The Last Messiah by Peter Zappfe

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“Why, then, has mankind not long ago gone extinct during great epidemics of madness? Why do only a fairly minor number of individuals perish because they fail to endure the strain of living – because cognition gives them more than they can carry?” asks Peter Wessel Zapffe in his 1933 essay, “The Last Messiah.” For him, the cosmic panic he saw endemic to the capacity for meaning-making burdened his species with a perpetual psychic scramble to avoid absorption into the infinite regression which under girds that capacity. For anarchists, the whole of the world as it is faces them with similarly unthinkable problems whose sheer magnitude, complexity, or both render them as in fact meaningless by dint of scopes in excess of the capacity for a given brain to cognize them, terminating thought into impermeably blank anagnorisis. Having achieved a state of no mind, only those with suitable religious inclinations bother remaining here for long.

“Cultural history, as well as observation of ourselves and others, allow the following answer: Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness,” continues Zapffe, marking the out of which anarchists avail themselves as often as any other simulacra raised in the image of Man the Wise. Posed with inhuman problems which are nonetheless problems both of humans and for humans, though many elect to turn away it is understandable that one would find themselves nonetheless compelled to act toward the embetterment of their world. Whichever way they turn, however, apostate and fidelitous alike find themselves already caged by the funhouse mirrors of their own failed gnosis.

“The whole of living that we see before our eyes today is from inmost to outmost enmeshed in repressional mechanisms, social and individual; they can be traced right into the tritest formulas of everyday life,” he continues, laying down modes of defense by which his species avoids the hazard at the center of their own psychic ontologies. By these same methods, anarchists, and conceivably all confronted by truly larger than life matters, find ways to ignore their problems, bury themselves in dogmatic commitment to project-hobbies, and treat whatever matter is at hand as effectively reducible to an arena in which they, preferably, already hold mastery.

Failed imaginations an oubliette for every revolution.

Voiced and Edited: Linn O’ Mable

Words: Jacob

Slaving away on the computer: rydra wrong

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