Subject: A Channel into T. Ligotti's C.A.T.H.R.

Pessimism & Paradox (Ante-Mortem):

Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical condition of striving to be unconscious of exactly what we are - hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones. We hide this knowledge with fabulous illusions, spending our lives hoping we don't catch on to any monkey business that would leave us stripped of our defense mechanisms and standing stark naked before the silent, staring void.

The predicament, our biological predicament, was stately identified by 20th century Norwegian pessimist, Peter Wessel Zapffe (1899-1990) in The Last Messiah, (1933): Too much consciousness is incapacitating. Recognition of the facts of our existence is fatally demoralizing. True knowledge of the case might leave anyone drop dead. The only response to this devastating awareness of our own nature is to

A) Deny & Conspire to Obscure
B) Accept & Cease Reproduction

It is clear we are not at a cultural stage where we can, as one race, collectively confront the paradoxical nature of our existence and come to the only rational conclusion of self-extinction. This was, of course, the message of Zapffe's Messiah, one he characteristically recognized as entirely hopeless. It's politically unfeasible; no one wants to confront themselves or their mortality. Self-extinction is without precedent in nature. Of course, so too is consciousness. Radically pessimist writers like Zapffe can be found throughout history, and they are always marginalized to dusty corners of the philosophical canon, if preserved at all, in order make room for the optimism we, by essential necessity, crave.

So we have notorious Nietzsche contemporary Philipp Mäinlander (1841-1876) declaring:
Life is absolutely worthless... the will, ignited by the knowledge that non-being is better than being, is the supreme principle of morality.

Mäinlander was to use a pile of copies of his just-completed Philosophy of Redemption as a platform to hang himself the night they arrived from his publisher, but his supreme principle was echoed a century later by R. N. Smart who famously argued (Mind, 1958) that the only conclusion to be drawn from Karl Popper's negative utilitarianism (Popper: demand the elimination of suffering rather than the promotion of happiness) is the demand that we as a species be eliminated. The unborn never suffer.

Mäinlander believed self-elimination was the inevitable conclusion to historical progress. Only by securing every good that could be gotten in life, Mäinlander figured, could we know that there is no good as good as nonexistence. A utopia without conflict would undermine any projected meaning, hopes or ideals we might divert our attention with; in our nihilistic boredom, we will face the pitiful condition of our existence, and accept our fate: self-extinction. Of course, as we know, luxury is not the goal of technology; it is placidity, and the ultimate placidity of nonexistence can be achieved as much by an sufficient super-weapon as by Mäinlander's utopia. In the end, there is little difference between the two.

The Nightmare of Being:
Until then, we have collectively, since time immemorial, agreed on a program of conspiracy, a conspiracy against our very own human nature. A conspiracy against the human race. It is clear why this has been the case: those who spent too much time ruminating on the meaningless of our existence simply do not get very far (why should they, in a world that is malignantly useless?), while those content to delude themselves and others with sweet but unfounded goals will succeed in life and reproduction.

Reality becomes a symptom of abnormality - genetic junk. Consciousness is deadly, and so, from the moment nature saw it fit to befit our race with one, it has pushed us to take every step to limit it to a non-lethal level.
As follows...

Key Conspiratorial Strategies to minimize (immunize) our consciousness:
1. ISOLATION: Conspiracy of Silence (Lunatic Uncle hidden in the Attic)
2. ANCHORING: Metaphysical & Institutional "Verities" (God, Morality, Natural Law, Country, Family)
3. DISTRACTION: "Better to kill time than kill oneself"
4. SUBLIMATION: Diluted Displacement; Artistic Distance

So we have before us the conspiracy at the heart of our existence, and one that all our philosophies, religions and ideologies have conspired in. And there you have it. To ask what use this revelation is to miss the point: The Revelation is useless - to accept it is to cripple your capacity for any work.

These are Zapffe's axioms, but they are redisovered by modern psychoanalytic research into self-deception - Ken Bach identified almost exact analogues to Zapffe's isolation, anchoring and distraction in An Analysis of Self-Deception (Philosophy and Phenomenal Research, 1981): rationalization, evasion and jamming. Bach, of course, does not extend his three categories of self-deception to the entire human species, as does Zapffe. To Zapffe, we remember, we are all, by nature and necessity, false and paradoxical beings who cannot live as we are and cannot live otherwise, who must constrain our consciousness because, tragically, our sanity depends on it.

There is nothing for us here. There is no knowing this. If you are alive yet, you are complicit in the delusion. Any other word spoken is CONSPIRACY.

Following the law of morality, human optimism would never come to terms with its own paradoxes of construction and destruction. And if it does it is soon turned into an existential crisis giving in to the full force of negating power and thus all becomes intolerable.
Interview with Luciani Parisi, Mathew Fuller

For the reference of my friends,

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