Concerning Commitment. Violence and Nonviolence.

Yes; one could say ‘divinity’. I think the problem, as some people have talked about elsewhere, is what that term incorporates; hence the ‘need’ for commitment, what I could term, conventional commitment, or maybe a commitment to the institutionalized-ideologized State, the incorporated arena thereof that has been designated (conventionally) ‘x-ism’, or even for another arena, ‘family’ – the need for commitment because the journey ends in the wilderness, one never leaves, and so far as one might say ‘divinity’ and holds to the term as it is supposed to convey something ‘already known’, she has made a commitment to that presumption. But the presumption often misses the meaning because one is attempting to place some meaning gained in the wilderness into reality. Yet, the one stays there because the wilderness is that one-ness, the place where one is, and reality is not of oneness, and ‘divinity’ thus mis-represents – that is unless one then has made a decision for commitment. Here then one type of faith may arise out of the wilderness for its longing to bring the wilderness into reality, but reality is civilization, it is idea-ology, community, multiplicity: reality is humanity. If one needs no commitment but rather decides upon a commitment it is because she has no one to bring with, but sees reality as One, as The One, The Only One; she is the individual, the subject of multiple discourses, the pure multiple of the One. By this, as a methodological reduction, I would venture the commitment of decision is likewise the non-philosophical Real under which the (non-) article in the ‘last-instance’ of conventional methodology resides. The wanderer into the wilderness knows she is one, has encountered the one in communion, and wishes reality could be this, wishes the one-ness could be brought into reality – but alas, what is romantic? Why else would she have found herself there? Why would there even be an issue?

*

Maybe it is not so novel; perhaps this is very much like Francois Laruelle’s essay about ‘The Call’, his ‘tearing away’ from philosophy, except here the tearing has already happened. Inso much as it still might happen or is happening, as in philosophies of progress, violence appears to explain reality in a quite interesting manner. See, correspondingly, it seems, I am tending toward violence, of a type, maybe a dialectic of violence of non-violence. The ever-present violence and the ever-present effort to counter it; reality and its philosophical discursive acrobatics based in, basically, an effort of denial, of ‘covering up’ the violence. It appears that violence is the real standard, the evil that always peers its head and makes itself be known without effort.

Anger, frustration, conflict, suffering, desperation, self righteousness, deceit; these seem the given of life. Peace, contentment, happiness, openness; these are taught to us early in childhood, but the teaching is instigated by violence. We recall here the discussions around prohibitive “Thou Shalt Not” religions, a violence, as well ironically and by contrast Socrates’s ‘daimon’ that behaves to indicate where he should not proceed, as an indicator of non-violence. The point here is that the former dictates movement, where the latter guides. Indeed, the child is initiated into human life through violence that is confirmed by the ‘no’; it is the parent saying by perfect parenthood, “you, the child shall have no contentment, no peace until your first learn that life is not acceptance, all is not good. You child need know what life really is, and it is proper assertion of who you are, and to know who you really are, you have to compete.” From birth we are taught violence against what we are. Every parental kindness, act of love and compassion is tempered by the effort for the development of the child’s real identity, of being able not only to function in the world and be able to absorb or deflect life’s inherent crassness, but to excel amidst this violence to oneself; indeed, to make by example the real effective denial of violence. A distinction between what is violent and not violent is the difference between being told the truth and knowing the truth; non-violence as a bridge between these worlds appears to seek telling without telling.

Excellence. A commonly heard standard for human life. It is no wonder that we can arrive with conventional reality, that consciousness is a retreat from the world. The human being must become something it is not, it must learn from that which is not of itself, to be itself. One must excel, endeavor for excellence, in becoming something he or she is not, so if life can be said to be a movement of coming to know oneself, then already we have a confusion involved in the effort toward, what can be called, self awareness, effectiveness, or maybe even authenticity; a confusion based in what it means for what we do to be excellent. The meaning of some centers of philosophy seem to resonate this maxim as a sort of mantra; we need only arrange terms in a excellent way and this excellence will thus be the truth, by proof that the terms could be arranged in such a way. The irony settles here and the description of where it settles evidences a prohibition that cannot be reconciled, except through a violent act of departure, and thus only of ‘witnessing’.

*

Duality insists upon the human being at its conception, for it is this conception that is the individual in reality, a conception involved with de-cision, a reiteration of the One. The violence I speak of against the One occurs due to ‘re-cision’ (or maybe even as I have said “recede”), for reality is a move of joining that which has been put asunder or is truthfully segregate. The unity of the universe is in decision since if we are part of the universe then our functioning is not segregate from its operation and we cannot be separated enough from the universe to gain any true understanding of its functioning; we have no ability to be excellent, to make progress well, to excel. So ironic it is, reality is typically and routinely the Idea that excellence is not innate to the human being, which is to say that the individual by itself is nothing – as nothing is validated in nothing, some essentially empty or null ‘no-thing’, some transcendental non-unknown but not even unknown as known…we could go on infinitely attempting to describe this nothing – and so requires an Idea outside of oneself that is true, something one must necessarily appropriate of the world, such that excellence in the world must become the object. More so, as now the individual must achieve against others in the world, a proper method arises, and the True Object is born. The individual is an inherently violent manifestation, being at odds with itself for the sake of itself, and then for this sake of itself is at odds with the things of the world. The real violence is the presentation of the individual in existence by an orientation of being re-presented by the terms of reality, as well, the terms that designate what is true of reality. One could say that this particular orientation moves linearly, progressively.

It is possible ( but I have yet to see how this can be so, beyond the witnessing mentioned above) non-violence could be seen as a revealing the curve unto its violent linearity, but the representation of this significance risks violence unto itself, since if the violence is the linearity, and this linearity is real, then to show that such linearity is really not linear and not non-linear is a violent act upon reality, for reality always transcribes for what is real. Besides, the revealing of the curvature is always done linearly, maybe to say, conventionally represented; by contrast, the curvature’s revealing is presented ironically.

Capitalization upon presented subjects is the maturity of the real individual as excessive violence (overdetermination, representation) taken in course as reality, the activity of ‘bending straight’ the divergent. Reality is then an acquiescence, non-acceptance (if you will permit) of the real individual, its necessary violence. The will against what cannot be willed, infinite strength applied upon an immovable object. Violence itself is the discrepancy inherent of the individual in reality that allows for the gaining of the upper hand in the stalemate, and its application, its effort, its assertion, what I have called ‘conventional faith’, the faith that is ‘taught’ of reality, which, as an orientation upon True Objects, arises as method, the method by which faith diversifies, as objects contain no truth in themselves, but give rise to new objects of the terms, new (conventional philosophical) Faiths of the True Universe. The universe is the clash of faiths, the arena of the ‘faithful’.

*

It might be important to delineate the situation, to bring into relief for the sake of purchase the point of contention. The point arises between the question of choice, determinism and contingency. I see the performance of non-violence as having to do with mitigating that damage that is ‘already’ done, yet acting from a position where violence is ‘not yet’ done. Violence as the basis from which human beings may exist as humans, the real issue becomes scale or degree such violence is left unchecked; the practice of non-violence then would be in reference to this ‘place’ in which we find ourselves in the world; in practice we find ourselves in conventional reality, the violence being done, making a claim as to the particular manifestation of violence in reality, such as, social equality, gender and race inequality, human abuse, drug abuse, gangs, and political justice, to mention a general few. This can be said to be the real violence.

The true violence, I dare say, is the more significant issue with regards to our existential situation, consciousness presented as consciousness of human existence and the conventional individual. That we have been taught of reality, which is to say, in hindsight we were taught, is violence already enacted and denied. The compounding of violence is already enacted by the viewing of our birth as an act of (neutralized) violence, as well as our indoctrination into reality, for here we are viewing the situation through the violent lens, the lens that is already situated to show only ‘no-violence’, ‘just’ reality, the film that violently arranges us to avoid the violence involved with the seeing that our ‘double’ birth is twice removed from the infraction. Our doctrine of reality sees neutrality where violence is occurring, because in truth, we were not taught faith, but such faith is the necessary determination of reality. Conventional faith here is the standard, the Law, for what is real.

So the deeper, or maybe, anti-meta talk about violence enters when we have the conception that we were taught (or that which could be taught); it is taught with danger, but not the danger of the wilderness, for that was already manifest, not taught. It is, as someone, I’m sure, has said, the situation of violence that we attempt to reconcile non-violently, the real situation; there are two arguing parties, and I, a third, as a vehicle of non-violence in their dispute. I am the interventionalist for the violence. When we consider the situation already brought, as I am brought into the world, (“thrown”, “held out into”, ala Heidegger) we cannot but see that a disruption has occurred somewhere. The third party is proposing by his intervention to be a one relieved of the violence. His disclaimer is only relevant by the occasion of violence; since the violent parties are obviously real, they have a possibility of referring the violence to the intervention. Yet this real situation of the interventionalist is that he has understood the issue, and thereby makes a commitment of a sort (a decision upon ‘violence is X) to teaching others (the world) the manner by which he himself has been ‘dismissed of’ or has otherwise reconciled the violence. Because he himself has been taught through the violence of his humanity (from childhood) and has understood the issue, the discrepancy involved there as to the commitment had to have occurred, further, by some third party that is not prone or ‘responsible’ to the violence, and this element is the proposed transcendent interlocutor, by which the interventionalist mediates the real violence, but also by which he is a mediator between the real and the ‘non-real’, the world and the transcendent, an agent of non-violence.

Here I am, now, using the method I was taught to speak about that the method was taught to me, implying by this talk that the method is violence, and that somehow I am going to rely upon the method, by introspection and thoughtful consideration of the issue, to counter its violence, but indeed it is this very method by which I have been able to come across the transcendent interlocutor as if the interlocutor were already operating in their life and they just need to be taught how to find it. Indeed, if I may shine a spot over to Francios Laruelle’s non-philosophy; the crux to the meaning of non-philosophy is its admitting that philosophy is the staple, the given, the present form of what is true, or the true form of what is present, by the very act of the annexation of the ‘non-‘. By this act, non-philosophy proclaims that philosophy is King of the Real, and the ‘non’ merely presents its kingdom, and at this so to suggest that the revealing of the kingdom to its King will somehow transform the King, or reveal to Him that his obligation is to step down, for the kingdom will not rise to overthrow the King because it is itself, by its very nature, the King’s-Dom-ain. It is no more ‘of the last instance’ to accompany the King on a tour of his kingdom than it is to assassinate the King. The King is dead; long live the King. Without the King there is no kingdom, and without philosophy there is no non-philosophy; non-philosophy may be able to show the King his kingdom, but it shows no more than the last guide showed of the kingdom to the last King; it was the same plot of earth. The non-philosophical Ego, regardless of how it is situated and due to its philosophical (read, methodological) basis of representation, is nothing less than the ‘Kether’ of the philosophical beast, the King of Kings, so as it may be, of non-philosophy, the ‘Future Christ’, the ‘one day as now’ God in Man. So it is with violence and non-violence.

Hence, it is just as well if I wish to enact a revolution I should not propose to be radical or reformist; I am not sure if the apocalypse, the ‘revealing’ or ‘uncovering’ is possible as a future, but it may be possible as a past for a present. The violence I wish to incite is what had already been mentioned, and it is so much that this mentioning again reveals the ‘monsters be here’ part of the Real, the place where the Real does not go or even reach but only indicates. It is not ‘non-Real’, because Laruelle already designates the Real as a realm of non-philosophy; it is ridiculous and beyond any good meaning for the intent, to then say the ‘non-non-real’. This type of reasoning is what gets is to the Real. The End. The No More but now we have to come up with a More that somehow leaves the no more behind: conventional reality is all this all is. A reaffirmation that reality is real, and that the real is One, and that the One is all there is: the real-ization of violence involved with a responsive non-violence only reifies that violence is justified, but in the Real, violence is justified by the implication of the progressed incorporated State, which in this case is non-violence as a real practice.

When we no longer wish to be radical in our approach to reality, we are left only to the revolution that comes from what is not real. In a way of speaking, one no longer practices, or develops a praxis, instead, one performs. The actor, instead of returning a play of the script and replaying the method of reality, improvises. She is no longer reading and playing His script. She takes cues from the audience and responds accordingly; no interpretation is needed, and no director. The actor no longer acts, as in pretends to be a character of the play that she is not, rehearsing backstage, secretly in mind of ‘himself’, the actor, awaiting her praises after the scene, the character of herself; instead, the actor plays the role that is given to her by the crowd. There is no longer distinction between the actor on the stage and the actor of rehearsing and praise, between the scene and the audience. She no longer ‘takes’ her place, but rather she ‘has’ a position. This is no non-violence; it is a complete rejection of the real method of violence: a violence upon violence. She has not revolted from the abyss of freedom to come able to enact a new agency. She has become freedom; she has absolutely withdrawn, to the place of relative violence, but in the position of absolute violence, absolute peace.

Perhaps, we can now speak of the elements of violence.

*

The issue is the term.

The real problem is deconstructing the conventional term, but then, once that is seen as impossible to its real end, and we ‘commit’ to radical practice, then the stakes become all the more threatening, the theatre all the more violent. For this much I think (I wonder) we can concur; the place is a madhouse, the audience is rioting.

I would venture, the move into the wilderness was already deconstruction. Indeed, perhaps that ‘(maybe) irreducible point of singularity’ is/was the impetus, the ‘prime mover’,so to speak, by virtue thereof that the wilderness was the only option, maybe in Laruelle’s terms, the Real option, but I would think the Real encompasses the possibility of retaining the wilderness in civilization. Maybe the difference lay in what the romance entailed/entails, the romance being the possibility of the deconstructed universe to its universal bias, the ‘scenario’ upon which the terms of civilization ‘take’ place.

The issue that arises, though, concerns the point at which and the manner in which the commitment takes shape. How do we situate the bias in real terms, in the scheme of which for meaning the terms are relying upon (the bias) for conventional-civilized-reality? The situation of the non-philosophical Real serves irony; while its author(s) propose to recoup all possible meaning unto itself while relieving itself from that responsibility, the seriousness of its being proposed as Real removes it as a true viable method by excluding the individual through a restating of an encompassing reality, as if the individual exists by this Statement. It is a discursive trick of mirrors. Yet if we make fun of the seriousness of the author(s), the project practitioners, and take their statements with tongue in cheek, then we begin to see how violent such peaceful and innocuous encompassment that is non-encompassing may be, how its seriousness reveals its bad faith, and how offense is the basis of the conventional faith of reality.

What we learn from the ‘post-modernists’, but Kierkegaard and Wittgenstien at least, is that the meaning they intend is/was not comprehended by the majority of people, even by people who’s interest and skill is deep critical thinking, never mind what rough interpretation has gleaned from an incomplete reading (for example, existentialism, post-modern itself, but we can include all the critical ‘turns’), and not to mention the ‘popular’ meanings that serve to justify whatever occasion through fad out of context quoting and name dropping. In effect, we have not only a misconstruing of their meaning, but we have a meaning that has taken effect as the meaning of what they said. Such it is that there was a ‘post-modern’ era and PM writers and such. The irony of the authors is that they are (were) speaking of themselves, about themselves, in reality. Their meaning is just facts, but the facts are seen as advocating an agenda (which, if argued of the authors themselves, may be said to be based in a commitment to themselves – which brings to mind the issue of commitment itself! ). The facts indicate the solution, but do not lead to a solution through the consideration of their discourse as method, as terms are ‘to be’ schematized, properly put in their place, when the terms of their discourse are taken to refer as identity to True Things. Hence, I see that such discourses have occurred throughout what is usually known as human history, and have likewise been misunderstood and misappropriated. The misappropriation, or Lacan ‘mistake’, taken as an apparent whole, is what I call reality. The nature of the misappropriation cannot be disclosed to reality as a method of understanding, but only is understood correctly when it is already understood. The nature of reality, convention, is to usurp the, maybe intended, but true, meaning for the real meaning. Deconstruction as a conventional method to truth fails, except to show that the present temporally manifested truth is faulty and needs a reworking; in reality, again, this has been the basis for the discourse of social justice. Hence, also, this ‘problem of problem’ is ‘how we found each other’, or more correctly, you found me, this as evidence of “the Crowd is Untruth” (Kierkegaard): how is one oriented?

I recall from a conversation something like us both having a resistance to be ‘boxed’, confined, labeled. I suppose that is indeed a type of risk we accept when we make the commitment; the risk ventured and lost is the coming upon the value less individual, that the value lay only in that we do (in all we do) and that the consideration of such doing by the individual ( am I doing or thinking about what to do; am I thinking about how doing is distinct from thinking ?) devalues the actual presence for being of service, in the service of love. In reality, the risk ventured and won is always won by reality through methods that are constantly developing in the effort to reconcile these questions and ideas, but they achieve only more method, and more thoughts about actions, actions of thoughts and the eternal recurrence. Perhaps this is a similar movement of K, his aesthetic, ethical and religious. That the commitment may be into the ethical, but the substance or the fidelity to the romance of the aesthetic in reality is in turn religious. It is interesting; the basic problem with which K dealt and reconciled with the ‘true’ Christian – but he could not overcome the discrepancy for his person himself, except through faith, and his discursive assertions, but even that was despairing; for his moment, his is the evidence of a qualitative movement of history – seems to be what Laruelle, and so much as I have, come to terms, and you (? -it seems) – is that the terms are the problem, not the Objects that the terms seem to be indicating, for the Objects are the terms. Hence Laruelle attempts to ‘fully deconstruct’ the Object, as he sees, of the ’cause’ of this repeating mistake, philosophy. But more so, his invocation of the Ego remains, as I see it, ‘in the last’ a bastion of this history of oneness, with his Real. A true irony that non-philosophy is of ‘in the last instance’, for he is speaking of the last words of the subject-object of a particular history of terms. Yet, as with all historical discourses on the point of contention, his will not be ‘the last’, but will, or has already become, another philosophical object to be one day set aside or placed in its category (Is Lyotard’s “The Differend” really a piece of literary critique?) in the never-ending march for reality’s one truth. His may mark a type of peak-point in the oscillating wave of meaningful existence of human consciousness, but conventional faith will not cease in its operation, as I said above, just because he, or me or you, for that matter, said something. I step from NP method, as NP announces, to aphilosophy, the rebuttal of method for the True Object. Hence, as to faith, I speak of orientation upon the Object as the issue of the point of contention.

‘From where’ does the Object take hold? Does it ‘already’ have hold? Or do I ‘hold it’? (Be-hold?) If it already has hold, then the terms, the situating of terms in or of reality is the issue; but not ‘how might I go about this’, but rather, ‘how I do go about this’. If I hold it, as I may posses and consider the Object as it is a True Thing, an object In-itself, then I find reality as the omnipotence, of which I am subject, an individual in reality. These – though I am still working – present absolute situations, partitioned in essence, that which cannot be resolved, except in a re-solution, that avoids history, and thereby avoids reality. The indication that serves to establish me in reality, amounts to the commitment that is never made, the choice that is no choice, except in reality. If I have to decide, then I am lost; the true choice made is the choice that could not be made.

So, the commitment can also be made in fidelity to the significant event, the romance, through various situations of terms. ‘How do I speak about it’, I see, as not deriving from any choice I have, but rather, how the occasion presents a correspondence of terms. Maybe our role, between us, through our interaction, is to map out some of these possibilities. But maybe this is just my part; perhaps I am just as intimately involved in yours too. For you see, just as there is the true meaning of what I intend, am obligated to say/act, so there is also a real meaning that takes shape, likewise entailing or implying an obligation. The apprehension of this is the effective conception of the State, but where the despair moves through the dreadfulness, through the offense against faith, there we have a true comprehension, just as reality itself is comprised comprehensively.

SIGHTINGS and Further Readings.

* Blog: Adfontem: Beyond Categories: Aquinas’ Commitment to Christianity (Part III). 2014.

* Book: Principles of Non-Philosophy. Francois Laruelle. 1996. English translation 2013.

* Essay: The Call and the Phenomenon. Francois Laruelle. 2013. Published in “The Journal of French and Froncophone Philosophy”.

*Book: Being and Event. Alain Badiou. 1988. English translation 2005.

* Book: The Differend. Jean-Fancois Lyotard. 1983. English translation 1988

* Essay: Letter on Humanism. Martin Heidegger. 1947.

* Any of Soren Kierkegaard’s writings.

*Essay: concerning convention; Link: http://darkecologies.com/2014/02/12/gilles-deleuze-on-humes-theory-of-society/

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14 thoughts on “Concerning Commitment. Violence and Nonviolence.

  1. Regarding “situation” of terms, in light of your more significant work on history, it seems to me that what you will be doing is situating the social self, the individual for example, within the “research product” itself. It does seem to be a certain research or investigation of boundaries that you are undertaking, and for this task there are many issues in qualitative research studies and/or phenomenological nursing regarding “reflexivity” that might help. Recently, for example, I have encountered a nice article by Koch & Harrington entitled “reconceptualizing rigour: the case for reflexivity” which might prove interesting in this vein: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9829678

    This “situating” of terms seems an important theme in your replies to me. I wonder, however, if there are not some things that might continually resist being situated or exposed in this rigorous fashion. I think this would make up a big part of my bigstory, how some things are fleeting, indescribable, out of our control, etc. In some ways, it is indescribable…

  2. Part 3:

    By “situate” I mean that we can complexify things as needed to allow a greater humanity to enter into our thinking.

    I am aware, for instance, that my triangulation outside of the situation (e.g. between you and I, in my previous post, where I describe “what happened last night” rather than “what is happening here & now”) takes each of these perspectives as fixed “categories” given to thought and thus in a sense my thinking here, in this storified account, is somewhat reduced from whatever irreducibility actually happens in reality. I am mostly witnessing in this story, as I was semi-detached from things in which I am really actively embedded, abstracting myself from them so to come to a mostly cognitive understanding. I am in reality doing more than just that, though. There are issues with this approach as a matter of resistance (I am not resisting in this case, not guarding so much against the preacher’s impositions of arena – which doesn’t in itself seem to demand much in way of resistance), just as there are also merits.

    To the extent that I grant this possibility and I am aware of it from within the situation itself, perhaps we may call this story an example of the formula: “triangulation” + “meta-awareness” = “meta-triangulation” as distinct from, say, a standardized meta-theory (not too like that theology belonging to the preacher) and also distinct from a more formal, calculated triangulation scheme without such a felt and bodily awareness of all possibilities of thought and action. I do hold that I am usually aware of these felt and bodily issues when I am embedded within a situation, even if they do not register so much while I am writing about what happened after the fact so to “make sense” of things. I’m not sure if any of this is substantial, but I am trying to get at these differences anyways: the inside/outside perspectives. (See, e.g. the discussion here: http://integralpostmetaphysics.ning.com/forum/topics/layman-pascal-s-rules-of-meta-theory)

    I mean to get at, alongside legitimacy, a related issue: that of substantiality. It seems this quality of being substantial deals with issues surrounding “life itself”. Legitimacy may be derived as though transcendentally, perhaps, from a certain felt and bodily resonance with that which is substantial, as a matter of content which fills in these forms, which in-forms things of concern in community. You make mention to the “point of contention” as this kind of content, substantially so. My story above deals primarily with recognizing forms, and as a result this meta-triangulation “method” if you will lacks a certain substantiality when more rigorously thought out and situated, in which there is no method available, and things generally happen without procedures.

    1. Small pt 1a: i admit my proclaimations upon reality may be a bit unbalanced. But this I feel is my task, to fully expose that which is ignored by saying ‘it is an unbalanced proposition’. This is probably one good reason you are a blessing to me. Namaste.

      1. I acknowledge, of course, your balancing; it is essential. Like a supersaturated salty solution in chemistry, perhaps, one quick tap on the table and everything I have to say, insofar as I can say it, falls apart unto this balanced state that you describe. I wonder if this metaphor works, in either case I mean to say that you are “more than” a blessing to me. 😉

    2. Hello my brother in the mines.

      Our interaction in these latest replies has brought my Part 2 to such a considerable point that I feel it falls in good line with putting it as my next post.

      Its context replies heavily upon your Part 2 narrative, and so I would like your permission to reprint your narrative in my post.

      I will wait for your answer.

      1. You are more than welcome to reprint it. I am always delighted by what you find buried in my posts. Namaste.

  3. Obviously, before I forget: this story of mine may also need to itself be “situated”, as in your story on the Big Story.

    1. PaRt 1.75. It would be interesting: if u did happen to converse with Dave over at Bigstoryguide. Blog, he is interested in people’s version of their Big Story. I am not sure I’m accommodating him ;). I wonder how you would pose a Big Story? He is quite stubborn and provacative for thinking about such things. Lol.

      1. I have been giving this some thought. My story would likely say that in some ways, your story is. By which I mean something more like ‘it stands’. In other ways, it is not. And here I might say that, as an example, there is also Dave’s story at Bigstoryguide. In some ways, his is too. In ways you highlight so well, however, it is not. And then I would proceed, I think, to find some kind of combination. You see my reliance here upon Jaina epistemology, albeit maybe with a Christian-twist added (My version of wisdom reads something like: Jainity of Jainities…). I am simply observing things, most of the time, in accordance with how they seem, their “is-ness” becoming like a kind of intensity of life, as indicator of truth – notwithstanding reality, even if situated “in” reality. I will engage him, though, and hopefully we may see some new sparks fly.

      2. Regarding ‘situating’. I think the route you pose here verifies our complimentality. I hope in my coming post this will become more clear to you and in our continuing process. I’m sure it will.

  4. (Part 1)

    Let there be no secrets among friends: I printed out this post and I’ve meditated upon it carefully for the past two weeks, carrying it with me at all times whether folded up in my pocket or else unfolded (I hope) in my mind. I cheerfully carry you with me, just as I once found you. I remember you once said to me, in a way that brought great joy, that I was exactly the one who you had been looking for, but wasn’t at first able to find. The other half to the relationship. Or, as the mystics often say so concisely, and what from my wandering perspective has become so strangely and ‘divinely’ true: “What you seek is seeking you”. Perhaps it is appropriate to begin here, explicitly: with the way in which I was myself seeking relief in the wilderness, and the manner in which you were seeking to be of service, generously providing that relief to some one like me who happened to come your way.

    Moreover, I have furiously scribbled notes all over the margins. While my personal copy looks quite messy now, I feel prepared enough to provide an altogether understanding response. My apologies, also, for this unfortunate delay in communication. I accept, in its entirety, all that you have written, in the spirit of real and effective service in which it is written, situated also in the particular context of our encounter. I wish to grant its full truth with no serious objections, as we have been speaking together in a generally truthful space somewhere which does not hold such fixed focus upon the Object (seeing as it contains no truth in itself). For me to note an object-ion at this point would be to deny the reality of our mutual encounter, to deny that we have communicated even between us, to deny what great service you have been for me, that you have – in my eyes – accomplished or else you are accomplishing what you sought to do. The question becomes now one of practice, and “mapping” these possibilities, placing those categories of thought back upon the table for our combined consideration which were once misplaced, displaced, replaced, or perhaps they were forcibly excluded. Moreover, as I have come to understand things, your post is deserving of a slow and thoughtful response from me in particular, given among other things that it is a serious and most direct engagement – to be quite honest, the very first of its kind – with my “hypothetical wilderness non-theology” and/or “non-hypothetical wilderness theology”, this “already deconstructed” mentality as you call it.

    It seems your general approach seeks to take a position (rather than simply having one) whereby the violences of the interlocutor are ‘thrown’ into the ‘clearing’ of truth (perhaps a better word could be used here, although you made reference to Heidegger), i.e. exposing the violences as such, in themselves, no matter whether they are considered “real violences”, “true violences” or else those of other kinds entirely. In my case, this amounts to exposing the conditions which gave me first to this wandering, that true violence in what was once ‘taught’ to me of reality, etc. This exposition of yours, moreover, requires “inciting” a certain violence, the minimal of violence belonging to your teaching against the One, its faithful, which ensures – by ‘mentioning again’ its reality – the practice or praxis of nonviolence as originally intended. With this post, I find myself completely exposed to the very extent that I am not firmly established in reality, to the extent that I am content with continuing this ‘posturing’ despite knowing the full weight of this truth, to the extent that I fail to take appropriate action in the world despite (at the very least) cognitively grasping its ‘call’ upon my life, to the extent that I remain too calm or carry a-little-bit-too-much divine ‘patience’ in the face of its human urgency, etc.

    Up until this point in our dialogue, a majority of my energy has been spent in fear and trembling at precisely this ‘ridiculous’ peak of the “non-non-Real”, the dead end which I have been given in previous posts to call “non-Laruellean non-philosophy”. Recently, it has become clear to me that rising up to the challenge of nonviolence is in truth a dangerous thing, just as you suggest. I have nothing left as a matter of ‘pocket veto’ other than to admit, with all the sincerity I can muster, that I am terribly scared. Can one be thrown into this clearing due to my fear alone? Living in reality demands a certain fearlessness which arguably I do not yet fully possess, having my faith shaken so violently in the wilderness or else like you with my faith in doubt. Through our dialogue, I have been given increasingly to develop this sense of fearlessness in my life.

    In my initial response to you, in this part 1, I wish to put forth a simple question which might give you some food for thought and future exploration of these possibilities together: Aren’t you afraid? How do you respond? Do you, like an angel from on High, proclaim “Fear not!” as you lead us into the battle against all battles? Do you, in a desperate human vulnerability, break down and admit you are scared every second of your life? Might you instead, with a even-minded coolness, agree to being afraid, but calmly ‘mention again, again’ the importance of the work that is before us? Notice the sense in which this not an objection per se, but instead it makes up an altogether human response to your position which shows a genuine understanding of the gravity of things at this level. I can see, of course, that this fear should not in itself impede our joint action in the world; however, in knowing these transcendental stakes as it seems we both do, knowing this real danger as we both do: Are you not scared for your life?

    Perhaps when the discussion reaches this critical tipping point, whereby we are given to ask these and related questions pertaining to “fear”, then (I am speculating…) you can know with a certain confidence that you have effectively ‘won’ the day, that you have successfully negotiated the reality of this situation, that you have accomplished precisely what you set out to do in the first place. I can foresee that there is also a possible and not to mention quite a moving or else encouraging response (whether it is humble or triumphant) you have waiting for me in this particular situation between us, one which you have not yet fully articulated to me but which – I believe – is truthfully entailed through taking a position in reality as you have done. Truly, there is still much work to be done, and I hope to work alongside you.

    Perhaps we can together take up the role of “courage”. Eagerly, then, I await your ‘benediction’, your call to action…

    1. On one hand, it may be well to have fear going Into a commitment of nonviolence. Some might say there is no endeavor worth its bread that does not at least begin with fear.

      As to real violence and social justice; I support what efforts are being made there and I do not fear for physical violence upon my person in that respect. Real revolution is at best radical action.

      As to me and true violence; I cannot find the words at this time to answer your question.

      But it is interesting that you mention ‘fear and trembling’, because I am reminded of Kierkegaard’s Exordium of that book.

      Would it not have been such a blessing if God himself were to have reached down and proven to me in one fatal gesture of hate and fire that he was not God after all? That God is not real? Would not that have been the paramount act of love?

      I eagerly await your part 2.

      1. Part 2:

        I figured my response could come in the form of a story.

        Last night, I was downtown, outside of a bar at around 2am. There was a Jesusman proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was not your usual street preacher, however. Let’s try situate ourselves in this context, if we can. First, as a matter of appearances, or “visible identity”: He was not old and white and angry as per the usual university-town stereotype, rather he was black, somewhat skinny, and he also had dreadlocks. No facial hair. Moreover, he was about my height and likely a few years older. Stranger still, he was carrying a wooden staff, which was even taller than the two of us. He gripped it about 3/4 of the way up, like one would imagine from the story of Moses. He had a Bible, of course, in his other hand. There was something deeply druid-like about this encounter, by which I mean he appeared very calm with a kind of ‘divine’ glow in his eyes. His voice was not very deep like a bass, rather it seemed like an ‘angelic’ tenor trumpeting. You know the feeling when you talk to some born-again Christians, and their eyes seem to look not at you, but rather through you instead? These were his eyes. They seem to gloss over, as though they are not talking to you as a human, but instead straight unto your ‘soul’. It was a very clever thing he was doing, surrounded by a swarm of flailing people scurrying around to get home safely. He was preaching with a certain sobriety amidst the smell of alcohol and cigarettes, pacing up and down the sidewalk. Plenty of contradictions obtain already, as you can see.

        Most people did not recognize him, and they simply walked past. Or, they pretended to ignore him. I, however, tend to pay attention to “what is going on” in situations with a kind of meta-awareness, so quite naturally I saw him from a distance. He was preaching mindlessly about Jesus Christ in a not-so-overtly ‘hateful’ manner as one would normally expect, looking out with this shepard’s gaze over the flock of drunk people. We were all waiting at the bus stop, and he was about to walk past. He noticed that I recognized his presence, as we made eye contact. I knew better, though, than to say anything, so I kept silent as he began to pass us. He would have passed on by, too, had my friend not opened her mouth first. She and her boyfriend, also a good friend of mine, had been “fighting” all night long. She is a lot more mature than he is, generally speaking. It was obvious, you could see it on her face, that she was in a real state of spiritual disarray, if you will permit the phrasing. She is not religious in any conventional sense. She is usually very sunny, constantly radiating joy and endless smiles, with a compassionate heart for Buddhism. I don’t know if she meditates regularly or not. Nevertheless, it was she who engaged him first with a kind of anger, and her boyfriend stepped aside in intoxicated frustration as if he could not believe she would ignore him to talk to a street preacher. It was really out of character for her, having known her for several years. I know that she is not usually so outspoken or confrontational when it comes to strangers – even after a few drinks. It also strikes me as true, at first impression, that she did not simply wish to “avoid” fighting with her boyfriend. He mis-perceived the situation in a reduction of things, as far as I understand. I think we may take these as two separate considerations, even if they are related.

        She unleashed whatever remaining fury she had at the preacher, in a way that greatly surprised me, saying in annoyance that he should go home since everybody is clearly here to drink and party. I got the sense that she thought it was useless to preach in such an environment, under these conditions, at such a time. She was frustrated perhaps by this more than his words themselves. She said some other things, too, which now escape me, but I remember how I was taken aback by the sharpness of her words. He responded, calmly, that anything she said would have no affect on him, since “it is Christ who speaks through me” and that he does not care what happens to him since this world is transient, or something of a similarly predictable sound. He asked her, then, if she accepted Jesus. She responded again not with a rejection or dismissal of him but with a half-exhausted “Yes, I accept Jesus. I accept.” as if she was really thinking “OK, fine, I accept, now what happens?” This answer didn’t surprise me, since I do think she was also being half-serious. I mean that if I, rather than the preacher, were to ask her that same question in a different setting, she would probably say the same thing. He, however, was not impressed and he insisted that she *truly* accept Him, as if she did not see all that which was entailed by a committed acceptance. At the same time, I was aware of what I was witnessing, as though silently meditating between the two of them. He would look at me during the conversation, and I was aware of my appearance too, wearing a sandy-colored sweater and black jeans as opposed to a collared shirt and khakis, leaning piously against a wall, listening intently, etc. I am told sometimes in jest that I have the word “CHAPLAIN” painted on my forehead.

        Thus far I have touched slightly upon our themes of real/true, acceptance/non-acceptance, engagement, etc. The back-and-forth negotiation of reality continued, as she protested that she did not go to church, to which he said that he made no mention of church. Each time she would bring up something that was, to him, absolutely irrelevant to the discussion. She mentioned to him that I thought the same thing about this situation as she did, even though I did not speak. Accordingly, he never addressed me at all, never asked me any questions, as if he could tell I already understood his meaning or purpose. He spoke only to her, and I was just there as a witness. At the end, he made it clear that he only went out of his way because she first responded to him. He asked why it was her, of all people, who had heard him among the crowd and listened to his words. He said finally, at a particularly powerful moment, that it was because she *already* knew they were true but couldn’t bring herself to live up to this truth in reality. I looked him in the eye, placed my hand on his shoulder, and said “thank you” (the first and last words I said this entire time) so to excuse ourselves, and, perhaps, maybe, to actually and unironically thank him for helping her in the possible case that he really did. Does it achieve good “in fact”? In some ways, it is indescribable, and I am left without words again.

        I think in this example there is a question of “legitimacy” that we can explore together somewhere. Do you know intuitively what I mean here? You said at one point “Yet when I go to describe its legitimacy, I am left with inadequate language; at first I wish to tell it, but I find that the story sounds nonsensical in words”. Yet this story does not sound so nonsensical, does it? Was I really that drunk so to interpret their meaning as I did? It is one possible telling of those events, among many others. It is my perspective *triangulated* from the other three (hers, that of her boyfriend, & finally the preacher). Perhaps you have something to say about my functional “method” of triangulation here, which comes so easily to me in social situations. It is not quite meta-theory unbound, since it has its own mode of informed participation. How informed was I, really? What if he suddenly used the staff as a weapon? The thought had occurred to me, along with a number of others. How might you have responded in this situation? Something about legitimacy is revealed in this process, as the “stakes” rise and sparks fly, as things escalate in discussion, etc. I paid especially close attention to his unspoken “rules” of engagement: Talk universally to everyone about the Good News, i.e. speak to nobody in particular, and then only participate with particular people if they engage first, as this is a sign of a hurting “soul” which knows the truth. It is an interesting strategy about energy, a play of energy. I wonder if we can link legitimacy with energy in a way, in the context of commitment. I will attempt a more direct response soon.

        Best wishes.

      2. Pt 1. (But not only responding to your part one. Lol)
        Satyagraha: truth-force.
        I am embarrassed to say I had not even Wiki-ed to see what this is, until recently.

        If I may get a little bit Kierkegaardian, and enter a kind of what-if land of the Mahabharata, the Gita, to be specific. In this alternate universe of what if, I feel like Arjuna, before battle with his cousins and family, pondering the frustration of a no exit, facing the inevitable battle against his family, and what duty might mean in this situation. And you are Krishna speaking to me, saying, “Arjuna, you are a fool, for we have only to do what we have to do.” There, Krishna the God come down in the form of cousin, in conference as two who speak, one of himself and the knowledge of what there is to do, the other respected family of intimate but greater knowledge, such knowledge that Arjuna could not have known beforehand, though he knows for Krishna could not have said it that Arjuna did not already know, but not beforehand. Krishna speaks that world that begins apart, as a cousin speaking to a cousin, and as he speaks reveals this true form, the God from which Arjuna is not separated: the world.

        I cannot help but be impressed and humbled by your responses: the space not occupied by my voice, the view I cannot see, the facets that are so obvious and true to the form I emit that I do not see in my emission. Perhaps it is in this way that we create, or maybe rather simplify, the complexity of which you speak.

        For I am stricken. In what light may shine forth from what I have to give in what I say and write, I am blind to that which gives it light, as evidenced in your reply. Yours is an occasion for me to speak; I cannot plan for such occasions. In a way my duty keeps me from being able to see a path, for the path that I might decide upon collapses in upon itself at my first step. There is a passage in ‘The Concept of a Irony’ by K, that appears to be quite enigmatic to the commentators and translators – in Hong, they even suggest that K did not formulate the meaning well, and so they try to guess what he could have meant – for me it is clear and without error for its truth.

        Yet, the tragedy is nicely relieved by the comic; I feel, as I said, we are like a Janus. To me, you appear (and please to not place too much weight upon what ‘bad’ connotations might arise to thought) facing to the future, to the “allowing the rest of humanity Into our way of thinking”, through the positive situating. By itself, I argue against that such a way is possible; but I cannot deny our sympatico. It may well be that I argue against the incomplete motion presented in the route of representation as solution in-itself; maybe this isolate is indeed the real true object I so adamantly decry. Even as I hesitate to say ‘relation’, I like more, ‘compliment’. Mine is rooted in a more negative trajectory, represented in the phrase “transcendence and its object, the transcendent, is not real”, as this indicates something not indicated, it indicates exactly what it indicates, which is nothing beyond what it says: transcendence is real, but its meaning cannot be real in the same way that it means, except for reality; hence the need for faith. No reconciliation should be looked for, but rather a filling out of what is not real, for I have no where to look, no object to gain, it is already there. Laruelle puts is greatly: immanence behaving immanently; but I then cannot but ask what it is that ‘begins’ the immanence that it may behave in any way. This route too seems obligatory but irresponsible for presenting beyond representation; granted there is a contradiction here, but contradiction is not an indication of what is false, as if we should look elsewhere, but is a focus for truth. But the contradiction is a situation of conventional reality; thus the terms must be resituated, and this has to do with reading history; I have not begun my more significant work. These blogs are all preliminary.

        Even as we might understand one another, I still feel there is a rift somehow, but maybe it is nothing more than that spot that resides in between our gaze, that has only to be what it is, like the Janus, our gazes joined but fixed oppositely. Yet, as to orientation upon the object, aside from our situation this would be more like two views facing the same item, but unilaterally dualized, one sees through, one sees only. Perhaps together this is where our project lay, how our collaboration may take shape.

        Indeed, I do experience an anxiety in coming upon your question: “Am I afraid for my life?” But is not this what a life worth its giving is for? Anxiety is the indicator of truth. But so powerful and ubiquitous reality is, such dread is now an ailment, treated by therapy and medication designed to pull people back into reality, to reestablish them as a real individual. But enough of my proselytizing…

        *

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