The Paranoiac: A Treatise on Skepticism

You know, it’s so shitty, that we never get to stop thinking. People say: “Don’t overanalyze! It’s all in your head!” But there’s an implication, see? That we are somehow in charge of what we think. But that’s not the case at all! We don’t get to decide our thoughts, they come and go as they please.

You get triggered? I get triggered constantly. But what’s the alternative? Isolate? Surround yourself with “facts”? “Strengthen the mind with logic”. You really think the enemy is outside? You buy into that “inside/outside” discourse? I don’t know about you, but I do not end at the skin. I go way beyond the body. And so does everyone else.

You really want to be scientific about it? What does quantum mechanics show? Behind every stable structure, below every state of equilibrium there is a constant flux; tensions and conflict. What you call a “me” is only a product of conflicting forces, hybrid formations and chaos. Unity is an illusion, an intellectual temptation that happens to be useful for our survival. The indices: “You”, “me”, “them”… what do they denote? A series of heterogeneous structures that have come together by pure accident.

There are no unities, only dispersions. A “person” is just a bundle of skills, an assemblage of various techniques for channeling flows. Language does not “refer” to anything, there is no correlation between the world and the things we say. It’s just a construct, an artificial device used to shelter the mind from the non-realization of being. And thus being itself is only a useful tool for coding the flows. You can’t live inside a code, that’s escapism, it’s bad conscience and pure resentment. You have to accept the flows and ride them.

Here’s what I mean: You had a bad day right? And you’re sitting there, and you’re thinking: Why? See, already; that’s wrong. You’re trying to domesticate the difference. The more appropriate question would be: “Why are all days good?!”, see? A series of uninterrupted good days is the real enemy. That’s when you know you are inside a code. Living systems reside in far-from-equilibrium conditions. That’s inevitable, which means that certainty belongs to the stars, the celestial bodies, mathematics, but not to you and not to me. We can dream of the crystals, a perfect language and non-exclusionary social practices. Dream on.

But really… What’s the right thing? That’s what I’m getting at, in the end… right? Why do we get paranoid? We want to understand, right? To really, really know what’s going on. And then act accordingly. And we assume that option is given to us, it’s just a matter of time, resources, dedication, discipline, the state of modern technology, what have you. It’s always the case that we don’t know yet. But I say the problem is, that not-knowing-yet is the very condition of knowing anything. You don’t-know-yet because you cannot do otherwise. And so back to my first point, you can’t assume that someone overanalyzes, because no one knows what the natural point of termination is for analysis.

Where is the reasonable place to stop? When is it “good enough”? You feel it out, right? It’s context. You know it when you see it. And what if I don’t? Do I deserve to be institutionalized? Prosecuted? Fired? Dumped? How do we train children to see that line? Are you all that confident that we can see the line? That it is in fact “us”, adults; who know, who have succeeded or failed at educating someone who knows when to stop and when to keep going? It’s perfectly conceivable and no less likely for that matter, that the boundary between the normal and the pathological is nothing but a pure fiction that helps us maintain the codes. To keep our conscience intact, to justify the status quo.

Point being: Doubt and uncertainty hold the real keys to unlocking the technique. There is no truth, because “truth” is a practice, it’s an art. And the goal is not to attain the truth, but to master a technique. Not to “know oneself”, but to take care of oneself. By becoming masters of the technique of the self, we can decenter the modern subject and expose the underlying dispersions.