The Iconoclast: Preview II
In what follows I will outline the intellectual mode which I call: The Iconoclast. This is the ideal archetype of a pure and unrestricted philosophising which I call the meta-question1 as described in my previous post. 2
The Iconoclast is the intellectual archetype of the meta-question, the denizen of nowhere in particular disregarding barriers and assumptions. The unattainable ideal of the Iconoclast is the meta-answer to the meta-question, the meta-eschatology, the alpha and the omega. The end goal when man has finally philosophised himself out of man.
The iconoclastic impulse is the curiosity which drives us out into the meta-question. Essentially, this is an attempt at nihilism,3 transgression against all assertive pretenses theistic or atheistic. The Iconoclast’s eyes appear, at first, brimming with madness wandering the fog of the philosophical leviathan. The exploratory task simply grows more unwieldy with each approach. Linear lines are traversed and from them emerge new dimensions growing into unforeseen perspectives.
The reason why the Iconoclast acts with an impulse is that they are helpless in their characteristic embodiment of the archetype. Helpless explosion in multi-directional meta-exploration is thrust on the rare individual as if by fateful torment, starting with a curious peek at the corner of things the Iconoclast’s pupils enlarge to fill the whites of their eyes as they are drawn into the blinding light of the meta-question. The iconoclastic impulse is thrust outwards from all uni-dimensional sub-questions into the infinite-dimensional meta-question.
Intellectually engaged in the unbounded meta-question. An Iconoclast has no a priori intellectual allergies.
Acts intellectually with an epistemic uncertainty which is at creatively destructive but often devastating from the bounded human context.
Engaged in intellectually critical acts which erode the foundational axioms of sub-questions. Steadily over time or in bursts of intense iconoclasm the integrity of a sub-question is challenged causing defection or complete collapse.
The iconoclastic endeavor is a solitary one, as one becomes indecipherable one becomes unbearable. The Iconoclast is naturally inclined to the great beyond. Dogmatic thinking, however, is a prey upon the social nature of man. Every orientation of an ideal, every set of rules, every sub-question is ultimately a safe haven by virtue of human company. Nothing more unsettling than a man by himself. Once the iconoclastic impulse takes hold the social immune system sends agents of dogmatic thinking to neutralise the threat and protect the viral integrity of the sub-question.
Man cannot stand to be by himself for too long, this is why solitary confinement is humanity’s greatest punishment. However, when we are solitary we aren’t really alone, we have our own perpetual cognition to keep us company. Constantly our conscience traps our psyche in criticism and worry. The greatest and most damming critique a man can know is from himself. This explains not only why instances of the intellectual Iconoclast are rare but also explains why the throws of the iconoclastic impulse only take hold for intense bursts of time.
The Iconoclast’s ultimate fate is either to become truly lost or to retreat back to the cathedrals of the sub-questions. The tragedy of the Iconoclast is that they seek an unattainable goal. Or rather, it would be a tragedy, if it wasn’t so fun to lose yourself.
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Although I will admit the following is somewhat esoteric in language I regard this a consequence of the inaccessibility of a pure philosophy to satisfy the meta-question. Human beings cannot do without axioms of epistemology or valuing which is why we resort to poetry when we talk of the unattainable.