It is true that this return to the old human house is perhaps the most upsetting moment of a life devoted to the succession of disappointing illusions. As a strange step draws nearer to it, the old house of myth appears no less deserted than the "picturesque" rubble of temples. For the representation of the myth that expresses the totality of existence is not the result of any current experience. The past alone, or the civilizations of "backward" peoples, have made possible the knowledge but not the possession of a world that seems henceforth inaccessible. It is possible that total existence is nothing more for us than a simple dream, nourished by historical descriptions and by the secret gleams of our passions. Contemporary men can master only a heap that represents the debris of existence. This recognized truth, however, quickly appears at the mercy of the lucidity controlled by the need to live. At the very least a first experience should be followed by failure before the denier acquires the right to sleep guaranteed by his denial. The methodical description of the experience to be attempted indicates, moreover, that it only demands attainable conditions, The "sorcerer's apprentice," first of all, does not encounter demands that are any different from those he would encounter on the difficult road of art. Inconsequential fictional figures are no less exclusive of determined intention than are arid mythical figures. The requirements of mythological invention are only more rigorous. They do not refer-as a rudimentary conception would have it-to obscure faculties of collective invention. But they would refuse to see any value in figures whose share of willed arrangement has not been set apart with the rigor proper to sacred feeling. From beginning to end, moreover, the "sorcerer's apprentice" must accustom himself to this rigor (supposing that it does not respond to his most intimate command). Secrecy, in the domain where he advances, is no less necessary to his strange procedures than it is to the transports of eroticism (the total world of myth, the world of being, is separated from the dissociated world by the very limits that separate the sacred from the profane). The "secret society" is precisely the name of the social reality constituted by these procedures. But this novelistic expression must not be understood, as it usually is, in the vulgar sense of a "spy ring." For secrecy has to do with the constitutive reality of seductive existence, and not with some action contrary to the security of the State. Myth is born in ritual acts hidden from the static vulgarity of disintegrated society, but the violent dynamism that belongs to it has no other object than the return to lost totality; even if it is true that the repercussions are decisive and transform the world (whereas the action of parties is lost in the quicksand of contradictory words), its political repercussion can only be the result of existence. The obscurity of such projects only expresses the disconcerting reorientation necessary at the paradoxical moment of despair.
excerpt from the book: Visions of Excess by Georges Bataille
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Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 2)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 3)
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