The Significant Event: Part 3. The Outline of Hard Correlationalism.

“Where I am offended, there is faith.”

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We are moving toward the veto and an analogy of legislature. The veto concerns how knowledge is appropriated by the human being to reveal his or her orientation upon objects.

To reveal the legislative analogy, it is useful to speak about the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre. The general conventional meaning of one of his main ideas is typically used to justify the limitation that reality imposes upon the individual, suggesting that once this limit is realized, the individual who then comes upon an existential crisis can revolt from the abyss that lay beyond the limit, and the individual being aware of reality’s limiting effects may thereby then choose him or herself out of the limit and come upon a true agency, true freedom. While Sartre may have been attempting to speak of something else, something more profound, the terms he uses to situate this motivation are typically used to support the progress of reality, to imply that conventional understanding is gaining good purchase upon how to go about finding, locating or defining the True Object, but actually due to this reckoning reveals a condition of discourse the time he penned his ideas as the condition of knowledge.

The example of the problem can be located in the following statement: This is achieved here by the individual coming to an awareness of a particular historical meaning that has been incorrect; one can thereby locate the deception in a past that has been informing the individual to its contingent historical fault, such that now the individual may be able to move into a more effective conscious position by which to enact ‘the good’, which can be likened to a person being at a peaceful or now comfortable type of union with Itself so as to enact an effective agency.

The issue here is not so much a drawing upon ideas represented in history, not so much an addressing what is given as a True Object of history whereby one may then realize a problem inherent of the solute statement given in a complete manner transmitted directly through time from the author by the reading of it, for this type of addressing relies upon a real subject and object, an orientation that holds within its representation transcendent and immanent motions, which then defies the effort to remove the transcendent thinking because such a statement of solution is posited in the very transcendence it proposes to remove. Neither is it so much a problem of the existential effect that would locate the reason for the transformation (Harman’s ‘conversion’?) in an actual transcendent agent, such as God. Rather, the problem is how it is given, or for discourse, what is the condition of knowledge such as it is capable of describing the Event. The direction here is of the coaxing out the problem located in the phrasing of such a meaning; the issue is how to remove the ironic motion from the apprehension of discourse that seeks the solution to fall to one side of meaning or the other through selective denial. It appears then that this approach should achieve our objective, and thereby destroy the transcendent clause from the present effectuation of meaning that remains problematic. But, in other words, it is not simply a matter of describing how logically it makes sense that transcendent thinking should be eliminated; we must instead show how the effect of transcendence permeates the ability of the individual to establish itself in reality. The showing that is effective cannot be of True Objects, for the real discourse by which this showing is made maintains the distance that demands a transcendent interlocutor, or at least a Kantian intuition. The showing must be more intimate; it must be ironic, and hence, for the discourse of reality, bridge what is not real. We thus need situate history upon a polemic that concerns True Objects.

In one orientation, history is seen to reflect, convey or otherwise transmit information about events of the past that actually occurred similarly to what the telling of it is conveying. The historian’s job is to attempt to clarify particular historical situations as to their truth, and the critical theorist’s job is to uncover meanings of historical discourses that are or have been encoded into the present activity of discourse that establishes the arena by which individuals negotiate reality. Both of these endeavors rely upon a real True Object. Hence Sartre can be read to be saying that the story that has been transmitted through time has been transmitted along a particular agenda, a particular way of approaching and viewing the world and history, and that this particular way amounts to why human beings in the present may be having more difficulty in life and the world than one should somehow suppose they ought to. And, because this orientation apprehends discourse as catalyzing intuition of Objects’ truth, Sartre is seen to present a situation that has been identified in the progressive progress of historical time, such that ‘now’ or since, individual thinkers may consider that Object and move beyond it, applying more intuition upon that now established True Object. Hence we have modernism, that is said to have promoted and demanded individual adherence to a particular and singular truth, which due to Sartre’s and others’ analyses, the breaking free from these historical limitations brought the ‘post-modern’ era (as well as any labeling of existential-critical-philosophical ‘moments’ or ‘turns’) its opening for discourse on social justice. I am not sure if any ‘breaking free’ has occurred, but this manner of dissemination is exactly real.

In another orientation, what we have said is ‘not real’, history is taken to mean the True Object that supplies the condition for the state of reality such that individuals find themselves justified by appropriating and behaving in a particular manner that is designated by the real method for truth. History and discourse are complicit in this real telling and are spoken about with reference to particular contexts that arise due to a necessary order by which terms can only and must have meaning in themselves, for other terms, and for any phrasing of terms to have any meaning. In this orientation, because freedom has no essential foundation for its meaning, because history and discourse are the effective limitation upon a human being, one can only move unilaterally, which is to say, completely encompassed such that there is no other move but out of choice; hence instigating or calling forth a duality. The exegesis and exodus is this: Because freedom is bondage in the act of attempting to find essential freedom, yet in this act the human being searches, which is, chooses to look for an out among constant imposition of limits, the only way out is not to (choose to) revolt from the ‘abyss’ that is the perpetual coming unto ends – it is not a move of denying the abyss and thereby armed with full knowledge of the existential situation being able to choose a path in recognition and awareness of limits. No; rather, it is an accepting (non-agency, so to speak) of the abysmal as a necessary situation of existing – that there is reality that behaves this way for human beings – and there by losing the ability to choose due to such choice being established and estimated by the conventional reality that is, by its very nature, limit. The revolt, by this orientation, is against the very volitional act that would have one revolt from the limitation back into the limitation. The result is necessary; which is to say, one who is so motivated by truth as opposed to identity cannot but continue the move that was begun by truth itself, which is, in the last instance, the human being dismissed from reality’s decisional imposition of route for the individual by choice. The only route that is possible is the route that reality says is impossible as a real imperative: the removal of choice. This then is freedom unconditioned by the contingency of reality, or rather absolutely conditioned by contingency, but moving in the necessary direction accorded by the imperative of truth that arises from the fact that reality is contingent.

We can then say with assurance why the discourse of reality that proposes its containment of all possibility as possibility in its route, its proper method (Francois Laruelle’s ‘philosophy’), tends to land on the side of the former orientation, of the True Object. The reason is located in its insistence for True Objects. Choice is one of these objects — for we are not dealing here, of this essay, with True Objects, objects in-themselves with information about themselves that are intuitively transferred or transcribed into knowledge by a transcending agent, of sorts; we are dealing with meaning and significance. Choice in this way is understood by those oriented upon the True Reality as revealing a True Thing of reality, but this is to say not that there is not choice, but that the real idea of choice evidences a meaning that correlates choice as a substantial True Object among other Objects, and so means something specific and particular that is reflecting at all times an ‘in-itself’ feature of the One True Reality. Choice is there by determined to mean a particular True Object, and not itself an effect of the human consciousness that exists despite this Reality; choice, in this way of the operation of consciousness, means that no choice is impossible. Conventional reality has it that without choice there can be no reality.

This is the reason why real individuals find the situation of no choice, determinism, so offensive, so ridiculous, so absurd, so nihilistic – as I have described it here, this is not saying that there are no real situations of no choice that are not offensive, like being found guilty in a court of Law when one is innocent. And this is what prompts the divergence from the conventional determination of contingent reality; I am describing an actual situation, a true situation of significant meaning that the discourse of reality has failed to account for historically, that, ironically, despite having no choice, reality persists. Psychology may proclaim its contingent diagnosis of the individual, and other ‘philosophical’ ideas may describe events and activities, but they cannot address the failure of its ability to not rely upon the intuition by which reality establishes its psychological and physical truth — rather they can only do it through seeing that it has already been addressed by their conventional faith.

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By the ability to speak, by the sheer availability of discourse for meaning, only by the current condition of discourse, can irony leave its house of mysticism and spirituality, of subjectivism, intuition and inspiration, and arise to be able to confront the world as the last thing reality would have it be.

In this way, the real move that has resulted historically is the attempt to incorporate and otherwise reconcile what is is not real. As we see in the historic philosophical movements, or turns, since the beginning of our modern age at least, which is to say since the European Enlightenment c. 1400-1500 CE, this attempt is futile; indeed, it is absurd that the effort of reconciliation continues in reality. Hence the notice of departure of Francois Laruelle with his non-philosophy, the venture into the nature of the True Object the Speculative Realists, and the venture into that which counters conventional faith, what I have come to tentatively refer to for my work, aphilosophy.

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From what we have discussed thus far, the matter might be beginning to show itself.

The veto is a rejection of a prior decision, and it is the significant event that allows for the veto to be distinguished. Legislature is the body that decides upon the Laws of the State; a veto rejects the decision of the legislature and requires them to renegotiate the proposal.

When reality is understood as holding all the routes because it is the One and only route, the veto is not needed. The Laws and proposals are seen to stem from an attainable truth and thus are seen to be addressing real and true things, objects that in this way are effectively absolute in their potential and the potential that lay in the One truth that is attainable, in a real singular ethical horizon. Reality has choice that pervades all possibility for truth; any proposal that is made is thus made de facto a real proposal, subject to the same Laws as everything else, proposals made by the method for the furthering of the method for truth in reality. A veto here is not necessary because choice is effectively an ‘ever present potential’ for veto, as the State of reality has Laws that are modified by proposals that are developed through agency based in choice.

With the occurrence of the significant event, the veto as such becomes viable. In this preliminary situation, the State is understood to hold a potential in itself to be overturned, and in this way it is not difficult to see that the veto may be applied to the Proposal of the Law of the State. Here, the veto is come about by a ‘secret’ proposal that the State is now seen to have thus far withheld. This secret is the effect of the transcendent clause of the State, where the State, reality, catalyzed by the significant event into its ‘unity’ by the proposal of its ubiquity, its omnipotence, thus determines a counterpartial ‘totality’, such that a ‘material’, ‘physical’ and or ’empirical’ arena arises to account for the State, and the ‘immaterial’, ‘metaphysical’ and or ‘transcendental’ arises to account for the State’s accounting. See also Meillassoux, as he likewise describes this feature.

The problem that arises with the introduction of this situation defined by the State and the significant event, presents the problem by which is necessitated the divergence from conventional methodology, Laruelle’s philosophy, or philosophical decision – reality that is based in a unitary discourse of the Real, the de-cision of Truth; that is, the divergence is necessary due to the limiting effect of reality that we have discussed of Sartre’s existentialism earlier: no other route for the condition of knowledge presents itself when knowledge itself is taken as a ‘whole’, for all its inclusiveness. This latter problem is what I will call hard correlationalism to distinguish from what Quentin Miessaloux has termed ‘strong’ correlationalism.

Strong correlationalism puts all knowledge in correlation with all other knowledge such that all situations conveyed by discourse past, present, future, possible and impossible, fall only into knowledge itself as presented to the knower such that the limits of knowledge designate absolute limit, an ethical horizon. Strong correlationalism has the problem before it as how to deal with reality, as it is not specifically subjective and not entirely objective, but both; its solution thereby follows the general conventional Sartrean existential scheme noted, whereby one revolts from the abyss and then comes upon true freedom or agency. I have argued this situation myself, but diverge from this strong correlational model with the amendment that it is a function of human consciousness to present absolute categories, and that these categories function to supply reality, a scheme of True Objects, through meaning, to such an extent that the past is thus a ‘true’ past, indicating the Truth of the past, so it is, and thus is supplied a proper method for coming upon true reality.

Hard corrleationalism, the problem that necessitates a divergence, has to do with what Jean-Francios Lyotard conveys in his book “The Differend about communication. The problem, which Lyotard indicates by a ‘differend’, has to do with the significant event. The question he poses I reiterate: If there is a situation that does not adhere to real determinations, that is, does not uphold the Law of the State, how does one communicate what this situation is? How does one make his case to the State when the State does not hold the means to communicate it and thus hear the case?

Now, we must address the situation I presented above. The problem that incites divergence, the latter problem, is in line with Lyotard’s question; i.e. When one is come upon by the significant event, how does one speak of it? I have suggested that the significant event vetoes reality, which is to say that it questions the legislature’s proposal, the Law of Reality, due to its conveying what is significant of the Law itself, which is the transcendent clause. Thus we can say that the individual who is come upon by the significant experience has found recourse to an ‘executive’ branch of the governing body. In the more significant of featured significant events, this can be called ‘inspiration’, and where religious belief is involved, a type of spiritual experience, or even ‘revelation’.

The problem that occurs in this case is due to the real ‘strong’ correlational position. This significant event, while being viewed as a legislative breach, is actually gaining its stature in the governing body, the State of Reality, and it is by this move that we gain the free individual. It is of the pure multiple. The State being omnipotent, proclaiming its accounting for all possibility, has already established that the individual is accounted for by the State, and the individual of the significant event who finds inspiration in this way, through the transcendent clause, who moves then in revolt of the abyss that appears at ‘the end’ of the State, that which resides ‘on the other side’ of reality as viewed from the investment in reality, who then proposes to have come by a ‘better’ solution to the limits of reality or to be able thus to have true freedom — such a one is, by the transitive function of multiple sets, asserting and upholding the Law by conforming to the State, reality determined by immanent and transcendental operations. We will later take up how this evidence argues a real yet true transcendental progress. The solution to Lyotard’s query for such an inspired significant event is real, which is to say, was already real because its capacity or ability to be communicated was already present inso much as it was inspired. Hard correlationalism in this way correlates not only knowledge but experience itself with what is true and real; what is ‘hard’ of such correlation is that experience itself is already correlated with reality, and thus mere strength of argument is not sufficient to overcome its regulation. We can say then that this type of significant event was a real experience, and so never had recourse to a veto, or rather, always held within its sphere the potential or capacity for choice. We can also say then that the individual who is come upon by this kind of significant event is oriented upon the conventional True Object.

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The State of Reality functions in this way and the same problem arises in two forms. On the one hand, the experience itself appears not to convey the same meaning as the discourse of reality would have it, and so part of the problem is determining which meaning is true. As more such experiences convey variant meanings, reality situates what should be counted as true, to wit, whereas the fact that people are having such experiences is real, the meanings of all such experiences cannot be true. The State thereby comes into its power of enforcement to determine what is true and real, not only as to what is to be counted as legal, which is to say, what people can say and how (the method by which) they can say it for it to included in what is real and true, but also, due to the real determination that equivocates terms to intuited truth of Objects, what such phrasing is allowed to mean to be true in reality. Hence , the aphilosophical move that disrupts such reality by introducing what is not real ironically.

So, on the other hand, we have a real maxim that has consolidated power through the conflating of different aspects of being human into the legal form of the individual of the State of Reality. To be fair: it seems an innate feature of being human for people to be selfish, manipulative and unfair in their dealings with others, even to the point of violence, and it is this feature against which the more institutional conventional governing body is formed. Yet ironically it is this necessarily crass and reactionary forming of worldly governance that historically routes its conventional philosophical analysis to a common humanity and its One reality, taking this apparent anarchistic tendency of human activity and its real solution as indicating (the transcendent) that a real philosophical solution can also be found, and incidentally, thereby arguing and maintaining the terms of conventional faith in the State of Reality. It would seem then that the discursive connection between the worldly governance, the nation-state, and the governing that occurs through the Real State of Law, is not true so much as it is enforced in the same ways and by same mechanisms that Paulo Freire outlines in his “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” about the game of oppression.

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For those so keen, what we have here is a presentation of a presentation, and so a re-presentation of what is mistaken of the historical representation. Yet, the point here, now, is not identical with what has come before; the repetitions, the reiterations that have come before have — that have always come before — been limited in so much as they could be represented now. As I indicated earlier in this essay, the previous presentations have been limited by the condition of knowledge, and this is to say that the terms of reality (the ‘greater’ vehicle) were incompatible or maybe ‘not-conditioned’ to allow a phrasing that could accomplish the break that individuals of the significant event for so long have been involved with. This is to say that the they were still in the effort to reconcile the discrepancy, the ‘split’ that can be associated with the subject and the object, the ‘cogito ergo sum’, to the One True Reality, that the condition of knowledge was such that it admitted no split, and this is to say that conventional discourse was in no condition to allow for such a break. Or rather, to be most explicit, the best conventional discourse could do, the best that its faith could muster, is the object that we call ‘post-modernism’, that admits, for one, ‘multivocality’. Such it is with the solution to conventionalist existentialism and its real operation in strong correlationalism, where the individual is the real true establishment of reality, and the end of the discussion as to what is real. Hard correlationalism defines the limit of what is real by allowing for the truth, not that then derives a ‘new more real’ truth out of the waiting upon the operations of contingency that will inevitably offer a further proposal, but rather that must, in line with the premises above, be necessarily not real, that which is the same.

*

It may be due to this final determination, that the reason for discussions such as this will be forgotten. This is because human consciousness functions on the effectiveness of intrinsic mythology, and the exposure of this feature of consciousness to itself seems to involve a necessary forgetting.

End Part 3.

So we have outlined the only possible routes given the condition of knowledge. Speculative Realism proposes the objective route, the ‘speculative’ ramifications when the meaning of the limitation of discourse outlines above is taken as marker of necessary direction. Yet, consistent with the operational imperative of human consciousness, the description of the object cannot do without the description of the subject. The purpose cannot do without the topic; to have action, there must be parameters that define what action may be taken.

Part 4 is a more thorough addressing of Quentin Miessalloux’s version of Speculative Realism.

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The Significant Event; part 2.

The instrumentality of reality is faith; all forms of veto stem from the resistance, innate to the individual, to have reality find solution. The condition of reality thereby posits no solution but through faith, which I call ‘conventional faith’, and this insolute situation that requires faith is founded upon the True Object. The True Object is the basis of having reality, and the motion of reality, called progress, is toward the absolutely True object. Reality thereby determines that the individual human being should find the Truth through the terms of reality, and this is to say that the terms are seen to reflect or otherwise show what the True object may be and thus presents the route or method by which the individual may find solution; the solution found through conventional faith is called identity.

A human being’s identity can be said then to be the sustenance of reality. So it is the solution to the query instigated by such a form of consciousness is ironic, because the terms of reality confer a route toward the real Truth, whereas the True Object is what is informing the impetus for that search and the discrepancy involved in this endeavor is the true basis of reality – this designation withholds the truth of the matter only in as much as the terms’ meaning are seen to already be reconciled to the object they designate, and not so much to the individual who is refered the proper real route. The upholding this method then is one of faith, for what is viewed through reality to be the meaning of this solution amounts to a nihilism, which is offensive to the route that is presented as the real proper method.

So as much as there might be an individual of reality, we are then involved with the possibility of a significant event, and how this feature of being human involves an ability to veto, as well as what exactly is being vetoed.

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In order to find what is being vetoed, and thereby establish what is meant by the veto, we have to look little further than a dictionary and extrapolate for discourse in general. Here is the first definition from Dictionary.com:

The power or right vested in one branch of a government to cancel or postpone the decisions, enactments, etc., of another branch, especially the right of a president, governor, or other chief executive to reject bills passed by the legislature.

What is being vetoed is a prior decision. In this way, it is not too difficult to see that the meaning of ‘veto’ can be set by a non-philosophical manner firmly in the philosophical method. Hence, the veto can address conventional decisions, the objects of reality, or the veto can address the conventional decision, which is, for another term, reality itself. Concerning the pocket veto (part 1 of this essay), what we are dealing with, though, is the latter ‘philosophical decision’, which Francois Laruelle calls the effort involved with “a unitary discourse of the Real” [Laruelle. The Dictionary of Non-Philosophy.], and therefore concerns the method by which conventional reality confronts and or addresses its own limitation.

Earlier I pointed out that those invested in reality through conventional faith have the power of veto, meaning that any event is an occasion for decision, and that significance is proximal to specific events. This real situation thus rides upon a power of veto, since it is assumed and taken for granted by such individual that every occasion for decision of every human being is equivocal in nature, and factors that might load or sway one’s decision making ability have already been decided upon in the real negotiation of equivocal objects; that is, psychology, cultural influence, social stature and situations, among others, are known to have limiting effect upon an individual’s ability to choose because granted an ability to freely assess any given situation, such a disposition has allowed a decision to be made upon otherwise divergent or problematic arenas of apparent choice, such that choice may be limited by such factors. Nevermind that such rationality must likewise be influenced by factors that are inherently invisible or selected out of for the purpose of making such decisions about what limits choice. Hence the conventional negotiation that establishes a particular and proper reality that has in effect the power of veto obviously and overtly available.

I also pointed out that what delineates the veto for it to be established as such is the ‘significant event’, as this event moves the veto from its place of omnipotence to ‘the pocket’, which is to say, the particular power of the veto becomes pronounced in that it must be ‘put away’ as in one’s pocket, held there for such time when it might be needed. What we must intend is thus ‘taken from us’ as we are subject no longer to the omniscience of reality where choice can be made upon all possibilities of significances, and are now subject to a significance that pervades all reality, yet showing itself on occasion. We do not choose until the significance presents us with an opportunity to veto, then we decide if we should veto the occasion of the continuing significance, for we are stuck: the veto is the decision to deny the significant event for the sake of reality, and reality each time is not as significant: We have a choice – but is there a choice? Therefore the individual who makes that decision, who vetoes finally the continuing significance, we have to wonder and ask if they ever really came upon the significant event. Soren Kierkegaard addressed this question as he spoke about the hero and the knight [Fear and Trembling , his book], and it is not a terrible thing to see that the hero is included where the knight belongs.

To reiterate: The veto is ‘put into the pocket’ of the individual who is come upon by the significant event. If no significant event arises, then the individual has no veto to speak about because choice is seen as a truism of reality. The issue concerns when and why the veto comes to be put in the pocket, and what if it is played.

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Hence by virtue of the manners by which such arenas take shape for meaning, i.e. the former (conventional philosophical decision) includes and the latter (ironic cision) belongs, we should see that we are dealing with what is known as the issue of contingency and determinism, and due to the restraints conferred by the meaning of these terms, therefore likewise the issue of choice, free will or just plain will. Consistent with the simple definition above, then, we see that we are dealing with an establishment of a type of power and the possibility of its overturning, so as we are talking here of what reality has to do with the living human being, we are talking about power as it has to do specifically with that which is undisclosed to the real individual, but is nevertheless in process being disclosed to human consciousness, and not so much with the objects by which consciousness works.

Discourse is the vehicle of power, but where reality is indeed valid, here instead we should not take its recourse and say that the statement “one’s reality is determined by the discourse'” means that the terms themselves have a singular and particular effect upon how the individual is justified in reality. Such a meaning has to do with ideology, hegemony, social justice and the critical discourses of reality, for the individual is indeed justified in reality through discourse. But the overdetermination of this route, the conventional assurance, only serves to justify reality’s absolute dominion over the individual by promoting and instilling a particular meaning to freedom where by one has choice, which is to say, that reality is contingent absolutely such that even its contingency is contingent and may at some point become necessary. We are not addressing the functioning of such real discourse, not specifically undertaking what is usually understood as a ‘History of Consciousness’ critical theory as proposed by, for one, the department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. We are undertaking a critical discourse of reality itself, which nevertheless, as I show in my earlier essays, ironically connotes a disruption of reality such that the mentioned academic ideological critical theory may find purchases for social change – yet need I point out that it is this latter that tends to assert its primacy, propriety and dominance to the extent of driving out the implication that its voicing is not essential and never derives from anything more than direct, uncoverable and observable social situations – just as reality demands the a True Object, so does critical social discourse demand its transcendent purpose in the correlationalist default that resorts to real individuals. But this is not to say that social justice needs not be implemented…

I might remind the reader that earlier (part 1) I have identified the ‘Speculative Realists’ as dealing with reality in reality, and so I might add that Quentin Meillassoux’s thesis in his book “Beyond Finitude”, argues exactly the contingency of reality’s being contingent, that at some point it could become necessary, which could occur through the conventional philosophical method. Ironically then, in fact, it appears that this is what he is arguing; that reality needs to ‘own’ its contingency by eliminating the transcendent from its reckoning; in other words, he poses that reality will find its solvency with the removal of transcendental thinking.

I am not so sure about this speculation, except in that reality’s motion vacillates between transcendent and immanent stature for any conventional moment. It is this latter consideration that allows reality to be determined in scope of its incompletion, and within this larger scope, reality to be of faith. Hence, the universal totality that math-science seeks may be found in the real elimination of the transcendental thought that humans have of it incorporated, but what such science achieves is the determination of itself through the terms of its own reckoning, which is, for real discourse, redundancy. So it is that the move, apparently odd for Meillassoux addressed in part 4 of this essay, where knowledge absorbs the object instead of the object absorbing knowledge, is part of the necessity particular to conventional discourse in finding its absolute true reality – which is what M is involved with. It is the issue of the larger scope, which again, the Speculative Realists take along its objective route, the real route for the True Object, that argues my general thesis, i.e. Reality identifies a particular method of understanding the universe, that in response then places the impetus for truth upon meaning and significance, and thus shows the true problem of the transcendent and thought to be one of real discursive, which is to say, proper, meaning.

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End part 2.

Next up, part 3: About legislation.

The Significant Event: The Romance, Irony and the Veto.

Significance. What we can call the Romance is based upon and or around what I call the significant experience, which falls well in line with Alain Badiou’s ‘Event’, what could then be called the significant event. The irony that surrounds this feature of being human concerns a confusion of the individual, between what arises of the pure multiple and such Event. This confusion is being worked out as we speak; its ways, immanent. Its formulation has been established by Badiou in the distinction pronounced by ‘void’ and ‘set’, but more particularly, more humanly, the pronunciation’s initial voice is heard through Francois Laruelle and non-philosophy, as this divergence, that which is signaled by irony, is located in the distinction that has found and described the motions of philosophy, what I feel is more correctly termed ‘conventional methodology’ or just ‘convention’. The distinctive move that has been signaled, as referenced here through philosophy, can be noticed lately in the works loosely coined as ‘existentialism’ and ‘post-modernism’, but most recently ‘speculative realism’; so appropriately begun in the real, taking reality ‘into’ its object for what it is and what possibility it holds, such speculation thus calls for its counterpart, as I frame, that is specifically not real, since it is this feature of and in response to the philosophical (sticking here with the non-philosophical designation) reality, that works to deny that which originates in the Event.

The Romance is this evental feature of human experience by which we have the conventional historical designation of Romanticism or the Romantic Period or Era, and by which, so apropos to convention, we likewise have the real disclaimer that has reduced and conflated the period and human experience to one of mere caprice, of usual passionate undependability, fantasy and a specifically derogatory mode of irrationality that decries as it celebrates conventional methodology’s victory in placing the human so far from itself as the free individual for the purpose of maintaining the status quo of the teleo-ontological fortress of religio-ideological power. So compete in the assertion of itself, the conventional romantic designation flaunts its power through accentuating the discrepancy by calling what is Romantic ‘subjective’ diversity and uniqueness of individual creative and emotional freedom; though there may have been such an era, it was indeed because of the ubiquity of the true reality. We need not go into the exploitation and oppression that is the capitalization upon the discrepancy here, but suffice it to say that reality itself is romantic, whereas the Romance, a particular significant experience involving an actualization of relationship with the world, has been historically shanghaied into servitude and keelhauled under the dreadnought of historical progress — the now ‘fractalized’ Hagelian History the individualized romance of willful self determination upon the seas of manifest destiny. This is reality; it is not that people are or were having similar experiences — of the pure multiple they indeed do, and that within a particular universal horizon. It is more that such experience, by virtue of being human, may connote an individual of reality in the manner that is reducible in the same way that Badiou describes the situation of being and event, which is to say that the real individual misses the irony of Its existence for the sake of the True Object of its faith. This is not to disclaim in the effort to eject the human being from the helical oscillation upon which history makes its claim to progress, but rather to introduce to suggest that while progress is a situation of reality, the progress of reality is misconstrued in the conventional reckoning of history.

*

The significant event is singular, but the nature of its significance brings all subsequent experience under or within its scope; thus the attempt to explain what this experience is or was becomes not only an ironic experience but indeed irony, for the multiple by then necessarily falls into the originating experience and becomes a singular experience — though it ‘becomes’ only in as much as it is always becoming multiple and singular in the same move due to the originating experience informing all experience. So I repeat, this occurs in the explaining of the event, but not so much in the explaining what the event means or meant, again, because the explaining of the event cannot become dismissed, overcome or otherwise detach from what the event means as the event serves to give significance to the subsequent multiple that is real life or of lived experience, that falls back and or has fallen into singularity.

Oddly, it is in the explaining of the meaning of the significant event that develops theory, rationalization (see below), as a proxy, as a way of distancing oneself from the Event because its significance as the Event, defies reality, and reality is where we all begin as an individual, our faith invested in reality. Hence we can speak of Soren Kierkegaard’s ‘sickness unto death’, ‘offense’ and ‘sin’. When one attempts to explain what the event means or from what it means or meant, then he becomes stuck in an eternal decision of how he might go about situating the meaning of what for real determinations is the eternal moment — a redundancy, a stalemate, where the ‘point of insertion’ into reality cannot be determined — that requires a type of break which will move the in-decision past its incubation into a specific topical discourse which then might become the identity of the individual. Yet the conventional methodologists will need no break for they are already invested by the break itself, that which is the offense in discrepancy, in the suture that is the effect of faith, which supplies the True Object and where discourse is about asserting proper meaning of that reality. Theirs has to do with the prevalent veto that is choice, in the particular presence that says ‘no’. That which requires a break is not the requirement for a ‘leap’ as Master Kierkegaard has termed, but rather its opposite; such a break relieves one of in-determination, necessity, which is to say, the relief is the contingency that is choice, whereas the leap is of necessity.

By contrast, yet with consistency, what one could call a ‘pocket veto’ appears in the potential of the significant event to be able to make or be the qualifying break; the pocket veto appears as something one has available for choice, to use for the purpose of stopping the reduction that will bring meaning to the significance that is the eternal moment that thus necessitates the leap, and so be able to bring what is otherwise impossible into the discourse of reality despite it not being necessary. The conventional veto rallies against the Event, where as the pocket veto enacts the instrumentality of decision once the significant event has taken hold. For it is as if within the Romance of the significant event the person has ‘held out’ on it, as if carrying something in his pocket, that though the experience may be a motion of love, the question always remains: “Is this real?” But indeed, if this discourse is any indication, it is at least ironic, for the answer one finds reveals whether the veto was ever truly in the pocket or not. This then defines the paradigm of bad faith; that which was in good faith considering the other party was already compromised for what contingency may arise to change the stakes of the original deal.

This essay concerns how the pocket veto allows for a way to describe the situation of the Event, as well as creating an opening to eventually describe the Romanitc Experience itself.

For we have two situations of the event, but really three. One where no pocket veto is ever needed, having the tool of veto readily at hand, and one where a pocket veto may be applied. But these two situations then show that they still are dealing in reality with reality, as theory is the distancing of oneself from the experience. Yet this is not a necessary discounting. Being that there is a necessary principle at work, all elements of the universe must belong to that principle. What this principle is exactly is the discrepancy between contingent and necessary aspects as such, which is also the discrepancy between the object and the talk about it, as well as the relations of particular thoughts (see my earlier essays); Quentin Meillassoux, in his book, “After Finitude” does an excellent job at describing this situation, in particular as it has to do with the object itself. So in as much as these admitted operations indeed operate, it is no problem that two apparently distinct and even opposing routes based upon the same discursive substrate, the same ‘meaningful issue’, would co-operate in-dependently to reveal its object and even say different things from the same orientation.

We have then the framework by which the dual nature of the discourse that has been called ‘philosophy’ may be apprehended. To bring in Alain Badiou’s formulations; on one hand, we have the philosophers of the multiple who are attempting to describe the One Reality of the True Object, so to speak, that I call ‘conventional methodologists’, and on the other we have the philosophers who are involved with the significant event.

The conventionalists (Francois Laruelle’s philosophers, the ‘objectours’ of philosophy) we will leave to their ‘philosophy of…’ methods.

For the philosophers (my use) of course, we need discover what might need a veto, and this concerns how irony might come about, and this concerns the significant event.

*

What occurs in the significant romantic experience? A feeling of privilege and or secrecy upon intimate knowledge, one might even say a feeling toward a kind of esoteric mysticism; of being ‘let in’ to some profoundness; of being ‘allowed to make your acquaintance toward a loving relationship’. Now, when I say this, of what am I speaking? Am I not speaking of every possible experience? I am speaking of one particular experience, but in what way does it not speak of every experience? The profoundness of some ‘private’ experience, but also the common experience of the individual in reality; loving as an intimacy and loving as a basic position by which one ‘has’ an arena to act, whether one would call it ‘mystical’ is really a preference of the moment, yet in so much as we could say one ‘loves’ by virtue of the fact that there is a relationship that cannot be overturned, we can also say one has faith; in reality, here religion leads the way. So, In one move I have described the condition of the particular Event, while also describing all events, and as I attempt to put forth the unique situation the move presents the common situation, the humble and the willful.

But what happens in this romance ? The sense of love remains but the feeling goes away, and then comes back, and then goes away. In the Romance it is called repetition; in reality it is called a number of things, a mundane repetition, psychological self fulfilling prophecy, incorrect appraisal of the situation, spiritual motion, karma, magic, physical resonance, coincidence; I could go on. What is occurring? Significance. The meaning of the event in reality. On one hand, the ‘setting’ of a pure multiple within the context of the pure multiple, sets of sets. A ‘cordoning off’ of meaning to sets of meaning allows for one event to have more or less significance than another, and thus have significance. One the other hand, the event of the significant romantic experience is being ‘found’ at particular moments of the multiple, which is to say, in reality. Reality can thereby be understood as a sequence or as the arena where significance occurs, but by this designation also as the ordination of fidelitous subsequence, or that which must be not real.

For the conventional philosophers of the One Reality there are True Objects and the role of these philosophers is to be able to discern what the true nature of the ‘grand’ object called reality is. It does not matter if they suggest multiple realities or multiple universes or how they situate terms; their faith begins and ends in the True Object, in the absolutely particularized pure multiple that begins, progresses and culminates in real truth. These philosophers see theory as coming from or being about the true reality. Significance comes at moments of proper arrangement of objects, of particular situations of meaning, such as reading and studying and then coming upon an ‘ah ha!’ moment, and these significances as a matter of course are then coordinated into what is called theory, a willful assertion of appropriated facts about objects.

Hence the philosophers of the significant event thus far deal in irony, but the issue overall has been the confusion that arises in the development of theory. To wit; the former philosophers are dealing with the true object and the latter are dealing with the significant experience. It is only now that the division that is just due is taking shape. Yet, as was just mentioned above and consistent with non-philosophy, the confusion has arisen because the philosophy of the true object is the ‘greater’ vehicle, it is the discourse of power, the discourse that stems from the One Reality, that is the designation of the ‘proper’ meaning of terms. This is historical, traditional, ideological and political as it has to do with a specific ontological and ethical horizon. Non-philosophy is a blatant announcement of the division and brings into relief what the post-modernists (Deluze, Derrida, Foucault, to name three biggies) could not bring to sway; to wit, their move was inherently conventional, that is, not so concerned with the Event itself as they were its meaning. They were still attempting to account for the significant event in the One reality, as the philosophy of the true object was not seen for its stature and unrelenting power; or, they capitulated to its power because they were already invested in it for human identity, they still thought reality could be changed into something less dishonest and more human, an offering and a withholding – which is to say now of something withheld, something not real – and at that because they were inspired; they could not introduce the significant event because the One reality demands that the significant event must fall under the domain of the pure multiple, and thus be not so significant — but at least it could be a type of psychological ‘malady’ or maybe ‘form’ if it were not posed with strategy, in tactical guise of particular manipulations of terms, in short, if it were not posed in theory. So we are lead to ask how it might be that someone so disturbed or ‘not living in reality’ came to have such an effect on real discourse? That such a person could have developed such a good theory?

Hence, its significance. It is exactly this theory that does not hold water, for their theoretical position occurs only in conventional reality. Theory is supposed to be an argument, a proof for a proposal of truth, as the proposal is merely a part of coming to the truth of the True Object through negotiation; it is supposed to be a surmising of the facts in a proposal for their unitary meaning to be critiqued accorded to the relative information allotted to each critically thinking individual who are also involved in the common universal effort for the ‘whole’. Theory is not supposed to be a ‘costume’. So irony describes the situation of belonging instead of including by exclusion and confounds conventional reality. So it is that which is most honest is thus taken by convention with a pinch of salt, a skeptical eye suspecting bluff, and at times called out for its dishonesty, if not plain nonsense. if much of post-modernist theory is any indication – check out the post-modern generator website (if it still exists) – one can easily tell that conventional philosophers really had no clue what was being told. The meaning of ‘original’ post-modern/existentialist writers was taken most seriously in its capacity to hold an object for its truth, and soon enough the ‘theory’ that was being produced by the adherents of the proper method (Laruelle’s ‘philosophers’) based upon the significance that rides through conventional reality despite itself resounded with utter nonsense. This can be said to be due to the fact that there is indeed a discrepancy between what is real from what is true, that reality’s pure multiples are ‘really set’ upon a situation undisclosed to the situation of infinite sets, which should show, for conscious experience, the fidelity to the true object of coordinated sets that are romantic in various significant situations that I call conventional reality, distinct from the true fidelity that marks the void in and by ordinate subsequence, or, the significant event that I have called the Romance — but distinct in a non-philosophical manner, which Francios Laruelle has termed as a unilateral duality, one which includes and one which belongs.

The almost polemical move of ‘speculative realism’ from what could be called traditional philosophy, as well as traditional philosophy itself, both occur in reality, about real objects, whereas what is ironic, or as indicative of the counter-partial move of what is not real, is the dual move from reality. Due to the necessity of the motion of contingency in reality, the speculative and the ironic appear to reveal a necessary element or feature that is unknown or at least uncomfortable to conventional reality. Irony upsets the endeavor for the True Object, so it is not difficult to see how conventional methodology would tend away from its tellings; it holds a tentative truce with irony, setting it to a type of spiritual psychology it doesn’t enjoy, one that brings it to have to assert is power for ubiquity, urgently revealing as it does so its nervousness steeped in bad faith. Yet while Speculative Realism announces its divergence from traditional philosophy, its way is still conventional, it is still attempting to alleviate the risk of exposure of the Romance by its resorting to what is romantic; hence it is ‘speculative’. Yet it is close; its difference lay in the significant event, and may yet be an indication of where or how such a pocket veto may come into play.

*

Significance occurs in three, what I shall call, venues. In my essay “the description of irony”, I discuss these but I will elaborate more here.

Events can be significant. Getting married, having children, graduating from school, meeting someone, avoiding an accident, etc… Any event may have significance. Real experience is segregated into meaningful situations, each with more or less significance. Reality is a pure multiple of attainable sets, where any set can be divided into an infinite amount of sets, and any series of sets can be a set. Infinity likewise becomes a multiple that can be placed into sets of various sorts. Like a divine lotus flower, reality unfolds, emerges, arises and falls, like an active chaotic Mandelbrot set of fractal imagery. Most people have experience and understanding that can be described and explained analogous to this type of significance, to significance that can be described with reference to such chaos and complexity, as such simple and straightforward explanation can comprise and account for reality. But the ‘incorrection’ of this type of patterning of significance is found – if I may stay consistent with the Eastern theme I have touched upon here – in the assertion of will; so much that this very statement reveals its conventionality in double, in the same way the notion of karma is seen as meaning purpose, but one that arises as one asserts oneself, ones desire for things in the very event that arose due to choices made within an essentially free universe.

Hence the difference between the event(s) of the pure multiple and the Event from which the multiple may arise in fidelity is one of significance.

*

In ‘The Analysis of the Mysterium’, chapter 5 of his book “The Idea of the Holy”, Rudolf Otto describes the situation:

“Representations of spirits and similar conceptions are rather one and all early modes of ‘rationalizing’ a precedent experience…They are attempts…to guess the riddle it propounds, and their effect is at the same time always to weaken or deaden the experience itself. They are the source from which springs, not religion, but the rationalization of religion, which often ends by construing such a massive structure of theory and such a plausible fabric of interpretation, that the mystery is frankly excluded.”

His point is to get to how it is that we come to a category of ‘holy’, but my take I think he missed.

Here, the ‘precedent experience’ can be similar to an event, any event of experience, but here let’s say the significant event, the Romantic experience. We approach from a certain manner for discussion here: What is it? Otto would say that it is of the mysterium, of awe-fullness. So what is it? I say: it is only what becomes of the discourse that surrounds it, which is to say, itself is nothing.

But it has significance. The significance leaves itself to the discourse about it such that itself indeed has significance, and this is to say, the event itself is denied for the sake of the discourse about it so much that the event is the discourse about it. This linking, this suturing, is of faith, conventional faith. Faith allows for the romance to take place, for significant events to arise. But here this is only to suggest that significance motivates the will.

Differentiated from common significance of events is the significant event. Here, what is significant does not resort to individuated, multiple events and remain local or in proximity to them, such as with a first kiss or a coincidence, where discourse would speak specifically about each event and their significances. Here when a significant moment arises it refers to the singular Event, such that each significance is so of and refers to the originating event. This is to say that each significance in reality calls forth the Event so that each event refers to the Event for its significant meaning. The singular becomes multiple so the multiple remains singular. As opposed to real experience that resides in the pure multiple and ‘seeks what it finds’ by including the void in its coordination of sets, the significant experience stems from the void and ‘begins the count’, or establishes the vector, the ordination of subsequence, because such event belongs to the void, and as Alain Badiou might put it, occurs in the evental horizon. Thus one can say that moments of significance should not have ‘more’ significance, but have the ‘same’ significance, each real significant event recalling the originating significance. Hence also, reality does ordain significant events such as birthdays and great holiday vacations, but such significance can be said to be relative to the Event as one knows which has the greater significance and what actually motivates, where the cardinal value arises as a denial of such relation through relative knowledge that we have called ‘correlationalism’, or what is constituted by the pure multiple of the real possibility of coordinated sets. Consistent with real transcendence, the cardinal indicates how value is situated and meaning finds form, and with a nod to Quentin Meillassoux, how reason itself relies and substantiates upon a stable yet undisclosed substrate, which I say is demanding of faith because it is the philosophical object, its objective, the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of reason, and which he says is the ‘necessitarian inference of probabilistic reasoning’ [QM; pg 97]. Again the irony resounds.

The question has to do with this latter area of significance.

We are talking about meaning. Significance concerns meaning. When we say that there is continuing significance as opposed to ‘another’ significant event, we are speaking to the meaning that continues through the various occasions, the various significant events. It is the same meaning in different contexts, showing itself, the same meaning, through different lenses. But usually the Event is not seen in this way; the ‘lenses’, the objects, are not seen as occasions of the Event, but rather as occasions that are ‘filling in’ the object, indicating a progress of knowledge that has to do with a greater knowledge of objects, which is to say, of reality. Recall the transcendent and empirical elements of reality; this latter viewing occurs in oscillating fashion, to the effect of significant revelatory experiences that are leading one along some purpose which is the simultaneous progress of the knowledge of the True Object and the individual of reality.

The True Object and the individual are defined and specific elements of reality; they are identities in contrast (ala Martin Heidegger) to what is the same. They are ‘cordoned off’ in meaning to have real identity. In the same way, significance occurs. Such identities arise from effectively segregational meaning. In reality we build things and take them apart and find how they work and put them back together in different ways to find out what each identity is, and this process is cumulative and culminating such that typically, even when the significance continues through the multiple events, the Event is viewed as a segregate identity, that is, as above (Otto), the precedent experience is kept segregate by the virtue of the faith that is invested in the ability of the term to identify its object. This is why the Event becomes denied in reality; this accounts for why the Romance stays romantic, in the either/or condition, ala Soren Kierkegaard, instead of moving into the Romance that is marriage.

It is the continuing significance that defines how reality is situated in truth, for now we are dealing with the individual for whom events have significance because of the originating Event. This corresponds the individual in reality who comes across the romantic experience. He draws from the mystery into a relationship that would destroy reality; this relationship (for now in speaking) is the Romance. In this real situation the individual is appraising the situation in real terms such that the Romance is such by virtue of an identity with which or whom the individual has a relationship with, but which he also seeks as to its reality. The first question is always, “Is this real?” But because of the initial investment in reality that every individual has, the question of truth is not distinct; the question of truth is a precipitate of the next question playing out in the activity that is real life, which is “what should I do?”, but then as the significance of the Event passes into the terms of reality that seek to bring the meaning of the Event into reality as purpose, again as Otto above, “the mystery is frankly excluded” and the significance of the experience itself falls away, or rather becomes real. It is then sought after and is found again as progress is the investment in objective identity.

If the question “what should I do”, which connotes the meaning of the experience as purpose, is answered, then reality is saved, faith in the True Object is upheld in that the ‘mysterium’ has been solved as purpose. The significant event is set in context as ‘inspiration’, or for a probably better colloquialism, ‘spiritual experience’, but even if the inspiration denies the experience as spiritual, here inspiration itself saves reality. It is when no performable act is conveyed, and no purpose is able to be termed, that reality falters. Doubt is the operative mechanism here, for the present is only presented as ‘path’ in a retrospection that cannot project it out upon the future as ‘a path’ of inspiration; reality is changed.

Hence, what I understand of the ‘pocket veto’ rings a particularly interesting note.

The playing out of the question of reality brings the question of truth and grants thereby in relief the significance of the pocket veto. For we are not talking about the veto as it is held in the pocket; this is indeed the Romance in reality. We are now talking about the veto once it needs be played and if it can be or not. If it can be, then the mystery that has been frankly excluded is conveyed into reality intact as a real item for negotiation, as a proposal, a hypothesis, a theory, that moves reality in its progress as a significant object to be considered. Yet if the veto cannot be played – and this evidences a particular showing of a true polemic of power – then the mystery that is frankly excluded is indeed excluded in reality, which is to say, it is destroyed. And this mystery is exactly the transcendent.

*

END Part 1.

I believe I should leave some bibliography, which will also do for part 2 and if there is a part 3; in fact it could probably serve as a seed biblio for what is to come.

Martin Heidegger. Being and Time, and other essays of his.

Alain Badiou. Being and Event.

Quentin Meillassoux. Beyond Infinity

Francios Laruelle. Principles of Non-Philosophy

Rudolf Otto. The Idea of the Holy

Soren Kierkegaard. The Sickness Unto Death, and, Fear and Trembling

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For a brief discussion about the Romantic Era – and as a bibliographic site: http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/lecture16a.html

And thank you Dave at Inthesaltmine.com for our continuing interaction, and his coining of the idea of a ‘pocket veto’.