A Little Note on the Will to Power and Schizophrenia
I read The Will to Power and have been left in awe but also utter disappointment. Obviously the rejection of negation, what is base, etc. is prevalent in this text. But at the same time, this feeling of power that he describes is something undeniable. I’ve felt triumph, surges of power, sovereignty (in both the Bataillean and Nietzschean sense), and so on. But the will to power seems to be nothing more than an illusion, just as we are. The will to power, and Friedrich Nietszche himself, are mistaken. He rejected negation too much (he tried to exclude the base matter), but is this rejection of it, this negation of it, if you will, not the inclusion, that is, the affirmation of negation? Negation is what underlies affirmation. All affirmations are predicated on negation, because both discontinuity and continuity are negation. Any affirmations taken within discontinuity are predicated on continuity. Nietzsche is a philosopher of project (will to power) if we are to believe theorists such as Deleuze, but of course we know he is no such thing, he is the philosopher of evil. So, in this way Nietzsche actually wasn’t mistaken, because he wasn’t the philosopher of the will to power. Yes, the will to power is mistaken, but Nietzsche? Hardly!
I see a door slightly open, and I believe something has pushed it to open. I stare into the dark line which is between the two doors. I can only see this line because one of the doors is slightly open, but when I stare into this darkness, the door seems to move. It opens more and more, but then I look at the door after looking away, and it seems to have not moved at all. But, then, at that instant I believe it has not moved, it seems to move once more! Sometimes I think I see things, I feel like I am being watched (I have had what can only be described as psychosis induced breakdowns a few times this year, and it started in the summer, it started with paranoia), my grandfather (on my dad’s side) was a schizophrenic you know. Am I seeing with my third eye? It is in the sleep of reason that monsters come out, Bataille is right about this. But, we are not the only ones to become monsters, we see all the monsters which surround us, and we scream! I am going to close the door now, it has made me too uncomfortable. I can no longer bear it being open.
It is done. The door is closed. Reason wakes up, bleary-eyed.
Georges Bataille in no way denies the existence of the will to power. Bataille says, “[L]ife is no less the accumulation and loss of force.” For Nietzsche, “Life itself is to my mind the instinct for growth, for durability, for an accumulation of forces, for power: where the will to power is lacking there is decline.” As we can see, Nietzsche sees the will to power as life’s instinct to accumulate force. So, Bataille does not deny the will to power. But he in no way “affirms” it. As Nick Land correctly recognized, “As for will to power; what need for an impulse to the accumulation of force on a planet drowned in solar luxuriance.” Bataille recognizes the accumulation of force, the will to power, as well as the loss of force, which is? Is it not the will to chance? Bataille sees the will to chance, and in the context of general economy contra restricted economy, the will to chance is all there is. Let us to recourse to a more Landian expression of what I’m trying to say: we have the primary process as the will to chance and the secondary process as the will to power. In reality, the will to chance is the only process, for the primary process is still the primary process for the secondary process, which is nothing more than a momentary aberration from the primary process.
So, what is the status of Nietzsche in relation to us? It is still the same. I have never been drawn to the concept of the will to power in Nietzsche’s work. I have been drawn more to the concept of the overman compared to the will to power, but this is ultimately nothing compared to the great pull of the concepts of eternal return and amor fati. Back in 2019, I was introduced to Nietzsche “through” Schopenhauer, that is to say, I was introduced to Nietzsche as a Dioynsian pessimist. Upon reading him and just a few fragments from The Gay Science, I immediately declared myself to be a Dioynsian pessimist. In some regard, I still am one.
I just realized that I would, right now, be talking to my ex if we were still together. We talked every night during the first semester of sophomore year (August-December 2020). This is all quite weird. I was not motivated when I was with her. She undid me. I never read that much, in fact, I hated to read, I only read as opposed to doing school work, but I would drop the books to talk to her. I only started to read really in the beginning of October. You can see my writings from then in this book in fact. But the output was miniscule: thirty fiveish pages in two months (I’m sure it will be less than that when I am done editing this book!). Within the months of April to August 2021, I produced about 1000 pages. I hope that I remember to write on the days October seventeenth and thirty first, for those were very important days. October seventeenth was probably the happiest day of my life. On that day, I met Kyndal in person for the first time (We had been dating for fourish months online), and the first thing I said when I met her was “You’re beautiful.” No truer words of enchantment have ever been spoken, thus far in history. Her eyes were seductive voids of ecstasy. I got lost in them. So, in case I forget to also write an essay on Halloween, let me just say that it was the last time I was completely happy. Of course, I was just as happy the next day, and we bonded even further over the next week because the election was happening (she was an avid Bernie supporter, but she ultimately gave into supporting Biden; I refused to support anyone except for Kanye, and I only supported Kanye because the fact he was running, and thus he himself made me laugh). But there was just something about Halloween. I didn’t even go outside to celebrate it. I stayed inside on a call with her until the early morning. In fact, why am I not writing an essay about every day I was with her? I do not know. I don’t think I could do such a thing. Thinking about her exhausts me even to this day (it has been over ten months since we last talked). Will I ever get over her? I said no the moment we broke up, and it still seems that I was right, but getting over her now means something new. I don’t think about her all day anymore, much less every day. In fact, I continually think less and less about her. I don’t know if I miss her anymore. I don’t know what missing her feels like anymore. She still defines the erotic for me, as she is the only one whom I’ve physically shared erotic moments with. I will get over her when someone else defines the erotic, when I fall in love with someone else, assuming that happens (which I doubt more each day, for I do not socialize anymore except with my close friends, I write and read).
Bataille says, “Ecstasy is different from receiving sexual pleasure, less different from giving it.” In that case, I experienced ecstasy, and it is doubtful she did. She never did anything to my genitals, I did not want to make her do something she didn’t want to do, and so I didn’t. We made out and did other selective actions, but besides the kissing which we were both dissolved in, I only did things for her.
One of my friends earlier this year Mark suggested that how productive I was over the summer is terrifying. And today, my friend Lucy was in shock that I had been in love before. She said, “I can’t imagine you being with anyone, much less in love with someone.” Before that though, she looked at a reminder on my phone which read “Don’t forget to wear your retainer.” And she was confused. She looked at me and said, “Sometimes I forget that you are human.” Apparently devoting the better years of your teenage life to a dead French guy isn’t in the rage anymore, who knew!?
One of the greatest artists of all time is Brakence. I’ve communicated many times “with” him “through” his music.
I have my first ACT tomorrow…
The motif ‘flows’ in Bataille is quite interesting: the flow of immanence, the flow of oneself beyond oneself, the flow of the river into the sea, etc.
I hear cicadas chirping outside. I think it is time to abandon myself to the night…
Bataille, Georges. Guilty. Translated by Stuart Kendall. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2011.
Land, Nick. The thirst for annihilation: Georges Bataille and virulent nihilism (an essay in atheistic religion). London, UK: Routledge, 1992.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Portable Nietzsche. Translated and Edited by Walter Kaufmann. Kingsport, TN: Penguin Books, 1976.
: Georges Bataille, Guilty, trans. Stuart Kendall (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2011), 13.
: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Portable Nietzsche, trans. and ed. Walter Kaufmann (Kingsport, TN: Penguin Books, 1976), 572.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and virulent nihilism (an essay in atheistic religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 156.
: Georges Bataille, Guilty, trans. Stuart Kendall (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 2011), 30.