Note: the content below is all in first draft format. It will change considerably during the time it takes for the study to be completed. I post now ‘for interest’s sake’.
As quoted earlier, Žižek said the following of philosophy: that it focuses on a “singularity that immediately participates in universality, breaking through the idea of a particular order.” On closer inspection, this statement reveals some Orphic qualities. Universally, existence of any part of an organic system is dependent on the existence of other parts of the given organic system – the Orphic recognises this. Co-dependence seems universal – at least for organic systems. ACID, the epitome of the Promethean, does not recognise this; it is the current order (see 2.2.10), and it actively prevents breaks in the current order (as seen in Chapter 4), i.e. it prevents breaks in itself and perpetuates Promethean particulars at the expense of the aeons-old natural processes that gave rise to all organic life forms. I am suggesting here that this process, whereby organic life unfolds and whereby organic life can unfold, is to a considerable extent a ‘singularity’ that facilitates the unfolding of particulars – indeed, in ancient Greek philosophy this process was known as physis (Hadot 1995:260). The continuation of this distinctive, singular universal process on Earth in coming decades and centuries is clearly placed into question considering the ecological crisis. Of course, it is questionable that the conditions necessary for life on Earth will ever be terminated entirely before the explosion of the sun when it reaches the end of its lifespan, because even after cataclysmic events such as comet impacts, life has managed to continue on this planet. The point I wish to make is that, in prioritising the preservation of the conditions necessary for life on this planet, rather than simply prioritising anthropocentrism and the reign of Promethean ‘man’, the Orphic attitude aligns itself with a singular universal (i.e. the universal process whereby particulars arise) and thereby with one of the focal areas of philosophy according to Žižek. On the other hand, in perpetuating the particularities of the Promethean at the expense of the conditions required for organic life on Earth, the Promethean attitude is pitched against the ‘flavour’ of the singular universal, and therefore against this aspect of philosophy as delineated by Žižek. In this light it is again the case that the Promethean is an arena void of philosophical characteristics, while the Orphic again strikes one as a realm compatible with aspects of the philosophical ‘project’ as commented on by Badiou and Žižek.