The Significant Event, Part 4b (Part 5): Hard Correlationalism: The Crux of the Problem of Speculative Realism and the Critique of Conventional Philosophy. (And no, I am not mistaking ‘continental’ philosophy; I mean Conventional philosophy.)

We are still moving toward the meaning of the pocket veto and the significant event. Here, we consider Quentin Miessaloux and the ideas presented in his book “Beyond Finitude”.

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Meillassoux’s argument arrives through the question: when modern science, or the mathematization of the world, had taken hold, what he identifies as the Copernican Revolution, why did philosophy move away from its announcement, which is to say, away from, as M puts it, “thought’s capacity to think what there is whether thought exists or not” [pg 166, Beyond Finitude]. This is really to question thought itself, but he stays with his problem of why philosophy did not move toward this, as he terms, ancestral object, where knowledge conforms to the object, and instead move toward the object conforming to knowledge.

His thesis concerns more a proper manner of thinking, and this concerns removing metaphysical thinking, thinking that involves a transcendental element or aspect, what QM frames more precisely as that derives from ‘necessaritan probabilistic’ thinking. Such thought stems from the notion that the probability of reality manifesting in just the way it is for any moment is extremely low, nearly impossible, and so in as much as reality does indeed manifest in such a way, it is thus necessary due to a transcending element or aspect that has determined the outcome against this highly improbable outcome. Indeed, he is arguing necessity over contingency, but necessity in its absolute form that does not arise due to contingency.

It is this proposal that I agree with. I appreciate how he has voiced this situation because it quite aptly describes the issue, the pivotal discernment, the axial moment in the discussion of ideas put forth by authors of philosophy that I call ‘the point of contention’, which lays out the divergent path as a necessary outcome of the motion of conventional discursive method and thereby involves unilateral duality in contrast to — what I believe is called — a bilateral unity.

Where QM and I differ has do with with his assertion of proper thinking, a proper method by which to suggest a ‘more proper’ method. His is the same problem that is evidenced with Immanuel Kant, and indeed I would say that he is offering little more than Kant in this respect. Due to the appropriation of conventional knowledge that uses Kant’s ideas as previously stated and thus already posited object to be considered built upon as progress in the effort for the truth of conventional philosophy, one could see that a more pronounced move should indeed be indicated; this in so much as synthetic a priori, the categorical imperative and Kant’s theses did little more than arouse suspicion and debate. QM is keen to understand maybe not only why, but also how to develop a move that would emphasize or reiterate what Kant was really trying to propose. Yet the impetus for the reiteration must then also have allowed QM to see that the fault of Kant’s force lay in his (Kant’s, but also ironically QM’s) reckoning of his (Kant’s) notion by a One reality that an insistence upon a universal ethics reveals. So it is that while QM may indeed notice the error to thereby be motivated to such a new turn, aka speculative realism, his also may be thwarted by this same problem of Kant. To wit; Kant suggests that the categorical imperative may imply a ‘right action’ of sorts, an ethical (good) action, that distinguishes then in relief what actions may be questionable, and thus he resorts the real ubiquitous power of choice by which the total and universal absolute manifestation of humanity exists, decision. In this distinction, we may thereby tend to not forgive QM, for it is the statement of Kant that should by now arrive with the question that is relieved of such universality; which is to say that where QM’s mentor Alain Badiou occupies the strong point of the human situation, and Francois Laruelle the strong position, QM himself makes the weak move by indicting reason, albeit a particular kind of reasoning, as the issue at hand.

QM’s approach is upon how such an object antecedent to thought proposes likewise a condition of thought, an elementary and necessary condition of the reality for which he is arguing a new propriety, i.e. ‘reason’ — but if there is a thing in its own right antecedent to thought, what does this say of thought? Thus it is interesting that his critique is held out away from itself; where if there is an aspect that informs human thinking that exists independent of thought, and presumably QM is moving in that direction, then thought itself is brought into question; but QM invokes ‘reason’. His move is toward an imminence of thinking that should properly be understood as stemming from mathematical truth, removed from the transcendental tendency for thought that arrives by the opposite move. Yet QM leaves untouched the question of thought and instead approaches from an effect of thought, that reason, and not thought, is an ideological construction formed out of a historical misconstruing of information that he identifies as a ‘necessitarian probability’. Yet, ironically, as he proposes that the fault of reason is due to this necessary probability that surmises a unitary discourse, he is nevertheless proposing that a unitary discourse may be arrived at through a discarding of the transcendental reason in favor of a more mathematical basis. His can be taken as little more than another conventional assertion, another argument to be considered, and yet his indicts such reason as a particular incorrect reasoning.

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His move makes very explicit the rejection of the correlationalist dictate that would reduce thoughts’ “capacity to think what there is whether or not thought was there to think it” to the thought itself, and thereby posits objects that are not transcendental in their nature — or maybe more precisely, exactly transcendent, which is to say, to the correlationalism that would reduce all posited antecedents to the , what he calls, facticity of thought. In other words, we might see that where correlationalism reduces all that is to what can be thought in the moment, what is the real condition of knowledge, such correlative reality instead thus evidences the limit of knowledge and not the impossibility that any thing more exists.

But his is supposedly not a Kantian intuition that relays the object in-itself to knowledge through a transcendent effector that then calls for an elaboration on what is true of metaphysics; he is proposing a proper basis of method for metaphysical speculation. Strangely enough, though, it is the opening by which we need not any longer rely upon a Hegelian History, an opening where the nature of the object in-itself may be identified without a need of a transcendent interlocutor, which is for current modern philosophy a real Historical Consciousness denied as such due to the investment in the potential term-object identity that has gone beyond Hegel. Thus, it is not so much that anything may exist independent of thought — this is the oriented move of the Speculative Realists — but rather more that the corresponding question has to do with the discourse from which derives the deviation and thus the question — not of reason as QM proposes, but of thought itself, which is then to pronounce the counter-partial aphilosophical move. For there is never a mathematical conception that can avoid putting its use for humanity into terms, which is discourse, and apprehension of discourse cannot avoid a transcending effect (see my earlier posts). Real discourse always involves transcendence; the move he wishes to make, though, seems more inline with developing a ‘correctly fashioned’ discourse, one that will align thought with a real-true universe, which is, ultimately, a unitary discourse of the real, a discourse that only gains its footing through an assertion of a State of Reality, again, as in the previous segment (part 3), a revolt from the limit back into the limit. And again I say it is no wonder that QM and others must call their brand of Realism ‘speculative’; at least there is an appearance of an effort for humility.

Hence the deviant move that corresponds counter-partially to Speculative Realism is that move that says the issue concerns what is not real, the move that brings thought itself into question, which is more consistent with Miessalloux’s pronunciation of the problem than he seems to be able to admit. Indeed, math appears to exist and its functions manifest despite what we may think of it, and it thereby argues an existence apart from thought that does not fall pray to the all-encompassing correlational position. What occurs then is a necessity that shows math does not get ‘discovered’ by our thinking, we do not ‘solve’ mathematical problems; rather, math is presenting itself or ‘is presented’ by its solutions to us in the only manner that is able to be presented, which then argues that the ‘thoughts’ that solve mathematical problems are determined, and not truly based in some sort of free, intuitive, inspirational or imaginative agency, which is to say, are not based in any sort of contingency. At best, it would seem QM is saying that we should limit types of thinking that are allowed to be counted as true, which appears then to fall on the weak side of his mentor’s, Alain Badiou, thesis of ‘Being and Event’.

For what are we really saying when we make an argument? We are saying that the route by which such an argument was made is true in its facticity, its fact of it being an argument as a series, that because of the trueness of the fact that such arguments were made, this argument is likewise true but also more true; the argument that is being made is that it is a furthering of the progressive movement of historical argument, that indeed thisargument I am presenting to you now argues that it makes the next step in the progress toward the truth of humanity in reality; and this is ironic.

There is a problem here, then also with QMs proposal. He is not suggesting a particular type of reasoning or manner of argument is to blame, rather, he is indicting a type of reason, a particular manifestation of thinking. He is not talking about operations of reason as reason might be a foundation upon which to make various arguments; no, he categorizes the problem as reason itself. So then how is it possible that an argument has been made upon the historical content that is argument, where this furthest consequential proposal enjoins the facticity of progress in order to thereby argue that the facticity of the series is or was based upon an incorrect manner of proposing argument? It would seem by virtue of the argument QM is making that he would not only have to understand the previous proposals through that very faulty reason but then also understand that the manner by which he comes upon this furthest argument is significantly different than his (arch-fossil) predecessors; in other words, it would seem to have to be that the argument that he makes was not made upon the proposals of those before him, but rather his argument was presented intact, and the previous authors are merely vehicles for that presentation. What we have here then is a marker of the significant event in play, and an indication of the veto.

This is the reason why I bring the issue to thought itself. Graham Harman (Object Oriented Ontology) can be brought back in here. We are dealing not with objects of thought, for this way of viewing objects we are discussing, this orientation upon objects, does not exclude in a manner shown above, which quietly and subtly deceives by leaving the intuition of the transcendent as an element outside the speaking of issues; indeed, irony is at play here. We are dealing with and addressing the facticity of being human in the world, and thereby reducing all possibility of addressing to a matter of objects, and thought is another of these objects.

The reason QM does not bring his discussion to thought is because he sees that there is some form or aspect of his ability to bring argument that has been inspired to be able to view reality significantly different than the philosophers that he is presented with; this form is thus excluded from the giving of the system or scheme of meaningful objects, and this excluded element is exactly absolute transcendence. Hence he is arguing a divergence based in the possibility of elements or aspects that are antecedent to thought, objects that exist despite whether thought is there to think them. And, because the transcendent is de facto another object as soon as we speak about it, which is to say, terms are objects, this undisclosed object, the transcendent interlocutor, the significant experience of such element, to use Otto from earlier in this essay (part 1), is frankly excluded. on the other hand, we posit no exclusions here, and thereby delineate that the significant issue has to do with discourse’s limitation and Lyotard’s caveat: How does one speak of the significant event?

Hence, Miessaloux solves Lyotard’s problem by the conventional route, i.e. by falling back into the hard correlational limit, by intuition, but a particularized inspired intuition of the transcendent, the point at which such a division was come upon by him. In other words, he is following a distinction noticed as far back as Aquinas:

“Theoreticus sive speculativus intellectus in hoc proprie ab operativo sive practico distinguitur, quod speculativus habet pro fine veritatem quam considerat, practicus autem veritatem consideratam ordinat in operationem tamquam in finem.”

{Theoretical or speculative intellect is properly distinguished from the operative or practical, that the speculative has for its end the truth that it contemplates, the practical truth, however, orders the considered operation as its end.} Translation Google.

He is thus dealing squarely with the ‘speculative’ (surprising,huh?), yet in an odd sort of way he thus is also dealing with conventional reality, attempting to pose a solution to the problems evident of it by its philosophical discursive formulations, but without investigating that by which such formulations are made. Further, inso relying upon such prior ground, such assumption of progress, his statement represents a ‘false ego’, a ‘bad faith’, for being invested in the division of labor that sees his ability not only granted by the history before him through True Objects, but likewise upon a hierarchical structure of True forms, where his position is seen as highest. And further, though he may understand certain things of Aquinas’s ‘practical’, his statement evidences an assertion of Truth (albeit speculative) that does not require an explanation of his footing, but assumes it due to the commonly understood division of labor, but also the character of the common human being in reality and its ability to conspire with or be inspired by the transcendent that informs all things as to its necessary progress. He is proposing a route to Truth based upon a foundation that is inherently unstable, indeed, fantastical in its bearings, which is to say, upon a faith in the common One conventional reality.

Such conventional assertions, admittedly of reality, as I have said, bring solutions only of the type that deal with momentary present social situations and thus require the appropriate ‘revolutionary act’ of Marx that reality demands. Thus the bridge that ones such as Slavoj Zizek or even maybe Angela Davis cross.

The issue then concerns not so much the revolutionary act, for such an act is required at all times; rather it is the feature of human consciousness that sees such an act as necessitating some posterior (of real experience) transformation, some intuition, that thereby evidences a prior (informed, given) separation of the human being from the world — as if ‘contemplation’ is withdrawn from the revolutionary act.

It is thereby Meissaloux’s work becomes an instrumental occasion to discuss the pocket veto, the significant event, and specifically but in general the human being in reality.

End Part 5.

Next up: Just Kant stop with Miessaloux. I will reiterate the problem using a generalized iteration of Badiou’s thesis of “Being and Event.

After that, I will begin to discuss more thoroughly the significant event, the veto and hopefully return at some point to the Romance ands its role in the constitution of the individual of reality.

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.

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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.

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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.

Non-Philosophy and Aphilosophy: Departure. An Exercise of Metalepsis; Spinoza and the term part 2; Laruelle and the Quadripartite.

If we are steadfast in our undertaking we will not labor our attitude of righteousness. Yet, we likewise must not fall back into the comfort of the easy way. The challenge is to indeed be challenged, and not to again be presented with another variation of puzzle, for by now the puzzles are seen to be transient extensions of our own process. Where they are not seen as transient, there what is critical is merely somewhat important, or at least the importance that makes for another puzzle. Let the big minds remain big, their importance emphasizing how important they are -how great their problems are! The purpose of critical thinking is to reach beyond what we believe, to question that which we are represented by, to not flinch when our status as an individual is threatened, go headlong into that heart of darkness, willing to give all unto the unknown.

Do I ask too much? Too often, I think so. The beginning of the Constructive Undoing admitted that barely anyone if no one will be up to the task of challenging reality, the nobility of individuality, that common of the hoard. Maybe it will take another two thousand years, but maybe only 150, maybe only 30. It is not for me to say. Maybe it will take no time at all. But how we love to have so little time.

The nonsense that appears to have been represented here and in the previous essays (Extreme Dialectic, in particular) either invites or it mocks. I am sure most everyone will have felt mocked; and many will suffice it to think that it has already been said and disproven. They have the next problem to solve. It is easy thus to tell one who has been mocked: they put up a defense, and assert their problematic identity. Indeed, I am talking about them but I am not talking to them. I am talking to you, you who have been thus invited. We thus depart.

Though this departure may be a bit sudden and crass manner, metalepsis is just this feature of communication that departs to leave parted and not to rejoin but to offer. Sudden, crass as a hit to our sensibility but delightfully ironic, the individual is challenged where the distance that typically intervenes for reading, between the author and reader, suddenly loses its quality; the boundary that flies up is noticed as the fault that it is, and fades. The words no longer are seen as coming from some ‘other’ human being, offending us, but are come upon as arising to your experience. What was unknowingly held as precious has been obtruded upon. Your will has been superseded.

Some may wish to classify this perceptive move a type of poetic mechanics, and perhaps, in the end, this is what ultimately we are involved with, a bringing about the function of poetry but without all the subjective interpretation, that is, without the need to bring what may be poetical (aside from the lyric) or metaphorical into the conventional definite; a specific intention apart from the material science. If I have found something to show you, and I want you to know of it, do I need to tell you of all the details about it when you are here? I can paint you a picture, even if it is with words, and you can see it how I see it. Can you not know what it is when I show it to you and smile with you in that coupling of mutual recognition? But when I show you, will you know it like I know it? How do you know? But I know. Barring all the conventional possibilities, the only problem that remains is then how to speak of it.

It is not necessarily a sales commercial or an advertisement like on the TV and magazines that invite you. Too much, perhaps, now do we take the you at a distance, so keen and suspecting we are, so witty and defensive. It is not ‘me’ it is speaking to, or if it is me, it is because I just happen for that need; I have been called, but not called upon. I have needed before, but such a call is beyond suspect; everything else becomes suspect. I have not heard myself in you. Not in collapse of reality but a restating of reality.

More may want to call this unto a type of spiritual-ness, and perhaps it is a type of spirit that arises, but the one who hears that ‘spiritual’-ness has done so only ‘in the spirit’ of spirit, so to speak. Who then will fall back into what they already know, and at this, for the sake of keeping us independent, individuals, common only in our strife? And not question it? Spirituality and thingFs of the spirit are so routinely spoken to be transformed into a type of feeling that one attempts to achieve, it is no wonder intoxicants are the way of the world; it is no wonder we behave so selfishly. No one really wants to work for it, but we are lead to believe that one must do just that: work to achieve a spiritual feeling to life. Perhaps, in such a discussion, we should speak of two kinds of work. This is not to say that the spirit may not be moved in that way, of a spiritual feeling; it is only to say that too often what is called ‘of the spirit’ is merely a feature of being human that allows for a plausible denial of the truth of human existence. Of the spirit should not push us back into our individual strife to hope, and we should not be forced to define ourselves in any manner. Call it ‘synchronicity’ ? But how much, even in our situating an experience in that way by that term, do we passively settle back into some unknown that only included us for a moment, to be defined. Or if we take it to heart, what of this heart isolates us? Deja vu? How do we still observe this moment? And hope? Even if we have a sort of spiritual center that takes such moments in stride as a part of the greater spiritual universe, how often do we still speak of gods and goddesses, elements, energies that define us for the world against which we can thereby be righteous and proper, maybe even the teacher of those seeking fulfillment? Again, it is not so much that such moments lack significance, but rather how we situate the significance in a difficult dialectic. Here then we might have gotten a clue.

Far too easy do most live. Yet, the other type of easiness, so usually missed, is then put into a derogatory difficulty or category of apathy or laziness, a defensive assertion perpetrated by those who have no clue. Everyone wants to be extreme except in the very activity by which they are even able to be extreme. We stop when the extreme just begins to get difficult. Everyone wants to work hard but everything in moderation. No one really wants to work, but they do want to call it work, to say they worked hard, especially when they are just playing around; when one really has to work, there is no calling it anything but doing – at least, the work that accomplishes anything. So we have those complacent who calculate risk and work at it so that everyone knows, and those who actually do risk, as their work is nothing more then they must do, that most everyone cannot help but being offended by because they do not say “I worked so hard”, even though it was the hardest work anyone could ever do.

“He who works, gets the bread.” But as we already know, this is not usually the case. Often it is he who does nothing, or he who takes the easy way, or he who scams another who gets the bread. Basically, he who loves deception and its conventional method typically gets the bread; the rest of us blindly uphold the goodness of humanity and maybe we get some bread and maybe we don’t – so is there really a difference? It seems just as well that we join them because we cant beat them.

In the world of the spirit, the spirit that is not spirit, though, Master Kierkegaard tells us, he who works gets the bread every time. So why is it that we work so hard for the spirit and only sometimes get the bread? Well; what bread are you after? Probably you are not merely wanting bread, but a specific kind of bread, or you already have an idea of what the bread is or supposed to be. This latter is what causes all the trouble, for usually we are not looking for the spirit, but merely what everyone seems to be meaning when they speak of the spirit. But not only this; because we are taking on faith what this spirit is from what everyone seems to be saying about it, we inevitably figure if we do what they do then perhaps we will get some bread. So we prod them for their method, practice it, yet still it comes at times and other times not. Then we work still harder for it, and the results are the same. Soon we just compensate for the inconsistency, the apparent failure, and the spirit becomes the method, a real practice of life. Like working out some spiritual muscle, we figure over time we will gain, most likely in retrospect, something along the lines of spiritual food. What we have actually done is given into the con game of those who would scam us so we can get the bread for ourselves – but the joke is that the method doesn’t work for them either – to get the true spiritual food: the bread of life – so we gain what we can and resort to calling it spiritual; we degrade (downgrade) the spirit into the mundane. For the truth is, he who works, gets the bread, every time. And what it means to work has been falsified: it should rather be said of it, “he for whom functions the spirit, gets the spiritual food”. If I am practicing a method, I have not allowed the spirit to function, but have only allowed the idea of spirit to behave as a thing to be had. One cannot be so timid; one must ‘go big’, as they say, and going big is to risk all that would create me from the methods of spirit, which is to say, the methods of men who have great ideas of how to achieve the spirit.

For those who do risk, we cannot balk at anything, even our own destruction. We are not satisfied with spiritual platitudes. You who are here now for this have just risked it all without even knowing it. The object has been compromised, and the subject has been blurred. The words become occasions for experience. Now, we just might be communicating. If not, well, you can keep reading too.

We continue beyond the tape – to hell with the safety protocols, the standing back – so that the aphilosophical discussion of non-philosophy may come about for their truth. It is a vacillation that occurs of being one then the other, of opening rather than fixating.

*

From here, we can begin to see how the usual configuration of duality, the subject and object, and or the one and the other, the one and the many, is disrupted and a more basic duality precipitates out of a necessary matrix of meaning; I have called this a situation of ‘conventional’ and ‘ironic’. This motion is similar to how Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophical quadripartite actually comes into play for aphilosophy. This can be formulated in the following manner: (1) subject-object basic duality; (2) reduction of duality to knowledge, which yields a ‘subsequent’ duality, the ‘subject-object’ reality in contrast to the reality determined in knowledge: the elimination of the objective; (3) the elimination of the subjective; (4) the radical and non-philosophical or the aphilosophical: the result of existence removed of the subject and object yet retaining effective human presence on the scene. The fourth move is an extension of the third but it should not be seen, as Laruelle seems to see, to be necessary; indeed, the secondary duality emerges in this restated duality as significant rather than radical. Hence, the first move is a non-philosophical repetition of convention, the second an aphilosophical reiteration of it.

Laruelle’s non-philosophical contribution can be seen as the last, or the ‘most minimal’ type of conventional overdetermination that can be permitted by convention, thus he determines his, what could be called, ‘passive-activism’, or maybe ‘active-passive-not-to-be-confused-with-passivity’, his radical unilateral duality, as the ‘end’ of philosophy. His terming of ‘radical’ this and that further shows this effort most poignantly; that it is an attempt to reconcile ironic and conventional realities but without acknowledging irony.

To appeal to the conventional methodology so as not to offend the conventional reality; most everyone is looking for or enjoys an Idea of a ‘more real’ reality, and Laruelle offers just that. Instead of the philosophical decision, which is argued, that informs philosophy, philosophical reality, or what I call conventional reality, that founded upon a dyadic structure, this base a methodological cision, Laruelle offers a ‘joining’, so to speak, a radical unity that he situates through destabilizing terms, succeeded through his much labors of hyphenation (See my Direct Tangent 6.9). By his situating ‘radical’ as the basis of his proposed coming to terms with what he ventures is Real, that is, of a more fundamental or more true reality, he evidences his position in conventional reality, having missed the ironic for the ‘vision-in-one’. Where the quadripartite misses the mark is by that which is polemical to the first, or usual subject-object duality, which thereby indicating a tripartite thus moves to a fourth. These then are upheld in an asserted more true reality that is described by him through a giving and then taking away, a, as I have said, disruption of usual conventional definition, as this is all proposed as a method of thinking or coming upon reality so as to be able to teach or otherwise make one aware of the more real Real, the true Reality. Irony is the complete and not repeated cision (aphilosophy reiterates the decision) of philosophy that conventional philosophy as well as non-philosophy refuses to respect. Irony is exactly the iteration of what is not conventionally real; it is the instatement of the Truth of unequal citizens in the world, where each is empowered to their own existence, as opposed to the universal Law of equality where each is disempowered to another’s reality. Where non-philosophy fails, as method, is in the teaching of inequality through a method implicit in equality: a ‘democracy of strangers’. Perhaps aphilosophy is more analogous to a republic.

Aphilosophy accepts the existential maxim of basic duality that resolves non-philosophically in unilateral duality: two truths at play that do not resolve in the other, but the one accounts for the other where the one excludes the other. Aphilosophy reiterates the conventional history; it speaks the same under a different rubric. The irony of a critique of non-philosophy should not be missed; there is no Real opposed to reality, but what is Real is indeed reality as they are different. Having missed it within the method of non-philosophy, the reader should not believe that non-philosophy ends anything, but rather announces aphilosophy – unless the ending and the announcement indicate the ‘poles’ of the unilateral duality. The ‘Future Christ’ of non-philosophy, itself a vision or conclusion of philosophy as utopia, the ‘man-in-man’, has all too conventionally taken the risk of offering the view of the ‘remainder of the term’ (see my essay “Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God”) yet from the quite secure position that is set in the last vestiges of the conventional boarderlands. To use an adage: Laruelle has not thrown away the ladder, but has stepped to the second from the top rung and from there is looking out beyond; but, of course, he should then only be able to see the ‘last’ true (subject-) object: the Future Christ. The irony comes when one understands that the proposed method is an effort of faith, of hope in the promise of humanity coming to terms with itself in existence; this is evidenced, as I have repeatedly said, in Laruelle’s statement or rhetorical question: “should humanity be saved”, for only a conventional methodologist would frame any meaning in such a manner, but likewise, it is evidenced by those non-philosophers who believe in the proposal of method as they attempt to stick to the method and end up speaking a poetry that they see as substantial and not metaphorical. The irony sets in when one sees that non-philosophy has merely used the wrong terms to situate the point of contention, but has indeed situated it due to its complete description of the issue and its proposed method; non-philosophy thus necessitates the ironic move that cannot contain nor is capable of presenting a method beyond its necessary re-presentation in conventional reality.

The Future Christ is thus the situation of meaning that stays in line with Spinoza speaking about God, miracles and nature as if he was simply addressing universal static situations of historical true objects. In contrast; when Spinoza is seen to be addressing a basic feature of the existing human being, then we can also see that Laruelle’s Future Christ is a term that gains reference from conventional reality, a particular scheme of meaning, an intrinsic mythology(we will discuss intrinsic and extrinsic mythology later), and that such a Christ is really an inevitable future manifestation or organization of humanity that is only Christ-like from the perspective of the conventional orientation upon the true object, progressive temporality, and that such a perspective is inherently unsuited to view the truth that stems from the point of contention, which is ironic, to say the least. 

 *

I can never say enough of my belief, but I can say that when I have said enough I will no longer have any beliefs except so much as I might need to still refer my daily decisions. Am I Christ, the Future? I don’t think so, but some might take it to mean an analogy, so they could be that Future Christ – oh – but only in a figurative way, here, let me describe to you the many intellectualized facets of non-philosophy. Ridiculous. Life goes on; human life goes on. We should not get too caught up in our Christlinesses of metaphor. Once you know you will never forget and you will begin to do only that which you do, though you may speak of it. But then, then again; how many will speak of it as if they do more than just do?

Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God.

They have sat down for dinner. The philosophers are at the first table, the conventional methodogists at another. The philosophers are having bread and water that are hardly distinguishable from prime rib and Cabernet Sauvignon, and they are having a wonderful time. The methodologists have the best of the house and their conversation revolves up and down and meanders around the length of their noses, so fond they are of humbling themselves before the lack of their banquet. Now, all ears have turned to the host. We have joined the party.

“Let us begin,” a voice rises from the din, “this episode with a philosophical proposition, and see what unfolds.”

– From Table 1: “All human beings fall but under one maxim, that they are human, and thus accountable only to their being so. There is no other.”

– From Table 2: “What do you mean when you say that human beings are accountable to being human ?”

– 1: “As different than being accountable to God.”

– 2: “But, to what, or to whom is a human being accountable? And for what? The word ‘accountable’ implies a standard. It suggests that, as a human being, there is a way I should be. If I’m not accountable to God, to what or whom am I accountable? And, as a human being, for what am I accountable? Can you be more descriptive than ‘being so’?”

– 1: “What is God? Or what do you mean ‘God’?”

– 2: “Ah, but it was you who mentioned God – but we’re game, though I think it derailing to the instigating statement; but say when I refer to God, I’m referring to the God of The Bible.”

A philosopher shoots the tube and scoops up the strayed attentions.

“I understand that we are having a little sub-conversation in these messages, and much of how I would respond to your line of questioning is already addressed, is being addressed, and will be addressed in my Constructive Undoing. I also know that there are those who akin themselves to philosophy and have a certain grasp on the methods involved, of logical argument and the like, as well as the arguments upon ideas great and small as put forth by thinkers of history. But I submit, unfortunately for some, such methods do indeed lack but only so much as they are caught and founded in a limited and rather planar way of thinking upon such things. It is a basis of resistance against being presented with instead of to. So, its a little trying for me, because I feel we might communicate better if you had been listening to and partaking in the movement of my letter; Mozart can not be underestimated, nor Morrison, even Mr. Cave and many others. But, in so much as I have been accused by other people of the same thing I am accusing you of, I will try a short version here.

When we speak of truth, we can no longer, in good faith, speak about the true object, but the effects of truth, for it is the effect by which we might succumb. Besides, the project of revealing the true object and the attempt to assert or explain its re-appropriation has, as we speak, for history’s sake, already failed, except as one may have faith, and the hope of faith, as well as maybe lately in as much as, at least, post-modernists were merely describing rather than prescribing a motion that was already occurring – these are the possibility presented us as it is re-presented. Having purportedly entered into multiplicity, complexity, the fractalized ontological view, if you will, the true object is already seen for what it is, or was, but the intensity or saliency of its meaning has merely been added to or allowed for the ‘new’ matrix of objects; to be blunt, the faithful have usurped the meaning of the decentralized, diversified, or multiplicated object and invested it into another object – the centralized object called decentralization, the equivocal object called multiplicity – that remains just as true as the old one, just as real. The linguistic turn of pre-twenty-first century thinkers was just as insufficient for its purpose as any other moment, however it may be adequate, but at least necessary for presentation. It is the Idea re-presented that lay at the heart of the issue; the capitalization upon it has failed where the history of ideas is tagged as a substrative, progressive analysis. The re-presentations that exemplify the new succeed only where they are presented simultaneously, hence the issue also concerns this progress in difference. If we are to get anywhere must speak of truth as effect.

Another angle is required; this is the aphilosophical approach. This manner places the justification of reality firmly in faith, and by this situation is able to speak of effects of truth, rather than further attempting to justify a true object that perpetually eludes grasps even as it has been presented sufficiently, or rather, is perpetually announced as gained and overcomed (?) somehow in the abandonment of monolinguistic, modern-ideological proclamations, through advocating spiritual remedies and or activating activist political approaches for ‘better’, ‘neo-modernist’, more freedom supporting, agendas. If re-presentation is routinely mistaken for presentation, then we need also at some point to address this apparent marriage of philosophy and ideology, and how his might constitute a religious basis of reality, for it seems the only thing we can really speak of anymore is how an idea can be used to socially activate. So, admitting this imperative, aphilosophy presents in irony, again a retreat from this ‘neo-modernist-post-modernist’ repetition; irony, which is, in the last, the eternal repetition that admits while it avoids.

My notion of ‘faith’ can be situated by the result that occurs within the statement of the question and the answer: What do you mean by God ~ I am referring to the God of the Bible. Though it would not have mattered what I had said to be accountable to; the result would be the same: Either, I have not specified sufficiently what I mean by the question, and you have not answered my question, or, you have not answered sufficiently the question I posed; no communication has occurred. Only if we had a reasonable symmetry between our meanings of the term in question, in this case God, would the possibility of communication take place. Symmetry is present when the same outcome is supposed as a basis of the discussion; for example, that there is a real possibility involved with God that reduces to yes or no. When the situation that allows for the possibility is itself questioned, that is, when one party is playing the either-or game and the other is not, which is to say here that the answer does not lay in affirming or denying God, the discussion may be said to be asymmetrical. There being no such symmetry evidenced in our situation by the simple fact that I may question your answer without offering a replacement suitable to your reply, i.e. a rebut upon the veracity of the Bible, and if I am merely being obstinate then it is all the more asymmetrical, so then I could ask: What is ‘the God of the Bible’? Here, the question concerns not whether God exists, nor whether the Bible is a credible or suitable criterion. Based in the assumption of symmetry, in the same way God responded to Moses when he asked what he is to say to the people when they will ask ‘what is his name’, such as Exodus 3:14-15, “I am that I am” would be quickly referred to the objective qualifier and you might respond: “The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham…Issac…Jacob…”. Still, I do not know what God is but a sort of belief that some ancestors had, that you have. You could go on; you could tell me some things from the Old Testament and the New, and you could tell me about Jesus. In fact, you could tell me a bunch of stuff, and still I would be able only to think of some object of belief that is the center of an ethics. You might direct me to some ‘inner’ thing of my own feelings, but while I could identify with such ideas, I would have no need to refer them to any relation as ‘of, relating to or otherwise indicating God’. Synchronicity, déjà vu, dreams, coincidences in life, seemingly miraculous bennefactuous happenings, healings, ‘spiritual’ experiences – to none of these things referred would answer my question sufficiently, nor necessarily cause me to have to relate them to God. Your answer to my question ultimately relies upon not only your faith in some common aspect of humanity, but your faith that I will be able, through considering such avenues of thought and feeling and experience and ideas, to have the faith that you do – probably, likewise does it not take into account the possibility that I have indeed encountered or experienced such happenings with reference to ‘God’, and still am able to speak as if I may have not. Such a faith completely assumes a unilaterally correspondent meaning to dishonesty due to its basis upon a real true object, namely, God.

To elaborate; in this event described above, God, which can only be considered by and is thus limited in the term ‘God’, if I may take your answer as an indication of belief, your position upon things, has only been investigated partially, and then ended with faith. Now, I am not saying that there is no God of your belief. I am saying that when you go to communicate it to me, you are relying upon a truth granted by the faith that partials out meaning to subsequent categories as if these categories were substantial, basic, or otherwise referring to absolute true objects between us; for example, your faith tells you that I have the same quality of ‘self’, Being, or maybe consciousness, as you do, the same capacity, and or, the same basic foundation of being human. Your faith negates the possibility that my ‘faith’ may be true – and more, because I may use different terms for its expression. As I have said recently, the issue is the term, which is, the terming of such categories.

Hence, I do not say that I believe in God. The term God is or has become nearly a useless idiom, that is, unless I seek only to justify myself against or by another, and by extrapolative inclusion, the world; if i seek to justify another, then i must speak very, very carefully and completely reject myself in the face of that other by a move of infinite compassion, if such a move is indeed possible. Yet, if I am looking for truth that includes every possibility that can be presented within my interaction with the world, concordant with what I have already just pondered, the term God is an ambiguous determination to say the least. Accordingly, admitting that I may appear to contradict myself, I say that God does not exist, but may be real; and this is to say that reality is exactly of faith. In this way, the operation of faith makes true reality, by stopping investigation at certain limits or parameters of consideration. From these limits, of faith, are construed individuals who rest at their limitation for personal identity.

Likewise it is the faith that communication takes place and that individuals may be convinced of universal truths based in a negotiation of definitions, aka. conventional discussion, that establishes what is real: reality. In certain avenues of conventional reality, God does not exist: atheism; in others, God does exist: theism. And we should see that these real truths function or have the effect of being true for the believer, but such that their belief resides in convention they are thus compelled to argue their validation, sometimes at the risk of conversion of their own belief. In theism, various discussions ensue about what God’s role is, what and how truth is ordered, how people are supposed to behave and live, etcetera. Within atheism, there are discussions about the same ideas, i.e. what the role of humanity is in the universe, what or how the universe is ordered and how people should behave and live, etc. Between theism and atheism there are discussions that basically attempt to disprove the other, but they are really a power play of what one can easily say are religious ideologies. Agnosticism also involves these discussions. In fact, every aspect of reality comes into play along various lines, at certain points, in the real discussion. But none reveal any truth except that there is a negotiation of reality, and a faith that through the negotiation truth will be found. The negotiation, the ‘rules’ by which it may develop and or proceed, amounts thus to a proper method for the discernment of true things, a conventional method. The particulars are only localized at particular places, at particular times; the discussion gets nowhere beyond a justification of the particular event occurring at the time of the discussion. The progress imbued in the situation is real; the justification only working to place the individual, ironic.

Further; reality denoting a progressive stature or motion is due to the ‘infinity’ that lay beyond the limits of investigation, the terms of faith, to coin a phrase, the infinity behind which faith establishes or knows of … God, or whatever object of faith is placed in the ‘un-investigated beyond the limit’, such as, the ‘physical universe’ for science. Progress is thus the real movement of existence as purpose. Thus in every conventional arena progress is understood to be made, or not being made as a ‘progress’ that ‘retreats’ or works against the ‘preferred’ progress that lay at the base of the particular discussion, the particular object, or subject-object, as the case may be.”

Unsettled mumbling can be heard from the conventionalists’ table. “Yes, yes,” a self appointed spokesperson of the conventionalists speaks up, “but the initial statement mentioned being accountable; to what or whom then are we accountable, and for what? Sounds like you are splitting hairs; what conscientious citizen of the world would say that we must not be accountable to each other, and by extension, a larger group of humanity? And just as well, one must be accountable for or to themselves at minimum to be accountable for or to others. Is it so terrible if we hold our actions and beliefs in these regards accountable to a power higher or greater than our admittedly lacking knowledge? Is it so unreasonable? May not we designate this idea and call it ‘God’? Yours sounds like so much atheism, and pompous.” The timbre from the table of methodologists resonates the point scored.

Undaunted, the philosopher takes a long relishing draft of his water, and rejoins.

“Conventional reality gains credence against the limit of faith when that limit is denied, whether as itself, the veracity of the limit, or as a marker of faith, to denote that there is no limit, basically to establish that reality is just reality, regardless of labels, conventional or otherwise, and that there is nothing other than reality. But this, as I have said, is to assert a ‘proper’ or absolutely true reality, one that finds itself in relativity, in negotiation. This is why people can equate ‘faith’ with ‘belief’: Because we can talk about them as a negotiation of ideas. Such denial allows such a statement “I believe in God” to be of equal stature or real quality as the statement “I believe that chairs have legs”: both can be debated – and likewise the statement that equates them can be debated. Kant dealt with such discursive features with his analytical and synthetical, and his imperatives, but here I am indicating what he called a neumena, which is what I call a ‘true object’, but should just as easily be called an ‘absolutely true object’ because the effect of terms, or role of terms, in a conventional discussion is to indicate a fixed element. If I say, ‘the tree is green’, I am indicating an absolutely true object, a tree, relating it to another true object, green, and implicating a particular position that is also an absolutely true thing, a point in time, the absolutely true object called eternity, as well as the place in the world, there across the yard, by the fence, as well as indicating the truth of the situation we are about to discuss, the true thing that is the assumption or presumption of our common human understanding. These features can be framed as: the addressor, the addressee, the referent, and the sense, where the addressor and addressee is implicated as you there, the tree is green, I say; or more simply: I say,the tree is green, to you. I will not continue along this expository here, one that will concern a differend of dialectics, but for preliminary orientation, I merely point to their function and effect in communication as true objects. Nevertheless, all of these elements of discussion cannot be defined absolutely at one instance in a discussion; and this means that in order for there to be a series of true objects in relation, at least one of the elements must remain transcendent to the object of the discussion for the discussion to operate, at least one term must remove or loosen itself from its definitional baring, and that this must be ignored. This situation is ironic, through the question which element? The answer then further emphasizes the situation we are treating here of the initial statement.

Memory, in this respect, is not sufficient, for the term would have to be privy to a true object for the mind to have reference to; this is of course to say that the object to which memory holds is a conventional object. Beyond convention we are incapable of saying anything about memory itself for likewise memory becomes a true object capable of attaining or detaining absolutely true, fixed ideas; this is not the memory of psychology or neuroscience. As to our example: If we were to argue of its color, the fact of the tree being a tree is left alone; the argument proceeds upon if that tree is green. We thus discuss the green-ness in relation to the tree being green, as the tree becomes a given – never minding the green-of-the-tree also being given – an object of faith for the discussion. It is impossible to fully and simultaneously explore and be presented with each object in the discussion. As one object is explored, discussed or considered, that object relies upon the given contextual relation of terms that have been effectively left behind in a transcendental state for knowing; it has been re-presented not as an elaboration or deconstruction of itself, but as an object of different meaningful contextual relations of terms. The overcoming of this transcendency is achieved through faith.

This is to say that it is the conventional orientation upon reality that equivocates the objective quality of terms throughout the discussion to justify progress; conventional reality relies upon true objects. The discussion begins upon common true bases or a state of knowing, and proceeds along lines that build meaning as if such subsequent meanings, stages in the discussion, have now been revealed as reflecting a progressed state of knowing. Only if none of the terms ‘leave’ the conventional reality can such a progress occur. But it has been shown by other philosophers that in the assumption of a progressing communication at least one term in every phrase must occupy a placement of meaning that behaves or acts as a given that is unknown, undefined; every phrase. If one wishes to place God in that transcendent position, as if to say there is where God acts, so be it, but the effect is the same that perpetuates and is perpetuating in that very moment the motion and situation of the discussion as we have come upon it here. God may be said to be of that ‘passive’ or what I have said, given moment or element of the discussion, the object as might be to memory, an effective transcendent element, or, God might be said to be involved with the ‘active’ moment, and thereby acts as an immanent catalyst for the conversation, if you will. Similarly one could treat the passive moment as immanent, as objects are held in place, so to speak, and the transcendent as that which compels, impels or otherwise motivates the discussion as the object towards which the discussion moves. But these moments are not to be compartementalized to their situations prior or posterior to analytical or synthetical consequences. Such an analysis is enacted when the point of contention is misunderstood, and the truth of reality is thus sought in an extrapolating of meaningful repercussions of each moment that, when delineated and compared, is supposed to reveal which is actually true. Such route reifies the conventional method as a means to escape or redirect reality, but ironically, the result reveals the repetition inherent of reality: the mistake inherent to faith in the true object.

Hence I have explained faith and its relationship to God. The term functions for conventional reality through an incomplete investigation that denies the ‘remainder of the term’, which is that which eternally links with it ad infinitum stopped in faith so as to ‘produce’ the remainder, and stakes its reality upon a transcendent aspect, be it called ‘God’ or ‘physical universe’, for the purpose of allowing for and establishing a truth, which is in effect the justification of the individual, subject-object, in the world. And, within the functioning of the phrase in discussion, at least one term must become transcendent in meaning. What is immanent is thus that which brings symmetry in the discussion. Together, faith is relied upon and required for the purposes of the real individual in the world. In other words, when the quality of discursive features are denied of their inherent quality as existent, that is, when the otherwise transcending and immanent operation of terms is mitigated and equivocalized into a negotiated reality, the effect for consciousness is a true object. A true object is that which is displaced from the human being of knowledge to account for or justify the individual in reality; hence, conventional reality, conventional truth, conventional faith, etcetera. The individual thus is accountable to and for whatever true object(s) is situated to justify the individual, i.e. God, the world, the government, my son, my school, my church, community, country, nation, humanity, that song, that signal, that satellite, NASA, science, the universe, my self, my interests, my mind, his or her whims, their motives, her or his dictates, etc. The individual exists for reality through a scheme of meaning that relates true objects; thus, I may be accountable to my boss, but I am accountable for my work, or, I may be accountable to God, and accountable for spreading His message.

Yet, when discourse is included as existent, existence being the only knowable thing that may account for all reality as it is presented, then one can begin to see that such true objects are merely ‘aspects’ or ‘elements’, ‘features’ of existence appearing and or presenting to me in the only manner through which I likewise can exist: I am accountable to my knowledge as existent, and I am accountable for my self as I am constituted in reality through a situation of terms, and vice-versa. Such real true objects are, in effect, thus me in existence. Here then we can describe the conventional world as universal as ethical, for our existent situation does not prescribe an ethical Law, but the only reasonable course a person can take being one who has accepted every possible ramification of knowing through doubting, who accepts his or her existence and thus cannot any longer live for dying in fear, so to speak: That as I move to proclaim a truth of a true object I only do so against another object’s failure, and in so doing I only damage myself and maintain and establish the problems of reality I see around me in the world. But also that I cannot overestimate this knowing due to the same situation; the only possibility that results is an ironic one: that I am that I am, and can only do what I do in existence.

Thereby again duality speaks of the conventional orientation that presents reality as a problem to be overcome.”

The silence that marked the end to the talk deepened in the awareness of table two. A glass was set down, a cough, a fork clinked on a plate, a hiccup, a smile, some looks, a voice from a philosopher “well, that went well…” a relieving reply, a reconciling sit, clearing throats, a sipping, a couple chairs slide back from the table, some napkins on plates, a slurry of a glass filling, the smoke of a cigarette, of a cigar, a pipe, the scent of medicine, and the table conversation churned up the motors of company again. We were all glad you are here.

Overheard from the conventionalists’ table:

Further on Faith; A Reflection.

Im gonna step a little closer to home here, just for a moment, and offer what could be considered a fictional account of life in experience. A word on faith.

“Where I am offended, I have faith.”

I have difficulty with a faith that must be worked for, as if some times I have faith and other times I do not. The fact is, if i have faith, it is because I doubt; I have faith in doubt. This may seem offensive or contradictory to some, but I cannot help but doubt. I cannot hold to some idea of hope. I cannot hold to an idea that seems to be working sometimes but other times does not; rather, I can only hold on so long. The idea of ‘working’ is very problematic to me; if faith only works dependent upon what work I do to get it, then I am doomed, because I will fail every time – because then what about the times, despite myself, i am not working for my faith? But not just that, if i am working for faith but it somehow does not seem to be working, I will take that to mean that I am doing something wrong, that I am not worthy. I thereby end up invalidating myself unto the world and validate myself in the world. I cannot but be justified and be human.

If I have faith and I am working for it, but things do not seem to be going my way and yet I still have faith that indeed I am still worthy, my faith is vindicated but I may not have been involved with what is true, but only what I have made true through my belief that working for something is noble. If I have faith but am not working for it and things seem to be not going my way but yet i still feel worthy, again i am vindicated but I may be avoiding what is true for the sake of what I have made so, like a mistaken type of zen master; what then is this faith? And, If i have a faith that i need not do anything for, why would I even call it faith? Either way, my faith seems then to not have anything to do with whether things are going my way or not, except that my faith concerns a justification of what i am doing. If i am completely removed from my relation with the world against which i have to justify myself, what need have I of faith? Even so, the world in which I behave without the necessity of justification, is sufficient for revealing the truth of the matter of faith. .

The pivotal issue has to do with one who has no faith and does nothing for it, that is, I am not working for my faith for I have no faith. Here then the issue of truth is presented in its fullest. One idea that truth needs no faith is basic to anyone who sees faith as having to do with religion or spirituality, where instead, one opts for a scientific, or perhaps, in a manner of speaking, a ‘practical’ approach to reality, one that needs no faith but is steeped in knowledge. This one works for knowledge. So what we have is a person who works for knowledge, but has no faith, but feels worthy despite whether or not such knowledge is working. In fact such knowledge is or contains or accounts for knowledge that works and knowledge that does not work. Here is one who is justified in his work despite the results of that work, and he thereby completes all of the possibilities of faith. Whether or not he calls his work a work of faith makes no difference except in that he would deny that his work is based in faith, for if it did not matter to him whether he was in faith or not, or working for it or not, then it would be equally valid to say that he indeed had or has faith. When he denies that he is working in faith, then he is exactly without faith but is working for something else, and in this a state of denial he is precisely having faith in the fact that he has no faith. He has not doubted, so his faith is in that he justifies himself in the terms of his doing, for if he was doing nothing he would have to justify it or he would not be worthy and his faith that is not faith would fail, since he had no faith by which to support his worth; his situation then is that he had no faith, was not working for it, and was not worthy. Hence, the truth that he was working for despite whether it worked or not would be found not true, but only true in so much as his working for it was allowing it to be so. This one would not see that indeed his effort is ironic, that in his not working, and so not being justified or worthy of the world, his effort was exactly one of faith.

*

To have faith in a goodness that permeates the bad spots of life, as if there is a transcendent good purpose, or proposer, of which I can only know a piece, an immanent piece, selects my person away from what may be true, into the world, which is to say, into reality; such a faith removes me from a relationship with the world where I am intimate with the truth, and leaves me in a relation of distance and denial, of fear and frustration, a potential that is grounded in hope. I become invested in a person that is mythological, one who misses the truth of the world for the glamour of heaven, which is exactly missing the adventure of existence for the beauty of fantasy. In this fantasy, the world and I are at odds of a natural course – this course, of course, needs an interlocutor, a fantastic redeemer, one who restores worth and relieves hope with the hoped-for.

I can come to this notion only through experience, not reality. If i see my experience is of, or gained from or through reality, then i can only hope that my experience is faithful. Through a faith that is based in hoping, because of my wanting to have faith, I inevitably find that my faith is actually a term I use to refer to a relation with my object of faith. I can say it is God, or a god, or spirit or daemon, the universe, or whatever, but I have some sort of interaction with the world where an element of faith is involved, where the goods and the bads are tempered with a certain kind of reflection, one that has me in reaction to things of the world. What have I done wrong? What have I done right? How can I go about things differently or what did I do so I can repeat it? What lesson have I learned? How can I apply what I have learned to present and future circumstances? As many of these questions are not answered satisfactorily, or such answers again yield still the same queries from oneself, i come to a crossroads and divide myself into experience: I thereby come upon transcendence and immanence localized in the meaning of an unrecognized world of doubt that appears as an object of faith.

So I begin to recede…

So it was, my faith was exactly not faith, but in that i had no faith i only had faith – yet i doubted this. A curious thing happened after a while of living life this way; I began to reflect upon my reflecting, for i could not have such considerations as to appraising the moment toward what i should do next unless there was some thing that aroused or caused such consideration, which is to say, the world, that is, unless i wanted to make the the world ‘happy’: In effect, i found myself, consciously, in a motion toward elements that were not me.

*

If this first reflection is exactly self-conscious, where my motivations and aspirations, strategies and tactics were geared toward establishing myself in the world, my second reflection is upon the elements by which I am developing such self-consciousness upon or towards; the reason I have such thoughts and behavior is exactly because I am a reflection of the world. The third reflection sees that the world is no longer a stage that I arrange and upon which I assert my play because I now am involved withthe world.

*

The second reflection emerged because I began to see that my conscious reflection really only occurred when things were not going the way I wanted them to. If things were good, I figured I was doing right, or rather, correctly, like they were supposed to, and my reflection only amounted to a “that was great” kind of feeling, if there was any thought upon it; my ideas concurred with a righteous presentation. I didn’t correct myself at these times, it seemed to come naturally. The only reflection i had upon such moments was that everything thing was ok, and from there I proceeded outward, away from reflection. What I had learned must be being put to good use; what I had learned was being put into practice; things were good. Only when things were not going good would I consider what I may not be doing right, and I would attempt to find out what was wrong. It could have been just being in the situation to begin with, or it could actually be something I did wrong; it could have been merely that ‘shit happens’. Basically, though, if it was good, I was good, but if it was bad, I tried to find out what it was so to reestablish it being good. Life was always toward everything being ok; i never tried to make things bad.

But the bad times would come again. The funny thing is, It never occurred to me that the position from which i drew my assessments might be incorrect, and it took a long time to see that regardless of what I was doing, despite all the mental and physical effort I made towards having a good life and being happy, bad times always came. The blind spot of my situation brought me to dwell in this situation such that i began to forebode of the good, to prepare for the bad to come and the manner by which I attempted to counter these grey times was at best a defensive attitude of indifference, tempered with a renewed fortitude. For a bit, the callus allowed me to have an identity.

Some would say “that’s just life”. Yet, still we endeavor for the good and this, in its most simplistic operation, is the basis of faith.

In so much as reflection is invested in life upon the good and the bad moments, I was in a relationship with life; for it seemed there was something else at work beyond my best efforts to harness it, something always fouled it up. This thing that fouled it up most of the time was the world, but still I was involved, and that made it personal. Here I was, doing my best. The feelings and thoughts around the times when everything seemed good and was going my way was exactly that I was correspondent with the world, which is to say, we were getting along. Whatever the particular aspects that I encountered of the world, these aspects agreed with me in the sense that I was being fulfilled. In so much as they didn’t agree with me, but yet my life was good, the effect was still that I was doing good, the world was ‘functioning’ for my benefit, on my behalf, so to speak, so i could ‘learn’. The relationship was good. Yet, I could not hang on to a faith that would disappear into hope when things were bad, for my faith did not thus disappear, i merely denied it. I would get angry and spiteful at the world and things in or of the world, but it remained; good or bad, the world remained intact for whatever it was doing. It was this realization, this rejection of pitiful insecurity disguised as strength, that the good and the bad was in fact based in a true and necessary relation, not a contingent relation, with the world that then allowed me to come to a knowledge of the situation I was in; this was the beginning of the third reflection.

When things went bad, I had to make an effort back towards life being ok and this effort had to do with my caring for the world, the world that gave me that with which i struggle. It could only be that the world and i were involved that i struggled. I could not longer deny in peace. The relationship did not end, now, in fact, i drew upon it, intuited from it what was off, what angles I could take, gleaned from it the overt and covert elements of the situation: i looked upon – indeed, engaged – the world for the information by which to bring a solution to the problem because it was though the world was working against with me despite myself. Never was there a time where I could dismiss myself from the world, in fact, so much as I may have had faith, I could not help but to consider the events of my life with respect to this other aspect of my experience that I could not control but nevertheless offered to me what i could control, which was really only that these things i could not control were informing me of what i could control because they were in fact things I could not control because they were presented to me as such, ‘those things I could control’. My faith waned as the truth began to assert itself as knowledge. The things I would do to correct the situations became acts of reconciliation or amends, instead of methods and coercements. Eventually I began to see the world not as an object upon which I reflect, but a reflection of the object I asserted when I reflected self-consciously upon the world. This second reflection came back to me, interacted with me, as a world not a stoic and inanimate void of substance concept, but as an emotional and conscious aspect of self, and this was the fourth reflection, where I come present.

*

The fiction above tells a story of the situation of reality. Reality occurs in the first reflection. The truth of existence begins, but is not always completed subsequently, through the second reflection. Reality occurs through the individual in denial of his relationship with the world. The first as it may move to the second has to do with separation, of an assertion of one upon the other, of control over impotence, of exception, of denial, of alienation, of identity: of the philosophy of the One true universe. The movement through and beyond the second has to do with acceptance, praxis and agency, as these are the beginnings to the motion that completes in the fourth reflection.

“Education is the practice of freedom”; where one ceases to doubt for the sake of individual identity, one has proclaimed his complicity in the game of oppression and staked the world against his faith.
‘Faith makes true’ is the operational maxim; for convention it is the basis of belief and the foundation of reality; for the ironic it is the process that leaves itself once the truth has become apparent. Instead of ‘making true’, faith becomes knowledge, such that what was faith then becomes a kind of willed ignorance, and the truth becomes that which accounts for it.