Dysmorphia as a reaction to the nothingness of reality.


I like the idea of a competing tension between the nothingness of Being and material fullness as corporeal dysmorphia.

At the heart of Being there is nothing but the emotional drive to acquire a cultural identity. That identity gives name to that inner emptiness from which it is born, and provides it with a carapace that thickens over time, shrouding a vast hollow scape in a shell.

And thus consciousness arises, conscious of itself in thoughts, those Wittgensteinian language processes: the growing sense of self, the I am voice (or voices) endlessly providing the emptiness echo chamber of our collective inner world with noise (occasionally music), seemingly tangible, but really for the most part, a collection of reducted scripts, and cultural conditioning, like a colourful striped beachball bouncing against the backdrop of an otherwise forgettable 4D lanscape.

But it is the very silence, the unanswered prayer, the yawning void within, that gives meaning to this demanding emptiness. Abetted by a carousel of emotions, wooed and smoothed by mind, endless shifts are animated around this dull unresponsive void-like quality, the death zone, the disquieting nothingness, as dark as a black hole, and in so being, is the numb quality of nothingness brought to life. The tense dynamic, the dullness personified through animated lust, at last spawns a tangible, hopeful, dysmorphia.

At last, the dysmorphic creation that results from the time spent in the pursuit of escape from one’s nothingness, one’s embraced neurosis, into an even greater nothing, while on the way, convincing, tricking, cajoling, soliciting, others to join in more and more non-activity in social interaction because nothing begets as effectively nothing as nothing itself.

Capitalism, for instance where the pursuit of value for its own sake, has become an end in itself. Nothing is more pleasing to the merchant than selling air in pop corn or in mint chocolate for a value it cannot by its very nothingness possess. That is the absolute end, to create something of material value from nothing: the supreme achievement of the inner dysmorphic neurosis.

And if this makes no sense, then it has indeed failed to turn nothing into something, but then, as it begun as such, nothing, so it can hardly have lost that which it did not have, and so, in nothingness there’s a transformative potential which is its only inherent value, its skill at attracting to itself more of its own nothingness. The grand ability to create an anxious buzz that is intense enough to draw to it so much more than the actual silence emanating from it.

And finally anything is better, isn’t it, than one’s own inner silence? That bottomless well from which all loneliness springs and all society eventually must return.

6 thoughts on “Dysmorphia as a reaction to the nothingness of reality.

  1. You must read some of Sarah Bakewell…meet her if you can…she is in London. I have been reading her book At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom,Being, and Apricot Cocktails. I was always drawn to existentialism and phenomenology but was discouraged by my professors in the 80’s same as she. In this book she argues for the need to revisit these philosophies in our current time. And as for the idea of nothingness…I think it is rather the idea of an ambiguity. Reading deBeauvior’s The Ethics of Ambiguity has made me reconsider all aspects of former thinking. No net at the farm these days. Will be in touch next week sometime.

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    1. Yeah, I found the book easily enough on my ereader and am enjoying already the flavour of an apricot cocktail. I like the idea of phenomenology. As soon as I saw the word Being described with a capital, I was encouraged. Interesting because at college we studied Nausea, which I wrote a passable essay for, but I have never really got to grips with all this. I will. It is due a look for to walk in Being uncluttered by the abstractions of others would indeed be a liberation, and much of my thinking and writing is about a search for the lock that frees from illusion and opens up an entirely new vista.

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      1. Yes…we spent a whole week at the farm reading passages aloud and had an almost out of body experience just grooving on the feeling of truth that emerged.


      2. Yeah,

        Still reading it. I love the bits about poor old Heidegger and his abysmal fall into his own hubris via the Nazi party and the troubled ‘blood and soil’ rhetoric. It seems incredible to have travelled from Being in Time to Being in Nothing, and yet neither philosopher (writer) can define the last part of the puzzle, so Heidegger never really tackles Time, while Sartre dallies with so much, but seems to leave much more unfinished.

        It’s an extraordinary story, the so-called ambiguity – you’re preferred definition – is here described as ‘nothing’ in Being. For now, I am happier with that definition as ‘ambiguity’ invites in the idealisation of our true condition. I think it’s also fascinating how we never seem any closer, but find ourselves caught spinning as ever round the subject of our own implacable emptiness. Intentionality, however, seems as good a label for our will to life as any other.

        Anyway, I have not finished this book, and have a little way to go, so I am sure they’ll be some insight as yet lying ahead of me undisturbed. Perhaps, Heidegger will indeed have the last laugh and knock me enough side-ways to jolt an even newer reality or perspective than all those hoary old lives that live saturated throughout by a tired sense of Being in Being. 

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