Category Archives: literature

Post-modernism’s Worth. 

When we are too close to an event, we talk about it as from a distance. That is, what we say is automatically distanced from the event, a maximum distance. The event is thus, by this occurrence, an object. As opposed to our psychotherapeutic model, the closer we are to an event, the more dishonest we are about its true bearings, that is, the truth of the matter, why it is that the (the wholeness of the) event has occurred the way it has. The impetus and the reaction can be come upon as an included item, a truth in-itself, only when we are distanced from the event. The truth of an object, as opposed to the True Object, can only be viewed in its truth from a distance. The equation is thus of inversion, of ratio.

Here then we may have a basis upon which to properly view foundational post-modern writers, namely, Derrida, Deleuze and Guittari, but others also.  To wit: Their descriptions were from a basis too close to the event, such that they attempted to quickly and finally establish a ground for the event; the event being thus so profound and significant, they were compelled to offer a reason.

They were not wrong, only rash. 

It is analogous to an explosion. We have now the data from the explosion, having encountered it ourselves, but also come across the initial first hand rationalization and fact crunching reports of the explosion itself – with that, subsequent explosions, and now the reports and experience of the aftermath(s) of explosions, we can now safely report upon the truth of the whole event. 

The Story; On the Big Story: An Aphilosophical Non-philosophical Philosophical Rendition.

Let’s see how much people like stories. I investigate here the Big Story of the Bible as it may concern human history.

I will try to fill in the Story with what I see as human course. In a way, it is a story of the Big Story, which amounts, I guess, to a type of exegesis of the Big Story itself. I ask that you suspend your belief and give me the benefit of doubt.

I begin with being human, because there is nothing that can be talked about or known without a human being. Though God may be responsible for my existence, and it is possible that God may have created me, I do not begin with God, because God does not come to be known until there is a human to know of God. Also, this knowing does not begin with knowing God created me, knowing begins with knowing and then God might be known as my creator. So I guess, my Story begins with the human being. The Story can include God, but the Story can only be told by a human talking about God. If a human being knows of or about God – and here I am not necessarily referring to the ‘knowing God’ as we have talked about in our (mine and yours) discussion – it is because that human being is human.

There is an apparent inability for human beings to reconcile their existing, that they exist, with the world of their experience. We have doubts, insecurities, things don’t go our way when we think they should, etc.. We feel that when we are doing ‘right’ that things should be right, but this is not always the case. In this state, we are defacto ‘knowing good and evil’, not in an absolute sense, but in a right and wrong sense. When things are right, then the world is right, or at least our being in it, and when we are wrong it is because something is off or not right. If things are wrong, we must make them right, yet even when they are ‘made right’, something wrong happens again. Also, when something contradicts what we know as right, we typically get offended, feel ‘wrong’, and often plain deny it. There is an apparent discrepancy with being human in the world.

In the search for why this may be so, it is not difficult to extrapolate the discrepancy into some aspect or element of what we are able to come across of our lives that is more than this, more than what we are able to account for, as to what I just said, that we feel that things should go our way, that the world should follow a sort of moral guideline, that we should not feel wrong when we feel or think that we are doing everything right. We thus have a tendency as well as ability to ‘see’ that there must be a ‘more than this’, that we as conscious creatures should be accounted for in our shortcomings and inabilities by an even ‘more conscious’ consciousness of sorts, since it is apparent to us that we are not like other creatures and should not have to be accounted for as merely another creature that is ‘not (human) conscious’. It can make sense that there should be a ‘God’ that tends to us in particular because we are as we are, a ‘special’ consciousness. This sensible understanding, as a primary cognition, should be able to relieve the discrepancy, since such sense would mean that we are taken care of, that whatever happens God has ‘got my back’, and our insecurity would diminish. In so much as it does, it is not a far stretch to call this relief ‘life’, as the feeling associated with a removal of worldly doubt and insecurity is more than more preferable to the life plagued with such discrepancy, a life that in relation to the ‘God-backed’ life, so to speak, can easily be seen as ‘death’.

If this may be the case, then we have to account for why it should be so, being involved with this God, that we might be left to our discrepancy for accounting of the world. We can understand this in one scoop and call it a ‘fall’, since if there is this God we have to account for why It would have us in such a situation in the world. A ‘Fall’ can then make sense of our discrepancy, and of course it must have happened before us, since it seems to all humans that there was no time when everything went our way, except maybe the remembered perceptions of when we were a child. The Fall can account for why a sensibility for God does not relieve the discrepancy; arguing backward from what can make sense, we ‘fell’ into discrepancy, since the cognition of a necessity for an accountant of human consciousness, God, must have occurred before the consciousness that is accounted for.

What humanity was before the Fall is not knowable; rather, it can only be knowable through consideration of what it is to already have fallen, which is the state of human discrepancy. In relation to this, then, before the Fall human beings were ‘secure’, ‘un-doubtful’, ‘content’. Humans could account for themselves in the world since after the Fall human beings ‘wonder’ why or how it is that they evidence a discrepancy in the world; they accounted for themselves through God. There is no sense in having a sense about God that does not fulfill somehow the doubts that are involved with human sensibility. A very sensible way to speak about how it was before the Fall is: heaven.

Yet, the discrepant state through which such sensibility derives its sense persists in its sensibility of its pre-Fall state. In as much as humans in that pre-Fall time were still humans, it is sensible to have them be curious and at times downright obstinate and even defiant. Hence, the Fall argues itself as a sensible moment before our present human condition without the need to explain what may have been before, because, in the same mode of sense, God was before our sensibility. The redundancy involved in having a Fall explain our discrepancy while extending the sense of human demeanor to a time before the Fall resolves in a further sensibility: The Fall could not have so much to do with everyday attitudes and necessary reactions to worldly matters, it has to do not with one’s worldly life, for the world is not the proper domain of humanity, God merely made the world to place humanity; the proper domain is of the soul, the spirit, which is the domain of God, or perhaps more sensibly said, God is the domain of the spirit.

*

We should see that at some point in our growth from child to adult, we became aware of this problem of our discrepancy. Perhaps it develops slowly, but at least there is a distinct moment in our lives when the particular awareness of oneself in this world becomes apparent, when we begin to reflect and try to make sense of the discrepancy. If the sense that comes to know of God is insufficient, story of an ancient ancestral Fall can do well to alleviate our wonder.

Further, it makes sense that if this is the case, the reason for our situation as we come upon it in life and experience, then it also makes sense that there should be some capacity or ability to ‘return’ to God, to ‘recover’ from the Fall, to come upon an understanding or type of experience of the world that reconciles the discrepancy, for we know of this God, and it would not make sense that this God, as our tender, the one who accounts for our existence in the world, would leave us in such a state, us having become aware of the situation as we have, of such a God, us, and the world.

Yet we, as a humanity, do remain there. The ‘covenant’ that arose between God and man, those told of Noah, Abraham, and Moses, as an efficient way to describe the developed situation above, fails to bring any but a very few back to God. The aggregate of humanity fails to be ‘brought back”, at each reinstatement of the covenant, people continue to remain in the discrepant world, and more of them.

What makes sense is, as a more than suggestive route, again, not happening; there is still a discrepancy. People are not being able to come back to God, the formula of sense that is necessary is not sufficient. The ‘faith’ in the sense of sense is not sufficient. So what makes sense then is that we need something else, we need something that will act as a intermediary, something that takes the sense that should make sense, the God-world calculus mentioned above, and, since this is not making enough sense for people to get it, make it easier for people to make ‘the right’ sense: the correct correlation of meaning that is knowledge of God is not separate from God, the sense that relieves the discrepancy, the sense that brings one back to God. The easiest and most sensible sense is now one does not need to make any more sense than that what makes sense is not sufficient, let alone needed. One needs only believe in Jesus and Jesus will do the rest to bring one back to God. Faith turns from a primary sense into a secondary sense of ‘belief’.

But again, this is not working, even this simple sensibility is not sufficient for most people. From here it can make sense that since it is so simple – one does not need to make the right sense, one need only believe – it must not be a failure of their ability as human, but a failure in what they want. The Fall then also functions unilaterally dual to explain this. Why would anyone wish to stay in such an aggravated uncomfortable state? Well, it makes sense that it is not their own doing; some other element must be causing people to not wish to return to God, some element that screws up their ability to make sense, an element that deceives them despite their supposed inherent ability to make the right sense: Sin, instigated by the Serpent on one hand, which explains the condition, and on the other, Satan, or the Devil, which explains why people are obstinate in their want to stay in the discrepant world.

Now, not only does Jesus take up the sensible human inability as a trait of an individual person, but he also takes up the apparent increasing discrepancy occurring as more and more people do not even take the shortcut that Jesus is. Satan thus accounts for, makes sense of, the historical movement of sustained discrepancy, the discrepancy that increasingly becomes the norm. As repeated successive covenants seem more to serve the realization that the sensibility is lost, that there is less and less an effective sufficient explanation, or right sense, even that concessions to allow for the lack of sense do not work to overcome the overwhelming and sheer number of people who now take the discrepancy as course, which is to say, as the ‘right sense’ or the truth, the sense that accompanies the human knowing of God as of course makes still more sense of this situation. History accounts for this continuing move away from what is sensible, and accounts for it by extrapolating the movement into the future, when the discrepancy has become so aggravated at its ‘senselessness’, when Satan has implemented a series of even more grand deceits, when Jesus, the shortcut now removed at length, ‘returns’ as sense returns, the sense that is the equivocation of God and knowing of God.

*
The Virgin Birth.

To back up a little; there is another unilateral duality at work. In case you are unfamiliar with this term: a unilateral duality is two aspects of a single operation that function separately, segregate to one another, where one cannot be reduced to the other except that they function along the same ‘unilateral’ line, but where also one of the pair can account for the other, and one of the pair does not account for the other, hence the ‘duality’. The situation is uni laterally dual. A strange way of saying what this means is, the one side is two; or, if there is a side, then the other side is the same side; or, in so much a there is a ‘side’, there is only one side, but because there is a side, there is an other side. At once, the structure of the meaning has an inclusive aspect and an exclusive aspect. Here, I am speaking of the virgin birth.

As I mentioned above, 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; some have called this the moment of reflection. What existed of them before this point, which is to say, what they knew of themselves before this point becomes a particular point of knowing: at this point they know that there was a ‘before’; maybe it can be likened to realizing that they ‘were’ a child, and now they are something else, say, a young adult, or even an adult. One cannot put a timeframe to when this moment occurs for each individual, but at some point they know ‘differently’ than they did before.

This ‘before’ moment is the period I wish to highlight here. The fact that I was an infant is known to me, but when I was an infant I did not know it. Perhaps I knew something of myself, but it was not what I know now of what an infant is, neither was it a knowing that was ‘myself’. This knowing of myself, that I was an infant, is different than the knowing I had when I was an infant. In fact, it is only in as much that I am capable of knowing myself as myself that I can say I was an infant. I could not know this when I was an actual infant. The notion that I was an infant as well as knowing that what I knew as an infant was different than the knowing I know now, is exactly the situation of memory. But I have no memory of when I was an infant, except maybe a few brief flashes of scenes, I only remember that I must have been an infant.

This situation can be understood as the meaning of ‘being thrown into existence’. I am here, a human being, myself, but I only know of the present situation in which I find myself; the past, my history, my memories – all such knowledge about myself and the world is just me, right now, having memories of myself in the past, which is to say, all that I know of myself are ideas. It is a working of presence where I have ideas of the past, where these ideas function to categorize aspects of myself not only as to qualities of my demeanor or attitudes, but likewise function to place ‘the past’ as such, of the past as opposed to my, this, present in which I am considering the past. But all such consideration are occurring only now. They are not so much being ‘summoned’ by recorded memories of some actual past as much as they are a situation of consciousness that is me, right now. The realization of the total reality that consciousness presents to itself as me brings an odd sort of experience of being here, but ‘how did I get here?’ This moment is the moment of being thrown into existence.

If we can understand this situation, then we can begin to comprehend what could possibly be ‘before’, since even in those supposed moments of the past my consciousness was creating for me as me my world in the same way as it is doing now, now that I see how consciousness operates, and that also, in as much as consciousness was doing that of and for me then, it is only doing it now for my ability to apprehend that it may have been doing it before – but now: before what? The answer, as typically versed, would be, before that moment in which I remember.

In this way the meaning of the virgin birth breaks up into four meanings ( again, follow: uni lateral dual: one that is two that is two) a quadripartite, that all stem from the same meaning, which is a birth that was consummated by something ‘not of this world’, beyond the normal working of things, of a miracle, or for short, God.

The first could be the movement in the Story itself, where what is sensible is made plain in the Story because it is seen as, in a manner of speaking, more than just a story. Perhaps, this is most similar to your Big Story of the Bible.

The second then could be another way the Story makes sense. In the sense of meaning and possibility, the Story could be a what makes sense of making sense, so to speak, of reducing the truth of the story to a ‘meta narrative’, the story that tells the story of the story, similar to the narrative above. The virgin birth might be argued to be metaphorical or symbolic of actual historical situations, such as how trees seem to sprout from seeds spontaneously, this certain sensibility and or set into contexts of superstition and ignorance, such as the outright misidentification by (ancient) superstitious people of natural phenomena.

The third is the more proper existential version. Here, the Story begins at arbitrary points, and speaks not so much upon or toward an actual truth, but instead situates the Story as the relation of its meaningful parts that cannot be sorted out of the context of the whole, for the whole is also a meaningful part; the whole being its significance to human experience as commonly come upon, the context of the whole only finding ground in the relation of its parts as any part can be the context of the whole when the ground is ultimately the human being in a commerce of economy of meaning. For example, how I am developing the concept of the virgin birth, by the way, that I have not yet fully developed here.

So, my Story has to do with how any telling of The Story might be argued against any other telling. These three ways of situating how a story amounts to the Story, including that one may be more correct, tell the story of the universe as it is apparent when we consider the Story itself, that a sensible rendition of the issue of existence, as I have presented it considerate of human discrepancy (described as ‘sin’) and its resolution (God, Jesus), is insufficient to render a sensibility of an absolutely true Story beyond the argumentative bases of merit in the discourse located by the telling of the Story itself. The ‘moral’ or ‘sensible meaning’ of the story is not automatically included in the mere telling of the authoritative Story, nor even explanatory renditions of it, to bring about its sensible meaning effectively. So I have said, the truth of any Story is found by the faith invested in it.

It is at this point that I am capable of saying, as I have said, that I agree with your telling of the Big Story. This is the fourth telling; that the various argumentative tellings of the Story that seek to tell the ‘more real or true’ story as exclusive from the others, are actually all true because they stem from a basic human situation, the situation that the Bible more or less tells the story of. This is what has been termed, a unilateral duality. Both stories are true, but one story includes the other while one excludes the other. I call this aspect of including while excluding, and excluding by including, irony.

The virgin birth describes a situation of a child that is born without the usual human male female act of consummation, and because this is the case, it means that this child is blessed, but more so, blessed as The Son of God because such a blessedness contradicts what is typically known as blessed due to the fact that human beings who are not The Son of God are blessed in that all other humans are conceived in the usual human manner. The Idea of the Son of a God born of a virgin as opposed to those who are not is a Story told from the perspective for whom the sense of God, where knowing of God is having God, was not sufficient to reconcile the discrepancy.

Where as the first two situations tend to argue over truth, the third situation, while evidencing a standpoint, indicates a movement of meaning to the fourth, which is a recapitulation of the first while incorporating all three.

The virgin birth concerns one who comes across the operation of consciousness mentioned above. There, the ‘before’ cannot be accounted for by any sort of knowledge no matter how it is situated for truth and fallacy, because such knowledge is exactly only knowledge of what exists right now. Because this ‘before’ has no necessary relation to knowledge, but only sufficient relation, that is, the relation of the past to the knowledge of the past is sufficient to supplying a past, but 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, and the more significant feature of being human, offense. When this is come across in experience as experience, what was ‘before’ is understood as being outside of the normal or regular functioning of reality; the manifestation of myself in existence, situated as I am, is, in no compromising terms, a miracle, and act of God. This knowledge is necessary; its meaning draws from a necessarily correspondent actuality. This is right sense in the sense that brings God: the knowing of a God is God.

In this way, the human being in existence is born of a ‘virgin’, because there is only one necessary cause that I can know of to have brought me here. Such a one is born ‘of God’ but ‘of a virgin’ because, in an obvious sense, he was somehow ‘born’ into this world, but, in a maybe not so obvious sense, not in the usual man woman consummated manner. This is not to say that he was not born naturally, in the usual manner, neither is this to say that Jesus is not the Son of a God in the way usually meant, but it is to say that what we have of this situation of knowledge concerning, at least, the Big Story of the Bible, is a unilateral duality.

*

I hope this is a good rendition of my Story, that you can understand, and why I can say that I agree with your Big Story, but somehow we disagree.

*

And yet, there is more.

A few other comments.

Of the Three to Two to One.

When we find such a logic, as represented in a unilateral duality, and can see this route as true because it emanates from actual (‘radical’ means little more than an assertion of importance) lived experience, then the three scenarios that resolve in two conclusions as I have just indicated here by the discussion of the Virgin Birth, must be both viable. To wit, the movement of discourse as indicating the truth of human existence; the exclusive tellings, Jesus is a singular historical person, is the Son of God sent to earth, involved with a significance of history, where faith is instrumental, and, the discussion that speaks of the story of Jesus as a social-political event involving an eccentric figure named Jesus, where likewise faith is involved; and the inclusive, the story of Jesus is a story of a typical but particular and uncommon human experience under which all humans may reside, the story of the Gospels an example, a recording, a rendition of the scenario involved with the lived experience; the sensibility that ‘together is brought’ the knowing of God is God. Hence, the conclusion from this, the three conclusions that indicate a two, is that time and history are concepts that reveal a true assertion of power over what constitutes reality, and the two that exhibit a one, that this power can be undermined. This feature of discourse, as we can situate it, calls forth the categories as I have determined them in my essays thus far; which are, conventional reality of faith, which reduces to the one, and the ‘indivisible remainder’, that of the one evidencing two, that I have termed ironic.

*

The One of Two.

The situation indicated by the third rendition, itself and then also its movement into the fourth is, what can be called, the end of history, or and also, what some philosophers say is the end of philosophy. The most prominent and explicit indicator of this is the Non-Philosophy of Francois Laruelle. Slavoj Zizek also sees this, but does a very good job as ‘speaking from the middle’; Alain Badiou has even suggested along these lines that philosophy has to become something else, whatever that is. Quentin Meillassoux and others accordingly have or are proposing what this ‘new’ move may be.

With this in mind, we have left to make explicit the correspondence between the third rendition and its movement and the Big Story of the Bible. If we begin with the beginning of the Big Story, in a certain way, in a particular manner of understanding, we have a movement in history that does not take us to the end of the Bible, but to the middle of its last book, Revelation. In this, if we have understood the true cognizance that is occurring with the human being who has become aware of the operation of consciousness, it is most ironic that what has occurred at this moment is, in the most absurd and impossible way, a revelation. The sense that should equate the knowing of God to God, the sense that has ‘been ceasing’ to make sense through history, as I tell about in the beginning of this essay, has played out. The ‘right sense’ has become ‘nonsense’ and the discrepant individual in the world has asserted its own sense as true due to the increasing number of individuals, as these individuals manifest in a discourse no longer capable of ‘sensibly’ considering what God could mean, being unable to make that ‘right sense’. A complete inversion of meaningful categories has come to fruition, so predominant and ubiquitous is this ‘nonsense that has become true’.

This is so much the case, it can account for the historical movement of Western philosophy. Where philosophy had pondered God, and included the idea in its deliberations, which might be said to have reached a ‘plateau’ with Neo-Platonism and perhaps Scholasticism, oth which may evidence a method of reducing and instituting the absolute transcendence of the ‘One’ in reality, soon God was ‘argued’ out, religion went its dogmatic way, philosophy went on its questioning way, such that in the 19th century God ‘died’. The aspect of philosophical consciousness that at one time included God, had ‘killed God’, removed the requirement or need for the term. God became the dialectical, that aspect of consciousness that no longer need the term God, a ‘spirit’. Soon the spirit was unneeded. Martin Heidegger tore it up to Being, and Ludwig Wittgenstein showed how only language remained. Language shredded what was left of what was human such that we found ‘nothingness’ beyond. Jean Paul Lyotard spelled out the dire situation: there is no communication occurring, right sense cannot be justified. This can be transcribed as meaning, we are dead. Perhaps Gilles Deluze offered a hope in the parameters of insanity. Yet this nothingness was left to us in such a state that the State itself seemed the only recourse for our humanity, and not ‘divine’ or ‘Godly’ justice emerged, but rather social justice, human justice in the face of and for the sake of being human. And we heard Jaques Derrida, in the midst of the deluge of linguistic tempest, ask why ‘spirit’ had become such a pariah, such a ‘forbidden’ word in philosophy. Even then the sense that is the knowing of God as a God could not be voiced, it was enough and barely tolerable that he could even summon the ‘spirit’ to write an essay about it and be taken seriously.

As I will show in a later work, the situation upon the point of contention has not changed, only the terms that are used to describe it has changed. The emphasis or orientation being upon the terms’ nature complicit with its objects’ truth, reveals history as such as the representation of the condition or ‘shape’ of conventional reality.

Now, of course this is a very rough and highly porous telling of the story, and though I could fill in much more, I’m sure, highly argumentative, speculative and conspiratorial ideas, many many authors’ contributions I have left out. But this much makes sense: Of the knowing of God, such a one who ironically comes upon his own ends without having posited them beforehand as history, summons (for a Biblical context) Jesus, but without the ability to name him. He stands ‘born of a virgin’, ‘anointed’ by the unknown, ‘delivered’ from the world to his death as course, and ‘delivers’ his own death for the world; he exposes himself in the ‘spirit’ but thereby serves to ‘kill’ what the spirit meant. He stands in the middle of history, revealed into history. Seeing the past, argued backward and told as a beginning for the discrepant, he acts in mode of history, the mean of human possibility for knowing. He is blasphemy and he is the death of God. Yet he is reborn in the world, as himself, yet not himself. Man yet not man, Christ yet not Christ; God but the motion that accuses and destroys the sense of God. He is proof that is obstinately rejected. He speaks but is effectively silent. He is and speaks the truth, and hears in reply only “what is truth?”

And Pilate says to the crowd, “I find no fault in him”; and the crowd yells, “Barabbas” – that thief and murderer, that representative of discrepancy – “free Barabbas!”

*

How am I able to tell the Big Story? I say I agree, but somehow we disagree. For when I tell how the Big Story has any meaning, it becomes nonsense. Perhaps, Lyotard is too correct.

It is from this point that a ‘new’ philosophy fails, and ironically the question of ‘how a new philosophy could fail or not fail’ is pertinent. It is at this point we may consider what is actually meant by a ‘return’ of the ‘right sense’.

Because, don’t you know, this whole scenario is nonsense. We have to tell how this is the case also.

The Impossible; Part 5. Existence and the Story of Death to Life.

Whew! Those Impossible essays really get thick. So perhaps a rejoining to a more approachable speaking. But hold on! The ride is just getting fun.

I have been interacting through comments and replies with Dave, who writes the blog called “Big Story Guide”. Our conversation is quite wonderful, so, just as I used our conversation for the basis an earlier essay post ( See: Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God), I do the same here, and because this latest reply grew to such lengths (even though I think I have posted replies even longer than this one).

The reader can see our extended conversation under the comments of “Issues and Existence”. And please feel free to visit Dave’s blog “Big Story Guide”: http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2-the-death-to-life-project/

*

We last saw our heros continuing enquiry into each other’s ideas. Dave is curious for a rendition of Lance’s ‘Big Story’, and Lance has been attempting to discover from Dave the significance for the Christian and the non-Christian in the claim of Christ Jesus. Dave (in italics)…

Your notion of “the qualitative motion of history” suggests a bigger story than The Bible tells – a story within which The Bible should be interpreted. So, when you say, “Teaching, method, apprehending or comprehending terms through a particular scheme, is the issue at the heart of the Gospels,” it seems as if you are sort of taking an aerial view of a mansion of reality/truth. You can see Christians entering through one door (scheme) on one side of the mansion while you see Hindus and others entering by other doors (schemes) on other sides of the building
.

The quality of history reflects an essential motion, where as history itself changes with the times. I think the Bible presents a certain correspondence with these ideas, one ironic, one conventional.

“If that is the case, what is the more faithful rendition of our story, told from that larger view?”

You have captured one of the more insightful philosophical rebuttals to some of the existentialist authors here, one that contributed, I feel, to the discarding post-modernist critiques to a particular era, and the movement beyond it. The larger view is entirely existential, that we are humans doing human things, that has no more meaning than the meaning we have of it at the time, that there is no knowing a true history, that anything anyone can say has to do only with present discursive situations. The question would be then, how could they know of this? The rebuttal is something like the accusation that the so-called existentialist (but Laruelle with his non-philosophy likewise) authors set themselves as a sort of ‘omniscient’ or ‘removed’ viewer, as if their view is not likewise conditioned by the existential situation.

But I would say that the ‘death to life’ story, as you describe it of the Bible, is no larger than what the above situation grants. To wit: How would it be possible to step out of existence so as to gain such a view? The answer is excruciatingly ironic, for the one who is ‘stepping out’ is the one who says it cannot be done.

One way to speak about it is to say there is no stepping out of existence, that there is no larger story but the story that is reflected in itself by itself, and that this reflection is based in an apparent separation.

Take for example a story book, a novel. Can the characters step out of the story in order to see the story? No, they cannot. They are determined in and by the story to be the story as it goes. It is only the reader who steps out of the story, but he does this by an interesting move. This is the historical significance of the development of the novel-type writing. The reader starts at the beginning and reads to the end. He thereby can summarize the story, talk about its characters, its plot, the development of tension, climax and such; but this telling is not the story, it is a story of a story. The real state of the reader is removed from the story but in such a way that he views the summary and discussion of the story as referring to the story itself. But his telling is not the story; it is not even a summary. It is the story of the story. This real reader misses the story by staying removed from the story, and it is this assumptive state of removal, of distance enacted by the author as well as the reader in reality, that allows the story of the story to be not the story but its summary. This state of being human corresponds with the state of reality, that which marks a quality of history to the reading of history.

Thus another way to speak about it would be to see that to live ‘in the worldly’ way is to live by separation, and with reference to your ‘Death to Life Story’, is the way ‘of death’, not dissimilar to your Big Story.

Would you say that Abraham, being after the Fall, was likewise ‘living death’? I would say no. I would say the he ‘lives’, but did not need Jesus and so was not ‘restored’ to life, but merely ‘lived in God’ but after the Fall. How did he get that way?

The same with Noah before him; …he “was a just man, perfect in his generations, Noah walked with God”. How was this so if all men live in a state of death after Adam? How did Noah “[find] grace in the eyes of The Lord”?

Further, the only thing it says of how Abraham got to know God is “Now the Lord said unto Abraham…”

And what of Moses? Did he do anything to bring God to him or chose to meet God? No. God chose him. And I would add that this is the most offensive aspect of the Bible to the reader of its stories: It could have only happened in the past since if God chose someone today, in the same way as Abraham, Noah, Moses or Jesus, it means that God has not chosen me; but where there is irony, this statement, the meaning of Moses, etc, ‘being chosen’, has no contradictory baring upon my relation with God.

I think that, as a result of your bigger-than-The-Bible-Big-Story, your interaction with the biblical figures Abraham and Jesus becomes pretty highly conceptualized. For example, Abraham experiences “a true ‘before the fall’ covenant, so to speak, with God.”

Are these three people human beings? I would say yes, they are actual human beings who ‘knew’ God. And, in that they did nothing to achieve such a relation with God, that is to say, they did not beckon favor with God, they also did not choose anything about God, at least, not any more than someone else could have; God exactly chose them. In fact, I would say, because they are ‘after the fall’ people, they could not have chosen God; nothing they could do could remove or get beyond their ‘fallen’ condition; only an act of God could do so. In fact, choosing God could only get them as far as their own ‘sinful’ condition was able, which is ‘removed from God’, offended in this state.

This is clearly anachronistic within The Bible’s story, so it would be tremendously helpful to know the bigger big story within which this Abraham event took place. Please, tell me about “the real mistake that began as the Fall.”

Sin can be seen as “the real mistake that began as the Fall.” The mistake of taking an object before God. If this is a signal of human heritage, passed down as a condition or state of being human, then as we are in sin, at some point in the past it would seem there was an original sinner.

In a way, in the story, the ‘fruit’ or ‘apple’ represents the ‘idol’ that comes to stand between Adam and God; it is the worldly object that is seen to be able to make Adam and Eve like God, knowing good and evil: ethics/universe of objects the control of which make humans ‘like God’. The mistake that unfolds in history is the progressive domination of such object, the ‘death’ that ultimately pushes God entirely out of human knowledge and experience. When such ‘worldly saturation’ occurs, then Christ returns to restore life, that is, God.

If this post-fall state is inherited by all humans, then as this is indicated by choice or free will, our state determines thus our ability to know God. This ability, founded in the ‘first significant choice’ – since if there was choice before the Fall then its significance was consistent with God’s will, where ‘everything’ would be significant, thus allowing nothing significant to be punctuated as such – thus likewise conveys the beginning of ethics, since that which is consistent with God’s will has no weight against what could be evil since such a motion in that ‘pre-fall’ state is God’s state and not so much a human state. The post Fall state of humanity, wherein choice upon good and evil resides or is established, is the entirely of what we can know, our knowing being limited by the sinful condition of knowing with choice, can be called the universe, because it consists of or is correspondent with what all humans can possibly know. So it is that Kierkegaard, in “Fear and Trembling” (I believe its this book) begins with “the universe is the ethical”.

It’s worth mentioning again that I think the question, “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical” is an interesting one raised by the Abraham-Isaac story. But, I don’t think it is at the heart of the story. Instead, the issue of humanity’s death and the possibility of resurrection is at the heart of the story.

The question “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?” is Kierkegaard’s primary concern, as I have said, through all his works. This question means: Is there a way of knowing or otherwise communing with God-as-God, meaning, without the ethical doubt that injects one’s humanity in the way of God’s communication with him? In other words: is there a possibility of a God-man?

One of the things I feel like I’m missing in our conversation is how you might see the teleological suspension of the ethical being necessary to some kind of resurrection.

Resurrection, with regards to the ‘death to life story’ of the Bible, is a teleological suspension of the ethical, a breach of universal ‘right-ness’, an actual communion with God ‘as Life’, as opposed to ‘death’. Such communion or communication would not have a possibility of ‘wrong-ness’ since God is above or beyond ethics: God is God, creator of the universe, creator of choice, indetermined by choice. God is righteousness as opposed to nothing else. Hence Kierkegaard considers Abraham and Jesus.

Your questions regarding Jesus’ experiences with faith strike me as also being an interesting aside. I would find them much more compelling if I believed that Jesus represents a God-in-man issue. But, I believe that Jesus is the God-man who came to address the death of humanity through His death and resurrection.

God can only be ‘in man’ as much as man sees God as distanced, or removed, from man; but the movement is that man made that choice to remove himself from God. Hence the significant questions concerning the state of humanity is: What about you is not God? What is resurrection?

This is essential.. This is essential.

[Jesus’s] experiences with the teachability, and learnability of faith, and His personal experiences with doubt strike me as being pretty speculative (but still interesting) and less essential.

I would think these represent his humanity, and, ironically, they are entirely speculative and less essential – and it is interesting how K speaks about ‘the interesting’ as a quality of various worldly topics.

*

The contradiction between the God-man and the God-in-man presents the impossible situation of reality: Would you know if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was standing right in front of you? How would you know? Would everyone know? How do you know?

Reality imposes its maxim, framed or determined by the impossible: You are not God, and, no one can have a personal audience or communion with God as God. A man, though, may have God ‘in him’, and hope to be communicating directly with God, because this is the condition of man after the Fall: He needs a redeemer, a proxy, a go-between. Faith allows for a traversing of the distance that has been created by the sin of not choosing God, or maybe better put, the sin of being able to choose God now that there is a sufficient distinction by which to make a decision. This is the post-Fall universal condition of humanity. Only those of the past can be such God-chosen people, for if I told you that God indeed has spoken to me, has chosen me, in the same way as Abraham and Moses, you would call B.S. or think I’m insane. Because reality has it that we are all equal, all of the same capacity and existential presence in the world, then if this is the case, that I commune and communicate with God as God, it means that God has chosen me and not you. This is offense. This is the evidence of sin. This is impossible.

Kierkegaard thus considers the possibility of Christ. Is it possible that God sent his Son to be here on earth, a human? If this is possible, what does it mean for humanity? Does this meaning exceptionalize meaning to certain qualifiers, such that there are ‘humans’ and then there are ‘human but also something else’? How does the exception also place me in a certain position with reference to God? Does this meaning, the exception, include all humans, regardless of how they are qualified? What does this mean? Where do I exceptionalize myself as human, but not ‘that’ human? What is God? Who is God? Where am I offended? Where do I sin? What stories do I tell myself to qualify myself in the world? What are these stories? What is blasphemy?

Can I know God as God? Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?

For reality, the answer to these questions being the same, is impossible!
But only through faith.

O.M.G.

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Extreme Dialectic: Spinoza and the Term (revisited).

“AS men are accustomed to call Divine the knowledge which transcends human understanding, so also do they style Divine, or the work of God, anything of which the cause is not generally known: for the masses think that the power and providence of God are most clearly displayed by events that are extraordinary and contrary to the conception they have formed of nature, especially if such events bring them any profit or convenience: they think that the clearest possible proof of God’s existence is afforded when nature, as they suppose, breaks her accustomed order, and consequently they believe that those who explain or endeavour to understand phenomena or miracles through their natural causes are doing away with God and His providence. They suppose, forsooth, that God is inactive so long as nature works in her accustomed order, and vice versâ, that the power of nature and natural causes are idle so long as God is acting: thus they imagine two powers distinct one from the other, the power of God and the power of nature, though the latter is in a sense determined by God, or (as most people believe now) created by Him. What they mean by either, and what they understand by God and nature they do not know, except that they imagine the power of God to be like that of some royal potentate, and nature’s power to consist in force and energy.” – Baruch Spinoza.

We do not simply read because we are taught how to do so. If there is an innate ability that merely needs to be awakened in a person then we do not know what it is beyond the Idea. This is because we are creatures that are prone to a type of knowing that I call conventional. As a child we are taught to read but then as we grow into adults we stick with the innately typical, childish orientation upon things and appropriate it into what an adult reality is. We forget that we forgot that we were children, and we remember at some point we remember that we were children; that is, at some point. What do we remember of our being a child? We remember that we were a child, the child that was ‘me’, only through our ability or capacity as adults. We forget that as a child we only behaved, wanted, needed, and appropriated what we were told in whatever manner through our being now being adults. One’s orientation upon the Idea reveals his faith in reality.

Adults then show their children the proper way to read as if it is a way that was innate to being human. What is innate in this way is thus not innate but rather conditioned by a particular manner of coming upon reality. The understanding of this feature of conventional reality is what has allowed conventional method to see and define such terms as ‘ideology’, ‘hegemony’, and the probably most significant term, ‘colonialism’ (please see my previous essays). Similarly for reading (and discussing, for that matter) what has occurred for reality is a colonization of the child by the conventional adult, a colonization that occurs by praising a particular kind of feedback from the child; it is due to this kind of mistake upon reality that perpetuates itself through childish desire for the world, that philosophy is typically misunderstood and misapplied, leading to the marriage of philosophy, ideology and science for the sake of maintaining a particular structure of knowing and power, that is conventional reality. This is the object of history.

We need understand the obstacle created by such a conventional orientation if we are to move beyond the modern-post-modern repetition, as ‘neo-‘ modernism, or whatever new term may be applied to our current philosophical-ideological ‘turn’, is merely a restatement of modernist idealist materialism. Aphilosophy attempts to reveal how this power structure, this particular orientation upon existence, hinders the human being from its actual innate potential.

This essay shows how reading and thus the understanding of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza has been commandeered for the conventional effort.

*

To approach the entry excerpt, we should first see that the functioning or operation of existence is inclusive and consistent at all reaches, but that this is all that can be said of existence itself. Nevertheless, we can extend and explain the meaning of this situation. The statement goes like this: Given a universe, all that exists and is real comprises an effective containment. Every thing, all in its most inclusive meaning, taken together as a totality, is the universe. The universe operates or functions like a grand machine; every element of the universe is interactive with every other element. Nothing is excluded (by definition). Matter is a result, energy is a result, yet if these are not, then they are essential basics. Everything of the universe arises from the same universal substrate. Life arose and or has arisen in concert with every other thing in the universe; no matter how small the linkage, the linking between any separate operations is there, a grand symphony. In this way, distinct objects or elements function of themselves complicitly and intimately with every other object. No essentially segregate object exists. In short, the universe is a closed system. Human beings are also life. Therefore, the activity of human beings likewise exhibits nothing extraneous to the universe’s inherent operation. This represents the basis of the existialist, post-modern dilemma that brought about the late twentieth-century tribulations of angst and crisis; it was a crisis of conventionality, a misreading of the proposed problem that advocated a particular, mistaken, solution.

The problem is just this: what is ‘knowing’? Or more precisely, what is this thing that human beings are capable of doing, that is able to treat and address the universe, that we call thought, concept, problem and solution? The typical answer is the apparent ability. We are capable of analyzing objects or aspects of the universe and discover or uncover true things, if not also basic laws of the operation of the universe.

My answer is another question, which seems an epistemological question but is actually a logistical question: how do you know? By this I mean, how is it possible for you to be or become separated enough from the universe to know these true things, or, the truth of these things?

As reconciliation between the problem and the answer above we have the usual possibilities. One can be called the religious reconciliation, or ‘creationism’. It says that we are created ‘first order’ entities, meaning, God created the universe of an established order of things, and human beings are at the top; we have dominion over the universe as decreed and evidenced by free will. Another can be called the ideological reconciliation, called ‘evolutionism’. Here, human beings are at the top of the order that developed through processes of natural selection; human cognitive ability is merely an adaptation to particular pressures exerted in particular environmental niches. Aside from that polemic; a current scientific notion suggests that our knowledge may not reflect anything of a true universe, and that the question of some essential or absolute basis of objective, universal truth is non sequitur with the real question of truth. For these modern thinkers, truth is a man made item, as well ‘universe’ or ‘objective world’, a formulation of the mind inept for grasping any ‘actual’ or ‘objective’ truth, that therefore merely resorts to practical models based upon solving problems that are presented to the mind. Such problems and solutions are particular to the mind’s ability or capacity, or even purpose in the universe. The assertion of any one of these approaches, even the model of the model, is supposed to limit one’s sense of truth to an either it is this or it is that position.

While these three approaches, and maybe more (these just came to mind), appear to argue with each other, when we begin to think critically about the initial question, we must come to but one solution: the answer is all three. It goes something like this: (A) god created the universe accorded to a particular order that is evidenced in the mind coordinating its own manner to achieve a reasonable development of staged priority in reality, itself as the center to top. While this appears to suggest an actual ‘god’, but really only shows that the idea of ‘god’ is a necessary element in our knowing, if only by the fact that we can consider its truth or falsity, here is a possibly better rendition: The implication involved of a mind coming upon its own ability in respect with its view upon the world is one of a certain effective ‘creator’ imperative, a precipitative aspect of a mind developing along lines that validates its apparent prolific survivability as privilege, even if this privilege asserts its own limited ability to exist through models. If we only come by models, then equally such models comprise the totality of the truth of the universe, as these models describe also their lack as ‘unknown’, and so far as we can know, then argues that what we know thereby these models is necessary for the universe, which means, the idea that we merely know by models is itself not a model but an absolute truth of the universe, which is contradictory to its meaning. For this essay, the attempt of the presentation of these statements then is to release one from the insistence of an either/or truth, and to invite a thinker to view the reality that is actually presented to their knowledge.

But such a comprehensive view of the truth of the matter cannot be achieved without establishing the basis that accounts for human knowledge as the manifestation correspondent with the operating of existence. One cannot hold to an apparent ability without compounding the problem the apparent ability beholds to solve. In this there can be no Hegelian ideal historical consciousness nor a subject-agent of it that moves as some sort of evolutionary spearhead. Neither can there be an ideological backlash that can accommodate or mediate the tendency for such big-headedness. At least, but at most, we can not be ‘inspired’ by some ‘intuitive’ element, some intuited transcendence or some immanent moment that is revealed of our selection, and this is to say, we do not learn from the past; the situation of knowing that is these cases informing the decisions of the day result necessarily. They are correspondent, inseparable.

The problem of resting in the apparent ability is thus located in that tendency to want from these situations. This ‘want’ is a determination of ideological truth that claims a true object. The ‘overdetermination’ of meaning that takes from the meaningful category and establishes the true object, finds itself in the determination of tomorrow as it separates itself from the past as meaning ‘the individual agent of free will’. Currently the history of the overdetermination is written as the process of discovering what this ‘freedom’ really means, a process that cannot help but resituate the vulgarities within a progress, but never really accounts for the supposed ‘progress’ that never saw itself as vulgar before the atrocity. There are other ways overdetermination may manifest, but the functioning of it is always the same: progress justifies the overdetermined state, in our case, freedom. This forgetful disposition defines the conventional Idea, and it is the denial that reveals that convention is not a ‘modeling’ of an unknown totality, but rather is an orientation upon the true object; the overdetermination cannot be an accident; it likewise mist be absolutely necessary in the operation of the universe. The question then is less what freedom means, than what freedom is, or is not.

If the universe is a closed system, this then also means, quite counterintuitivly, that if there is anything that is not of the universe then we cannot know of it, we cannot think of it – damn! – we cannot even think it, in fact – damn! damn! – we cannot even know it. We cannot know that there is anything extra-universal, for if we knew it we would be situating the universe as not the universe, but only a universe – which completely shows how terms do not identify any particular true thing, but only reflect momentary conditions of existence.

One so keen might see this idea in practice as a reiteration of a type leading to an absurd theatre. In one sense they would be right: in the conventional sense; in another, more significant sense, they would be wrong. The conventional orientation for reality is thus the issue that is treated aphilosophically; what we have to breach is the insistence of the conventional orientation upon knowledge.

*

To proclaim that such a statement of existence (inclusivity) defines or otherwise implicates a one universe merely adds upon the first statement and does nothing but limit the meaning of that statement to conventional knowledge. Such a move can be called transformation. What otherwise would be truth has been transformed into conventional reality; the process of conventional knowledge coming to positive terms with its own reality is evidenced in history and its philosophical counterpart, and ‘ends’ with non-philosophy. The process of coming to terms with the truth of the matter is called irony; it includes the critique or rebuttal of non-philosophy (as non-philosophy is a critique of philosophy) that will be called aphilosophy, and the appropriation, which is to say literally: an appropriate- tion, of non-philosophical methods accompanied by an aphilosophical response, that which addresses the point of contention as solution, we shall call metalepsis.

This is to say, knowledge manifests always in human consciousness as a complicity of ‘known’ and ‘unknown’, but that conventional knowledge would unite these ideas in a polemical potential that thereby establishes the true (one) universe against what is ‘not the universe’, or what is absolutely false, its physics and theoretical ideas, with all its accompanying parallel or multi-dimensional possibilities, the individual of free will, past and future.

Furthermore, what should be understood as true is due to this very nature of existence. Terms, being but another procedure in the operation of existence, an operation evidenced as human beings are likewise merely an operation, must necessarily reflect only a present existential manifestation, where substantial elements, elements (not to be confused with the Periodic Table of Elements – we will discuss the appropriation of mathematics and philosophy later) that comprise the functioning of existence, of the universe remain constant while the terms, as a loci of meaning, ‘float’ or are transient labels of momentary significance. The route of the conventional static-metamorphic term (see below) that identify particular true objects must be seen as merely one manner of coming upon existence that is also necessary, but in that it asserts its total omnipresence, it thereby lacks.

The problem presented by Spinoza concerns this feature. All men have an idea of what is Divine or transcendent, or not explainable, in relation to what seems natural, or explainable. It follows that what is extraordinary or contrary is deemed to be stemming or otherwise caused by a transcendent. But this is not so much a statement of his times, as if there are,as an absolute category, people who are ignorant, or ‘superstitious’, in a relation to people who are more ‘knowledgeable’, rather, it is a statement that says human beings are only capable of ‘knowing’ in this manner, that what is not explainable is put off into a transcendent category for knowing.

The point to become aware of is of a differend in knowing. Even today our rationale of reality configures knowledge of the explainable into a category of itself to justify our ‘enlightened’ ability to know. In this manner Spinoza’s argument is placed in a temporal category of ‘past’ that confines the term of his theses to particular absolutely true objects, this is to say, the context of historical progress that sees Spinoza as addressing an ideological or religious situation of his time where superstition and irrationality, or even love of power, still held sway against rationality and truth. Indeed, Spinoza was addressing these items, but in so much as the terms themselves are variable momentary identifiers of existential elements, his argument says much more and actually situates eternal truths concerning the existence of human beings.

We can further situate Spinoza’s in the following manner, as we begin to get a grip on the matter at hand:

{from the introduction to the sixth chapter of “Tractatus-Theologico Politicus”, in italics.}

“AS men are accustomed to call Divine the knowledge which transcends human understanding, so also do they style Divine, or the work of God, anything of which the cause is not generally known: for the masses think that the power and providence of God are most clearly displayed by events that are extraordinary and contrary to the conception they have formed of nature, especially if such events bring them any profit or convenience: they think that the clearest possible proof of God’s existence is afforded when nature, as they suppose, breaks her accustomed order, and consequently they believe that those who explain or endeavour to understand phenomena or miracles through their natural causes are doing away with God and His providence…”

For our current ‘enlightened’ atheistic or agnostic temperament of truth, ‘God’, the term, can be seen as or could be called the unquestioned base of, what I call, ‘conventional’ knowledge. But see, this is not to argue that there is a god or God at root under everything; rather, it is to say that conventional knowledge functions upon a given that is put into the impetus of the ‘potential of the future’ to hold that which is only not yet understood by its method (see also my essay “Aphilosophy, convention, God and faith). The method (conventional methodology), in this way, proclaims the truth of the universe by its universal ability to ‘uncover’ truth (the general rational ‘scientifical’ method). Such as this situation is, the truth of conventional knowledge is most clearly displayed as it ‘discovers’, explains or ‘develops’ things that were thought impossible, especially if it brings people profit or convenience, but also, when convention breaks with its accustomed order, for example, when people kill for the sake of killing, or the Law lets a guilty person go or imprisons an innocent. Exceptions to the rules allow the rules to be refined, more efficient and effective, and thereby enforce the reifying of conventional omnipresence and omnipotence.

The juxtaposition to see concerns how convention is oriented for reality. As indicated above, convention founds its truth in a historical progress of absolute categories, where terms of those categories maintain integral meaning to its object through time, and where terms change, the metamorphosis can be traced. This method sees that the categories ‘nature’ and ‘God’ of Spinoza indicate static elements, and that Spinoza’s argument concerns a critique of the God of miracles and by extension, an argument against the more superstitious rendering of God. His argument thus marks a moment of the progress away from religious hypocrisy or superstitious fantasy toward the more true or real scientific inquiry of nature. Conventional method thus sees itself as the motion and path of truth that has foreclosed the need for superstitious belief through open-minded investigating and explaining natural causes of before-seen miracles of God. In this way, though such superstitious belief is still around, convention has basically reduced all reality to a truth that is, can be, and will be found of nature; in the same motion, God has been pushed to the margins of incorporation with conventional reality; the workings of God are put into rational categories that are readily and easily adjusted for what science explains. In the most liberal of ideas, God is the relative unknown that resides into consciousness by the loose ends of science and psychology. As an effective unknown space, God can help, influence or be persuaded to move with a person and their life; God can comfort as well as create purpose out of misfortune, and of course God can be the inexplicable force behind good fortune. Similarly, God can be a sort of universal energy, still unexplained in its essence, but which can be used for a persons benefit; God in this manner is the basis of spiritual practice such as healthy living, meditation, tai chi, yoga, the 12-steps, and the like. Yet through all of these practices and concepts, God is no longer a truly active agent, but is more an involved element, a reason or result of conventional ideas and practices, all of which have a natural and rational basis of explanation that accounts for them. Furthermore, a necessity of God is not demanded, belief is an individual choice, since everything will have a natural explanation. Conventional reality thus accounts for all that can be explained by including within its potential, within its method of operation, that which is unexplained; nature and God are thereby brought under a general theory, so to speak, of methodology, where all that is explained and not explained is included in its dominion by its potential to make everything (at least, eventually) explainable. Nature as a category is inclusive to God, as creation, and God as a category is inclusive to nature as ‘a god’s’ effect concerns natural elements. In sum; convention has brought ‘God’ into itself, it has done away with a need for God by putting itself in that place. Convention, in this way, has encompassed ‘God and nature’ such that it sees its domain as total, as comprising all that is true, real, and existing.

Consequently, the conventional agent believes that those who explain or endeavor to understand phenomena through their ‘non-conventional’ causes, are doing away with the conventional methodology and its providence. The fact is, though, conventionalists have really no idea what it is to propose true and false, and has no standards but its own arbitrarity by which to place its standards. The nature of this method then corresponds with the next clause of Spinoza:

…They suppose, forsooth, that God is inactive so long as nature works in her accustomed order, and vice versâ, that the power of nature and natural causes are idle so long as God is acting: thus they imagine two powers distinct one from the other, the power of God and the power of nature, though the latter is in a sense determined by God, or (as most people believe now) created by Him. What they mean by either, and what they understand by God and nature they do not know, except that they imagine the power of God to be like that of some royal potentate, and nature’s power to consist in force and energy.

The point Spinoza is making, though he could not know it for the terms of our time, only his, is that the stasis of conventional terms prevents convention itself from falling prey to Spinoza’s formula; such conventional method typically distances itself from Spinoza by calling his position ‘pantheist’. in this way, through conventional progress, reality is presented to have included previously excluded ideas; for example, whereas resort to superstition used to be usual and accepted, now superstition has been debunked. To reiterate; convention thus disclaims God by its rationale, and affirms God so far a conventional method is activated in its considering of the possibility of God. The problem is revealed when what is ‘outside’ or ‘unaccounted by’ conventional reality is brought to bare upon conventional truths of method. The conventional response to this addressing, of elements devoted to the ‘God-ness’ of conventional reality, the ‘unknown’ outside conventional domain of the conventional ‘soon-to-be-known’ method, the effectively ‘miraculous’ or incredible aspect of conventional reality, is to view such non-conventional endeavors to be “doing away with”, what has now to be seen as, conventional ‘God-and-nature’ truth and its providence. Conventional method, offended by the revealing of what it cannot account for, sees the non-conventional or aphilosophical explanation as doing away with what is true, and thus reacts, as methodology usurps or commandeers what should be its true meaning, thereby making it a part of the conventional reality, for ideological, political or religious agendas, or plain calls it non-sense or false.

These are the facts of the matter, the discussion upon the point of contention, aphilosophy, and how it relates to conventional reality; it is the attempt to explain “phenomena” or “miracles” of conventional reality that is and or has been supposed within or by the conventional methodology to be natural, which is to say for much of it, sought in psychology. The irony is in the conventional orientation of itself dealing with nature, when it now must be seen, due to the aphilosophical explanation, that conventional reality is really a religious cosmology, a reality “formed in the mind of its God” that avoids what is natural existence by its very nature of avoiding is own existence. It is the conventional offense, its instilled fear of losing power, that reacts by redistributing true existential meaning onto the real map that is the conventional scheme of meaning that designates and corresponds true objects and their terms. Such conventional methodology would then place aphilosophical description in a particular category of either/or to for the truth of its faith in its own objects. And it is this feature of human existence that then speaks polemically, not relatively, of a universal ethical situation as existentially necessary – a discourse that modern theoretics will find quite distasteful.

Thoughts of God, the Dialectic of Faith and the Conventional Bias.

As we move into the process of constructively undoing the presumptions of method that present to us the problem-filled world of reality we all know, for which we recourse to hope, it may be well that you need not venture into that heart of darkness all alone. Otherwise, at minimum, you should see that it is only on the precipice that the abyss seems endless; we need no longer cringe back into the bliss of faith. One may proceed as in a liturgy, but where the call and response of priest and congregants are removed from any hierarchical or proper structure, the hymnal and ‘Good Book’ consigned to discourse, the priest extraneous, its voice from the outside, an unnecessary element, and the congregants likewise lose their imperative compulsion to supplicate. Neither does the arrogance of righteousness cloud the firmament of heaven.

Considered much, and ventured far from civility, it is often difficult not to speak the truth; I am sure it is with you. Bias is only mitigated through faith, so we have first to deal with situating the conventional bias.

The truth exists through the dialectic, as one is thereby placed within it. So, we should situate what is meant here by the dialectic; here I tend away from Aristotle, more toward Hegel. I call into play here an idea developed by Jean-Francois Lyotard: the differend. We might see that his is an extrapolation or possibly re-presentation, a re-iteration of what Hegel presented; yet i would go so far to say that most, what is called, Continental philosophy, if not all philosophy in general, is merely a re-presentation of the point of contention.

Lyotard’s moves and layout of the necessary reprecussions of his designation are not entirely pertinent here; this is because his project exhibits problematic limitations (which I will more thoroughly address) that can be discerned by his situating the dialectic as part of a total phrasing by which he poses the differend. Breaking with his inherent boundary, a boundary that forces significance in polemical fashion ( a differend of itself), I shall call the differend that aspect of discourse that cannot be accounted for within conventional discussion, but nevertheless is involved ironically. It is not a basis of such discussion, nor a given, nor a ‘decision’ of the like of Francois Laruelle; in fact it is the converse of the philosophical decision, and not un-akin to the non-philosophical method, so to speak. A differend is that which stands ‘in the way’ of discussion; it grants the discussion from the person that reaches out to an other in order to establish a common ground. A differend is that by which a discussion about the nature of reality and existence may take place and have credence beyond the division of labor. It is also the assumption of what is common between participants where the assumption carries no weight for the discussion due to the differend allowing for faith by its absence. A differend is a means for accounting for truth; it is a way ‘I’ can account for ‘you’ as well as you, I, as well as we, the world. Thus, complicit yet skew to Lyotard’s situation, we should see that a true dialectic occurs, not between two parties in an attempt to locate or discover truth, the process based in faith (bad faith), rather, it occurs of the first party in relation with the differend of the presented discussion, such that the differend is the only ‘thing’ that remains constant through the real scheme of negotiated truths, that which brings the discussion of two parties indeed to a common ground. In this way or effect, the differend is what likewise presents, in relief, what I have termed the conventional methodology for truth, that which supplies the ‘true object’.

“Be not discouraged” is operative. In the dialectic, we come to terms with this, for an object is an obstacle that brings in its relief the irreconcilable damages that then require the reasonable doubt for which faith is demanded, the judgement of the court.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell has given us a pretty good rendition of the issue of the ‘true object’, but I shall attempt my own. I present an object, and ask, “what is it; that thing there in front of us? How shall I define it?” Maybe I begin by describing its functions, then its characteristics. Have I succeeded in granting what, say, a chair is? The person next to me says, well, you have given me qualities of that thing there, but im not sure you have conveyed what a chair is; I know what it is, but i wish to communicate what it is. So then maybe I go to a dictionary, maybe an encyclopedia. Still, the person is not convinced. We are looking at a chair, we both call it a chair, but I have not succeeded in granting to him what a chair is, beyond an incomplete description of that thing that somehow is common between us. In fact, I can continue to describe aspects of that thing and I will never get to a complete description of it. Then, besides whether or not the thing ‘the chair’ can be described enough to grant it, there are also questions that bring into question that there is really a thing that corresponds with the label ‘chair’. For example, if I say ‘a chair has four legs’, one may ask if a table qualifies as a chair, and I could say, yeah, if I sit on it then it could be a chair. But if you don’t sit on it, can it still be a chair?

This is the situation of every object. It is not a situation of subjective, personal or individual realities, but neither is there an absolute qualifier for what a ‘chair’ is beyond knowledge. This is the idea Kant expounded upon when he concluded there is no knowable object “in-itself”, that objects exist entirely within or of knowledge. His analysis goes much further in depth, situating terms and discussing the outcomes of the apparently logical ordinances that then arise, than our discussion here requires. Yet, we should see that his analysis involves a differend that implicates at least two ‘things’, an object in-itself, the chair in our example, as well as a ‘brain’ or ‘mind’ (a subject, un-problematized) that is deduced as incapable of overcoming the epistemological wall (the object problematized); this situation, then, presents a fundamental duality, a given that then allows for its own denial, a forgetting, so as to allow his presentation. Though his effort concerned establishing a ‘better’, less superstitious, metaphysics, he succeeds ironically in perpetuating the same (see my subsequent post).

The key to breaking this epistemological nightmare, though, where what surely appears to me as a true thing is actually not so true, at least, in so much as I might want to convey it to another person, is the third party. In the third party lay the responsibility of truth, there resides truth’s criterion. It is the problem of the third party that reveals one’s orientation upon the object. Orientation concerns the differend. In contrast to the dialectic as I situate it above, but projected toward what Lyotard calls “the referent”, what can be called the object, where the thing or object is taken as self-evident, as containing aspects of itself that human beings through some method can then know as true (for example, the proposed objects of conventional dialectic and discourse in general) as well, where the subject is localized by the individual for the sake of the substantiation of the individual – in other words, where there is no deferend worth mentioning – we have then the ‘true object’. Where the situation of knowledge concerning communication is mitigated or denied for the sake of having a true thing, due to the ‘displacement’ of the individual into reality, there we also have faith.

The overlay of ideas that accounts for the dialectic of faith concerns the subject as the subject no longer is distinguished through the conventional methodology as equivocal to the individual. What then emerges through this differend is a real assertion of the priority of the individual that henceforth can be called the ‘subject-object’.

Hence; what we deal with can be understood through the following possibilities:
(1) Faith: The relation between transcendent-immanent (God) and human involving a total reality of the created universe (of objects);
(2) Faith: The relation between (1) and the subject-object, which is to say, the individual of conventional reality;
(3) The effective differend of (1) and (2).

* *

With the foregoing in mind, I begin with a quote from an ongoing discussion of comments for the previous post “Issues and Existence”:

– “For example: I discover I have terminal cancer. I have heard that God loves me, and I have heard that God is all-powerful. Given these “truths,” I can’t imagine why God would not cure me of cancer, so I ask him to cure me.
Why does a request like this not get answered with a cure 100 percent of the time?

If I understand The Bible’s rendition of our story, this world is no longer the world that God created or intended. God has a plan to restore creation, but His Death-to-Life Project moves directly through death.

So, I think a short answer to the question is that God is leading humanity on a difficult — but hopeful — route through a ruined world“.
.”

Since the idea of faith is so tied up with Christian ideology and cosmology, I’m gonna give a list of ideas mentioned in the excerpt that I have difficulty with:

– god intends.
– god loves
– god restores creation
– god is leading humanity through a ruined world

These above statements present most poingnoantly the problem I’m treating. The statements indicate one statement. I’m going to skip over that it relies and implicates a ‘Divine Power’ (obviously), and go to what is most significant: It exactly ‘presents’ a proposed absolutely true object, God, and beckons the human being away from the world. It confirms the problems of humanity, that a human being cannot but have problems, that is, that the ‘problems’ are universal (again, a proposed ‘true object’) and so all human beings deal with problems the same way; which is to say, they have a common mode of psyche that defines humanity as such – saying this without a speck of irony. God thus ‘intends’ better for ‘all’ humanity because humanity is taken as another common true object amoung other objects of a true universe (God at the ‘top’ as creator of true objects) with absolute definitive qualities and having ‘difficulty’ being such because it is human nature in-intself, as human nature is defined by the ability to choose out of thier (problematic) sinful condition through ‘repentance’ and belief, this idea being totally misconstrewed in the idea of free will. The correspondence between these two true objects (the ‘equal’ and common true object called the human being and the true object ‘God’ that intends and tends for that humanity) must indeed be one of faith as I have described, and bridged in Christianity by belief in Jesus, instead of relieved through knowledge of what is said of him. I would suggest reading, or re-reading Nietzsche.

I would prefer to say “God is love”. If there is a heavenly or divine aspect that human beings can be involved with, it must be love. But this has nothing to do with “why God would not cure me”, except that one is involved with an orientation upon the world that requires of him (the individual), for the sense that one can have of it, to think of oneself as partial to oneself essentially, that is, as having elements of themselves that can be separate from other parts, such as, my self, what people like to call ‘ego’ (which is a most appropriate idea here), separate from God. Only through this type of denial can ‘a God’ love, and by extension or retraction, love the individual.

We can begin to situate how conventional reality lacks in irony by considering what
Slavoj Zizek has said about love:

(You can also google ‘Slavoj Zizek on love’, if the link doesn’t work.)

In listening to Zizek, one should see that how he frames his bit is the same that frames the differend with its referent, so to speak, that the universe is contained or accounted for as a totality in this framing. Thereby, if there is a ‘good’, as one might inscribe a whole universe, ‘inclusivity maxima’, where all is ‘come over’ by a total ethics, where the impetus (non-impetus?) is toward or completed, resolved, in ‘goodness’, then it is what can be understood as a ‘beginning-and-but-end’, or perhaps, a ‘creation’, and ‘good’ is the purpose or reason in a ‘returning to’ (reckoning). Love is then the proposed motion of this return. Against the ‘beginning’, as what has begun thereby separates what has set out from its beginning, and what at one time began is now separated from, Zizek says, “love is evil”.

We are situated in a world that we supposedly all know. Some people who proclaim themselves as a sort of activist, or maybe spiritual advocate for whole-ness, of a whole world, say they love the world, while others of a more pessimistic nature might say they hate the world. But these postures reflect the very position of ‘being set out’, of having the inherent ability gained by their being ‘not whole’. By the fact of the phrase, as Lyotard might put it, such sayings present the world as separated, as ‘not good’, as ‘evil’. By the sayings or assertions of position (presented presentations: representations), those seek to overcome the discrepancy involved in the having to say ‘I love…’ or ‘I hate…(the world)’. The sayings present thus a ‘longing’ that cannot be resolved – except through faith. Thus Zizek is saying “We do not love the whole world…(rather) we pick and choose what we love” through the phrases as they indicate a referent (the true object); the condition of such referent is, though, insolvent, and is thus termed expressions of the evil that resides in the world.

*

If ‘creation’ means its most exstistant meaning, as opposed to its existing meaning, then there is nothing to restore; rather, every moment restores what was lost through itself. This is the dialectic, the truth found within. To bring in ‘a God’ destroys so it might redeem; when one reads many Gnostic texts, we get a glimpse of how they situated this possibility in discourse. (By the way, Laruelle attempts to reiterate this meaning without reifying the Gnostic dogma or the textual form of analysis {hermeneutics}.) In most religious-type systems, such ideas typically are found in ‘secret”; this includes Judaism. The God who creates the world or universe is seen to have revolted from an earlier ‘God’ from which the ‘creator’ came. If I recall, at least in one Gnostic text, this creator-god is seen to hold the world in a lie, and proclaims upon his creation “you will have no other Gods before me”.

From another angle, if you think about it, one must ask, why would a god who created all the heavens and the earth need to make a law, to command his creation not to have any other gods?

The ‘ruined world’ must be that human situation where such a commandment is necessary. So it is that with the presentation of the commandments we have already the ruined world. But there has been no ‘progress’. There has only been the situation of the ‘one and the others’: the one, such as Moses or Jesus, who has knowledge, and the others, who need or have faith. The ones of knowledge need no faith, they know the truth; creation is manifest; creation exists. Only for those of faith does creation need to be restored, because ruination is their own, but denied for the sake of faith. The restoration never occurs because the situation is the situation of existence, not of conventional history, not of the true past toward a fulfilled future. The movement of such history is entirely of knowledge, spoken synchronously, the subject separated from the individual projected into humanity and extended as hope in time. Thus the movement of history is the movement of humanity involved in this dialectic, the discussion founded upon the responsibility of the third party, and how this is situated for meaning; there is nothing beyond this aspect. This is to say, the movement of what is beyond is ironic; so much as history is extended in time as the discrepancy and dynamic of knowledge and faith, what is beyond is beyond distinction in this way: It is contradiction in truth and paradox in meaning. It is that which contradicts while affirming that is existence, and in this way, is offensive to conventional truth: the truth is absurd. That which contradicts and is offensive to conventional faith is that we merely are meaning-making creatures; what is absurd is that this reduction allows for meaning that arises from such meaninglessness, the truth of reality in faith: the double voice.

What we can have of the differend is the distinction between knowledge and faith, instead of the relation that is revealed of knowledge and faith that tends toward a speculative metaphysics of conventional reality. The difference is located in whether all the facts are accounted for without offense or not. What is not offensive to the conventional method, the reason why metaphysics is so alluring, is that it is involved with, indeed, making progress. Whether such progress is marked by technological, scientific, economic, emotional, mental, religious or other objective genres makes no difference because they are all motions of the conventional methodology of reality, of the individual of objects, all motions posited in faith. I submit that humanity, the conglomerate or constituency of human beings, of faith is being lead nowhere. What is ‘difficulty’ is being free and alone in a hostile world, and this then beckons a faith in hope as purpose. But likewise, what is difficult is the knowledge of what is true against the multitude of faith. The one of knowledge thus is not alone in a hostile world, but free against the hostility founded through the ones of faith. His difficulty is that he knows the truth and thereby is lead; the problem then is how to come to terms with the people of faith. The problem here then, is how the differend is situated in reality. The differend has to do with absolute presentation of the situation, not so much the phrase or its existant or substantive role in context, but rather as i have said, the issue is the term.

*

Direct Tangent 6.9: A Word on Faith: An Appropriate Rendition of Francois Laruelle’s ‘Sufficient Philosophy’; The True Object, A Moment with Pierre Bourdieu and the Practice of Process.

As a close to the Direct Tangents and segue to the next, this essay is a simple and direct stating of a basic series of the matter at hand. By ‘series’ i mean to refer to the structure of argument: points that must be understood as true in order for there to be an discussion; what are called ‘premises’ usually do not have to be true, but only sufficiently understood for an argument, but then communication may not occur. I would say that it is the insufficiency of premises, and thus argument in general, upon which conventional reality is manifested. A practice of process involving a statement of series is the condition of truth; here, I cannot, that is, am incapable of coming upon a concept already proposed as if it should not be or not have been, as if i were then jealous or offended, against which i would then argue. In the process of truth, there is no exceptions. The issue is not so much about finding truth; it has to do with the situation of terms. What is the object?

We deal in two possibilities. If i am stating my position by my opinion, i can call it an argument, and I can start anywhere I please as long as I develop sufficient premises. Yet, because, here, we deal in truth, I may not approach as if I am speaking within a conversation already developed (considering my whole blog is really one essay). I must start at the beginning, not in the middle, every time. I thus do not ‘disguise’ my target through addressing what then appears to be particular arenas of discourse, though I may use such discursive objects as an occasion for what I have to propose. The tact that is taken by many writers, whether acknowledged by them or not, of opinion, is often deceptive at best, a type of withholding, and derailing for many who would otherwise be interested.

Though Francois Laruelle appears to come very close to being ‘honest’, a reader has to be somewhat informed as to the particular meaning of what terms he presents, cloaked as they are in a type of conventional-institutionalized deception (what I have designated as ‘jargon’), to be able to appreciate what he has to say; indeed, Laruelle produces his own “dictionary” of non-philosophical terms, an effort that i see as unnecessary. It is sufficient to convey his meaning, and necessary in that he could propose it in no other way for himself and be in line with his intent, but it is not necessary by virtue of the insolvency of the true object (see below). In his attempt to be transparent and approachable (I must grant this to every writer, at first), he ‘auto-excludes’ much of his potential audience, and demands of his audience a certain academic effort. In previous posts, I have addressed this by suggesting he is in bad faith by his presentation, since – is he not supposed to be speaking upon ideas that concern everyone? And if not, why not? I, on the other hand exclude all but none in that I approach through an intent to be clear to everyone as well as myself; my exclusivity is found by choice, as there is maybe barely one who would have never chosen to come upon my work. (Nevertheless, one should note: Laruelle’s manner is indeed appropriate, since he is attacking what can be seen as the ‘head of the beast’, the effectively institutional-religio-ideologicracy of conventional method called “philosophy”, the ‘bastion of the sacred method’ by which he is a self-proclaimed “heretic”. Just as Martin Luther, and just as noteworthy, Martin Luther King Junior, among many others, challenged the prevalent institution of their times by advocating and practicing what can be seen as the antithesis of the institution’s pro-motion, Laruelle confronts the similar element of our time, but in a ‘radical’ manner. Reader, please keep this in mind as I occasion Laruelle in this discussion. I am left to wonder if in his assault on the boarder gates he has become a citizen of his own pillaging and continues to build and climb an ever renewing ladder, or whether in his proposition he has thrown away the ladder.)

So, whether or not his intent is to also confront the greater reality, I see that when he says ‘philosophy’, and proceeds to address and direct his activity upon and through a supposed institution or discipline called ‘philosophy’, he is also talking about how people in general may have ‘philosophies of…’ the various aspects and circumstances of life and existence. In contrast, I suspend no presumptions; I am addressing and treating of truth, and nothing less than what it seems a life of experience has lead me to see of how myself and other regular people (including theorists) deal with life. What is ‘rigorous’ is the critical undertaking of experience, and less so, the experience of learning how I might approach an analysis of it and thus so to speak of it. I thus approach from a proposed basis of ignorance, because that is how I came upon the world, through doubt, and through a transparent process that shows frustration and contempt as well as assuredness and askance upon the issues (Constructive Undoing is a process) as most anyone earnestly interested would, attempt to shed light on the significant issues concerning reality and existence. Hence, I hope it helps with this purpose to say that Laruelle and I are parallel in our presentations, but moreso involved in a basic parallax upon the same point of contention.

To this end, a have located a (another) specific occasion. Laruelle’s “sufficient philosophy” suggests that philosophy sees itself sufficient by itself to indicate what is true in-itself, what is true of truth. Where Laruelle has coined this idea, appearing as proposing as he is addressing a specific discipline, as he may or may not be, I coin ‘conventional methodology’ to make explicit that I am indeed taking on truth and reality of the everyday sort, the ‘ordinary method’ of coming upon reality pertaining to agreement with accepted standards, and in this I submit that I step to where Laruelle avoids, as he has been invested in a (slightly) more conservative effort, a conservation of the clause – ironically, at least in appearance.

*
*

Here is an excerpt from Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Logic of Practice” with my clarification comments in brackets, not italicized:

One has to escape from the realism of the structure {the true object}, to which objectivism…necessarily leads when it hypostatizes {makes, sees, understands or otherwise develops as foundational} these relations {true relations of conventional methodology} by treating them as realities already constituted outside the history of the group {an object ‘in-itself’ or ‘out-there’ as opposed to the individual thinking human being} – without falling back into subjectivism, {the individual thinking human} which is quite incapable of giving an account of the necessity of the social world { in so much as reality or the world can be argued as originating from the individual human being (subjectivism), it fails to account for the apparent arbitrary agency of random events and other conscious subjects}.” [1980 Stanford University Press; English translation, 1990 Polity Press. Pg. 52]

One cannot assume a common understanding. This is why there is discussion. But a discussion must find a common ground before there is true communication. This is the initial problem. The meaning of the terms of the issue have not been sufficiently disclosed, and it seems for our discussion, here, we are up against a very large obstacle: faith.

What I mean when I use this term is also part of the problem; through Constructive Undoing I have been attempting to indicate how faith is to be situated so communication might then occur. In this post I have presented the above excerpt because it describes the situation in a pretty good and clear manner, such that I might be able to elaborate and thus promote and get at a sensible, understandable and productive communication. In short, I turn the conventional meaning of faith, as having to do with belief and choice, on its head, or rather, back upon itself and its proclamations of truth, proposing that the conventional effort itself is based in faith, yet more precisely I propose faith as the containment that allows for the individual and conventional reality due to its ‘having’ choice and belief, but that the truth needs no faith.

Here is a more fluid reading (my rendition appropriate to ‘faith’) of the excerpt above:

One has to escape from objectivism, the idea of the true object, where objects exist ‘out there’ in the world and where the human being is likewise an object among objects of a true universe, the meaning of which allows for and maintains an absolutely true scheme that relates objects and establishes conventional reality. But also, one should not respond by falling into subjectivism, or the idea that reality stems from the individual thinker, or that whatever one believes is thus true, for this idea also fails to account for much of the aspects and activity of a social world.

Please note that Bourdieu is involved with a critique of anthropology and sociology, their theories and practices of approaching and analyzing cultures. Though his presentation is quite profound, I will not go into his particular argument here, except to say that his proposal is that one needs instead to look at practice, hence his book “The Logic of Practice”. At some point in the future I will discuss in more detail the relevance of his and others’ positions and activities. For now, his is a sufficient occasion to talk about faith.

In as much as Bourdieu proposes a solution of ‘practice’, I extract from his proposal and develop ‘faith’. The situation that he describes above, that one must “escape” from, represents how faith is constituted as reality. For my occasion toward meaning and in a manner of speaking, he is suggesting that what is necessary for truth is to relinquish ones faith in objectivism and subjectivism. It is not difficult to understand what a usual or common object is; we see them and interact with them every moment of our lives: the tree, the lamp, the box, the shirt, the person. What is not so easy is to see that these objects are not solute in knowledge, meaning, though they might be presented to knowledge, and may be re-presented by knowledge, such knowledge does not contain or correspond with any true object except that what is ‘true’ is likewise qualified or quantified to a ‘true’ meaning. What this means is that knowledge reflects only knowledge; it also means that what is at issue is where or how truth finds its ground, or its fundamental basis. Knowledge cannot, does not, ‘reach’ some ‘out there’ object, nor does the various qualities of such a true object (what can be known as an object “in-itself”, or what I call an “absolute true object”) influence knowledge or yield up information of itself that knowledge then ‘apprehends’ or ‘gains’ of it. Knowledge is not ‘knowledge of…’ so to speak. Admittedly, though, this concept seems to defy common sense, but it is apparent when one attempts to convey a truth without sensory confirmation, and without faith; hence, what is ‘common’ sense.

What we are dealing with here is a necessarily advocated separation of things in the world; we are dealing with what we see actually occurring in life and ones perception of life and the world. The method of theoretical reduction of reality to some ‘more real’ idea, such as Laruelle’s “Real” or “vision-in-One” as opposed to “reality”, is merely a situating of meaning based upon a presumption of the true object, and this yields nothing but a mythological ideology, as if one mythology might be better or more advanced or progressed than another. How is it possible for there to be a something more or less real? Despite all discursive gymnastics, only through relativity can we have a Real and then a reality, only in a world where terms are able to indicate something better than or worse than, ignorant and enlightened, essential as opposed to mundane: only in a world determined through a conventional methodology. To be more more precise, the issue is not of a discerning or discovering of (true) things based upon phrasing, clause or context, but quite the converse. It is not a mis-definition that gives us the mistake of belief in the true object, it is something infinitely more subtle and insidious: it concerns ones orientation upon the term; the issue has to do with a situating of terms for a designation of the object.

Bourdieu does an absolutely amazing job at putting into words the situation of reality as it pertains to this idea, how theoretical assertions fail, how exactly terms interact meaningfully, and how these issues resolve in, what he proposes, practice. Here, though, I am not so concerned with the particular discursive meanings of practice since we all practice every day. Our ‘inner’ thoughts and ‘outer’ physical activities are the manifestation of existence; so far as I am concerned, the world of practice just “Is”. The contemplations of what I shall do to day as well as how I actually do it as well as the thoughts about all this is commonplace, well worked and though interesting, not very significant. Things get done, I have my attitudes, my opinions, others have theirs – life goes on. But it is how one is oriented upon such ability to “practice” that is significant: it reveals ‘faith’, or how one is oriented upon reality.

Where it is possible for an absolutely true object to be correspondent with, or signify itself as, a person’s thought of it, there is faith, but also conventional reality. The theoretical reduction that would remove the incidence of meaning intended here, that would rebut again to reveal how “there is no absolutely true object”, has not grasped reality, but has asserted it; indeed, in that theoretical move, conventional faith has been restated. Such a faith is not of reflection, it is of direction; conventional faith is of the naive past toward a knowing of truth revealed as such, a superstitious past toward an ‘enlightened’ future. The direction is the conflation of sense and knowledge; the sensation combined with what ‘makes sense’, knowledge, amounts to the true object; so it is also with the ‘sensation’ based upon a ‘proper’ theoretical argument. The reflection that understands that the sensation only confers meaning through knowledge, and not along side of it or conspiratorially with it, is not in play for conventional reality: a TV is a TV, a doll is a doll, a tree a tree, a car a car, cells are cells, bricks bricks, a bird a bird, a dog a dog – a theory a theory – the assemblage or ‘world’ of such true objects, I call ‘conventional reality’, or simply ‘reality’. We should be not so concerned with some fundamental, more real, reality, which is to say concerned with how to describe (the true object called) reality for what it ‘really’ looks like, for this amounts to a metaphysical proposition; rather, our discussion here has to do with what is practical, what emerges as a result of ‘practicing the process’ life.

Absolute true objects rely on and are found by the possibility in equivocation of thought to the thing out there that is sensed and a subsequent negotiation with things out there or other; such objects rely not only on knowledge but on an indication – i say “tree” and i point over there and the person next to me sees the tree or touches it or smells it and nods “yes, i agree, that is a tree” and thereby we know that thing there is a tree in truth absolutely. By the term ‘absolute’ I mean to indicate an orientation one has upon reality, but this is difficult because in our discussion of faith there is no objective referential like a tree to point to; i can only describe situations from the occasioning of objects ( such as this ‘discursive’ object called faith). Again, even as I would argue the position that there are no absolutes, that such ideas gain their meaning as relation, which is to say, in the negotiation of meaning, i am arguing not only a truth, but i am asserting an absolute nature, aspect or thing of the universe, as if the universe has given me some piece of data or information of itself to my knowledge, as if the true one universe has relinquished or revealed itself to my knowledge. The irony of this situation cannot be overdetermined.

Conventional reality that rests upon the possibility of the absolutely true object is not true, but only true in knowledge; the reality that mistakes the ‘object of knowledge’ for the ‘knowledge of the (true) object’ is of faith. Only through knowledge can we know of what may be sense; the sense that orients sensation, as from the physical senses, that would distinguish it (sensation) from thought to show how they involve separate elements of stimuli and process, also uses such ideas to develop and reinforce the incorporated individual who is manifested, a human being, as a result of these elements. The idea is that thoughts can be distinguished from raw physical senses but the sense can influence thoughts and thoughts the senses, but that in fact they are intimately intertwined. The real human being is defined in reality and in this way is real. Hence, what i say is not real of the human being is that none of these situations can be recognized without knowledge, and thus knowledge is the total situation of being human. But, as pointed out, we should not take this to mean that we should look to subjectivity for the truth, as subjectivity usually denotes belief, not so much because, as Boudieu puts it, subjectivity fails to account for and actually avoids social contingencies, but rather because the rhetorical-theorietics of subjectivity is also informed by a particular orientation toward the true object, what I call the subject-object. We are thereby concerned with, and revealed unto, not the real subject, but rather, the true subject.

*

I coin the phrase “faith makes true” to emphasize the difficulty of overcoming the mistake of (conventional) reality. Reality is qualified as such, as designating the arena of true things, because it is so prevalent and common: it is reality, the relations of things in reality are real. It seems frivolous and presumptuous to make a counter-distinction, as Laruelle does, and call his ‘the Real’, as if it is somehow more real than reality; it seems more consistent and logical to call a counter distinction “not real” – and this sensibility thus also re-emphasizes the difficulty of escaping the “realism of the structure”, as Bourdieu puts it above, since one inherently and apparently is bound to what is real, to reality, because the conventional methodology deems it real and true. Also, the ability to come upon ‘what has been chosen’ informs reality inso much as ‘one chooses’ of what may be come upon. In this the object, inanimate or animate, may behave and be interacted with the human being through the free act. Reality thereby confers upon the individual his situation as real in reference to what he may or may not have chosen of himself; thereby he may have illusions based in the choices he made and be brought back into reality. So it is that the conventional agent of faith is incapable and unwilling to relinquish what (to her or him) is true, because of his faith in the true object. Faith is sufficient for reality, but not for truth, and what is more real is only likewise of faith; nevertheless, the terms of reality are sufficient to convey the truth, but are not sufficient of themselves. The non-philosophical method itself is a sufficient philosophy, and can thereby pose some ‘more real’ reality (the Real), but it is insufficient to reveal the truth.

How can this be so?
What we have is a meaning of basic duality that precipitates from conventional duality, that is found through a simple doubting of everything; a precipitate that I call the conventional bias. The sufficient non-philosophy that would recourse to offer some progressed state of reality is rooted in bias. When what is needed to bring about such progression is needed, there is faith, because the hope is that what is sufficient for logic will be sufficient for the truth of progress; but alas, it is so difficult to relinquish ones faith.