26 thoughts on “Intermission

      1. Consider his distinction:

        > Therefore, there is no “note+of”, but rather “note-of”

        He states that this “of” is not an “extrinsic addition”. I think this is what I am getting at whenever I am talking about something “beyond…” I am having difficulty because it is understood conventionally that I am indicating something “in addition to” when I say beyond, but I insist (to you) usually that I am trying to say something else entirely. I am thinking that the way Zubiri is putting these things helps, because I am usually in the process of getting at something like an intrinsic moment when I talk about transcendence. I don’t want to be mistaken as talking about some “extrinsic addition”. Then he asks the question I would imagine you might ask me: “Of what?” This is a question to which he answers: “Of all the others.”

        What do you think? In particular, what do you think about his remarks on what he calls the “psyche”? Of course many of his mentions to psyche are found in the paragraph in which we might not be surprised to find the only mention to Christianity in that essay: “Let us say in passing, that when Christianity for example, talks about surviving and immortality the one that survives and is immortal is not the soul, but man, that is, the whole human substantivity. Anything else is not of faith[1]”

        I also find it strange, the footnote there, that says the last sentence was originally removed. Is it offensive? Why would it be removed in the first place? Isn’t it … most truthful?

      2. Zubri: I kept wondering when the ‘Catholicism’ was going to come into play. And it did just for that moment when he mentions Christianity. He seems to be putting forth a very, what I see anyway, Sponozian God. His scheme appears to me to suggest a sort of One that disseminates down to the individual in reality. I guess, so as to argue that we are all creatures of God.

        It is an interesting presentation. But I could not help but seeing it as a metaphor, a specific metaphor, a specific picture for understanding. Because I kept thinking “———” that one could assemble quite a number of such Sponoza-esque schemes with the assistance of ‘not separate [object] of [object]’ but rather [object]-[object].

        That was a first impression; I’ll take another look.

      3. And the left out part: I think, or wonder, if he meant ‘ not of faith’ as The faith, as in Catholic Christian faith. As in he is arguing the substantive ‘whole’ that is eternal in God.

  1. I also really enjoy lots of the music from the french rap artist McSolaar. Something of a longing song for me, his hit song was called “Caroline”, about the Romance. But it’s interesting to me that he would include all four suits of cards since we were talking earlier about the ‘quadripartite structure’:

    But his style is diverse, & we can balance things out with a different one, “La vie est belle”:

    1. Cool. The cards analogy with suits is provocative. I am only familiar with the games ‘hearts’ and ‘spades’, involving trumps; I never learned Bridge. Depending on the game,if I remember, in hearts one is trying to give away the hearts, in spades it is advantageous to have the spades. That in itself could bring a good analysis of the Romance and reality.

      At some point I plan to take various authors/songwriters that I have encountered and expound upon how the Romance is explicitly reflected in their lyrics, and the consistency between the songs, the songwriters and such.

      Those essays will be later. I am presently trying to pull together a book, while also juggling this blog thing 🙂

      Also, i see the Romance involving ‘the deal’. And am developing a thesis around an analysis of Geothe’s Faust.

      I am very interested in whether others might have thoughts concerning these categories and ideas.

    1. Oh no you didn’t just send me wharf rat!!! You just confirmed AGAIN what’s really going on here. I think.
      I don’t know if wharf rat just is another longing song to you or what but

      I have felt for a long time people are not talking about the Issue. They talk around it. They speak metaphorically. But I think we have been inherently embarrassed overall . Well I’m not. Maybe I was but not anymore. I have to make an opening to speak About the issue. But as Kierkegaard said: we must not go rushing past, we must take the time that it requires.

      Wait; perhaps I am already crazy.

      But it’s ok if I am. Or not. Lol.

      1. it’s not a longing song to me; i hadn’t heard it before yesterday. it was sent to me by a person i had met who, from what i could tell, it did serve the purpose of being a longing song. i recognized a lot of what we were discussing here going on in the song, and so i thought it would be fitting to share it with you in this intermission thread. i had the feeling that it would make some exclamations come out of you. 😉

        ….what do you think?

      2. The Grateful Dead is all about the Romance. So is Nick Cave. Also the male song writer of Dead Can Dance. They all express it differently in different metaphors. I see this feature as inciting a problematic. Btw: Beruit is one of my favorite bands now. Thanks.

      3. I first came upon the Romance through contemporary poets, but before I knew it as such. After a time I began to wonder how it can be so, that it seemed people ‘knew’ but no one ever said anything about it outright. Then I came upon Kierkegaard. I had before then thought it was only a ‘modern’ phenomenon, but then K made me wonder how someone 150 years ago was talking about it – but still not directly, but as directly as he could, as I see now. It was direct for me, but no one else seemed to be concerned that no one is really concerned. In philosophy most seem content to ‘rely upon’ the romance to stake their claim without ever talking about how that claim is possible. Lalala, there I go again. Thank u my friend in the mine.

      4. Sorry i took a while.

        Old man down
        Way down,
        Down by the docks
        Of the city.
        And dirty,
        Asked me for a dime
        A dime for a cup of coffee.
        I said I got no dime but I got some time to hear your story.

        He said:
        My name is August West
        And I love my Pearly Baker best –
        More than my wine.
        More than my wine.
        More than my Maker,
        Though he’s no friend of mine.

        Everyone said I’d come to no good, I knew they would, and Pearly believed them.

        Half of my life
        I spent doin time for some other fuckers crime.

        But I’ll get back on my feet someday,
        The good lord willin’.
        If He says I may.
        I know that the life I’ve lived ‘been to no good.
        I’ll get a new start and live the life I should.
        I’ll get up and fly away….

        So Romantic; ya think?

      5. … But I think the Romantic part of it really hits home in the last part:

        Pearly’s been true,
        true to me,
        true to my dyin’ days end.

        I said to him, I said to him, “I’m sure she’s been.”
        I said to him, “I’m sure she’s been true to you.”

        I got up and wandered, wandered downtown, nowhere to go but just hang around.
        I’ve got a girl, named Bonnie Lee, I know that girl’s been true to me.
        I know she’s been, I’m sure she’s been true to me.


        He has been so True to the girl he loves, that he is destitute, yet still holding to his love.

        And the narrator likewise sees himself in the wharf rat, like a mantra, affirming that he’s sure his girl has been true to him also, but somehow, ironically, hoping she has not.

        What u think?


        You spoke of empathy in your reply…

      6. it was for purpose of the irony that i sent this song in particular, of all romantic songs out there. but the sad thing is that it seems like a missed encounter to me…. there wasn’t much in way of empathy despite the eerily similar romantic situation. an encounter could maybe allow the both of them to, well, … wake up – !

      7. Now that Is ironic. And you know somehow it yet further confirms our complimentality. For here I could see an opportunity to discuss what it is to wake up.

        Yet indeed, it seems my encounter with the speculative realists is exploring what it is to wake up, likewise.

      8. there are plenty of opportunities for discussion of things that go unsaid, with anyone or in any group, & yet at the same time it seems to me that there are many of these “missed encounters”. to wake up might, initially, have something to do with just beginning to talk about things with people. we have already established this in earlier posts: that we are really communicating. there’s a good first step. then it becomes a matter, i think, of actually getting somewhere with the discussion as we are trying to do here. i might want to say: step 1 to “waking up” might be simply recognizing or becoming aware of opportunities for empathetic human connection… maybe that can be fleshed out a bit. these opportunities seem to be, well, everywhere!

        and if you take one step, it seems that at least in walking you must immediately take another otherwise you will fall down again. we see in this song that he has (if i am being extra-charitable in my interpretation, it could well be more likely the case that he doesn’t see that this opportunity for connection is the case…) taken this one step, simply by saying “I’m sure she’s been true to you” in the manner that he does instead of remaining silent & yet he doesn’t seem to take the next one…

        the other person could maybe respond by saying: how do you know that? can you really be so sure about that, not knowing anything about me? and besides, what do you mean by “being true” to somebody? etc. and they could have a kind of back-and-forth dialogue about things, slowly sharing their stories with each other, working through the situation, etc.

        what do you think the next step could be – ?

      9. I’m not sure what the next step we can take. I’m not sure what type you mean. What do you have in mind?

        In an manner of speaking , I am in a process of exposing transcendence. I was thinkin that perhaps your complimentary ‘bringing in’ of transcendence might find purchase off of its counterpart.

        What are u thinking ?

      10. Partly I wonder of what you described of how you see what concerns the Romance. The vacillation. I wonder how you see why this happens for you.

        Does the love come and go? Or is it alwYs based in love ? Do you think you will be able to stop it at some point ? Or do you not see it as a problem?

      11. I am not so helplessly caught up in “the Romance” anymore, but I still choose to continue my (largely intuitive at this point) explorations of allegedly deeper, often contemplative, theological concerns which might be downright silly or sometimes considered “insane” by most people – especially those whose faith is in doubt. Yes, mine is also in doubt, at least it is doubting “at the surface” or externally or whatever, and to this extent I am in a place that does largely without this romantic vacillation, despite the occasional relapse (if you will). I am asking more questions & making more inquiries lately, for it seems others are beginning to see more doubt in me more than ever before. Maybe this has to do with something about a new kind of inward “curvature” …. but I didn’t develop the point the last time we talked about the issue, perhaps it was in our discussions of commitment, violence and nonviolence….

        As for the Romance, it still comes and goes, but not as intensely as before. It is more frequently gone in recent times, and more increasingly gone over the past year. At this rate it will probably stop eventually, like a dampened sine wave. Perhaps I am trying to consider what a new kind of surface-depth (?) discussion might look like, in light of this exposure in which everything is transparent. If all is transparent, then aren’t we in a somewhat “flat” place? Maybe that is my concern. For example, since you are dealing with SR lately, I am thinking somewhat of the various so-called “flat ontologies” of Bryant et al. – all of which do not seem satisfactory to me. So my thinking is also not so much in step with the speculative realists; it’s been a while since I’ve read Meillassoux seriously. What happens when the ‘vacillations’ of the Romance flat-line? Is it still a Romance if everything appears stable? Is it (am I) really stable at this point, if it is still a line? Is this perhaps what it means to be “always” based in love? Or, does the exposure erase “the love line” entirely?

        I will say that part of the Romance entailed for me a loss of my conventional Christian faith, a wandering in the wilderness, and in the wilderness I was compassionately welcomed-in for some tea so to speak by Muslims. It may be quite interesting to look at Nietzsche’s view of Islam, especially with Ramadan beginning in a week. I have lately been looking deeper into the proximity and (so) mutual hostility between Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam. Constantinople, anyone? I told you earlier I have been ‘seeking’ in the Light with the Quakers, and both EO and Quakers both hold “simplicity” as a key concern in this process, so I figured I should couple that with my seemingly “complex” encounter with Islam to see what happens … Also if I remember, the “insane” Nietzsche apparently was reading the faithful Dostoyevsky towards the end of his life…. you see these are all strange fragments, but O how these many parts begin to fit strangely in my mind … partly my journey has allowed me to meet many new people and to become immersed in many different religious communities ….

        I do not typically wish to “sideline” (aha! another line) theology to the extent that this philosophical exposure of the Romance entails. So, my position usually entails yielding to all exposure without any real resistance, actively helping also with the work of the exposing transcendence, all the while thinking that transcendental “truth” – whatever it may be, or if it even exists at all – is not in need of any defending, i.e. it is completely vulnerable, and that it emerges from within the situation of faith in which humanity finds itself. This all has to do with your inquiry regarding the ‘bringing back in’ of transcendence (following the idea of the possibility of … non-theology for lack of a better term… which sings the tune “after post-Romance”) after the Romance has been exposed in full, as a kind of ‘transcendental function’ (I pull this phrase from Xavier Zubiri, whose work “On Essence” influenced… I don’t really know how … one of the speculative realists, Harman I think… see his works free online: perhaps which looks far differently from transcendence ordinarily or conventionally considered.

        Now, you might protest: the work of exposing the Romance is not finished, it is incomplete, in-progress! To which I of course will agree, and continue with you in this discussion. Nevertheless, it seems to me that whatever this ‘transcendental function’ entails, it operates independently and at the same time as the exposure of the romance, & so in this way we might begin to see how our complimentary will continue to be demonstrated as we go along together.

        If the point of this (a-)philosophical exposure is as you say: “reaching God”, then perhaps we need to find better non-theologies to study God, to see what it is to reach God, etc.

      12. ..When the romance flatlines. I think there we have some evidence for Kierkegaard’s difference between knight of infinite resignation and the tragic hero.

        But also the topics in either/or part 1 and 2

        I suppose I am in my work involved with what Kiekegaard calls ‘psychology’ which has little to do with modern science of psychology.

      13. I ask about friendship because it seems to me to be a “not-so-knightly” option, neither tragic nor infinite resignation but something else entirely. I’m not sure K. would be open to considering friendship in this rather “open” way that I am hinting at. I am also drawn to consider something like Aelred’s piece “Of Spiritual Friendship” in this process.

      14. I will look into him. On the fly: when spirituality is maximized by helping others, what else is there to say? Let me be a channel of thy peace. I think the problem with many spiritual ideas is that it is supposed God at times is removed from the individual contingent upon what the individual does or thinks . Whereas we all need help in an through life at times, I think such a position on God is a mistake in comprehension. But what else is ‘sin’, but a inherited mistake of Adam. ?

      15. ….Really though at this point it’s a largely personal affair, that I will share only among friends (as I said earlier, this idea of ‘friendship’ has been important to me) … I am detached mostly from the theological work I am trying to do & go about my life nowadays without serious interruption by the “Return of the Romance”.

        I wonder what you have to say about friendship?

      16. I found this interesting tid-bit in Lakoff’s book “Where Mathematics Comes From”:

        “But mathematics by itself does not and cannot empirically study human ideas; human cognition is simply not its subject matter. It is up to cognitive science and the neurosciences to do what mathematics itself cannot do—namely, apply the science of mind to human mathematical ideas” (xi).”


        “In the course of our research we ran up against a mythology…a kind of `romance” of mathematics…that goes something like this:… mathematics has an objective existence… independent of and transcending the existence of human beings or any beings at all” (xv)

        They argue that “the romance” includes the following elements:

        The Romance of Mathematics

        In the course of our research, we ran up against a mythology that stood in the way of developing an adequate cognitive science of mathematics. It is a kind of “romance” of mathematics, a mythology that goes something like this.

        • Mathematics is abstract and disembodied—yet it is real.

        • Mathematics has an objective existence, providing structure to this universe and any possible universe, independent of and transcending the existence of human beings or any beings at all.

        • Human mathematics is just a part of abstract, transcendent mathematics.

        • Hence, mathematical proof allows us to discover transcendent truths of the universe.

        • Mathematics is part of the physical universe and provides rational structure to it. There are Fibonacci series in flowers, logarithmic spirals in snails, fractals in mountain ranges, parabolas in home runs, and in the spherical shape of stars and planets and bubbles.

        • Mathematics even characterizes logic, and hence structures reason itself—any form of reason by any possible being.

        • To learn mathematics is therefore to learn the language of nature, a mode of thought that would have to be shared by any highly intelligent beings anywhere in the universe.

        • Because mathematics is disembodied and reason is a form of mathematical logic, reason itself is disembodied. Hence, machines can, in principle, think.

      17. Thanks for this quotes. It is concise. In fact the part 3 I will post soon shows more how the SRs are distinctly involved with true objects. Yes, there may be a true thing that is math, but describing it relies upon discourse, and this cannot avoid its conventional bearings, it’s faults, it’s Romantic bias, ie what it is to be human.

        Friends are honest with each other and remain friends despite differences, and this can be called then an act of love.

        More in a bit.

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