Malice

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Malice

Postby aletheia » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:43 pm

It can be our (playful, innocent or otherwise) malice that most inspires positive (or otherwise) change in others, wakes or shakes them by provoking a reaction, a necessity to respond.

I often find that my more "negative" responses, such as when I am angry, upset, stressed, impatient, etc. are where I develop the most self-awareness, where my view is cast outside of myself and I am rendered more into an object of self-perception. I believe this is because these reactions are so "innate" and arise so quickly and automatically, they are spontaneously emergent from certain situations. The idea behind a Nietzschean "playful malice" here seems like a way of sanctioning and consciously allowing for these sort of reactions, within oneself or others, rather than judging and suppressing, or being ashamed/feeling guilty of them, or despising others for having these sort of responses. And often others need a well-conceived and accurate "malice", or brutal honesty without regard to their concerns, interests, desires or short-term good. In this way thay are confronted more openly with either a truth which by definition represents for them a limit to be recognized, or a falsehood against which they must mobilize their own being and truths. Or, they are confronted with their own denial and evasion mechanisms, or... with their own maliciousness of response. Either way this can lead to a positive and/or "necessary" development-change.

A problem with "non-playful" malice is that its destructivity is largely unchecked and unregulated. A great degree of internal chaos and imbalance of consciousness and inward regulation is generally required to produce vicious, spiteful or "non-playful" malice. In contrast, playful malice ariese from a position of wholeness and overflow, controlled and utilized-directed chaos, regulated imbalance. Both sort of malice can inspire reaction in others, for benefit or detriment, but I believe playful malice to be of a different and "higher" type, being with respect to how it emerges and functions. Because it is not overtly or necessarily self-destructive or self-blinding (but probably does need to act from within at least some basic degree of naivete) playful malice can be an imposing-experimenting upon the world/others in a way that is both a "violence" as well as a compassion and an inspiring, a will toward a higher instantiation/manifestation of possibilities. Even a "playful" malice involves a degree of lack of effective consideration of certain type of consequences, but even here we see that this is not a total lack but rather a new, more elevated and (directly, consciously) valued way of understanding (i.e. responding to, pre-empting through application of forms of control) consequences.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:48 pm

I do not like the word 'malice' here any more... perhaps ambivalence, or ignorance, or innocence, work better. Malice might be the end-result of this perspective "at play", but it is not strictly speaking (or necessarily) an intent. One must retain a degree of naivete with respect to the malicious consequence/s which one causes or may cause, else one will lose this innocent nature into suffering (regret).

Malicious is what is "chaotic" from another's perspective. By definition, then, most humans are malicious, chaotic toward each other ...Every human chaotically affects other humans it comes into contact with... Love then could be interpreted here as a will toward a reduction of malice/chaos through increasing a mutual understanding and thus a control of the various ways in which two people do or potentially will influence each other.

. . .

Possession of "malice", as in the child-at-play who acts maliciously even without malicious intent, or perhaps even with malicious intent, could be an early naivete that must be "broken" in order to become, at first, the regret/suffering of awareness and an understanding of one's responsibility (power) toward others, and then later, as this suffering is subsequently broken apart, one becomes free to act maliciously as needed with respect to certain needs, goals or ends. At first this "as needed" is served merely by the flexing and expressing of this new power itself, its coming into itself (this may be and often is mis-interpreted as a mere regression to a pre-refined maliciousness of intent). Later, as this power matures and continues to be refined, a new space for compassion and restraint opens up and begins to delimit the malicious power which has grown more suceptible to conscious recognition and is able to be put more directly to use serving one's ends. At this point, the value of compassion "for its own sake" naturally trumps that of maliciousness "for its own sake", but the latter is able, if needed, to over-value the first given certain situational demands. This would be an applied malice, which perhaps would take on a form of ambivalence in order to be capable of manifesting its effects/consequences in light of the otherwise compassionate limitation/s of (a higher acculturated) conscious being. Later still, I would imagine that it would be possible to apply controlled malice consciously without utilizing a form of ambivalence or ignorance; this would become possible once one's compassion has attained a similarly refined (self-conscious,controlled) form.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby fuse » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:28 pm

aletheia wrote:And often others need a well-conceived and accurate "malice", or brutal honesty without regard to their concerns, interests, desires or short-term good. In this way thay are confronted more openly with either a truth which by definition represents for them a limit to be recognized, or a falsehood against which they must mobilize their own being and truths. Or, they are confronted with their own denial and evasion mechanisms, or... with their own maliciousness of response. Either way this can lead to a positive and/or "necessary" development-change.

Well this makes a lot of sense. Seemingly good advice for both those who withhold their more negative emotions as well as for those who overwhelm others indiscriminately with a puffed up show malice and frustration.

I find that when I am able to be genuine with others (i.e. neither exaggerating for effect nor suppressing a major feeling) they feel more free to respond in kind.
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Re: Malice

Postby Nah » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:55 pm

"Malice" is something negative and especially something that create negative emotion/reaction in your judgmental perspective, most probably.
Apart from our (biologically, culturally, etc) conditioned mind and its perspectives, there is no malice, IMO.

But negative emotion/reaction often indicates what is blocking our view, energy flow, and so on, and thus it can be used as the sign post for freeing ourselves from such blocking.

However, we are conditioned, programed to run away and to escape from anything "negative" to us, by definition. So, using the sign post requires lots of practice, determination, and very delicate maneuver, on top of getting used to them.

Also, it's usually more productive (for getting used to negatives) to mind our own business and forget about others, at least in the first place.
Bothering about others and trying to manipulate them (a.k.a trying to help others), can give us more information about our own stupid human nature, in some case, though.
Also, by trying to manipulate others, we will usually get lots of reactions from them that will produce negative emotion/reaction is us, in return.
So, it can be mean to encounter our own negatives.
However, even without any action, we are fully surrounded and saturated with all sort of negatives that I don't think it's necessary to obtain even more (and possibly of crude quality) negative emotion/reaction in us.
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Since it's not my intention to increase the suffering of others, please don't read my posts if you don't like them.
I do think existence, awareness, material, beings, and humans including you and me to be insane and stupid for structural reasons and from observable behaviors.
I don't think most humans have the preference for logical honesty/integrity that would make us to think in reasonable manner.
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Combination of these may make some of you uncomfortable, irritated, and turn into emotional, irrational, and even fanatic mental state.
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Re: Malice

Postby von Rivers » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:23 am

I think we learn to run, jump, and sharpen a spear when we keep company with lions. Call this "self-perception" if you want. The same thing goes on at the dinner table, in polite company.

How are you?
What do you do?

These are typical conversation openers. It's not exactly hidden why they would be; it's a straightfoward way of asking you for your strengths and weaknesses. And when you don't like your own answers---you will exaggerate and lie without fail, or else pass the whole truth off as if it were only half. The questions that follow are always designed to detect just that. Do you think a stranger cares for you? No, of course not. And as for your family member, when he asks, he just wants to know what you contribute to the tribe. It's embarrassing that we're no more subtle than this.

"Playful" malice? What exactly is the distinction between malice "playful" or not. I think there may be none. Degrees, sure.

Suppose I tell a polite joke. You will smile. Funny how that is. ...I've had an effect on you. I've made myself felt. Is it any wonder why you show your teeth? Why do you think creatures in the animal kingdom do show their teeth? You will show your teeth just when someone even looks at you. Degrees, perhaps. That's all.

We're creatures who'd prefer to hunt. By the way, I'm talking about polite conversations. And do you share polite jokes with someone who plays dead? You don't even bother. Sure, in small doses, this is all good. How else are you going to learn to run, jump, and throw a spear? Call it "self-perception" if you want---it's just licking your wound.

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Re: Malice

Postby lizbethrose » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:45 am

Children can be malicious in their play because they have no knowledge of any or all possible consequences:

Possession of "malice", as in the child-at-play who acts maliciously even without malicious intent, or perhaps even with malicious intent, could be an early naivete that must be "broken" in order to become, at first, the regret/suffering of awareness and an understanding of one's responsibility (power) toward others, and then later, as this suffering is subsequently broken apart, one becomes free to act maliciously as needed with respect to certain needs, goals or ends. At first this "as needed" is served merely by the flexing and expressing of this new power itself, its coming into itself (this may be and often is mis-interpreted as a mere regression to a pre-refined maliciousness of intent). Later, as this power matures and continues to be refined, a new space for compassion and restraint opens up and begins to delimit the malicious power which has grown more suceptible to conscious recognition and is able to be put more directly to use serving one's ends. At this point, the value of compassion "for its own sake" naturally trumps that of maliciousness "for its own sake", but the latter is able, if needed, to over-value the first given certain situational demands. This would be an applied malice, which perhaps would take on a form of ambivalence in order to be capable of manifesting its effects/consequences in light of the otherwise compassionate limitation/s of (a higher acculturated) conscious being. Later still, I would imagine that it would be possible to apply controlled malice consciously without utilizing a form of ambivalence or ignorance; this would become possible once one's compassion has attained a similarly refined (self-conscious,controlled) form.


I do, however, question the application of "controlled malice" in an adult world. Can you explain, please? My initial reaction to "controlled malice" is 'bullying'--which really can't (imm) have any beneficial outcomes, no matter what the "situational demands" may be. To me, compassion should always take precedence--or, at least, all possible, known consequences should be considered and evaluted before "controlled malice" is used. If compassion doesn't over-rule "controlled malice," any action would be taken, imm, with malice aforethought.
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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:47 pm

"Controlled malice" here means any time you act from a motivation that is less than totally compassionate toward another, less than totally oriented toward another's needs or benefit. As I wrote, this often takes an initial form of ambivalence -- malice, or a lack of compassion/caring will express as a disinterestedness, lack of concern, or neutrality toward another and his or her needs. This is "malicious" because it is less than totally compassionate, because it does not act in such a way to either work toward or even attempt to understand what is best, beneficial, helpful or good for others. This maliciousness then can be either more or less intended, which is to say naive or self-responsible. "Controlled" malice would be aiming more toward the latter end of that scale, toward a more intentional and rationally-directed maliciousness (e.g. ambivalence, neutrality or lack of concern for another).

Malice is acting in such a way that one's intentions or actions are unbounded by the potential for harm these may cause another. Innocence then is "malicious" because it acts chaotically upon other people (and upon oneself). Innocence is not a "good will" nor good intention nor "excuse from self-responsibility" but rather is the lack of a guiding compassion and concern for another, this lack thus representing a failure of an otherwise compassion and concern to play a pre-scriptive and legislative role over one's actions and intentions/motives. One is innocent, naive, or "playfully malicious" when one is quite simply unable to act in such a way that others are not harmed. This is what Nietzsche called the "playful innocence of the Child" (in Thus Spoke Zarathustra), its self-interestedness and the exclusion of any principle of compassion-care for others which would inform/infringe upon its motives and actions.

To be compassionate toward another is more than feeling a sympathetic response, it is taking direct, intentional action for the benefit of another. This action can express as actual behaviors or it can express on the level of thought or intention/motive. The absence of this action and/or of the capacity for it (which is to say, of the ability to be self-responsible and rationally conscious enough to envision one's actions and their potential outcomes in advance) is what I choose to call here "malicious".
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:50 pm

Mo_ wrote:I think we learn to run, jump, and sharpen a spear when we keep company with lions. Call this "self-perception" if you want. The same thing goes on at the dinner table, in polite company.

How are you?
What do you do?

These are typical conversation openers. It's not exactly hidden why they would be; it's a straightfoward way of asking you for your strengths and weaknesses. And when you don't like your own answers---you will exaggerate and lie without fail, or else pass the whole truth off as if it were only half. The questions that follow are always designed to detect just that. Do you think a stranger cares for you? No, of course not. And as for your family member, when he asks, he just wants to know what you contribute to the tribe. It's embarrassing that we're no more subtle than this.

"Playful" malice? What exactly is the distinction between malice "playful" or not. I think there may be none. Degrees, sure.

Suppose I tell a polite joke. You will smile. Funny how that is. ...I've had an effect on you. I've made myself felt. Is it any wonder why you show your teeth? Why do you think creatures in the animal kingdom do show their teeth? You will show your teeth just when someone even looks at you. Degrees, perhaps. That's all.

We're creatures who'd prefer to hunt. By the way, I'm talking about polite conversations. And do you share polite jokes with someone who plays dead? You don't even bother. Sure, in small doses, this is all good. How else are you going to learn to run, jump, and throw a spear? Call it "self-perception" if you want---it's just licking your wound.

I am a river.


None of that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Your metaphor of hunting and competing in the wild is totally irrelevant here and is woefully inadequate to explain the civilized socialization of humans and our behaviors, thoughts or motives. Trying to reduce our behavior to "what primates do in the wild" or whatever is worse than useless.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:53 pm

fuse wrote:
aletheia wrote:And often others need a well-conceived and accurate "malice", or brutal honesty without regard to their concerns, interests, desires or short-term good. In this way thay are confronted more openly with either a truth which by definition represents for them a limit to be recognized, or a falsehood against which they must mobilize their own being and truths. Or, they are confronted with their own denial and evasion mechanisms, or... with their own maliciousness of response. Either way this can lead to a positive and/or "necessary" development-change.

Well this makes a lot of sense. Seemingly good advice for both those who withhold their more negative emotions as well as for those who overwhelm others indiscriminately with a puffed up show malice and frustration.

I find that when I am able to be genuine with others (i.e. neither exaggerating for effect nor suppressing a major feeling) they feel more free to respond in kind.


Yes, this would represent what I call love, or the becoming-aware and able-to-be-informed-by of the potential needs/conditions of others in such a way that one's own maliciousness (and subsequently, by relation, the maliciousness of others) is able to be reduced (i.e.there is a decrease in actual and potential chaos within the interpersonal relation/s).
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby von Rivers » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:09 pm

aletheia wrote:None of that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Your metaphor of hunting and competing in the wild is totally irrelevant here and is woefully inadequate to explain the civilized socialization of humans and our behaviors, thoughts or motives. Trying to reduce our behavior to "what primates do in the wild" or whatever is worse than useless.


If I ever catch myself saying something like, "I didn't understand what you said, ...oh, but it's also worse than useless" ---I would worry that I wasn't even taking myself seriously.

And yes, why would anyone ever try to bring to bear our animal past to color our understanding of human behaviour in what ways it can! They're sooo essentially different! We're not an evolved pack animal with a past to study at all... No way, sir... How offensive indeed. I believe we came by special order carried by Storks.
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Re: Malice

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:36 pm

Mo, no malice intended here but your new avatar is no where near as effective as the one projecting an impression of the Marlboro man epitomizing the rugged individual/cowboy sitting around the campfire out in the Badlands somewhere.

This new one looks like, well, Adrien Brody. Kinda mousey.

On the other hand, I don't even know how to create one! :wink:
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Re: Malice

Postby _________ » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:24 pm

Mo_ wrote:
aletheia wrote:None of that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Your metaphor of hunting and competing in the wild is totally irrelevant here and is woefully inadequate to explain the civilized socialization of humans and our behaviors, thoughts or motives. Trying to reduce our behavior to "what primates do in the wild" or whatever is worse than useless.


If I ever catch myself saying something like, "I didn't understand what you said, ...oh, but it's also worse than useless" ---I would worry that I wasn't even taking myself seriously.

And yes, why would anyone ever try to bring to bear our animal past to color our understanding of human behaviour in what ways it can! They're sooo essentially different! We're not an evolved pack animal with a past to study at all... No way, sir... How offensive indeed. I believe we came by special order carried by Storks.


I actually agree with you here, a point at which Aletheia and myself find ourselves at odds often enough--though I hope sans animosity. To attempt to understand such an intricate social body as we inhabit with no regard to how it came about is...well, myopic at best. The stark contrast of baring the fangs to the smile of human society warrants looking into and certainly implies a (now) more or less subtle malice. Anyone read about (or been in the company of) debutantes, parvenus, the bourgeoisie to high society in general (you know, the pretentious boners living in named manors) is more than familiar with the perfunctory nature of court civilities. Perhaps somewhere along the lines we began to believe the ruse. Observing the signification of the smile in culture at large metastasize over the years would be an interesting study.
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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:44 pm

_________ wrote:
Mo_ wrote:
aletheia wrote:None of that makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Your metaphor of hunting and competing in the wild is totally irrelevant here and is woefully inadequate to explain the civilized socialization of humans and our behaviors, thoughts or motives. Trying to reduce our behavior to "what primates do in the wild" or whatever is worse than useless.


If I ever catch myself saying something like, "I didn't understand what you said, ...oh, but it's also worse than useless" ---I would worry that I wasn't even taking myself seriously.

And yes, why would anyone ever try to bring to bear our animal past to color our understanding of human behaviour in what ways it can! They're sooo essentially different! We're not an evolved pack animal with a past to study at all... No way, sir... How offensive indeed. I believe we came by special order carried by Storks.


I actually agree with you here, a point at which Aletheia and myself find ourselves at odds often enough--though I hope sans animosity. To attempt to understand such an intricate social body as we inhabit with no regard to how it came about is...well, myopic at best. The stark contrast of baring the fangs to the smile of human society warrants looking into and certainly implies a (now) more or less subtle malice. Anyone read about (or been in the company of) debutantes, parvenus, the bourgeoisie to high society in general (you know, the pretentious boners living in named manors) is more than familiar with the perfunctory nature of court civilities. Perhaps somewhere along the lines we began to believe the ruse. Observing the signification of the smile in culture at large metastasize over the years would be an interesting study.


Perhaps my insult to Mo was not clear enough. It is his reduction to "primitive animality", not merely reference to it (e.g. of course we have an animal past, and of course this past has and still influences much of what we do/are), which is irrelevant here.

This exploration into the psychology of what I have called "malice" here is built upon such things as, for example, our animal past. The basic pathological drives are remnants of this past. What we experience as sentimental, passional, emotional reactions are derivatives of this basic "pleasure/pain" set-up of "instincts". All that goes, or should go, without saying. My explorations here are subsequent to this, they take it all into account from the outset, they build upon it. So, the reduction of the sort of psychological responses and conscious functions which I am analyzing here to this instinctual set-up is, again, irrelevant.

We evolved, we are apes, we are animals. Yes yes, we get it. This is no big insight any more, no profound revelation. We shake hands because it is (i.e. arose because it led, in the past, to giving a distinct survival (social-structural) advantage) a display of passivity, yes yes. Now what?
Last edited by aletheia on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:45 pm

Also interesting is the idiotic mis-construal of what I said, of "If I ever catch myself saying something like, "I didn't understand what you said, ...oh, but it's also worse than useless"", when in fact what I stated was that what Mo said does not make sense. I did not state that I do not understand it. I understand it quite well, which is how I know it is irrelevant here.
Last edited by aletheia on Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:47 pm

Amusing how these simple little logical feats, like mentally construing a simple statement of clear meaning as it was written down, can remain so totally out of reach.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby von Rivers » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:47 pm

Math,

Continue with this person if you want; I can't.

The point of my first post was to ask for a clarification, everything else there being a justification of why the clarification was needed. (Some nice writing. A few insights. All dressing for my question). This is clear from the post itself. I'm not sure why aletheia's insult was needed, or why the follow-up seemed so incoherent. And btw, imagine the absurdity of someone now claiming to have understood what also did not make sense. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't a waste of my post. I mean, the claim to have understood something that did also not make sense!

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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:21 am

And how might you know something "made no sense", or was "irrelevant", unless you understood it?

The equivalent of what you did: I say, "We have all these complex psychological drives, they work together in such-and-such a way, this is a result of that, which has led to this over here... that instinct tends to manifest like this, when it is ... but like that when it is rather ... etc. etc. etc.", to which you reply, "We were primates once."

I mean, really. I know you can do better.

Your "comments" might not even have been in reference to my post here, you touch on none of the content. Nor do your subsequent replies touch on any of the content of my own continuing replies to you. Like I said, it is truly fascinating to see a mind slide away like that, escape so naturally and totally into delusion, into irrelevance.

You've turned idiocy into quite an art. You ought be proud.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:24 am

Now, if you wish to actually address the substance of my post here, by all means, go right ahead. But a hint: the whole "we are animals, we have evolved combat and hunting instincts, our social behavior derives from animality" is always-already implied within what I've said here, so if that is what you really want to focus on -- if you'd rather look back than forward, or hell, even look back rather than at the present -- at least try to meaningfully draw that out in light of the topic here. At least make some effort.

I know you can do it.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby von Rivers » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:04 am

The point of my post was to ask you for a clarification and expanded explanation. This makes your ensuing comments about my not addressing your post not only ridi.... Anyways, here's what I wrote:
Mo wrote:"Playful" malice? What exactly is the distinction between malice "playful" or not? I think there may be none.
AND EVERYTHING I SAID was was to bolster the need for a further explanation on your part. After your comments, I'm afraid I have no interest in hearing it. And besides, you may have already agreed with me that "playful malice" is borderline an oxymoron.

aletheia wrote:And how might you know something "made no sense", or was "irrelevant", unless you understood it?
LOL. How would you know something made no sense unless you couldn't understand it? If you understood it, then guess what? --It makes fucking sense.
aletheia wrote:You've turned idiocy into quite an art. You ought be proud.
I have? I should?
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Re: Malice

Postby lizbethrose » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:05 am

aletheia wrote:

"Controlled malice" here means any time you act from a motivation that is less than totally compassionate toward another, less than totally oriented toward another's needs or benefit. As I wrote, this often takes an initial form of ambivalence -- malice, or a lack of compassion/caring will express as a disinterestedness, lack of concern, or neutrality toward another and his or her needs. This is "malicious" because it is less than totally compassionate, because it does not act in such a way to either work toward or even attempt to understand what is best, beneficial, helpful or good for others. This maliciousness then can be either more or less intended, which is to say naive or self-responsible. "Controlled" malice would be aiming more toward the latter end of that scale, toward a more intentional and rationally-directed maliciousness (e.g. ambivalence, neutrality or lack of concern for another).

Malice is acting in such a way that one's intentions or actions are unbounded by the potential for harm these may cause another. Innocence then is "malicious" because it acts chaotically upon other people (and upon oneself). Innocence is not a "good will" nor good intention nor "excuse from self-responsibility" but rather is the lack of a guiding compassion and concern for another, this lack thus representing a failure of an otherwise compassion and concern to play a pre-scriptive and legislative role over one's actions and intentions/motives. This is what Nietzsche called the "playful innocence of the Child" (in Thus Spoke Zarathustra), its self-interestedness and the exclusion of any principle of compassion-care for others which would inform/infringe upon its motives and actions.

To be compassionate toward another is more than feeling a sympathetic response, it is taking direct, intentional action for the benefit of another. This action can express as actual behaviors or it can express on the level of thought or intention/motive. The absence of this action and/or of the capacity for it (which is to say, of the ability to be self-responsible and rationally conscious enough to envision one's actions and their potential outcomes in advance) is what I choose to call here "malicious".


Thank you for your explanation and definitions. Using 'playful' as an adjective modifying 'malicious' is putting opposites together--like "beautiful ugliness" (although it's easier for me to understand the latter than the former.) Perhaps that's why I have trouble with Nietzsche.

If you don't mind, I'd like to paraphrase your next paragraph just to see if I understand it correctly.

When someone acts maliciously, they sometimes do so because they don't recognize the potential for harm their actions may cause another--the result of the action is unpredictable (chaotic) because it's unknown. Because 'innocence' has no understanding of consequence, an 'innocent' cannot have either compassion or concern for another--nor can an 'innocent' keep himself from unwitting malice. Nietzsche called this the "playful innocence of the Child" in Also Sprach Zarathrustra, meaning--(and here's where I have a problem. You say "its" with the antecedent being the child. It could also be "it's"--it is--with the antecedent being the child's innocence.) Which do you mean?

Now I'll use my own words. I agree, compassion is more than either sympathy or empathy--or a combination of both. Compassion means trying to help the person in need as well as you can. Now I'll come back to malice. People are malicious when they are fully aware that what they do will hurt someone else, but they do it anyway. For example, this often entails a whisper of truth, half-truth or non-truth meant to denigrate. If the whisper is made to another person who feel's as you do, it'll be passed on. One homophobe can go to another homophobe and say pretty much anything about a third person and be believed. People who do things like that aren't innocent nor are they being 'playfully malicious.' They're just spitefully mean!

There are multitudinous reasons for being spitefully mean and all of them, imm, stem from fear.

However, if I'm incorrect in my understanding of you words, please correct me. I have no desire to derail your thread. (Although I do admit to hoping to derail mo's rather tedious arguments.)
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
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Re: Malice

Postby _________ » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:01 pm

Let me try this another way, as I have two main objections.

I) I wonder why you feel the 'negative' emotions substantiate your existence as an individual more than the 'positive' ones. Perhaps I'm way off base here, but it seems to me that anger is something that defines you contra others, in a bellicose 'I am not that' sense. Let's take chess for example: I know my anger at losing is not directed at my inadequacy but the opponent's superiority. Is this really me at my most replete state of dasein? On the contrary, when I play a piece of music on the piano well, take an inspiring photo, express an opinion that is lauded, my focus (though sometimes aided or even induced by the praise of others) is on my accomplishment ("I am this")--my successful expression of self--and this, I feel, is my zenith of self-awareness.

II) Malice is defined as the desire to inflict injury; it's unequivocally intentional. Innocence thus can't be malicious as the intent is not to harm another but to benefit oneself. Though you seem to have begun to notice this yourself, it still seems a bit confused. You appear to describe more of a sociopath (or a graduation thereof) than an innocent: the self-interest supersedes the consequences bestowed external to the individual, this stemming from a "lack of guiding compassion and concern for another," or in other words a lack of empathy--ergo sociopath. Perhaps you could transpose your concepts onto a graduation of sociopathy, the consciousness of one's locus in that graduation and the conscious behavior as a result of this--or if this is analogous to what you're developing, I could just translate in my head, but I often find our signifiers conflict and as a result have difficulty interpreting the gestalt of your ideas.

Aside from that, I do think you were too quick to disregard Mo's and my post--and that's saying something, as Mo and I don't have the most congenial history.
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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:43 pm

Yes, it is as if no one can be bothered to read, and then think about, what they are attempting to comment upon (no offense intended toward you, that is largely meant for Mo). These issues are raised and dealt with in the OPs here, and those issues which require further explication are made subject to an outline of the direction and means of departure which would set us along a continual path of development and exploration. That all this is ignored and instead one merely circulates around the base, at the level of definitions, is unfortunate, but still salvageable so long as this is aimed toward something -- toward an intent at higher understanding. Which can come as a refutation or rebuke, of course. Nothing wrong with that.

Allow me to respond to each of your points more precisely, then:

I) I wonder why you feel the 'negative' emotions substantiate your existence as an individual more than the 'positive' ones. Perhaps I'm way off base here, but it seems to me that anger is something that defines you contra others, in a bellicose 'I am not that' sense. Let's take chess for example: I know my anger at losing is not directed at my inadequacy but the opponent's superiority. Is this really me at my most replete state of dasein? On the contrary, when I play a piece of music on the piano well, take an inspiring photo, express an opinion that is lauded, my focus (though sometimes aided or even induced by the praise of others) is on my accomplishment ("I am this")--my successful expression of self--and this, I feel, is my zenith of self-awareness.


What substantiates your existence is sensational interactivity and expression, it is the experience/s of your organism, of your 'consciousness'. Negative and positive here, to use there labels (I would prefer not, but for the sake of demonstration) are entirely equal in this regard. What matters is not is this feeling "negative" or "positive" but rather: what does this feeling indicate, into what relations, with what, does it enter, and why? What sort of telos does this, in the mind, to the subject, attain, and does this telos impose itself upon the form-al expression or necessity or possibility of the experience, in an 'a priori' or structurating-conditioning manner, and why or why not?

Your example of anger at losing a game is only a limited analysis. In fact, this anger is very much directed at the self. It is just that the self tends to blind itself to this fact, to prefer to externalize the anger outwardly, in order to protect the ego. We can see that anger, to continue this example, arises here from an imbalance or disconnect between what one desires or intends and what in fact plays out, what is actual. This disconnect generates here a passional response which we name 'anger'. To merely state that anger is "directed at the opponent" not only does not address the actual 'telos' (or, if you prefer, psychial structure and causality-generation) of the sensation, but it reduces the sensation of anger to its superficiality of expression and justified rationale, its "target" which ignores the situational context in which anger arises and by which it is conditioned. This context includes both the subject who is expressing-experiencing "anger" as well as this subject's environmental elements which interact with the subject's pathological (or, passional, emotional, sensational) nexus. Of course we can see how this "pathological" response, this emotion is the result of this reaction's expressing with regard to cognitive/rational consciousness, which is to say, we get "angry" when some sort of expectation, intention, or desire is "thwarted" or somehow confounded or made inaccessible and we are, in some manner, made aware of this.

When you perform a piece of music successfully, this "positive" feeling reinforces your ego, generates satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, self-validation. This is no more existentially, ontologically or even teleologically prior-to experiences like "anger" which are more a refinement of suffering. The conceptual/rational "faculties" "color" these states by interpreting them with regard to their own expectation, imag-ination and necessity of form/s; what the emotion "itself" reveals is precisely this nature of expression, the necessity surrounding the pathological release/response. What you feel tells you something about yourself (and of course, about your situation as well). This is not either/or, not one or the other. One is not "better" than another, positive experience (so-called) does not "lie closer to the heart of dasein" than negative experience (again, so-called). Self-awareness is not merely "positive" emotional catharsis or self-validation under the forms of pathological release, it goes much further than this -- it involves, for one thing, the ability to objectify and distance oneself from these sensations, to a degree, in order to begin to see how these experiences express and thus what they reveal about yourself to yourself, what they reveal about the interactivity between yourself-as-subject ("dasein") and your environment/s, and why/how.

II) Malice is defined as the desire to inflict injury; it's unequivocally intentional. Innocence thus can't be malicious as the intent is not to harm another but to benefit oneself. Though you seem to have begun to notice this yourself, it still seems a bit confused. You appear to describe more of a sociopath (or a graduation thereof) than an innocent: the self-interest supersedes the consequences bestowed external to the individual, this stemming from a "lack of guiding compassion and concern for another," or in other words a lack of empathy--ergo sociopath. Perhaps you could transpose your concepts onto a graduation of sociopathy, the consciousness of one's locus in that graduation and the conscious behavior as a result of this--or if this is analogous to what you're developing, I could just translate in my head, but I often find our signifiers conflict and as a result have difficulty interpreting the gestalt of your ideas.


This is definitional. I stated in my second post, that I am no longer convinced 'malice' is the right word here, and I began to outline the reason for this. The idea of malice, as you say, is taken to mean intentionality. But Nietzsche's meaning, which I mentioned, as per the "Child" is the "playful maliciousness" which is not an intention to harm but rather a lack of intention to "care", to be concerned with another. This lack of compassionate/caring intention toward the other can be more or less "direct" or "indirect: it can be either assumed/unconscious, as in a person who truly has no capacity to understand how their actions affect the other, or it can be innocent/conscious as in a person who "wills" or intends -- who knows but does not "care" -- that their intentionality does not encompass their possible (detrimental) impact upon another. Nietzsche's Child (re: the progression from Camel to Lion to Child) is an example of this latter: it is a being for whom the "needs" or concerns of others has become unimportant, unable to inform its intentions/motives. But this is essentially an unimportance of lack, not of substance: it is a substantiated lack which is necessitated by the fact that this being has become able to "sustain itself" or "will itself", be itself as it is, only in so far as it is able to operate with some degree of disregard for the concerns and needs of the other. This is not an intention to harm, but it is also very deliberately not an intention to concern oneself either. Indeed even this Child can be able to experience sadness, regret or sympathy at the misfortunes of others, even those which the Child itself caused or contributed toward. In other words, this Child is not "heartless", far from it. This is the internal complex structurality of this psychological type which Nietzsche was outlining with this metaphor, and which I have brought up in this topic for further consideration.

Recourse to the label of sociopathy is not helpful here, because, like that of malice, it is a notion which is already pre-ordained with set meaning. It is inflexible definitionally, which is in itself not problematic, except that this notion is then allowed, before the fact, to condition our thinking about these ideas at all. You approach these ideas of malice, innocence, intention and for you the concept of sociopathy is a signifier, a form-al designator. And yet this designation is rather instead a more final-production of these more nuanced and 'primary' objects under analysis here, e.g. the sensational reactions, the "rational intentionality", and these more or less "individual" attaining as well as their entering into relations with/in each other and thus their mutually co-occurring expressions.

Sociopathy is a useful concept here, but you are proposing we use it as a pre-emptive blinder in order to designate the manner in which we allow these passional or rational-intentional elements to be grasped, seen, understood. Rather I would have these experiential elements, these psychological expressions and 'drives' analyzed in their own, as they are, and the build up from there -- this building up will certainly arrive us at a point of understanding what is commonly referred to as sociopathy, but this understanding will not be a notional legislator acting a priori to form-alize and condition our understandings of that which should, in fact, be rather formalizing and conditioning what we think of as "sociopathy".
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Re: Malice

Postby Only_Humean » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:10 pm

aletheia wrote:You've turned idiocy into quite an art. You ought be proud.


This thread had best take a turn for the civil, or warnings will be issued.
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Re: Malice

Postby aletheia » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:03 pm

Only_Humean wrote:
aletheia wrote:You've turned idiocy into quite an art. You ought be proud.


This thread had best take a turn for the civil, or warnings will be issued.


As you can see, it since has.
'The daemonic genius is the only thing capable of surviving the odds of existence versus no existence... because of what it empirically tolerates though fundamentally defying it, the deepest existence is satyrical. The grin on a primordial sailor, grim to all things human, his enjoyment in the uncertainty. He knows himself by this very factor. Valuing the uncertainty of the universe as an extension of oneself - this sailor is the primordial being.' [Source]


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Re: Malice

Postby von Rivers » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:42 am

aletheia wrote:The idea of malice, as you say, is taken to mean intentionality. But Nietzsche's meaning, which I mentioned, as per the "Child" is the "playful maliciousness" which is not an intention to harm but rather a lack of intention to "care", to be concerned with another. This lack of compassionate/caring intention toward the other can be more or less "direct" or "indirect: it can be either assumed/unconscious, as in a person who truly has no capacity to understand how their actions affect the other, or it can be innocent/conscious as in a person who "wills" or intends -- who knows but does not "care" -- that their intentionality does not encompass their possible (detrimental) impact upon another. Nietzsche's Child (re: the progression from Camel to Lion to Child) is an example of this latter: it is a being for whom the "needs" or concerns of others has become unimportant, unable to inform its intentions/motives. But this is essentially an unimportance of lack, not of substance: it is a substantiated lack which is necessitated by the fact that this being has become able to "sustain itself" or "will itself", be itself as it is, only in so far as it is able to operate with some degree of disregard for the concerns and needs of the other. This is not an intention to harm, but it is also very deliberately not an intention to concern oneself either. Indeed even this Child can be able to experience sadness, regret or sympathy at the misfortunes of others, even those which the Child itself caused or contributed toward. In other words, this Child is not "heartless", far from it. This is the internal complex structurality of this psychological type which Nietzsche was outlining with this metaphor, and which I have brought up in this topic for further consideration.


You put "playful maliciousness" in quotes, called it a "lack of intention to care", and then attributed it to Nietzsche.

3 Things---you're wrong about all of them.

(1) Could you please point out the passage you're referring to when you refer to the term "playful maliciousness"? It's not in 3 Metamorphoses, as you suggested, nor is it anywhere in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Nor is any synonym of "playfulness" ever connected to any synonym of "maliciousness", not in the same section, and not anywhere in the entire book except in an off-hand comment in the passage about scholars. And the reference there is to the simple notion that a child knows not right or wrong, and is thus innocent even when it does wrong. So, please, help me out by pointing me to the passage you're referring to. That I've memorized the book doesn't convince me that I'm not overlooking the passage you're referring to---it's just not the one you said you were referring to. And btw, there's absolutely nothing wrong with making things up---or divining insights from nowhere particular, if that's how you'd prefer to think of yourself---just don't try to sell your bread on someone else's authority.

(2) and (3)You go on to grab at (or divine) a bunch of stuff about "a lack of intention to care"---an odd phrase when you think about it. Let's be clear: Not a single thing you made up in this paragraph has a single thing to do with my dear Fritz. That the Child is not a load-bearing spirit like the Camel has nothing to do with whether the person who embodies the Child archetype thinks the "needs or concerns of others are unimportant". As a matter of fact, that's just simply false---and even at odds with what the archetype itself represents! The idea here is that the Lion and the Child do not submit to (read: burden themselves with) self-effacing commands of the form "Thou-shalt". But if you think the only way to care or concern yourself with another person is to submit to self-effacing commands of the form "Thou-shalt", then you're just wildly mistaken. In fact, think about what the Child itself represents... The Child represents the person for whom value-creation is a possibility. (As an aside, think about what a value-creator like Nietzsche has directed his caring at. Do you think it is himself? Because that's what everything you've said implies. No, clearly not! And it's not just any other person, but it's clearly another person. Call them the Free Spirits---you know, the people he writes for. Nevermind the manmensch called Uber. That's called concerning yourself with another). Could you please explain how you can somehow associate 'not caring about another' with the Child archetype?? How are you walking on these airy non-existent bridges? My poor Fritz...

Nietzsche's Child (re: the progression from Camel to Lion to Child) is an example of this latter: it is a being for whom the "needs" or concerns of others has become unimportant,
WHAT?!
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