9 Answers

  1. In fact, this idea is much deeper than revealed in the film.

    In all religions that have gone beyond animism and have a concept of good and evil, there are two types of spiritual practices: ascending and descending. The first ones are well known and accessible to everyone, they include prayer, meditation, participation in the ceremony, sacrifices, reading the matcha, and so on.

    With the latter, everything is more interesting, because they are available only to those who really want to achieve results, and not just fit into the community. In Christianity, there is foolishness, life in the desert, humility of the flesh, vows of self-restraint, for example, silence and caring for patients with plague, leprosy and other infectious diseases. In Hinduism, there is a separate movement — the aghora — that seeks liberation from the burden of karma through necrophilia, living in cemeteries, eating body parts and other abominations. In Old Norse beliefs, this idea is raised to the absolute: to take place as a person, you must accept death on the battlefield.

    Atheists and agnostics also have access to similar ways of self-discovery through self-destruction. Yegor Letov in an interview said that people go to war, climb mountains and use psychedelics for the sake of a sense of celebration-this is it.

    The performer meets this idea in order to learn the other side of life and understand it in its entirety. Of course, you can try to achieve this through self-development, but it will take too much time. So much so that the effectiveness is comparable to masturbation. While self-destruction will help to achieve this faster.

  2. “It is better to die a big death once than to die a thousand small deaths,” as Advaitist Ram Tzu said.
    Ejaculation means “little death” in French.
    A small self-destruction, a small step towards withering, a small release of some of your organic stock to the outside world.

    If I remember the book correctly, our hero goes to different support groups at the very beginning. That is,what is called the “group instinct” occurs in it. Normally, it is activated in adolescents aged 9-15 years, but a person of the modern world is refined,infantile, and therefore our hero is much older, but he is looking for the same thing.

    In support groups, ways of connecting with the world through self-pity and through demonstrating certain forms of inferiority are cultured. Someone has cancer, someone can't stop smoking, someone's breasts are blown apart by female-type steroid hormones.
    Simply put, this is a variant of socialization “according to the left-American type”, socialization under the political paradigm of the Democratic party.

    Naturally, the more problems you have, the higher your status. If you are a one-legged, one-eyed AIDS sufferer, a syphilitic moron, then your circle of sympathizers expands, people have a meaning in life, and your social connections expand.

    At the same time, it is profitable to whine a lot, cry and achieve catharsis.

    Such a variant of “trainings” and “support groups”, where neurosis-dissatisfaction with oneself-acceptance-struggle-new failure-new struggle is constantly reproduced ,is, of course,” masturbation ” under the pretext of self-perfection within an atomized society. This is a dead end, inside which the suffering body-consciousness is spinning.
    Society is pseudo-diverse – and it's not for nothing that Tyler denies the uniqueness of a person. We are not snowflakes, we are not really as valuable as individuals or as a whole.

    But deep inside the main character, a riot is brewing – and all the actions that follow are motivated by the desire to destroy what destroys you in parts.
    And this is the System – and its own conscious “I”, which is created by it, and which has entered a civilizational, existential, auto-aggressive impasse. The life inside the hero revolts – and turns to death-for the sake of life, for the sake of breakthrough.

    Therefore, the destruction of this social self is a very important act.
    This is cutting off the rotten finger that rotts the entire population, infantilizing, feminizing, neuroticizing humanity, reproducing stress and provoking mutations.
    It is this powerful, thanatic, death-and destruction-inducing masculine evolutionary force that Tyler brings to life as something extremely significant, opposing the refined decay of the social democratic system of Obama's America, turning the hero to capitulate to unconscious forces that split even his “I”.

    It is in the destruction of the false social cycle “I”-“Me”-“Mine” that it is suddenly revealed that there is no death. Matter does not die. The spirit does not die. The mind is reproduced in response to external circumstances and does not belong to the false self.

  3. Self-improvement is the pursuit of an ideal. Striving for the ideal is the denial of one's shortcomings, the desire to correct them. The desire to correct shortcomings is a denial of one's nature. Then why is self-improvement necessary, and what is the ideal, what should we strive for, and most importantly why?�

    In particular, since self-improvement is the pursuit of an ideal, it is also the pursuit of social well-being, which is impossible without increasing consumption, without increasing social status. What for? These ideals are false. A good job, a standard life (university-prestigious job-family), furniture from ikea – these values are generally recognized, but they are meaningless.

    The hero-narrator interrupts this endless chain of events with an idealized template life. The explosion of his apartment with numerous items from Ikea, which he lovingly ordered without understanding why – this is a moment of separation from this consumer society, a moment of separation from generally recognized values, this is purification.Where should the hero go next? But nowhere. You don't have to go anywhere.Going somewhere is self-improvement.It is no accident that the narrator does not buy a new apartment, but lives in an abandoned house.It is on the periphery of society. On the periphery of life. And from that moment, his path to self-destruction begins.�

    Self-destruction is self-acceptance.Self-destruction is purification. That it is better to strive for something distant and incomprehensible, but which is generally recognized, or to accept renunciation of everything. but to be free ? To renounce everything is to live in emptiness. But this emptiness goes to a new level.It ennobles.

    It turns out that self-improvement-striving for an ideal-denying your essence, your doubts-is masturbation.Self-destruction is not destruction. a cleansing, a new way of moving towards the ideal. Self-destruction – demolishing everything that seemed important, is accepting yourself, your unpleasant sides. that is why the motive of the explosion is so important in the book and the film. it's clearing the groundwork for something more important.

    You can also say that self-destruction is a form of introspection.that is, finding the answer in yourself. “If there is no love,no faith ,no hope left in a person, then the only meaning of life is in knowledge”

    Also.There is such a thing as autoaggression.in another way, it is the same self-destruction. I'm not an expert in psychoanalysis. but this concept is important for understanding the work and a specific phrase. a good definition is given in wikipedia. now I'll explain what this is all about. Autoaggression is an activity aimed (consciously or unconsciously) at self-harm in the physical and mental spheres. That's probably why the narrator starts a Fight Club and hurts himself. But.An important point. In psychoanalysis, autoaggression is “turning against yourself.” “It is believed that this behavior is a consequence of redirecting aggression initially directed at an external object” I think there is no need to explain what I am driving at. The causes of autoaggression are both external and internal.First of all, it is dissatisfaction with the ideals that were considered ideals for the individual, or rejection of these ideals.In any case, it is disillusionment with something external and redirecting aggression, dissatisfaction with oneself – that is, turning into self-destruction. autoaggression (or already auto-destruction) “is an abnormal state of personality, expressed in the individual's desire for self-destruction due to a violation of the process of his socialization.” Actually, this is the moment of the hero's renunciation of society and social principles.(he didn't actually accept them, and they didn't suit him.In addition, psychoanalysis, of course, is not my specialty, but Wikipedia quite clearly states that autoaggression is born as a result of an internal conflict, which is “caused by a paradoxical situation that combines the presence at the same time of both a vital need and what prevents its satisfaction.” The narrator did not have any special needs, but the obstacles to a kind of self-realization were in the form of social ideals.

    Hence his associalization, his beating of himself, etc., etc. This is a way to achieve the ideal for yourself.resolve an internal conflict.through self-destruction. because self-improvement could not solve this conflict – this is masturbation. Maybe a carrot on a stick, which is broadcast in front of a donkey so that it moves somewhere (it is not clear where and why), is not as effective as rods. so self-destruction is what really matters.

  4. This phrase belongs to Tyler Durden from Fight Club. It should be borne in mind that he was conceived by a maximalist, “tearing off the covers”, was supposed to shock the viewer with everything he said and did. The meaning is this: you think that 2+2 is 4, so right now it hurts like a dam!

  5. I read the previous answers and came up with my own theory. Probably a little romantic.

    Masturbation is when you satisfy yourself. Self-improvement is also, in a sense, satisfying your own vanity (yourself). Which can develop into egocentrism, pride, self-love. And self-destruction shows that a person does not care about himself. Which indicates that he is critical of himself. He does not exalt himself above others, he does not feel sorry for himself, he is superfluous, useless here, and understands this. People go a long way of this very self-development to learn sacrifice. It takes great courage and generosity to give up everything. And the main character came to this conclusion himself, thanks to his nature. This could also explain the autoaggression, which resulted in a psychological disorder. But again, this is all a very, very romantic view.

    Well, break yourself. Breaking the bad in yourself. Growth is a change, always painful. Even internal growth. You break yourself to become stronger. You break your ego, you learn sacrifice, and this is the highest merit of a person-the ability to sacrifice yourself.

  6. this phrase is a kind of”demotivator” of a maximalist who does not believe in all this lies about self-improvement and therefore chooses the antithesis, that is, the reverse side of the question, but does not understand that there are questions the answer to which is not in the opposite statement, but in a different plane. I have already given an excerpt from an interview with Olga Sedokova about Venechka Yerofeyev. He was a postmodern writer who chose drunkenness as a philosophy of life and as a response to the communist mess going on in his time in the country. His refusal to be included in the social structure with all its consequences (poverty, homelessness) was his choice. Conformist society (and Soviet society was totally conformist) clearly did not appeal to him. He preferred — in his own words — to “spit on every step from below” on this ladder.

    -You wrote in one of your articles that Venichka dragged no less people to the bottom with his “Cockerels” than Goethe did with his Werther.

    “Yes, it was true. Young people who did not read Werther very thoughtfully (as many did in their time) learned the simplest thing from Roosters: to get drunk and spit on the social ladder. If there were only two options: either climb this ladder or spit on it, I would prefer the latter. But my teachers and friends have shown me that there are other possibilities. Labour. Service.

  7. I think that's not what he meant. If we take modern society, we can see that certain ideas and certain behaviors are being imposed. In a way, in the twenty-first century, self-improvement has become just such a template. That is, we are constantly told, including through pseudo-intellectual programs/books/films, that improving ourselves is so beautiful. But maybe, in a way, this is not the case at all. What if the cult of self-improvement eventually leads to the fact that a person ceases to be himself, ceases to perceive his flaws as something inherent in all people and does not necessarily require correction? That is, in this constant attempt at self-improvement, people are already beginning to act automatically, no longer realizing why they are doing this at all and what the point is. For many, self-improvement becomes superficial, rather than coming from an internal, purely spiritual necessity. In this case, self-destruction is just what helps to get rid of the fetters of society, to discover their new, albeit not attractive facets, in the end, just to get to know yourself. Here's something like that.

  8. MAXIM NIKOLSKY is wrong.�

    So the Narrator was doing just that — he was satisfying his need for self-improvement by improving his consumption.

    Did you satisfy your need for self-improvement by improving your consumption? Dude, have you ever read a book? Or maybe I've even watched a movie? Where did the narrator improve his consumption? What was the expression of this improvement? That he bought his own furniture at Ikea? Or the fact that he collected a type of spice? Well, if this is improving their consumption, then I really don't know what those rich people who buy themselves gold iPhones and bugattis are doing.

    The narrator is a tired-out office clerk who did not engage in any “satisfaction in self-improvement” (what kind of nonsense is that?), but simply stupidly went with the flow, furnishing along the way his cozy cute apartment with all sorts of Ikea junk, which almost any representative of the so-called middle class does.�

    The narrator has no family, no children, no career, he is alone, and he does not understand why he lives. He just goes with the flow like a piece of shit. The phrase thrown out by Tyler, i.e. the narrator himself, about self – destruction is rather just one of those quotes that he read in books, because he is like smart, as he declared to himself in the cabin of the plane (if we talk about the film).�

    You can, of course, recall Nietzsche's famous dictum about “what does not kill us”, but this is not the case. The narrator is not fighting against the consumer society, he is not a socialist or anarchist, not a radical anti-globalist or Islamic fundamentalist, he has no ideology.�

    It's not about self-destruction. If it was self-destruction, then the narrator would just kill himself and that's it. The narrator himself does not know why he is doing what he is doing. This is what Tyler doesn't know, i.e. again, the narrator himself. They do not know why they need the project “defeat” and so on. The only more or less clear explanation for the actions of the narrator, which the author gives us, is a mental illness, schizophrenia. In the book, if you remember, everything ends in a mental hospital. In the film, of course, the ending is more epic.

    Fight Club is a story of madness. But this story looks as unrealistic as possible. And this unreality suggests certain thoughts that all this is just banter. And in the movies, by the way, this banter is very clearly recorded when Tyler, ranting about “we were told that we would all become rock stars and famous, but this will never happen”, looks at Snow, i.e. at Jared Leto. Jared Leto, Carl!

    The only conclusion is that you guys have been played like suckers. Again, yes.

  9. Before meeting Tyler for the first time, the Narrator was almost entirely in the logic of consumer society. Let me remind you that the classical understanding of consumer society, given by Erich Fromm, implies that consumption is a source of social statuses in it. That is, a person is higher in the social hierarchy, the more elitist he consumes. So the Narrator was doing just that — he was satisfying his need for self-improvement by improving his consumption.

    Why is this masturbation? Because the satisfaction of masturbation is temporary, it doesn't really change anything in the long run. And the Narrator had to satisfy this need again and again, buying more and more trinkets that symbolize consumption that corresponds to his social status. Did anything change in his life after buying a new table in the form of a yin-yang symbol? No, he only got a short-term pleasure.�

    On the other hand, radical changes in the Narrator's life occurred precisely after the act of self-destruction (this is clearly hinted at several times in the course of the plot), which was an explosion in his apartment. Liberation from destroyed material goods became an existential liberation for the Narrator. He destroyed what constituted his yuppie self, a person living in a consumer society. This liberation was the goal of Tyler and Project Mayhem, but as Tyler himself said, ” you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.” In his philosophy, self-destruction is a necessary condition for liberation, and that is why it is “everything”.

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