It is of course no secret to contemporary philosophers and psychologists that man himself is changing in our violent century, under the influence, of course, not only of war and revolution, but also of practically everything else that lays claim to being "modern" and "progressive." We have already cited the most striking forms of Nihilist Vitalism, whose cumulative effect has been to uproot, disintegrate, and "mobilize" the individual, to substitute for his normal stability and rootedness a senseless quest for power and movement, and to replace normal human feeling by a nervous excitability. The work of Nihilist Realism, in practice as in theory, has been parallel and complementary to that of Vitalism: a work of standardization, specialization, simplification, mechanization, dehumanization; its effect has been to "reduce" the individual to the most "Primitive" and basic level, to make him in fact the slave of his environment, the perfect workman in Lenin's worldwide "factory.
Above all, creators remain drawn to the age-old paradoxes that philosophy grapples with [and]...that art occasionally resolves...the problem of the one and the many; unity and variety; determinism and freedom; mechanism and vitalism; good and evil; time and eternity; the plenum and the void; moral absolutism and relativism... These are the basic problems of human existence, and as far as we possibly can we arrange things to forget them.
In the field of consciousness research-and also in physics and astronomy-we are breaking past the cause-and-effect, mechanistic way of interpreting things. In the biological sciences, there is a vitalism coming in that goes much further toward positing a common universal consciousness of which our brain is simply an organ. Consciousness does not come from the brain. The brain is an organ of consciousness. It focuses consciousness and pulls it in and directs it through a time and space field. But the antecedent of that is the universal consciousness of which we are all just a part.
Signs imply ways of living, possibilities of existence, they are the symptoms of an overflowing (jaillissante) or exhausted (epuisee) life. But an artist cannot be content with an exhausted life, nor with a personal life. One does not write with one's ego, one's memory, and one's illnesses. In the act of writing there's an attempt to make life something more personal, to liberate life from what imprisons it... There is a profound link between signs, the event, life, and vitalism. It is the power of nonorganic life, that which can be found in a line of a drawing, a line of writing, a line of music. It is organisms that die, not life. There is no work of art that does not indicate an opening for life, a path between the cracks. Everything I have written has been vitalistic, at least I hope so, and constitutes a theory of signs and the event.