Call and Response.

It is a bit of hilarity by which one finds all the various ways to dispute and knock terms into categories of time and person, at that, never really wanting to apply such ideas to what is actually occurring in the consideration of those ideas.

Such could be the ‘occasion’. For I find that I need the occasion to speak, and regardless of what conventional philosophical situations may confine occasions to particular conceptual prisons, without such occasions I think I would need say nothing to anyone. I sometimes wonder of those that have original ideas that they exchange with other original ideas havers in a solution that stems from an assumption that the idea would never have needed that other for it to have come about. From where do such original ideas come? I guess we will have to leave that answer either to an unknowable universe or an unknowable God. Then what would such philosophical discussions be enacting? Indeed, what would they even be talking about? Oh, I just remembered; the nobility of human progress.

*

So it is here and as well other posts of mine I was given an occasion to put forth essays that convey a certain cognizance without all the magical philosophical mumbo jumbo that wants to segregate oneself from oneself. For, as we should be beginning to see by now, the true magic of philosophy is exactly not real, if what is impossible was not already an indication.

And who real wants to deal with anything that is not real anyways?

***

This occasion arises through an interaction with Dave, who writes the blog “In The Salt Mine” (his blog: http://www.inthesaltmine.com/) that occurs in the comments and replies of my last few posts.

And though I cringe at such an instruction that such an instruction should be needed: This essay in the form of a letter should not exclude; it should invite.

*

The Call: A response 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….

… 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.”

…And response; a call in the form of a story.

You present an interesting situation; one that I feel I must have lived at some point in some way or another. I’m not sure, but I’m also not sure if you were mediating, at least how I come upon the situation of your narrative. Yet you are mediating the story to me, in so much as there were events that you witnessed, and so are conveying it to me.

I shall first attempt to offer a rendition which seems a type of analysis that may speak upon the main point of your presentation.

The point of departure could be seen as your friend the girl. That she is more mature than her partner, says something perhaps about their relationship. That he could not believe in his intoxicated frustration that she would ignore him for the sake of talking to a street preacher suggests to me that he is maybe a little more insecure of their relationship and it came out some that night through the booze, and she thinks it ridiculous that he would doubt her so; hence the argument. I could be wrong but I get that impression.

Her move to focus her frustration on the preacher, particularly that he should go home since no one cares for what he has to offer. Maybe this is the Buddhism in her, but somehow she cares, and his response comes to her. The engagement is due to a mutual witnessing, and there you are also witnessing the event. The witness that speaks, the witness who is silent, and the witness in between. Though the real situation can be broken down in this manner, the truth of it seems to have to do with legitimacy, and acceptance would also then seem to have to do more with the middle and what it witnesses. The preacher could be said to have already accepted in a most positive sense in that he speaks about the object of acceptance. You (the observer) could also be said to have already accepted, and by this it makes well sense that she is then in the middle by non acceptance.

By virtue of your remaining silent, you could be said to be in an ironic situation, being two places at once. You have already accepted but have not asserted anything about its object, its point, and so in a way you could represent what I could say is a more significant situation of non acceptance in as much as this is beyond or posterior acceptance, non acceptance here then having fidelity to the event of acceptance, or what could be said to be the real non acceptance not yet having (prior) fidelity to the object of acceptance, at least, in as much as you (in your narrative) have not or do not ask or confront, “have you accepted Jesus”. The suspended question here is marked by the ‘thank you’ (see below).

But it seems that you may have accepted (non?) Jesus. How would you know ? How would anyone know? What does the silence say?

She mentioned to the preacher that you thought the same way as she did about this situation. I assume this signifies a sort of defense of her part that is weak, since you suggest that you and the preacher are having a sort of sympatico understanding. This, I think, brings to bare the question of legitimacy. It is your silence that allows for her mediation, for she ‘is knowing’ something beforehand of the situation that has arisen over the object of acceptance and how or why one would be talking about it in the din of obvious oblivion, and that she has obviously heard above the din the call that we can say is the call of non-violence in the face of violence, from the din of the crowd but also the argument with her boy friend.

Thus a certain legitimacy may arise from the silence itself. Your silence may confirm to her the opposite of what was really occurring for you, between you and the preacher. I’m not entirely sure how you viewed this, but her side of the conversation may indicate the confusion that would arise if indeed you and the preacher were to begin to discuss what accepting Jesus means, and maybe this is what she meant, being that though your inclination in the situation was toward such acceptance against her, as some feeling-thought arose around some unspoken knowledge between you and someone you have never met, she was drawing upon what she knows of you. Perhaps the preacher sensed just as little and was actually careful not to bring you into the conversation.

The preacher supposes to be meditating God and the given one (the girl) who has not accepted; that she heard, was called, suggests the mediation of his part, as one who was called that might deal with such a one not yet accepting. If we can grant that indeed you two understood each other beforehand, in this type of mediation the preacher has no need to speak to you nor you him; your ‘foresight’ is completed in the acknowledgement of mutual recognition: yet “thank you” also completes or reifies the real violence by acknowledging the ‘before assumed’ object, ‘non-Jesus’ so to speak, yet indicates a non-violent solution which might be merely the unspoken assumption. The violence of her argument could be seen against the call toward such a non-violence, toward the unspoken exchange with the preacher. Here, She knew his words were true but could not bring herself to live up to them in reality. But she said that she accepts. Even for the sake of argument or to see what he has to say about that, even in obstinacy or sarcasm, she at least wants to or is willing to accept, and this is the discrepancy highlighted by “thank you”; the same kind of ‘confusion’ or ‘willingness’ could be seen to characterize the relationship with her boyfriend. Hence we have discrepancy shown in reference to the preaching and the silence, of acceptance and non acceptance. Following this presentation, saying “thank you” to him was to most ironic thing that could ever have been said.

The assumed call may be of a type of non-violent acceptance, but there is an element of violence in the implication of propriety that needs be enlightened. For if her attention upon what calls is any indication, she is enlightened to what needs be for the occasion: the violence of her relationship mediated or balanced by the violence mediated in doubt of the preacher.

*

I hope the foregoing is a good rendition and reply upon the point of your story. Indeed, one could even see the compliment between the two, the voice and the silent, and their respective mediations. But can the one in the middle make the move to acceptance? Can communication occur? How ?

I feel like I may be missing some of your intent in part 2, but maybe this can be our process of understanding one another, now that we have a common basis, to develop how we might go about to the next.

Your part 3: Meta-triangulation and shared experience. Maybe that might be a good short title of what you are getting at. The ‘shared’ could be the admitting of feeling and thought that coalesce on occasions that somehow occur in the one as it involves more than one; the person, the persons, the story, the narrator, ‘more than’ feeling-thought activity that signals the occasion of the transcending ‘reason’. But the shared aspect might need be worked out, again, upon the field of acceptance.

**

But I have this to offer also:

Though there may be two separate situations, perhaps we could make a relation of her non-acceptance of what has been offered with the situation of acceptance of the relationship. Again, I step into a perhaps hypothetical situation of the real one; one that is not real. (It is not difficult to understand why and or how the non-philosophical ‘fiction’ comes about.) One that concerns a Kierkegaardian psychological rubric; the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious – If I may draw a line in this way; from the boyfriend, to the girl, to the preacher.

The first relationship, the boy and girl, is one of love; which is to suggest that all relationships that would endure argument is at least founded in a presumption of love, if not an admitted one. There is argument; in fact, the relationship, though begun in attraction, in an offering, becomes based in a normative state of argument. Love can be said to be the mediator as well as what is mediated; love draws and binds the two together, and love is that which is drawn from for the relationship to be included as a relationship in as much that it endures argument.

In this line, the first pair might constitute the first arena, and in this Kierkegaardian way, ironically both players as an element of the situation, does not remain in any particular defined static role, but rather represents what is necessary to complete the polemic in the aesthetic: in that there is the mediation, love, that is central and pivotal, the players likewise are situated in their role that love gives. The boy, representative here of the aesthetic, is in love; love is legitimized by the passion so much that love is equated with passion as well as the object of having such passion. In this way, the boy ‘loves love’, and in so much as he is a boy, it could be said he loves ‘a girl’, the passion, and yet in so much as he loves passion, he is feminine as he loves ‘a man’, the masculine component located by what can be said to be ‘the proper’ objectification, the ethical, the object of what passion may be or how it may be located.

Unilaterally dual in nature, this arena locates the aesthetic as the boyfriend and the girl as the ethical, but both residing in the mediation of love as the aesthetic; the ethical component yet being that part of the movement of the pure aesthetic in as much as the players find the relationship within the ethics of the sensual and passionate. The aesthetical, the boy, is doubtful; the fool, ready to step from his stable ledge into the abyss below. He is guided only by the ethics of the aesthetic, which in the usual rubric of love, is drawn as the feminine, that object of love, that indeed for the aesthetical is love; the religious is not involved, not even at a distance, for love has not yet become a rule of ethics and its whole demeanor rejects such ruling. And by this chaos that is the passion of the aesthetic, he doubts not only as the impetus of his journey but also doubts in the venture as he moves to enjoin it. This situation is thus one of faith; the operative question is “Is this true?”, since truth has not yet precipitated from reality. It is this of doubting that founds him, but he is also thereby also doubting that the journey will yield anything, this ironically founding his faith in that he still proceeds to leave his home. He is drawn by love yet doubts that such love is true, and yet it is love that is indeed the impetus of his faith that allows for this situation.

The interaction of the players in this first situation is one of passionate desperation. The ethical (of this first arena), the girl, is positioned as the ‘becoming of’ the aesthetic, for as soon as the aesthetic finds himself in this arena, that is as soon as he finds the object of his love, he is already moving toward the ethical, but he is still fickle being subject to the passion of love. The aesthetic is not a type of appraisal of an object, not a calculus of a working approach, an element of technological method; that is of the religious. The boy has ventured into the wilderness, where nothing is; he has moved upon an impetus that is faith but it is faith in nothing, it is faith in what cannot demand faith, but can only ask for it. It could be a transcendent, but this is too much; God is not leading him but rather his refusal to allow It to be that thing that tells him where he is going beforehand is his claim to faith. It is only love, faith in love. But because the aesthetic does not stabilize in his nature, love is known as true through passion, as each occasion develops the meaning and path of love. Yet being human, one cannot forgo objects altogether; humanity resides in a world of objects despite any meaningful negation that one may fancy. In fact, because of the effective negation of the aesthetic, the world becomes love and the first object-less like thing he comes upon in this world is the girl, the ethical. As is her nature she wants to pull him from the aesthetical into a specific love, a love that has forms.

It is this pairing that characterizes the romantic relationship here. The girl, ethics, cannot understand the boy, and is always ‘looking away’ from the ridiculous expressions of love through which it came about; the boy should by now know that the relationship is secure and their relationship founded in love should have moved into the ethical. This evidences an inevitable jealousy. Her’s is desperation in loving one who has stayed in the young passion, a passion that will soon want someone else despite itself, despite his love of love’s object that he resists in his love of love. His is the desperation that stems from the perception that comes by the girl moving into the ethical relationship, of his object-like thing of passion being revealed unto her true form; to both love is being defiled, spited. Yet while her’s rings the ethical tone, his founded in the aesthetic projects upon her so he sees the activity of her nature as being the one stemming from jealousy and the darker or more base desires of coveting, again, that she desires someone else, since he is seeing her religious move, the shadow of himself, in defiance of his aesthetic, as his love self righteously asserts passion and not law, as the true figure of love. Now either he must consciously reject her or she must reject him. If the former, then because his faith is in love he comes to anxiety, for the move he had to make contradicts the aesthetic, his love, and he then comes by the passion that is despairing. If the latter, she thereby becomes a jilter and deceiver; his love becomes unrequited and he is left in the wilderness to be comforted only by love, which is the ethical left and removed from love’s passion, the transcendent as love itself for the sake of love, and his faith is renewed. But she always returns, the object of love cannot stay away, or rather, he always takes her back, and the aesthetic repeats in this way – that is, until the only thing that can be done, the only right thing, the only move left, is to give up the aesthetic for the ethical.

*

The ethical is the Universal. Here lay the rationale of reality, but its law is not yet method; its law is ethical, the determination by the object. The girl is secure in her ways and casts her countenance upon the extremes of passion and law. Her’s is the law of reality, in the same way as there was an aesthetical ethics, as the religious must proceed from ethics, and the aesthetical (we are in the ethical now) must be routed and contained. On both sides are the extreme masculine; she mediates the passionate and the stoic. The passionate is mediated in a wish and a drawing, a beckoning of her charms to the stability of righteousness in existence, a ‘best’ manner to live, but intuited. Her’s is mediation without the question of what that constitutes beyond the socially (objectively?) apparent; the proper manner is found in the moment’s weighing in the real ethical security. Passion is ethical passion. And on the other side, she is the transcendent that the aesthetic romanticizes, and that the religious dictates to veracity. Perhaps she is wisdom.

*

The religious is the Law. The preacher’s job is to pronounce what the rule is; though many will not listen, the preacher secures reality in this such particular way through the ethical. His usurps reality unto itself through the designation, through the de-sign, of the One; the ‘signs’ of the aesthetic are symptoms of divinity and unity, but this is always held off by the Law. Aesthetical passion is now ethically passionate and the individual arises within the Law of how such passion is to occur legally, which is to say now, not only what expression is real, but what experience is real by its proper expression. The preacher imposes method through the proper situating of the transcendent as the object of transcendence that is gained by proper experience; this is conventional religious faith. The aesthetic is now the ethical love, the point of love as reason gained through the social medium experienced and acted through the ethical but generalized into the proper method to regain what it seeks, which is the proper (true) aesthetical (transcending) object. Reality finds its teleology through the religious, where the ethical finds injustice. For the ethical (feminine) is the transcending element of the aesthetic law (masculine), the true object that is always sought but lost in the justice dictated by the Law (injustice) that subordinates what should be supra-ordinated. Thus it is that ironically the aesthetic leaves his home in the Law to follow and seek by the love of love which is justice, and finds not transcendence, but immanence, and the eternal repetition that relieves the one of its legal ties yet obligates him to reality.

*

So in a way, I have outlined a type of meta-triangulation. I mean these tentatively as a sort of map by which to call forth the situation. The aesthetic-ethical I see is maybe a true human situation, but it is not real by virtue of the religious, or rather, it becomes real because the religious asserts the law of the real over all possible human experience; it defines what a real and proper human being is.

In one manner of speaking, I would say that the preacher is misinformed, or maybe rather, has not taken his acceptance beyond spirituality; he has not sought beyond faith. And this is not an argument against Kierkagaard’s ‘why beyond faith; where are they going?’ On the contrary; as I suggested in my previous essay (“Further on Faith”, and elsewhere) what Kierkegaard regards faith, I turn back upon itself in reference to the apparent inability against which Kierkegaard had so much consternation. I unite the house separated unto itself such that reality no longer can divide ‘that which God had united’. Faith is placed firmly of reality, and I leave Kierkegaard’s apparent problem in the view to which he was most blind: that there is no separation of God and human, that the separation is exactly real, which is to say, posited with faith. The irony is saturate; a faith that is set in unity requires no faith to speak about, neither its unity exactly because reality has effectively asserted its usurpation of all possibility into itself; hence Abraham is justified in not speaking of what he is to do with Issac. And indeed, that which is set answers to no relation but itself such that all relation beckons to what is set. The question of subjectivity and opinion then becomes a moot point since it arrives legally and in reality, which is to say, by the religious.

The preacher as the witness who speaks, he is witnessing only the Law, but not the ‘whole of’ the law; he has missed the irony. But nevertheless, his may be a case of the terms of his being human, that those are the terms that he could only have found. He thus represents a particular moment, or perhaps, incarnation, of manner of speaking. For if we are speaking of effect, the effect of faith is certainly at least a God involved in one’s life, for some purpose. Yet again, in as much as he does speak and uses such particular terms, he leaves himself prone to the real negotiation, and there we might find that his terms reflect faith in the law in so much that he has not used different terms; for what is Jesus? And, in so much as we can speak of effect, we can speak of the religious and how such terms of faith have not been investigated and are determined – and in what way can we be determined in the choice for acceptance?

Then again, I do not have larger context of his speaking than the close interaction you convey in the story, but in as much as he a street preacher – well, perhaps I rely too much upon stereotypes.

The issue of communication arises here. The girl has heeded a ‘call’ and likewise the preacher. Perhaps it was a call to communicate, but then the communication is hinged upon one issue. The preacher feels he has something to communicate and it has to do with Jesus, but no one knows what it is. The girl seems to be the only one who sees this, and actually it may be Jesus that gets in the way of acceptance. For maybe the girl ‘knows’ but then cannot bring herself to make the move because it is a commitment that the preacher is asking her to decide upon, a commitment to a real faith that disturbs her sense of knowing that already has decided for her what the commitment is, such that for her to choose to accept Jesus is a violence upon her non-violence. Perhaps she has something to teach the preacher; in a way, perhaps her ‘fury’ is a type or form of violence upon violence that I suggest in my “Concerning Commitment..” essay. As a witness who does not speak, you are perhaps more in the middle, but a ‘chaplain’ at that maybe because you are indeed kind and thoughtful of others. What was the silent communication between the preacher and you? Is this silence ‘in the middle’?

Also as the witness in the middle, perhaps she is being most honest, but maybe it is her challenge to the assertion of the Letter of the Law that puts her more in the space of acceptance, yet then her ‘non-acceptance’ would be in as much as she questions the Law (religious) by the law of the ethical, the just. For the acceptance by which she has not accepted is of the law, and so her acceptance is really an issue of seeing how that question in itself stands in relation to the Letter (the Name of the Father?), as it is an aesthetic question, an ironic questioning as significant event, of, indeed, non-acceptance.

In another way, one could speak of the true situation of the human being as being aesthetic-ethical, but where it is then ‘deceived’ into viewing itself as the ethical-religious. I did mention elsewhere that the motion of the religious is the situation of the aesthetic in reality, but then I could add that it is the Law which denies that the aesthetic has any part except that of adding to the figures and configurations of real individuality.

Further, the triangulation ‘story-you-me’ I think likewise returns the arenas, for I, as perhaps a figure of the religious, have pulled out of the narrative my aesthetic, as the three arenas are meant in their ironic framing. For convention would have it that such a move has been made correspondent with some true progress of the universe, of human beings in the universe and our progress toward our proper place in the universe as understanding of ourselves. If this has occurred though, then it has done so by the very fact of my progress that arrived me at the religious by which I recoup the aesthetical and through which to claim the insubstantial religious reality, that such a position is a religious assertion based upon my ‘staying’ in the aesthetic wilderness – i.e. There is a valid not real, and or reality is not solute. To wit; it is not so much that I happen to have come at a point in history that is or has considered such things represented as the progress of mytho-historico-philosophical thought, for such a point then has argued that such a coming is true unto itself, that the reality of the history of true objects is exactly a conventional, religiously confined and segregated, reality.

The issue to overcome in the religious is the offense of belonging; that the truth does not belong to reality, and that this is offensive to the real progression. This can be viewed as the discrepancy between the aesthetical and the religious. The individual of reality has not overcome the aesthetic jealously of the ethical, and thereby finds what is real is ethically compromised, and all the more relies upon religious faith to justify the shortcoming.

*

As you know, I hesitate to rely upon a true One, and I have succeeded again in offering a rhetoric that reflects this. It seems I cannot help it.

Perhaps I could get at some purchase into why this may be the case by highlighting you, the narrator in the story. Indeed, is the story telling of true things? If so, then it is possible each of us has occupied each of the roles, and it is then a question (that we both well know, and as I have framed it above) of understanding this: one’s orientation upon the true object. Yet also each role can be understood unto itself, as occupying the point of triangulation in itself, that sees the three arenas with reference to itself as the agent mediating narrator of a story of reality.

In this, perhaps, the boyfriend seeing you as the aesthetic, silent, observing, and the preacher, the ethical, and the girlfriend the religious, as she might be a type of ‘idol’ for him. Perhaps the preacher sees himself as the aesthetic, true passionate man of God, the girl the religious who has not accepted but the dogma, the boy the ethical as he is virtually a non player in the argument. I’m sure we could find many descriptions based upon varying positions and identifiers of relativity. There is much to weave out of the various elements in reality, but it seems to avoid what ends it argues – it seems to naturally be incapable of accepting the meaning of its own argument. Becuase it seems everyone wants to be the narrator.

As you have asked, and I have re-asked, and as we may have begun to expose the romance; my concern has to do with the attempt to reveal that which is not revealed in mere theory. Yet quite ironically, due to the conventional load of the real terms, it takes some theory to allow the revealing to have the effect of its revelation, and this movement might be said to be of true historicity – if it ever has before, or will again, the plight is always the same, but termed differently.

*

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More less wind.

I have just begun Quentin Meillassoux’s “After Finitude”.

At risk of appearing – What, I’m not quite sure, but something very anti intellectual – In the first chapter called “Ancestrality”, QM is doing a job on what is called ‘correlationalism’. I have never heard about this terming before. But it appears that it is the term that philosophers have coined to describe the language-being rut of the past 100 so years. The correlationist ‘two-step’, he puts it. The correlation of relation over the assertion of the true object.

Now, he is describing the situation that he is going to rebut, and of course he is quite well read and so has all these authors and situated terms to draw from. What is astounding to me is that I am not very well read academically (this to say: I do not have all day to put to my studies and opportunity to read), and indeed by the time I had written, I had only read relatively few authors, yet as one could quickly notice of my blog essays here, I have incorporated much of what QM is describing in my statements, and but since all of what QM is describing is readily apparent to me. And, I’m fairly sure his argument as I proceed will make sure sense based on the situation that I somehow will already know though I am not yet acquainted with all the fashion terms; I will see. Indeed, a large part of my reading is for the purpose of seeing how authors situate terms.

So, my stemming from the first of the ‘two questions’ is how can this be so? How did do I know without the readings? He wrote the book 8 years ago and it was published in English 6 years ago. I have only heard of him the past few months. And this phenomena has occurred in many authors and readings I have read in the past 10. No one I have ever encountered in regular or (quasi-) intellectual dealings has ever talked with me about my ideas until recently. Even in school, the talks were primarily preliminary and ‘true-object-historical’ based, if not discussions based in the young assumptions behind establishing oneself in the names and or a career. All my conversations before were all usually stunted with opinion, religious assertions, and metaphysical spirituality; none have ever held the integrity to be able to get beyond the mere surfacial conversations of passing time and stating opinion. It has just been my plight that those are the types of people I have always found myself around. By this, BTW: thank god for blogosphere.

I will address the more argumentative aspects of having coming upon the ‘already situated philosophical ideas’ in later essays I’m sure.

Two questions.

Im gonna take a very short reprieve from the long wind, and just put out two questions:

How is it possible to know of history without it having been taught from historic records? Or more specifically: How is it possible to know the significant points of philosophy as have been recorded by authors in books, before having read them?

How is it possible for what is not real to be true?

…we will return to our broadcast shortly.

Irony and the individual, part 2.

… As I read your essay, there’s a level more foundational than narrative or the interaction of narratives at which I have a hard time following you. Maybe we could call it context; context as it has to do with history and humanity’s orientation toward god and reality within your essay.
History.

Your (over)statements regarding history seem to be intolerable within your own essay. On one hand you say that “such knowledge is exactly only knowledge of what exists right now” and “such past is not necessarily correspondent to any knowledge of it, it is arbitrary, and so any notion I have of the past is completely based on speculation” – rendering it impossible to speak of human experiences in any kind of integrated way. I don’t see how humanity could have any shared context if history is as speculative and memory is as detached from the past as you say.

On the other hand, you say things like “there is a point in the life of every human being when he realizes his situation in the world. A point when the person has a certain type of cognition about him or herself, when they realize they are conscious, perhaps a moment when they start to understand what consciousness really means to them as an individual, as this connotes also a certain awareness of the world that has a significance for them as being human.” You presume this shared human experience; a cognitive event that every human being experiences – not in an eternal moment as you have suggested recently, but in their own moments in time.

I think this is worth mentioning because it looks to me like you have accessed what you consider to be historically reliable information in order to conclude that “there is a point in the life of every human being when he realizes his situation in the world.” And, I think what you have done on this point is valid. I simply want to point out that the (overly skeptical) statements you made about historical knowledge would make it impossible to make this valid point regarding humanity and consciousness.

That history has meaningful context is not negated in the fact that the context occurs only in the present. But, it can mean that what I thought was true of history may not be as true as I thought it was. What would seem impossible here is that the context by which I have a history to draw from is the same context that allows me to ‘have a point’ from which I draw my assessment, and that this context could be no other way to have allowed me to distinguish the situation, in that the history I thought was real is not so true.

The point I wish to reiterate, and which may be more foundational, is the point of irony. And so far as there may be a real individual named Lance that is myself, or a real individual named Dave that may be your self, a human being, I am indicating that I have had an experience that is not real, which is to say, not informed by the ‘lever’ or of something distinctly ‘not-leverable’ in reality; somehow the experience I have is not real. It may be transcendent so much as I am indicating, or so much as what is taken of this discourse of reality is thereby indicated, but so much as I am talking about the nature of the transcendent as such, in that I am not indicating but explicating, it is not real. In non-philosophical terms, this may be radically immanent, but it is even less than immanent since it is not even transcendent, since immanence likewise tends toward some real situation which leaves transcendence in its wake beforehand – but I suppose this is why Francois Laruelle and others must have a ‘radical’ immanence. Irony, it seems, in the last, solves the discrepancy that occurs in the positing transcendent immanence as well as the immanent transcendence. What can I possibly mean by this? I mean this in the sense that I have experiences of other people who apparently do not or have not had such an experience, and that this experience of mine thus accounts for them not having the experience. This is to say that the other person not understanding me belongs to the experience because it is the experience of other people not understanding me. This situation cannot occur, or rather, only occurs by virtue of the absurd, in reality, so again we have the polemic that comes by what is not real, and by this move, have the revolution that undermines reality’s power. But we should be careful not to lump this experience in with subjectivity or subjectivism for it is not that the experience belongs to me as some instigator of reality, rather, I am included in the experience also as one that may speak about it in this way.

Now, when I say reality (all that is of the real universe is contained by the real universe – as I have said, nothing exists outside of reality, and reality is all there is; if there is something not real or outside of the universe then it is also accounted for in reality) is negotiated and manifested in discourse, I mean that there is nothing outside of discourse. I mean exactly that: There is nothing beyond discourse; what is spoken, discussed and negotiated about is all there is. Hence the issue of what could be not real is due to the discursive condition of reality that usurps all meaning.

*

If you have a feeling, what is it? What does it mean? I say it means what it means only through the terms of meaning, which are discursive. If you have a ‘private’ or ‘inner’ thought about your feeling, what is it? Is it the feeling itself, or the thought about it? If there is a feeling without a thought, what is the feeling?

I would say: the feeling is the thought. There is no separation. Or, rather, only in reality is there a feeling separate from a thought. Likewise, I say: there is no thought about a feeling, or a feeling about a thought. Or, rather, only in reality is there a thought about a feeling or a feeling about a thought. I say: I am the condition of my thoughts and feelings. Or, only in reality may I find myself through a thoughtful consideration of my feelings.

Now, what am I saying? What am I meaning by these “I say /Or”. I am indicating that there is nothing beyond that which I am, and, that there is a world apparently separate from me, but that this world has become something else due its inclusion with every thought, every experience, every ‘you’, ‘past’, ‘history’, ‘possible future’, ‘situation’,”thing’ etc… Is merely me having the experience, but more so, having the experience through an occasion of meaning, that is determined by the discourse I use to situate it in reality, which is to say, the discourse founded by objects.

Now what does this mean? I have said before that there is no true object, how is discourse founded by objects if there is no object? This too cannot be intuited of reality. There may be objects, but their truth is based upon faith in conventional reality. The distinction of the real individual is that there must be an object as opposed to ‘me’, as opposed to the considerate person; such objects must be true for the individual of a group to arrive. For what is a group of considerate people and against what does the real individual find itself? Faith is faith in humanity of right and wrong; the ethical universe.

Again: I am not discussing an ‘either it is this way or it is that way’; I am not talking so much about or from some exclusive meaning that determines some actual real truth. In fact, I am talking about what is not real; in a more precise way, I am talking about what is ‘either/or’ prior to or a priori ‘either it is this way or its is that way’. And by this peculiar situation wherein I find myself in reality, reality itself comes to be in question, seen as merely a particular reality, not a total universal, actually true reality. I am not situating an exclusive truth of reality except that there may be one that is situated that way; for I have said, I am talking about what is not real. I am not exempt from reality. But somehow I have an experience of reality that is not real. What is it?

*

So it is that I find that when I speak of God ‘of the universal dance’ as in the metaphor above, I am speaking of a particular God, one that rules over a particular reality: reality in particular, one that has beginnings and ends, but particular beginnings and ends determined by the discourse of reality.

Again: I am not saying that I do not live in reality, or that reality is not really true, or that somehow I do not have feelings that I think about or feelings that can’t be described in words. I am merely describing the real situation as it has to do with what is not real. This is because what is real at this point cannot contain what my experience is: and this is exactly the experience of being human with full awareness of what being human ‘means’ when the meaningful situation, experience, the association of feelings and thoughts and meaning, is taken to its end in itself, in my self, but for the sake of the desire to ‘fully know’ the other. This other is the individual person of my experience, but also, by virtue of how consciousness functions to grant reality, this other is the transcendent of conventional meaning.

In reality, feelings and thoughts are associated momentarily, that is, to situate into meaning a particular situation in an occasion; the meaning is not typically ‘carried’ into ‘the next’ occasion, except as something ‘learned’ about a thing that is particularized in situation. Yet when feelings and thoughts are associated to make sense, and at that, complete sense, as one might say ‘God is with me’, for example, then, if one is not segregating real experiences for the sake of justifying oneself to other ‘selves’, other people, other means to further oneself in the real world, but rather is justifying oneself only ‘to God’, then one finds that he or she does not come to ‘know oneself’ as some sort of psychological or spiritual entity, righteous against other ‘wrongness’, a mediating agent of greater knowledge, as a real individual justified in his individual doings in the economy of other people doing things, as these are all negotiating and discussing what might be possibly true and real – on the contrary, one comes to have the complete sensibility of knowing the other, which is, for a term, God. The feeling-thought correlation comes to make ‘complete sense’; no longer does one doubt or have insecurity based in the thoughtful reflection upon particular feelings or sensual ineffable experiences, experiences that are put off into an ignorance that is really based in a segregation of real experience, the ‘unknowing’ that is then posited as a transcendent God or spiritual experience. The ‘complete sense’ commandeers such insecurity of worldly things and feelings. This does not mean that a person does not or should not have insecurities, it merely means that such feelings are real.

Yet, in so far as I may harbor identity within such feelings, so much that I see such feelings as indicating what is real and true, as I investigate the transcendence that is instilled by conventional reality through discursive indication, through such conventional truth, I encounter anxiety, or dread; I encounter the distinct feeling that I should not question here. What do I do with it? Typically, I recourse back into reality for meaning, identify the real things about the experience, and proceed to meditate that transcending experience into reality as if such transcendence is not already and still occurring at the very moment I pose to mediate. I create meaningful distance between me and the experience and deny that such experience is immanent to my experience and activity. Yet as I still doubt, this process repeats until the recourse back into reality becomes impossible, until the experience itself can no longer be denied and mediated, and it resolves in what cannot be real.

*

Hence, irony. We take again the example of where the Bible speaks; it speaks of two situations:

One that excludes in after the fact either/or situations of right and wrong, and one that includes, where both tellings have veracity.

In the first, love is the commitment that is chosen, based in a segregation of thoughts and feelings, of thoughtful consideration of feelings situated in a particular meaningful fashion that transcends the scheme of meaning that determines how such ‘things’ are supposed to fit together, that indeed is fitting them together to reach the meaning of the transcendent. Such it is that love originates with the individual ‘wanting’ the transcendent object indicated by the desire, the individual remains situated in real things.

In the other, love is the commitment that cannot be chosen, since it occurs by the imperative to know oneself but through the other, since it is the other where love finds its baring, that ends in finding only the other as self sacrifice.

God loves humanity, and so loved the world that he effectively gave himself to the world. He did not harbor in his ‘self’ and then gave a token of his love to the world; God loved, and gave himself to that by which love could only arise. If there was no world, God could only love or be love as a transcending element that is beyond human reality, which contradicts that humans then even have a reality, or that reality is also true, which is the transcendent element of humanity, that we often call spiritual.

In both situations, the same move is evidenced but correspondently, counter-partially. Eternal life is the complete sensibility that arises from what is not real, but true. In one, it is of the complete sensibility that brings a transcendent element; in the other, it is the complete sensibility that accepts no transcendence. That there may be life eternal is the condition of life; where it equivocates with a possibility of truth in reality, where the universe culminates unto human knowledge, eternal life is always set off into possibility and negotiation, of future and past, of choice. Yet where life is merely an eternal feature of the universe, in that the universe never occurs without it, here faith is revealed unto its offense, for the terms of reality always must indicate something more than the terms.

It is like two rooms separated by a two- way mirror; one sees the one room and a reflection of themselves in the room, it knows its merely a reflection, and that ‘on the other side’ some unknown looks upon; the other sees both rooms. There is no power play here. Both are correct, but one excludes and one includes; the play of power comes in the exclusion. But, as you pointed out, but taken rather ironically:

“I simply want to point out that the (overly skeptical) statements you made about historical knowledge would make it impossible to make this valid point regarding humanity and consciousness.”

The French philosopher Jean-Paul Lyotard may be correct and corresponding with your observation: perhaps, no communication is occurring. Perhaps the ‘room’ in which historical knowledge takes shape is incapable of hearing the truth about the operations of consciousness that the other ‘room’ sees. What is impossible retains its veracity as not possible only from the domain where what is real is also true, and absolutely so. Yet also perhaps, it is this juncture, between the speaking and the unhearing, within which history unfolds; your point is actually the basis of critique of history:

“– rendering it impossible to speak of human experiences in any kind of integrated way. I don’t see how humanity could have any shared context if history is as speculative and memory is as detached from the past as you say..”

And yet we have, if only because apparently we have an ‘integrated’ context for such history to have cohered as it does now, however we may construe this. It is no surprise that history is constantly reiterated into the ‘true history’ that has ‘obviously’ been generating for eons. The Story of the Bible may be only ‘functioning’ in the way it is meant to function in the context where the Bible is well known, that it is well known because it has context within a discourse of humanity that knows of the Bible; this does not invalidate its God, but rather maybe puts it in context, as the context of history still contextualizes the Bible. The question then again concerns its dual expression; for we are still trying to figure out what humanity is, as well as not, real. Who qualifies? What counts as cogent? Who gets to count it? It seems a Story that says “God created us, we live, and then we die” is quite cogent and explains pretty much everything in life that we experience. Do we need a greater explanation? Why? And these are not nihilistic expressions, but questions that arise from the very basis of the context in which we find the Bible, and the context that the Bible brings into reality. Who am I to question God’s plan? Am I even capable?

Indeed, if Jesus came at a certain pivotal time and can arrive at significant moments in people’s lives, then He does so according to a particular meaningful scheme of knowing. This does not negate Jesus, it actually contextualizes history, as history has meaning. The time that Jesus comes places time in reference with significant greater and lesser moments of history against which all of history gains relevance as a real progression. If Jesus also comes at the end of time, then time itself is situated within a particular scheme of meaning. This does not mean that it won’t happen, but that its possibility of happening or not happening is real. Yet if the end of time can come then it must have already come, for what could be holding it in place? What could prevent a beginning from enfolding into its end? What could possibly hold taught the string of unfolding progressive time? Only a transcendent, only some element that does not exist in the real universe as we know it. In fact, so much that this must be the case, a term cannot identify, account nor even implicate it – in fact, it would be more wise to suggest this element by removing its possibility from any real discussion, and call it any arrangement of symbols, such as “wtf”. It is exactly faith that holds the transcendent at bay sufficiently enough to allow for the progressing true reality of discursive negotiation, of ethical propriety; indeed, it is faith that prevents such an element to remain in its proper sphere. So long as Jesus does not arrive, all is well, and the individual can live in reality; but as soon as Jesus arrives, reality loses its absolute power.

So it is very ironic that I am indicating nothing less than an ‘end of history’, and that this is due to the fact that history itself is used as evidence for its foundering, instead of its integrity. For, what i am indicating has been made explicit, and what is explicit leaves nothing to have faith for, but it is just this feature of reality that will never allow a sensible reason to remove the transcendent, even as this essay is presented. This is because it is not some ‘intelligent pondering’ that arrives at a logical synthesis evidenced in what I’m saying that might be found true or false, rather, it is of an unmistakable truth, that apparently is not real.

The ‘end’ is exactly the stating of the facts that are taken as a proof of argument, as well as a proof that the stating is indeed an argument. Where the presentation of the facts are assumed to be an argument, as opposed to a mere presentation, there we have the negotiation of the true reality. For where the facts are understood in the presentation, there they were already known (see the essay by Martin Heidegger, Modern Science, Metaphysics, and Math concerning learning and teaching) and no proof was needed, for the proof is actually a verification, a validation. But where this is seen as an attempt to convince, the facts have been represented, and thereby come under the speculative reality based in decision.

So we should not see that somehow humanity ends, or even changes; such change is of a priority discourse, of social negotiation and justice. Instead, we need look into what may be allowing what is not real to now speak.

Irony and the Individual, part 1.

The entrance into what is not real is made by the significant event that distinguishes reality from the experience. Where reality is sufficient to account for the experience, there we have the individual, the one that refers itself to reality to justify experience. The experience of the event, that which allows for the experience, while of a real occurrence, by contrast, finds its necessity in irony. Irony is the accounting of what is not real in reality. What is truly not real, though, that which irony accounts for as well as what accounts for the irony, is found in the ironic experience, where reality is turned through discourse into what is not real, or and maybe where reality is exposed for its deficiency. Yet because reality functions to usurp all meaning for itself as the assertion of the individual, in the evidence of the common humanity, the ironic motion is likewise taken from its proper domain. Where what is not real does not reduce reality unto precepts that are not real, but rather brings the concept into existence through the real phenomenon, this taking by reality moves contrarily to reduce what is not real to what is real and places irony in its real diachronic meaning of attitude and era, of psychology and history; this is to say, faith in conventional reality takes of discourse what is otherwise true toward or for the One, as the discussion based in decision posits reconciliation, a grand reckoning of reality for the known and unknown. This reckoning is of transcendence, the finding of that which the discourse of reality indicates; the reckoning of what is otherwise seen as transcendence itself, is ironic. Irony is the contradistinction of transcendence, its indication, location and by this presentation, thus its annihilation. Similar to Michel Foucault’s archeology, the ironic endeavor could be said to be more a forensics, where an artifact is destroyed by the process that finds the truth of the artifact. Or, as some activists are advocating, recognition of limits not as limits per say, but as opportunities for acceptance, allows us to perhaps become a better, more humane or maybe more effective humanity. This essay presents the unrecognized and or denied limits of the proposed real conventional reconciliation, the move to what cannot be reconciled by conventional faith.

*

True significance is significance towards all; it cannot be removed by any sort of activity or applied consideration or problem solving. True significance demands that the action taken is necessary action; there is no thought that can escape its determination. No one can want something to be significant and have it be so; that very act of wanting keeps significance out of reach. A life that has true significance is a life that no one wants; everyone has faith but no one has faith that is significant.

A difficulty in framing such a situation has to do with willingness. In a manner of speaking, one must be open to possibility, and as a colloquial expression, having an open mind upon a topic means that one has a willingness to consider it. In consideration of irony and the real individual, oddly, this is where the difficulty arises, for one cannot be willing to go beyond what is real and have it be true. The more precise way of framing such a meaning is one cannot will oneself to get beyond reality; in fact, even remaining open minded to the possibility of getting beyond reality typically gets one only as far as something ‘more real’.

Concordant to this inability to get beyond reality, this limitation, and due to the overwhelming predominance of individuals who would otherwise wish to move beyond reality but cannot, discourse about the human condition has developed a rhetoric of accepting reality, of a proper route where one is not supposed to try to ‘escape’ from reality. This proposed method deals with symptoms as opposed to the disease; reality is triage asserted as diagnosis, treatment and cure. It is the default called convention that draws all unto the One through capitalization upon faith in the true object. Because the ‘disease’ is so ubiquitous to humanity, is so insistent and evident by the sheer number of human beings who persist in their problems, humanity has found its supposed ground of truth such that any proposal suggesting reality is not totally and absolutely true, is false, absolutely and finally. This is called the reduction of truth to the lowest common factor. By this reduction, then, what is highest is also what is determined by the proper method of reality, and this reveals reality as the greater truth unto itself, which is, the sacrificing of many for the exaltation of the few – and this is called the common effort of humanity, or just commonly known as humanity itself. What is ironic, offensively, has true significance, is commonly not wanted and not real, is the sacrificing of the one for the exaltation of the many.

To be explicit, the fault of typical readings of any idea is that the idea must include every human being, that exclusion is made by rights of the first order of inclusion, that anything produced by a human being is an offer that may be opt-out by another human being. The fault lay in the reduction that takes what is included as other to belong to the first person; the fault arises in the ordination of experience that is proper by the rule of the directive for reality. This first real mistake is to have already had the other upon which the first person derives primacy before the other is included to belong, and this is to say, to have reality by virtue of an other already situating what is true for the sake of the first person having his identity, for if indeed the other were taken in its primacy having already been situated then the individual would cease in its real estimation, and reality would be something else, something it is not; in other words, reality, tradition, history, etcetera, is the individual among others for the sake of itself. This is the mistake of the real individual.

What is missed in this type of reduction is that where the reduction fails there the person belongs to the discussion, this opposed to the upholding of the discussion that belongs to the first person; in belonging to the discussion one can consider only what may be common of humanity, for the discussion includes humanity, but where the discussion belongs to the first person as instigator of a part of the discussion, there also only part of what is human may be given, and so all the various parts must be discussed and negotiated for the possibility of the discussion’s truth as it applies to humanity or not. In the former, experience arises in sort as course, as the insistence of true experience, of true situations of objects; in the latter, reality insists the individual must make free choices and that truth is a relative subjective cause determined in negotiation with objects through situations that only arise contingent upon determinative choices. As we would have it, choice is the location for the denial of existential repetition, and spirituality is the progression implied by choice where the denial becomes invested in a transcending ‘reason’.

*

The pivotal position is irony. For itself, It is ‘of a fulcrum’, so to speak, it is ‘both’ meanings. So far as the discrepancy (for a rendition of what ‘discrepancy’ may indicate, see my essay, “The Big Story. An Aphilosophical Non-philosophical Philosophical Rendition): What is not ironic could be said to be ‘of the lever’, which is to say of an either/or condition. We live in reality, in the universe where every thing is negotiated. Like a see-saw or a doe-see-doe dance, the discussions about everything real, including the speculative discussions of imaginations, as well about what an individual is, including the ‘inner’ discussion that an individual has about him or her self to his or her self, ‘shift in weight’ based on contexts and evidence, proof, true and false, argument – all the things of the universe posed real and not real, rebutted and supported, dance around each other. At times one end is down and the other up, things makes sense that way and this way, at other times the partners have squared up, the dance hall appearing for a time to have settled into some thing more orderly and sensible, more true. But the dance continues; a promenade is called, and another sense, another truth appears. History might be said to be the dance itself, and the progress of history seen as the knowledge of the participants grows, as they each get around the apparently infinite patterns and partners and patterns of partners, truths appearing the first minute of the dance change as the participants learn and new configurations of truth appears, of partners and patterns are slowly seen and known. Eventually the dance hall is noticed, and the dance itself, moving and swinging with other dances, other ‘squares’ of dancers.

This is an analogy of the real universe, beyond which for itself nothing exists. It is a metaphor of everything known, knowable, of the beginning, past and present, future and the end. If there is something that is not known or is entirely or absolutely unknowable then it does not count, it is illegal, for there is nothing speculated or thought of, imagined or tangible that cannot be included in the real universe.

What may be indicated in real discourse, or conventional discourse, as it is indeed indicated, is something that is attainable in contrast to attained; it indicates exactly something transcendent. Here, transcendence is that of the dance that is not yet understood or acknowledged of the hoe-down; the key here is yet and of the dance, which is to say, of the dancers, of the moves, the steps, the patterns, etcetera. If it is a worldly or otherwise mundane object, such as a table, the transcendence is attained through the discussion of the real table, the thing, there, in itself, of its qualities, its construction, its uses. Through all talk about real things, all things discussed are likewise attainable, and this means, at least, that the veracity of any thing is verifiable as to its real truth. This is the default for reality, how it attains and retains its power over what is true; the ladder of the transcending path of objects toward the ‘end’ object, the object that is proposed through the discussion of totality that indicates all things, that holds the quality of transcendence, is knowable. Yet when transcendence itself is investigated, as if it is another object, and its quality realized, the meaning of the object known is not real, for the meaning of transcendence at least denies the presentation of its object. The power of reality is granted through a distancing of the transcendent, the object indicated in certain discourse and the quality of its quality, from the individual so they both remain a real, attainable, possible, thing.

*

So one could say that God began the dance or that even God is the dance, or that God made the rules of the dance. This can be a valid analogy; God began the dance, calls the dancing, people can choose not to fall into the callers move, some may make a mistake, but the dance continues, and some even sit down, but they come back in, and the proposed end of the dance can be seen as progressing along a certain Godly plan of calling. This is certainly plausible and is capable of accounting for the dance (and the see-sawing).

Irony is the fulcrum; the ’empty space’ around which the dancers move and the dance moves, maybe, the ‘axial’, but then we must be careful how we might situate an aggravating polemic within a holistic arena. In this way, perhaps, God may be the caller of the dance, but so much as he is calling it, there is the space that he is calling ‘negatively’. He is calling it by calling out the moves of the dancers, but in a way, the space he calls silently, and thus either ‘does not call the space’, and becomes a certain ‘real God’, or It ‘also calls the space’ and becomes something other than what God can mean for reality. The discussion and negotiation of the dance, the ‘calling’ and the dancing for its truth in reality, is reality. Yet contrary to what real transcendence would usually implicate, what is indicated is always the potential of the dance in the dancers and their moves that are the discussion as well as the participants, and not the empty space. Also at best, what is indicated by real discourse as an actual transcendent element (whether asserted or denied) is irony itself, but where irony (as above) is reduced to real meaning, where the experience is accounted for in and by reality, then the transcendent falls in place to mean that the empty space has been included in the discussion by implication. When this is understood, what else is there?

Maybe this is where the analogy falls short, or I can’t bring to mind to continue with it.

*

What else is there besides discussion and people? Animals and other things, planets, and quarks and bugs and gravity, God or gods, angels, spirits and energies? None of this arrives without people discussing them. There may be thoughts of the arrival but I challenge you to think of something without including discussions you’ve already had or think about having. Try to have a thought not link up with another thought and make sense out of it. Can you bring to mind a thought that does not have a corresponding concept with it? Can you still call it a thought? If you are utterly alone in the wilderness, from where do you get the notion that there is a thought? Is it self evident? From where do you get this idea?

*

Now, I am not immune or exempt from this reality. I am not giving the above analogy because it think it is fake or untrue. It can be real. The analogy can be a good metaphorical description of what happens in or for the universe. In fact, I am giving the analogy also to point out how anyone can have a reasonable conception that they can bring into the discussion of reality, of what is actually real, as any of such conceptions can include sensible beginnings and ends. And in fact, it is the negotiation of such conceptions that constitute reality.

It appears, though, to a person also who is not exempt from the functioning of consciousness, that consciousness makes meaning, and this is all it does. The individual arises or is placed in reality along such lines of meaning, but included in the meaning also lines punctuate, stratify and qualify meaning so that what is meaningful indicates that meaning is more meaningful than a mere operation of consciousness. The meaning here, though, meaning that has arisen after the fact of what can be called this ‘nihilistic’ meaning, what has been made in consideration of all the types of experience that can be had, meaningful, coincidental, spiritual, depressive, passionate, blessed, damned, loved, loving, sadness, joyful, hated, hating, curious, among so many others, experiences that have deep and significant meaning during the experiences themselves but also lasting, is far from nihilism – all of them ‘add up’ to seem to stem from some originating source, but when that source is investigated, nothing more occurs. There may be an idea of something more, but it is not some ‘greater’ meaning, no ‘more’ significance, there is only ‘continuing’ meaning, ‘the same’ significance. What is seen as ‘more’ significant is based in a suspension of resources, a ‘stalling’ of query, a positioning against which ‘more greater’ occurs, a position from which what may be infinite arises as a ‘reaching out’ where the limits of conceptual recourses have not been recognized, as opposed to what is a ‘being held out into’ what is already infinite. When meaning is taken as an indication of necessary route and recognition of path along beginnings and ends and suitable choices, the transcendent holds further investigation from breaching its proper meaningful domain.

*

We should note that when communicating (in English, at least; other languages have different orders for method) ‘I’ appears to foreshorten the ‘person’ in the reading. For there is a risk that is either offered or taken away depending upon particular methods in communication. When ‘one’ is placed, there follows a usual pronoun that the author must decide upon; do we write ‘he’ or ‘she’? Do we write ‘the person’? When we write ‘we’, how must we organize the sentence? If I say ‘I’, how does that effect the reading? Does the reader read it as speaking particularly of me, the author? What other readings can occur? Such questions should inform the reading to its proper meaning, as such questions have already been situated in the communication. The significant question is then: Have they been situated?

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When the meaning of any situation appears to have repercussions, as I am ‘supposed to’ act in a particular way, perhaps as to the act of reading, or of communicating, and I do not behave exactly that, the meaning of failure reflects the meaning I had instilled by the ‘purposeful’ original directive; this resultant meaning then continues to have significant and residual effect until there comes another significant experience that seems to have the significance of ‘testing’ or ‘confronting’ the residing meaning. This occasion always either confirms the meaning, and thus the feeling of meaning ‘good’ or ‘right’ remains, or it denies it, and the significance of the meaning becomes greater in that its residence as the pervading meaning has been upset, such that now the meaning is set in a ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ significance. Likewise, when the ‘bad’ significance resides, an experience inevitably comes that tests that meaning, and the bad significance continues (what can be ‘more bad’? If it is significant, then it is still significant) or the ‘good’ brings its ‘greater’ significance. The significance of meaning in reality is always contained in this movement of juxtaposed meaning; the significance of meaning is always in relation to what may upset it, but there must have been a certain situation that has meaning in a particular fashion in order for the significance of the juxtaposed meaning to have meaning itself. This is not so much the ‘intent’ as it is ‘consistency’. The significance involved in knowing of this situation is that meaning has a capacity for having significance that is not conditioned by such tentative juxtapositioning of prevailing and encroaching meanings, that this last arena (what I have called the conventionally real arena, the ethical/universal arena) can ‘mean’ that it can be ‘set’ off, or aside, such that the significance for meaning is that it is capable of having meaning whereby significance loses its usual transitory and insubstantial quality for allowing meaning, and thereby the only ‘more significant’ or ‘true’ significance becomes that by which all resultant or subsequent meaning is made. By this, we have found what is truly significant, two absolute situations for meaning, what is real and not real.

To say that this meaning has a significance greater than the reality it has set aside is to say that the meaning itself is guided by some aspect that is ‘more than’ meaning, that is, has more meaning or contains or is able to emphasize certain ‘meaning-functions’ (or maybe even ‘truth-values’) over another, even to mean that it is ‘beyond’ meaning, as if there is a secret meaning-switch that opens up another area of ‘meaning making machinery’ that now allows things to ‘really’ mean more than the meaning that was being made prior to flipping the switch, as if now the meaning that was made prior was not as significant. But this is exactly the mode by which all real meaning is made, including that meaning which is thus not real.

[ An interesting aside: The real possibility involved with things when the knowing subject is reduced to its conventional absurdity concerns the effective object. Levi Bryant has written a book, (an most probably Harmann’s Object Oriented Ontology), that considers this; in an interesting turn, he calls such effective object ‘machines’. Please check out his interview at http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/on-onto-cartography/. Of course one should note that his considerations take place and are firmly located on the conventional methodological stage, but his seems a nice compliment to the whole possibility involved in the absolute bifurcation (non-philosophical unilateral duality), as at least in one sense it appears the speculative realists comport themselves to have no qualms about securing their position in reality, that this reality can constitute a whole, and that within and against such whole their possibility can only be situated as speculative – even as reality itself is purely speculative. Quite ironic, to say the least. OOO would seem the natural and necessary result once there is an complete withdrawal of the human subject from reality… . ]

The move that is typically made, though, by those who come upon a great significance in conventional reality, in contrast to what has been ‘set aside’, is to avoid the redundancy by vesting the truth of the significant meaning into a motion of mediation. What is understood as being mediated is the knowledge gained by the juxtaposition of meanings, by the infinite loop that begins in reality, reaches through into some significance, and returns back to reality. But we have seen in the previous essay how this may not be the case; one ‘stays’ in the wilderness and the attempt to bring the one into the One fails for reality. Yet while the significance of mediation may indeed have to do with what is not real, its quality of being ‘not real’ is lost in reality, in the ‘greater’ significance, by the basis of such greater true knowledge stemming from the ground of reality and of coming upon a significance that moves the understanding to maybe make a reasoned ‘not real’, whereby, though, the reason, firmly established in reality, can only resort to its real bearings and thus posits theoretical moves of agency and activism based upon or inspired by some real transcendent force, whether it be understood as spiritual or mystical. Such a one has not encountered what must be ‘not real’ but has deduced it from real situations of meaning. Thus every motion involved with mediation must have real able to be activated consequences, and as this agent of reality seeks to mediate the transcendent clause (its meaning) into the universe, she must have a corresponding strategy to deal with such real consequences as the agent attempts to retain the greater significance of the inspiring ‘one’ through the ethical turmoil and general universal rejection; this I therefore term conventional faith.

The mediation thus is a suspension in a suspension; the meaning is disassociated experience from its base, all for the sake of justifying the transcendent or its quality, transcendence as well as its counterpart, the individual; transcendence all the while for reality, being what is not real. This suspension is not therefore ‘of the ethical’ teleologically, the reality of the universe has not been suspended, rather an ‘ethical suspension’ has, a sustained real universal teleology whereby meaning can diffract into relative meaning of real and not real – all the while remaining in reality; in effect, mediation is of reality suspended in truth, whereas truth is what suspends reality.

Here we have the irony of the question posed by Soren Kierkegaard, “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical” (see his book, Fear and Trembling). There is such a suspension, but it does not need invoke a mediation; that is, except so far as we have not yet begun to speak of the actual ironic experience – Abraham could not speak of it, nor even theorize about it, being a ‘Knight of Faith’, because there is nothing to discuss about the situation, because what could be discussed was exactly, for real discussion, nothing to talk about, or, to put it in other terms, what could be talked about was not real, not conveyable in the current terms of reality – for the situation is as absurd to conventional reality as offensive to its faithful. As Kierkegaard tells us, what Abraham was going to do with Issac could not be reconciled to (real) ethics – for all other description and analysis ‘mediates’ the event, and yet not so much as we cannot but speak about it in the only way we do right now. In so much as there may be a mediation, though, we have moved ‘even farther away yet kept the distance’, which posits the quality of the eternal transcendent, the basis of reality. Again, Kierkegaard put it aptly; to paraphrase: If Abraham does not have faith then no one has faith; Abraham has faith, but no one has the faith of Abraham. I remove such a quality of experience from the conventional situation for which Kierkegaard witnessed a hopefully conveyable break, yet indeed has thereby showed us the way out is indeed despairing, for the sensibility that indicates is not necessarily sufficient to indicate the sensibility. The route is of total departure, and not a move of meaningful linkage, a move of apprehension (of dread) and not comprehension; it is a ‘leap’ that one cannot decide to make. Mediation upholds the possible linkage, it reifies and indeed argues the real distance it proposes to relieve by linking to the object of mediation put always before the fact, as if in an act of supplication, a lessening the humble messenger. But, with a nod to Plato, I believe, the message is the lesser; the significance which proposes the messenger become lesser is based in a conversion of the ‘more significant’ experience into a plea of real humility. The linkage is always after the fact, a posteriori; one cannot link to what comes after, the event is always prior to the linkage, it founds the linkage in fidelity. Fidelity is complicit with and thus reflective of the event; fidelity is not an act of hope, it is not a decision of faith. Fidelity is fidelity to the event, not a linkage to an object; it is significance toward all. Hence, Abraham’s faith is not conventional faith; so I may say, Abraham has no faith, because no one has the faith of Abraham.

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Readings related and of interest:

Martin Heidegger. “The Question
Concerning Technology”. 1954.

Soren Kierkegaard. “Fear and Trembling”; and, “The Sickness Unto Death”.

Alain Badiou. “Being and Event”.