On Drive

Kevin has asked me to clarify the nature of drive in spectral realism, namely, how I can have two drives that are really one.

In Bohme and Schelling, there are two drives which I have adopted, expansion and contraction (though the early Schelling will claim there are potentially infinite drives, these are the only two which are discussed and taken up in the later works). What I have added to these two drives is the impossible telos, with the goal of expansion being Being qua Being (as infinite presence or occupation), and that of contraction being absolute Non-Existence. No thing exists infinitely, that is, eternally across all time and infinitely across all space. Conversely, no thing has absolute non-existence, for if it did it would never exist or ever have the possibility of existing and we would be unable to even speak of it. Both Being and Nothing exist as absolute non-possibilities.

What then of the drives? All things that do exist are the result of the tension between these two drives (the early Schelling makes the same argument, which I have discussed here and will further qualify in an upcoming post tentatively titled The Tension of Temporary Existence). Essentially, drive is the process of Nature, which is always moving towards the impossible ends, Being and Nothing (impossible because the existence of finitude precludes their possibility; because of the accident known as Becoming, these ends cannot be achieved, but are always infinitely distant). This leads me to posit the spectrality of objects and conclude that hauntology is first philosophy (ontology being impossible as it’s object of study being impossible, likewise with me-ontology). All things (ghosts) are eternally moved towards these impossible ends which has lead me to the bizarre conclusion that nothing is ever gone in the sense that anything that ever has been or could be exists within the same reality as those things which seem to have the most existence, that is, temporary presence. If all presence is temporary, then we must conclude that it is possible for all absence to be equally as temporary, in other words, anything can come to be, any ‘thing’ is possible.

There is however a qualitative difference however between presence and absence as we know them. Those things which once had more presence do not affect us as they once did, hence my turn to “mourning,” which we can understand as the closest we have to phenomenology within hauntology. It must be understood that mourning is used in a specific sense, as I have discussed previously.

What must be understood for this explication of drive is that things are continuously moved towards these impossible extremes. Does this mean that there is a fundamental dualism however? No; the drives to expansion and contraction, while seeming to have entirely different goals, achieve the same end: collapse. When a thing expands or contracts too much, that is, is taken from it’s precarious position of existence as we know it, it essentially disintegrates in the sense that is it no longer linked to other ghosts in the same way. This is the end that all things achieve at some point, their own elimination from this network we are a part of, the network of haunting and mourning. This is why both drives are ultimate death drives, as they both achieve death, in one form or another, in their drive to infinity.



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6 responses to “On Drive

  1. Pingback: Telling You Who My “Friends” Are? « Editions of You

  2. Pingback: Telling You Who My “Friends” Are? Maybe Not. « Editions of You

  3. kvond

    Expansion is a drive? Does that mean that “heat” is a drive?

  4. Kevin, I would not say that heat is a particular variety of drive but that as with all things, it is at bottom drive, yes.

  5. Pingback: Eros/Thanatos One Drive: The Limb Loosener of Sappho « Frames /sing

  6. Pingback: Zizek on Death Drive « Complete Lies.

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