Vincent’s reality show, the ‘turning of reality’ project, the VVV take on things, finishes today with a talk about solipsism. Having started with the epistemology of tautology – à la Rumsfeld: there are unknown unknowns – to enticing to love ad infinitum – but not any infinity – in this last installment Vincent offers advice on how to avoid the trap of becoming your own subject: via communicating.

He both begins his talk and ends it with the same phrase. So this is important. This phrase reads: “logically speaking, it is impossible to feel depressed or alone if you choose to communicate.” For this implicit emotional message: “be vulnerable,” we send kisses Vincent’s way. In terms of reason, he got it wrong – if we assume that he addresses the solipsist. Firstly, logically speaking, a true solipsist will never experience the need to communicate anything whatsoever, least of all his thoughts – so giving him advice is an exercise in futility. The solipsist’s impossibility to communicate has at least two reasons: 1) he doesn’t know the meaning of being dependent on others, 2) nor is he possessive. A true solipsist’s discourse is never marked by the signs of constant claiming and clamoring. You will never hear a solipsist say: “it’s mine,” whether relating to objects or people. Nor will he demand: “give me some attention, now.” Obviously this has implications for the ethics of responsibility, which I won’t waste any time going into. Secondly, logically speaking you cannot pair solipsism with a conditional – if you choose to communicate, ra-ra-ra-ra-ra. A true solipsist is either depressed or he is not. He is always the embodiment of the condition of is, and never of if, as if, or maybe – we can fix it. Thirdly, logically speaking the solipsist doesn’t make any sense. As he also embodies a contradiction in terms: he exists in spite of annihilating his existence through thinking of the inconvenience of having been born, and acting thereupon.

Psychologically speaking, Vincent has a point – even though existential problems have rarely been solved through psychological intervention. Cognitive psychology, as against classical psychology – or the change of attitude vs. the talking cure philosophy – claims to have come up with some efficient remedies against the wounds in the soul. Its reductive methods, however, help only those that are not accustomed to thinking too much. Where I’m concerned I stick with Freud, Lacan, and Cioran. The latter said: “You cannot protect your solitude if you cannot make yourself odious.” This being said, off I go. I’m not interested in becoming too social.

But courteously speaking, before I exit I must be grateful for having had the opportunity to think a little on the various topics discussed, and engage with a few of them on a level that exceeds the dimension of logic. Vincent, you have my gracious thanks for that – as you also have my continuous thinking.


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