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Something I found while reading Nietzsche today

Causa Sui 

Something that is it’s own cause – a term traditionally applied to God

Funny because that is indeed relative to my name. Just a little fun trivia here.

Causa sui (Latin pronunciation: [kawsa s?i], meaning “cause of itself” in Latin) denotes something which is generated within itself. This concept was central to the works of Baruch Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Ernest Becker, where it relates to the purpose that objects can assign to themselves. In Freud and Becker’s case, the concept was often used as an immortality vessel, where something could create meaning or continue to create meaning beyond its own life.

Norman O. Brown, in his masterpiece, Life Against Death, argues Sigmund Freud‘s Oedipal complex is essentially the causa Sui (father-of-oneself) project where, after the traumatic recognition that we are separate from the mother; that we are ‘other,’ we seek for reunification with the mother.[1]

In traditional Western theism, even though God cannot be created by any other force or being, he cannot be defined self-caused (causa sui) or uncaused, because this concept implies the Spinozian pantheistic idea of becoming, which contrasts with the belief of scholastic theology that God is incapable of changing.

Changing implies development, and since God is to be considered the Absolute Perfection, there is no further need to change: he is the so-called actus purus or aseity.[3][4][5] Instead, the recent process theology inserts this concept among the attributes of God in Christianity.

So I guess in searching for a meaning, my suicide would be in this format “a cause of itself”

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Taf Taf 1/11/2019 - 5:26 am

Now you’re starting a huge debate with this post…

Nietzsche referred to causa sui as an absurdity (I think he writes about it in The Gay Science or in Beyond Good and Evil, I can’t remember in which right now). And, indeed, it is an absurd idea. That’s because we can’t really know the cause of anything – this concept was first developed by the sophist Gorgias, famous from the platonic dialogue with the same name. Gorgias, one of the first skeptics, said that:
a) being cannot exist (or nothing exists)
b) if being exists, we cannot really know anything about it
c) if we know it, we cannot pass the knowledge of it to someone else (i.e. we cannot communicate it to someone else)
d) if this knowledge is passable to someone else, it cannot be understood.
To put it in a more simple way, Gorgias (and most of the skeptics that followed, like Sextus Empiricus) argued that we cannot really know anything, we can only form descriptions and interpretations. So, by extension, we can’t know the cause of anything. One of the reasons for this is because nothing stays still, everything changes and we can’t grasp its essence. That, also, was what Heraclitus thought… As Plato writes in Cratylus: ”Heraclitus, I believe, says that all things pass and nothing stays, and comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says you could not step twice into the same river.”

The existential philosophers (as many psychologists) propose the embrace of this absurdity of life (that’s what Sartre, Camus and, more or less, Freud were writing about).

But, one question has to be asked: why do, from all living organisms, humans search for causes, meanings, purposes etc.? Schopenhauer tried to answer this question (he wasn’t the only who tried to do it, another one that comes to mind is Peter Wessel Zapffe). Schopenhauer wrote that the nature of our lives, with all the suffering and the inevitability of death, forces us to search for a meaning and a purpose. And, I might ad that, when you don’t find a reason or a purpose to live for, then you find plenty to die.

Most people don’t think about these things, they live for the sake of living and they accept the absurdity of life; or, as Montaigne put it: ”Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head”. Frivolity and the deficiencies of our conscience and our memory keep our lives going on… And, I won’t lie: that’s the only way someone can continue living… Or, an alternative is to search for a meaning to a world outside of our own, to a God, to an idea, to a metaphysical concept etc.

This idea of just becoming was also proposed by Nietzsche in The Will to Power, in the chapter titled European Nihilism. He wrote that ”[…] as soon as man finds out how that world is fabricated solely from psychological needs, and how he has absolutely no right to it, he grants the reality of becoming as the only reality, and forbids himself every kind of clandestine access to afterworlds and false divinities, but cannot endure this world though he does not want to deny it.”

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