movement of your present, the sliding image of our death together…

All these words to say something too simple: be who you are becoming, this “someone else” who (always ahead, always behind) you’ll always be coming to be but never know: revealed phenomenon of “love’s never dead.” All this to say: you are already taken up in this movement, this pursuit. You cannot go wrong, so go further…


All this fighting (writing) as if somewhere in the future the fight (drive for sense) might be over, resolved, accomplished; but instead, the question looms: all this, for whom? I refuse and am refused the answer: myself.

And yet I can easily imagine the general form of the result: one latches on to one proposition or another, one lightning flash of truth, and lives according to it for a while, is pleased, feels his life being led in the correct direction, cracks a smile… until something in the world or death itself brings him to a halt, anguish piercing through his many beliefs, and he is left alone with this horror: nothing behind it can last, nothing coming next can be known, and everything in the present is ruined.

I can easily imagine this cycle repeating itself again and again in a life; each time he falls further into the night, each time his beliefs and truths become more grandiose, objective, transferable… until the cycle so exhausts him that he renounces whatever he thought would have given him an answer, in fact shuns answers altogether; and so shuns himself and his whole project chasing after the real truth. At the limit of this abandon, he might see himself and take a breath of fresh air; his horrifying predicament would solidify itself in his soul as his very urgency to be, as his only destiny. He would gaze randomly at whatever was there to be gazed at, saying, this is it!, thinking inside, this is nothing…

Thrown into this, born into this, surrendered to this, refusing this… I imagine only the coldest night at the height of desire: the need to no longer be oneself.

I looked for the mind, looked for the life, who would finally find it impossible to say, “according to…,” who would finally refuse “accord.” This mind, as full of horror as of indifference, would be one reaching the very bottom of thought, where there is only room for chaos, chance, and lightning strikes. There would be only the remaining passage of time… and this insane desire for great heights from which to survey the collapse of all time into this one passage. There would be only the lucidity of death. The glory of a lifelong passage…

Some people want to make the world “a little better place.” And it’s true that hardly anything, even here, would get going without that desire. But at the core of things, how do we go about it, what is “better”? I imagine a humanity no longer blind to the fact of death, to what blinds. I imagine an inscription of non-being in every word; a humanity no longer invested in what, from death’s perspective, proves vain. I imagine bettering the world by being nothing, by giving up my rights, by descending into the plaintive laughter of a man with nothing left to lose.

But if it weren’t for being recognized as so wrong, I’d remain trapped in the illusions this writing is dying to escape. I feel light in that nothing here is ostensibly true. True alone is what rises. I write, and you see, only ashes, dying coals, debris, refuse. Its only real aspect lies alive in the fire on the other side: you, your speech, whatever’s next. Because there’s really only freedom when moving on from that (whatever).

…I imagine a scrapyard of words that inspire only this movement; and as we diverge from everything preconceived, a breath of fresh air, of immense possibility.

…I imagine our going on without there being any reason for us to go on, hyperventilating in a night of dreamy, obscene, unprecedented courage…

To find my road, every time, only where my road ends; and thus to never be what I am. To refuse…

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2 Responses to REFUSE

  1. Pingback: FOR NOW | fragilekeys

  2. Rex Styzens says:

    Working my way slowly through your essays. This one reminded me of a recent learning as below:

    ‘If faith is not knowledge, but resides entirely in a praxis, that is, in the practice of erga, of works (the meaning of poiēsis for James, which as Nancy remarks, differs from Aristotle), that are only effectivity or existence (we could say the existing.existence opened by the “free decision”), then faith is the expression of the very excess of praxis. This excess makes possible the “becoming oneself” beyond oneself. Faith is the disposition of the finite being, in a certain way, to be faithful to what happens. There is no freedom without confidence, without entrusting oneself to the absence of sense in the search for sense. It appears therefore that the delving that deconstruction is, which is a possibility of Christianity, touches on what we could call an “ethics of finitude,” whose concern is the exposition to the alogon, and therefore, the gift (don, kharis) and abandonment. This is why the “the perfect law of freedom” (James 1:25, 2:12) is posited, in a dialogue with Blanchot, Derrida, and Deleuze, among others, as the basis of an interpretation of nomos, of the law that, beyond all sacralization, works for “the truth that does not belong to us” and that alone can set us free (see D, 55-56). There is no ethos without faith, or to say the same, ethics is only possible with faith as its starting point, but as a “faith of nothing whatsoever” ‘(D, 73). –Alfonso Cariolato, “Christianity’s Other Resource” in JEAN-LUC NANCY AND PLURAL THINKING, p. 54.

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