LIFE IS CREAL
by Luis de Miranda
“Creal”: even if you can quickly see that this neologism is composed of the words create and real, it may, in several languages, almost sound like cruel. Let us then start, in order to reach a definition of what I call creal, with an erroneous expression of the everyday language: “Life is cruel.”
Why is this statement false?
Some have undergone events that seem to indicate that life is violent upon them: death of a relative, illness, loneliness, an accident. But this violence is not voluntary. It is in the best of cases an indifference of the vital flow to the balance of the individual. If life ought to be considered as cruel, it would have to be guided by the intention to harm a person: that would give life a human psychology, and even “too human” since it would be the point of view of the victim. The ever-creative chaosmos that we call life is not cruel: it animates us from within, propelling our impulses, sometimes strengthens us, sometimes weakens us. I call this chaosmos the Creal. Life is a pure creative burst, constant germination of possibilities and impossibilities. Henri Bergson speaks of a “huge efflorescence of unpredictable novelty.” Alfred North Whitehead wrote: “Creativity is the universal of universals characterizing the ultimate fact.”
Therefore life is not cruel, but creal.
Of course, one can say that a determined society is unfair, that it encourages violent stupidity, the spirit of resentment and revenge. But a society or a State is not life, it is a given form, a configuration of life, a possibility and a moment of organization among others. Societies must to some extent go against the flourishing vitality and more or less restrain the enjoyment (jouissance in French) of the inner explosion that unbalances the worlds and tends to disintegrate the individual. Here we foresee how creal and human integrity may be opposed, but we will see that it is a fertile dialectic in the Hegelian sense: a tension of opposing forces which requires temporary victories of one or the other. The integrity of the individual is the victory of unity over multiplicity. But the integrity of life is the victory of multiplicity over oneness.
This constant vital explosion that we call the Creal is sensitive rather than abstract. But it remains largely hidden, invisible, virtual, because every human epoch only actualizes, realizes, materializes a small part of the creal. Life is always larger and richer than what we perceive.
If the concept of creal is a novelty, what it means can of course be related to a long philosophical tradition. The Chinese have been speaking for twenty-three centuries of “tao”. Hindus make use of the word “brahman”. The Greeks (and later Nietzsche) spoke of “chaos”. In the Middle Ages, the holy lifeblood was named “grail”. Later, Schopenhauer has used the word “will”, Heidegger “be”, and before him Hegel saw at the source of the life process, the becoming aware of a total “Spirit”. Bergson prefers the word “duration” and Whitehead “process”. All these proto-crealist ideas are opposed to the creationist idea of a single distant fiat lux, a paternalistic and anthropocentric god, who created the world once and for all and then rested, not without showing His occasional bad mood or pervasive love.
In the first paragraph of the crealist manifesto, released in 2007, the following formula is central: “The world is / has to be my creation.” Since this sentence is given to the appropriation of all and has an ethical twist, it is not a solipsistic formula, an egotistical statement, or only a pragmatic program for a personal power. It is a (cosmo) political imperative, the dynamic formula of societal action.
A world is not the Creal, it is a society, a systematic shaping of the chaosmos, a structuring of life among others, a "creorder", as political economists Nitzan and Bichler define it. Therefore, there are several possible worlds, as Leibniz pointed. In the sentence “The world is / has to be my creation”, it is a citizen « I » that is talking here, and it is the expression of our Zeitgeist: more and more subjects become conscient of this will to be, at least in part, the author of our environment. The crealist formula that reality must be my creation is similar to the sociological category of empowerment: the subject ceases to adapt at any price to an existing reality seen as an analogy of truth ; he reclaims, slowly, not without difficulties and wanderings, the productive forces of reality, so that tomorrow the reality is more faithful to the integrity of its aspirations. This crealist awareness and willingness are now universal, and not just the prerogative of a ruling elite that imposes its values on an automatic majority.
“The world is / has to be my creation”: could we not find that this requirement contradicts the notion of creal? Is it life that creates or man? This issue carries a dual error if it separates human from life: humans are one of the manifestations of the Creal. They are, among the creal, the place that has a passion for order, probably because they are the animal that is most sensitive to chaos, the open animal, the animal of extremes. When I create, it is life in me that creates: the less I act, the more I am creal. In a sense, one could say that when a human being puts his/her will in parentheses, he/she is the most creative: here is the main finding of the Surrealists. When I organize it is also Life that organizes, but it is not the same moment of life that springs, fuses, explodes and on the other hand that orders, names, codifies. We have to understand the dialectical, dynamic, bipolarity of the Creal: life in its totality is pure orgasmic and disparate explosion, but in some of its parts it is ordered.
How is this possible?
Whitehead coined a happy neologism: rather than subject, he prefers to speak of “superject”. Imagine the vital explosion: there is no reason why it should be homogenous. It is more likely that some of its branches, some of its projections, have more dynamic power than others, at least temporarily. Some power lines - the “lines of flight” according to Gilles Deleuze - some power jets are more powerful and attract elements of their local area, according to a law of attraction which may be due to the density of energy or the speed of propulsion. I am not a physicist and would not attempt the naive operation to validate my intuitions by seeking legitimacy in the so-called hard sciences. The hard sciences, with a crealist view, constitute the world according to their digital axioms; the results that sciences find tend to reflect their postulates and the subject / object distinction (although quantum physics is known to have shaken this dichotomy and made things more “complex”). Let us remember this: the Creal is incoherent because its blooming has no reason to be homogeneous. Order, always local and temporarily built, is the effect of the subordination of minor subjects to a dominant superject. The superject has a stronger creal energy and therefore a greater ability to influence. Note that the superject is not necessarily a person of flesh and bones - it might be an idea, a group, a situation: “Each occasion expresses his creative impulse coefficient in proportion to its coefficient of subjective intensity”, writes Whitehead.
But how to define this subjectivity?
Through the concept of integrity, which is both an affirmation and a negation. The more the local superject absorbs and attracts less dynamic elements of the Creal, the more it feels distinct and aspires to become one. But he cannot persevere in his being without building walls to refrein its inevitable dissolution in the Creal. The Superject is therefore in this dual situation in which it absorbs the heterogeneous while aspiring to the uniform. No doubt this approach is not yet clear: it is the whole purpose of these lines to unfold these intuitions.
What I have written might appear as a legitimation of vital power against the social order. If the dominative virtue of some is a stream of life, if some dominate because they are more driven by the power of creal, isn't this a return to innatism, a way to exonerate the ascendancies, the hegemonies, of any kind of guilt? Is it not a return to the Nietzschean superiority, the legitimation of those who just don’t need to want power because they are intrinsically power carriers? Let’s say first that I do not justify anything: I try to watch impartially. Let’s then say that power is distributive, and it flows: it is not given once and for all. A major superject can suddenly lose its kinetic energy, while a minor subject can draw from the influence of a superject the material to be transmuted into a superject. There are parasites that can suck more blood than they seemed to contain. Note that from the point of view of life, every individual is a parasite.
Crealism says movement and creativity are given first, a sensitive and ontological primum mobile. To the “everything flows” of Heraclitus, we prefer “everything explodes”. To speak as psychoanalysts, if we do nothing, it creates. The unconscious is everything, knows everything, since it creates everything. Becoming a coherent individual is not affirming everything, because life takes on a constant and always repeated affirmation. Becoming one supposes to deny everything that does not strengthen us in the long term. To persevere in its being and build the society that it deserves, the superjects must fight against the disparate explosion that swallows them from inside, by sorting, by separating, purifying, pruning, by building walls against dissolution. This discipline allows the crealist subject to gradually attract more of that which increases its power and be more incorruptible to what undermines its balance. Ultimately, it is always the Creal which triumphs, and superjects burst and scatter: integrity disappears. But it was good while it lasted.
There is, in Jacques Lacan’s work, a key sentence that says: “The only chance of the existence of God is that He enjoys (jouisse), that He is the enjoyment (jouissance).” The Creal, as the vital absolute, as the immanent and metamorphic fabric of the pluriverse, is pure orgasmic enjoyment. Each part of the Creal is desire for enjoyment. These truths will only shock hypocrites or cowards: they are sensitive and each of us has experienced it. Certainly, more chaste philosophies were once in vogue. We understand that a puritan Kant preferred to prohibit the knowledge of the absolute rather than saying that It was pure orgasmic enjoyment. The assertion would no doubt have saddened, in the eighteenth century, the Prussian town of Königsberg.
But if life is pure jouissance in its entirety, and desire for jouissance in its parts, how can we explain the formation of zones of order?
Why hasn’t the orgasmic chaos remained a pure chaos? How is it that some places in life, and not just human place, show signs of organization?
The answer lies in front of our eyes, and is relatively simple. That is what distinguishes, in psychoanalytical terminology, the principle of pleasure from jouissance. When the superject joins the orgasmic enjoyment by responding eagerly to the call of the absolute, it dissolves as an individual, it renounces to his consistency, his integrity. Any organization is itself a bulwark against the voracity of life. Beavers build dams, termites castles of earth, the human imagine social codes, all to avoid that the power of creal should dissolve the power of local superjects. In other words, to answer the question of Spinoza - what can a body? -, a body can either be dissolved in the Creal, and then it disappears as an individual and melts into jouissance, or it can delay the dissolution by building, ordering, agencing in order to strengthen its individuality.
But how could a barrier to the global orgasmic enjoyment have risen from the Creal?
The answer is logical: if we have a disparate explosion we must, at least logically, recognize the idea of unity, even if this total unity of the chaosmos never takes place. The unity of life is the logical shadow drawn by the becoming multiple of the creal. And what is logical is as much real as what is physical.
The individuality is that part of the global energy that wishes to persevere in its being as it folds its environment to its density, as a “strange attractor”. Cosmic cogito: where a part of the all delays its dissolution, we have the formation of a subject, of an I. As soon as this I becomes conscious of itself as resistance to burst and will to consistency, it will be as aware of his thrive to jouissance, that is to say, its inclination to join the creal. This is what Deleuze, inspired by a short-story by the writer Fitzgerald, called “the crack-up” (fêlure in French). The I or ego translates locally the universal schize of life, which is both disparate unceasing explosion, that is to say pure immanent multiplicity, and, logically, unity. Oneness is spiritually generated by the immanent radicalism of multiplicity. The higher the multiple is multiple, the more it will suck, like a flip side, the idea of One rather than nothing. Let us say, by the way, that the Nihilists are superjects whose little vital force make less aware of the fullness of the Creal. Therefore, where the invisible is saturated with possibilities and infra-organic vortex, they see empty holes. We all are, more or less, nihilistic in our everyday life.
But why the ego that discovers itself as an ego would want to develop? Once again, it’s energetical. I is at first a superject energy and then, as it feels its power of attraction, becomes a dike against dissolution. Yet the effect of a dam is that it increases the pressure force of the water that exerts its pressure on it. As the dam of the ego is sensitive, it feeds on the increase of this vital pressure that is the effect of a willful obstruction or a channelling.
Moreover, from the moment where the logic shade of the unity of creal is drawn, life knows the idea of unity, and therefore, the more the Creal will be multiple, that is to say, the more it will produce realities and virtualities, the more the idea of unity will include a strong creality. And the more an idea encompasses a broad reality, the more it is desirable. The schism of I is the microcosm of the schism of the Creal: it is simply life within me that aspires to unity, while still bursting out. Individuals are the runts of the unity shadow produced by the becoming multiple of life.
But then, will you ask, is the creal schizophrenic? If it is enjoying its pure explosion, why does it have a desire for unity? Because, as we already said, unity is supremely what life will never reach. Precisely because the creal will never be one, joined, united, homogenous, balanced, the idea of unity will always be its greatest ideal. Same for the individual microcosm.
Let us repeat. The desire for unity is the logical antithetical production of life process. Physically, materially, immanently, the creal becomes everything and enjoys it. But this dispersion creates a shadow in the background, a hollow aspiration, the idea of unity. Thus was the spirit born. The mind is the shadow of life, its logical hollow production, the idea of unity that, by antithesis, the constant explosion generates. To speak logically of multiplicity, we must conceive oneness. Therefore, any individual, all I is conscious, aware of the integrity that the sensitive becoming lacks. What one believes is one’s flesh, one’s desire, one’s sensitivity is only the movement of the creal burst within. Logical integrity is the supreme creation of life. It is what life wants the most because it is what it can never reach, or only locally, in an individual or an organized system of individuals or superjects. This is why the creal “loves” and promotes certain individuals, based on their integrity. The coherent individual (the non-divided one, the non schizonevrotic self) will incorporate the love of life. He or she is the child of creal.
Do the preceding lines announce the reign of the most powerful, the highest superject? Now we can offer a better answer. It is not enough to be an enjoying animal, driven by the vital disorganized flow. A really powerful individual will build up its integrity, thereby partly separating from the burst of life to appear as a consciousness in the eyes of the creal, representing therefore a local image of what life desires ultimately, which is to be one. Nobody is completely one and coherent, but some are “oner” than others. Let us stance that the most coherent superjects may appear, from a physical point of view, as less alive than those who live by the outburst. But from a total point of view, that is to say logical and lively, they are the summit of life.
Eventually, life is certainly a game that nobody wins or loses, since the person is within it only a resistance, the I a limitation. Those dividuals that, in a society become powerful based on automatic criteria, thieves, violent, unscrupulous cheaters, eating all the racks, are people without conscience and without personal psychic unity. They do not know who they are. The more they scatter after jouissance, the more they lose their individuality, and gradually they fail even to enjoy themselves. The illusion that the sensual enjoyment is the location of the expression of the conscience of the individual, is the lure by which life dissolves the strength of personality that slows its explosion. Sometimes, of course, life hates what it admires. Call it envy. Those spoke Nietzsche: “Let’s ged rid of the representative meals upon which men feed !”
In other words, more prosaic, a boss that enslaves his employees, a Mafioso who pays the woman who sleeps in his bed, those who accept such payments, and most mimetical consumers of fun are, in terms of human consciousness, an embryonic whirlwind, an illogical pruritus, they are life without its spirit. Beings without integrity are puppets without value other than accidental, they are particles of the life orgasm, unable of consistency and therefore unreliable, monsters without taste, without finesse, without liability, changing identity literally every day and even hour by hour. They will feel a part of the creal that goes through them, but they will end as they lived: foreign to themselves, enslaved to the representations of the time, tired before the hour, emptied or smiling like robots. Ghosts. We meet here the psychoanalytic theory of sublimation: that to which I renounce in the name of my spiritual unity makes me durably stronger by edifying me, building me up. Of course, probably no one has or will ever be totally one. This is why integrity starts with the constant effort to be one. Master Eckhart said, in the 14th century, that love makes us become what we love. Love of oneness makes us one.
Of course, the typical person is never quite a pawn. He or she are crossed by bursts of creal that make them either joyful or anxious. Lacan said that the moment of anxiety is valuable because it reminds us of ourselves at this point of conjunction between our integrity and the absolute. To partly escape the fatalistic social codes that compels us, it is necessary to practice a crealist discipline, which is not far from that of a conscious dreamer or an subconscious forger: the world around me can take all possible forms and apparent shapes are the result of a modifiable social production. The world is what we repeat.
What does that formula mean? To understand it, we must agree on some definitions. World means a constructed space - a “nexus” in the terminology of Whitehead - that is to say a set of actualisations knotted together to form a shared territory, and a bulwark against the explosive becoming. For example, the language is a world, as well as the traffic rules. The realistic prejudice, stimulated by the need for safety, imposes that there is only one world on earth, roughly consistent: today it is the system which we would call capitalhumanist. This dominant system is meant to allow a majority of people to cross their biography by avoiding the terror of creal, that is to say that fear which can be created by the idea that everything is metamorphic and bursting. Capitalhumanism is a system where even the sufferings are explained in terms of capital and humanism: perpetrators and victims are identified, and money or “human weaknesses” function as a reassuring fetish, a key to universal understanding. Many people prefer to suffer in a shared and familiar repository rather than venturing into their own construction and perception of the creal, which is always the result of a slow authorization, a becoming author of one’s existence.
In sociology, the theorem attributed to sociologist William Isaac Thomas says: “If humans define a situation as real, it will become real in its consequences”. This means that reality is not true in itself, but conventional and constructed, like the beavers build their dams and lodges to design a habitable space. Reality is the result of an agreement among an infinite number of possible interpretations and configurations. If we all agree that capitalism is the least bad system, all our actions will converge in this direction: some rites of passage will be repeated, like considering money as the universal means of exchange. Thus Marx wrote: “Money, which has the quality to be able to own anything, is eminently the object of possession. The universality of its quality is all-powerful, and it is considered as a being whose power is limitless. Money is the intermediary between the need and the object, between life and livelihood. But what mediates my life also mediates the existence of others for me. For me, money is the other.” Every time we exchange money and that we accept the money as a form of universal mediation, we commit an act of faith that creates the world of tomorrow. The process will be the same for the so-called human nature. There is no such thing as eternal human qualities, good or bad, but the more we call for them, the more they persist.
To understand Thomas’s theorem, we can say that habits have an entropy. This is what is commonly referref to as the force of circumstances. At the scale of human society, a new convention always takes place in a system of conventions that precedes it. If the new agreement is too far from the base application, it will be difficult to generate reality. This is why social creativity is a slow and viscous process, far more than individual creativity. Therefore, for the Thomas's theorem to be more in line with experience, it should be rephrase as follows: “If humans define a situation as real, and that this definition is not too deviated from the definition previously accepted by most in a similar situation, it can more quickly become real in its consequences.” The force of habit is more powerful than the agreement, albeit with a lobby of financial means to ensure its propaganda. If an economic consortium wants us to adopt the internal use of an electronic chip, we are so little accustomed to let hard technology penetrate our body that we can expect resistance without the need a strong political consciousness. However, if the chip is dissolved in liquid nanotechnology, with an activity supposedly limited in time, like a drug or food, we would hesitate less to give it to our children if they venture alone in a potentially dangerous area or to swallow it ourselves if we go climb a desert mountain, so as to be found in case of accident. Detectable man is already the present of capitalhumanism.
How can a crealist be the author of its own territory (auctor in latin, the one who increases)? By repeating his creed of personal integrity, at any risk. Imagine someone who is unhappy in his current job as an agricultural engineer, and imagine that, through the revelation of an experience, he or she understands that he has a passion for flowers. Imagine also that where this individual lives, the florist business is affected by a high unemployment rate. His first trend, fatalistic, will be to say that apart from buying or contemplating flowers, any stronger action, like quitting a boring job, would be suicidal. But if this mind repeats with faith, admiration and desire, at every moment of the day, the following formula: “Flowers are my life”, then he or she will gradually become a magnet for micro-events that abound in the direction of the flower passion integrity. If this person is patient and organized, it is likely that gradually the conditions for him or her to live according to the love for flowers will be put in place, perhaps in an unexpected manner. For we have seen, life loves those who aspire body and soul to a unity. This mode of operation is more akin to the maturation of plants, fruit growth rather than consumption. If it is really my destiny to be a florist or a botanist or become in one way or another, a human-flower, my subconscious will know how to do it as long as my lack of conscience and concentration does not interfere too much, by precipitation or cowardice. Paradoxically, the aware repetition of what I call a “creaxis”, an integration formula (“Flowers are my existence” is a possible creaxis) will be useful to paralyze the disorganized will and channel the subconscious into a territorialization. In this sense, Lacan could say: “Never give up on your desire”.
In this sense, a crealist is a hero. To become a person of integrity, he must indeed risk his comfort. To fulfill his destiny, he must be prepared to lose everything except his ideal of individual unity and style. An integrity that is a powerful self-integration, a conquering humility, an equilibrium between the respect for life as creal and the supreme idea of unity.
Luis de Miranda