I cannot help but find hampered the mentality I maintain, as the sullenness of life sits down upon me as though soot falls after an explosion. The blast, once past, has led to death. And life, away passed, remains to be of nothing.
The dichotomy between the affirmation of life and the affirmation of death in all things is one which I came to understand in reading Freud. For Freud, the erotic drive, that is, the love drive, is a synthetic one – it aims to build things up, to affirm goodness, to draw us to those things we emotionally charge with said goodness. The death drive, contrarily, is an analytic one – it aims to tear down, analyze, break apart, and affirm the temporary nature of all things. Both are subconscious processes yet, when they enter into cognition, they become subtle mementos which remind us of the truth of ourselves, that to be “as me” is to be alive, and to be anything other is to be dead. In short, all that is is alive, all that is not is dead.
At once what is at issue in this dichotomy is the equation of life with human life. But, ah, what other thing could be the case than the proposition that the ergo sum who proposes life also proposes its own cogency and cognition? And, in doing so, has it not done both at the same time? Of course it has. To affirm life is to affirm the self, to affirm the self is to affirm humanity. Thus, it ought to be clear that the affirmation of life is a vein affirmation, as it affirms first and foremost the predicable matters of man. These matters are lie squarely in his abilities – his intelligence, his fecundity, his domination and, most importantly, his humor.
To laugh is to be alive, to look on things in a haughty way and say “ah, what foolishness!,” to smile is to remind one’s self of happiness and, as studies make clear, to incite happiness itself. To think is to remind one’s self that one can think. To fuck is fuck, there’s nothing more else to it than that. To dominate is to secure, that is, to be sure that one is as he is, alive. All such matters remind man that he not dead, that he is here, and that he is great; consequently, all such matters constitute his entertainment. Tests of intelligence, pornography, games, comedy, all such things remind man of who he is and, likewise, anyone who can control such things is destined for stardom.
I’ll discuss death affirmation at a later time.