Tag Archives: existence

The Stoned Ape.

The Rational Animal.

“The philosophical process could be described as a human being noticing and then transcending her animal condition of the moment. It is thus the process of coming to the full rationality of the human animal for the time, and describing it. The description is thus the symbolic culmination of irony, at once only knowing of the pure knowledge of her animal rationale but then also describing it to a full systematic which is then viewed to be speaking about something that is the furthest point that rationality has stepped from her animality. ”

The Philosophical Hack.

Problematizing Whiteness; Correlation and the Two Routes.

In my very early and preliminary reflections on whiteness and being white it seems obvious to me that two issues are present in the philosophical reckoning.

1) The theoretical postmodern maxim of discursive reality.


2) The fact that no human Being is actually white. At best, even an albino is not truly white.

If there is a reduction or a larger meaning between these two aspects then it must fall into one of those categories. While it is not properly truthful to say that they are mutually exclusive, it is, so far, sensible to see that any argument that would be made would have to get its footing in one of these choices, ie either the argument is making a point about discursive reality and the manifestation of power, or, it is not making an argument.

Not making an argument? How can that be? You say.

There is no tension. Rather, the tension is come upon when both statements are understood within a methodological axiom where they occur in equal stature, both in the same existential space to be or as a question, both equally allowable and accessible to questioning. For example, each term of both phrases can be looked into to find its specific meaning, and at each step of inquiry, the results themselves are allowed to be questioned. This is usually what is meant by philosophy; this standard method has brought about a historical-traditional liturgy of reductionary theory and philosophical systems put forth by various free thinking and inspired people.

Yet when there is no tension, then the statements are seen to be describing what is obvious: 1) the post modern condition has to do with the organization of discursive structures and the corresponding belief that these structures reflect essences and or basic and operative realities ; 2) no living human being has ever been truly the colour white.

The sensible question should be what is the purpose of asking into these statements. For (1), the method is implicit: In bringing out Postmodern there is a invitation into discussing and debating what the statement means and whether it is true. (2) is not implicit; questioning into this statement would be more like a philosophical exercise , yet one that would seem to point out how the philosophical method can sometimes be taken too far, or be used for merely pondering and wondering; like the speculation that our universe could be but a speck of dust under the fingernail of a inconceivably large giant creature.

But again, the distinction of these into categories like I easily explained above, has shown us how argument falls into one of the categories themselves: Either it is relative or it is true; the discussion that takes place in the category that contains all humans, within the common category of human mental ability, has therefore already fallen into the meaning of the first statement, which, due to this seemingly automatic motion, can be come to be seen as a kind of religious dogma. It can be understood as areligious dogma because the plain fact of the two statements have already been tested. We have already found out that they are true beyond what argumentative proposals might confront them: The arguments necessarily fall back into the meaning of those statements unless we adhere to a special condition of the first statement, a condition that we automatically understand as obvious, a meaning that usurps as it calls all meaning to itself to thereby negate any other possibility situation. Hence we have located and identified a true aspect about the human being, and have begun along a different road in the effort to discover what the human being is. The question that informs this finding is “why are we still arguing whether or not the results are true when the same result has arisen through multiple testings of the same experiment?” This is how Philosophy retains its religious privilege of failing to become a science: Such a privilege is imposed as it is asserted. Religion allows for the human being to be infinitely creative in avoiding its determination and thus control — especially once it has established its power to control.


What I mean by this is the same or very similar to what we mean when we point to the near impossibility of getting outside or beyond capitalist ideology. Discourse is understood as communication of identity, which always involves a processual excess (transcendence) which when communicated “properly”is called progress (communion), and capitalism is the exploitation of this excess, again progress in evidence (“God’s Plan”). Because at this point, this moment in which this post for example is being read, anyone that has any higher sort of education at all will very soon come upon the reality that the argument about there being no skin colour that is naturally actually white in colour is an assertion of a discursive reality; shortly there after with a little bit of reflective thought people will inevitably stumble upon the fact that there is a sort of power that is being implemented in the use of the word “white” to describe human groups, social and cultural and economic positions and systems, in various sectors and for various reasons.

And yet there is indeed a certain factual basis that tells us in an obvious fashion that there is no human being that is white in colour. The next statement that would depart from relative discursive realities is the one that would say that the fact of there being no actual white person is true beyond what the discourse might reroute into a discursive reality, that is, to be argued and negotiated.

The involvement with the philosophical arguments around this issue thus becomes the issue, the issue that falls outside of a certain self-evident scheme of ideas.

But not everything is of ideas, you say.

The point then, the usual point, is that there is no argument to be made about whether or not being white is a discursive reality: The argument to be made must have to do with power relations and so is automatically reflective of this real situation of postmodern multivocal realities. In other words, there is no argument that can be made in the ethical region of common humanity that can argue that arguments about the problemitzation of whiteness should not be discussed; Even as we might be able to describe a situation where the discussion about race, power, and privilege becomes a secondary concern, we cannot, in good faith, dismiss the discussion as merely some sort of Idealistic fashion.

The only real way to get back to the things themselves is thus to create or establish or, even more, recognize that there is a partition that must occur. Some will cry “foul”, though, seeing this partition as another means to install a justification for segregation. But such a reaction is not comprehending the issue, nor the statement. Integral to this partition must be the fact that there are not separate species of human beings (we know that race is not a description of genetic fact), that ultimately whiteness as an indication of a particular group of people as well as a particular power structure of systems which is ultimately an ideology, and that this ideology a particular type of scheme of ideas that is been placed there necessarily. Nevertheless, this necessity is uncomfortable and tends to rely upon arguments that only make sense unto the ideology they support. Hence if we are to get around the contradiction that arises of the bare fact and the ethics that sees the necessity as incorrect, then we need to be able to theorize about the nature of Being that gets outside what necessarily has been given us for such Being. We find the placement of the postmodern as a rejection of this necessity. The problematization of whiteness is a pushback of ideas based in a universal ideal of proper human treatment. The idea struggles with itself.

We then must acknowledge that we are not allowed to acknowledge that we are dealing only with ideas: ethics demands that we are dealing with something that arises outside of discourse. And this is because of the insistence and near impossibility of getting outside what is present of discourse and it’s meaning, as an identity in itself. We must adhere to what is ethical to the common idea of humanity and no longer argue about what is real and what is Ideal, or what is actual compared to what is merely an idea. All such arguments are hopelessly caught in what philosophers Have termed lately “correlational”.

The very idea that we can formulate some sort of discourse that is able to get beyond what is correlational is itself based in a real idea founded in what is correlational, which is to say, discursive. The philosophical efforts that attempt to give to us some sort of argument to get us outside the correlational cycle is then, ultimately, based in the ideal that discourse is capable of identifying another way of getting to some actual situation of reality, an actual discourse that will lead, through its linking, to what is outside of discourse. Hence the continuation of the postmodern idea: correlation.

I’m not sure how many more ways I need to say it: If the problem is not understood by now then we have just realized an actual situation that occurs outside of what is correlational.

We’ll let that sit in a minute….


Once this situation has taken hold, and is no longer an effort of building on quicksand, then we can begin to understand why identity has become the valued thing that founds real ability of human interaction with the world. We have to admit that what is real, while a discursive formulation, functions more akin to a religious institution on one hand, and a thing in-itself to notice and have on the other to thereby be able to use and discuss without worrying about whether what is correlational will suck it back into relativity and conventional philosophical speculation.

This means that we are able then to problematize whiteness without asserting or attempting to impose again a hierarchical racist structure. The issue will level out to become an issue of the human being because of the religious effect of a common humanity.


Everywhere is War…

Anslem’s Argument for the Proof of the Existence of God, the Disruption of Time, and the Categorization of Philosophical Behavior.

I seem to have found a significance for Anslem’s proof. It may be that it is not significance for whether God might exist, but, as I have said, significance for how I present ideas.

We will start with the rendition from Princeton’s site. I think they have a pretty good rendition there.

Without all the strict logical hoopla, I think the simple way to put Anslem’s idea is that God exists because we can think of It.

The significance of this notion appears to disrupt what we generally consider of time, it’s ‘natural and directional’ progress.

The Princeton site says that Anslem was addressing a particular issue that, actually, we still find totday in atheism. Basically, Anslem is confronting two ideas:

1.He understands the claim that God exists.
2.He does not believe that God exists.

Now, I have done only the most preliminary research into Anslem and his ideas. I am just taking the very popular simple version, and considering these two situations. There is no ‘hidden’; whatever Anslem’s results most probably are quite apparent, and the ones that are not – well, what point am I trying to make here? I have already said in my earlier post that there is no logical argument that sways me in any direction or causes me to believe something I didn’t before. So any extension of argument must be involving something else; perhaps I am attempting to get at what this something could be.

I think the main point Anslem makes is that, as Princeton puts it, this is an inherently unstable condition of being. What we might call the ‘founding essence’ can be understood to be responsible for this instability. Somewhat similar to a ‘thing-in-itself’, this founding essence would be a kind of gravity well, if you will, of mental activity. The instability arises because of the knowledge (the known-ness) of what something is able to be. The question arises: How can I know what something is if it doesn’t exist? The basic assumption in this question, what philosophers tend to lump into the category called ontology, is that existence is, that there is no need to discern what existence is because to argue for or against the being of existence does nothing to displace the argument except as much as it merely denies existence. The point of saying something exists thus should equate with what can be known, and so the instability of the situation is found in the human ability to choose on whether what exists is actually true. In this case, though, Anslem is dealing with the basis of all that exists as a category, namely, God; God, in this sense, as we cannot but apply our modern sense to consideration of it, is merely the name of the category that contains all that can exist as an active element, the element by which all else can be said to be. The extension in time to Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ can be understood as a factual description of this situation, and thus, rather than an opening up unto Being, ironically as a closing of Being unto itself and thus a factual description of what human beings do: The identification of the in-itself of human Being. More on that elsewhere.

The resolution that Anslem posits of this unstable situation occurs because of the foundational nature of the knowledge itself. In this Medieval Christian context (which I argue is still a modern context), the resolution (the clarity, the definition) that must be referred to must be understood in a context not so much of mind, but of the essential God-inundated mind that is able to uphold and entertain knowledge, which for our context might be the mind that exists. In short, the condition of knowledge is/was such that all things referred or otherwise are established in existence due to an absolute situation, a situation whereby all things gain their status in the universe, what we usually index by the idea of an absolute ethics, in a manner of speaking. In this condition it thus appears that a reflective mind will naturally be drawn into the the contradiction involved in making a choice as to the (true or false) existence of something that (already) exists (in essence), and will therefore correct (or become the correction) the instability by virtue of their own existence (in the absolute universe, or the universe that is indexed by absolution). The question of whether something actually, or physically, biologically exists, such as a race of human beings that live in the midieval antipodes, e2c1fd0e8fc468d9d55d018231578e47

unicorns, dragons, spirits, extraterrestrial aliens, etcetera, has no baring upon existence because of the absolute reference and access of mind to God (existence). What can be incorrect of knowledge as to what is true of existence finds its resolution in the posited (assumed) basis of existence. 

The Medieval as well as Modern mind is consistent in this ideal of progressive understanding of the universe. What is significant of this orientation upon progress is the mind’s innate access to what is true of the universe with reference to an assumed basis of that truth, what we can say is an assumption of stability unto which all knowledge will inevitably resolve; despite whether we posit that there is no actual resolution or that everything is flux, or whatever conditional conditions we define, the result of any positing is always toward ends, toward a resolution. Even if we say that the universe and the knowledge of that universe is completely and utterly contingent, this contingency must be absolute; hence we say that the effect of such terms within any scheme of knowledge or organization of definitions is what we can call a “founding term”. 


Oddly enough, we are able to find purchase into understanding what human beings do by looking at what philosophy does. Not, as Graham Harman might have it, that everything we might do automatically falls into a subjective appropriation of semantics that defies our attempt to locate such philosophical behavior. Rather, at some point we should be able to locate a mark by which we are able to be dismissed from this correlational philosophy that wants to avoid any critical gaze upon its method.

Once we find this mark (which I do not go into here), we can extend this situation (of existence and deferment) to apply to everything that might exist: Within this situation, a person can understand and then decide upon it. There is no thing that escapes this formula, and Anslem is making an accusation about it: It is unstable, and it will eventually resolve itself to the conclusion that the thing in question exists, in his Medieval case, God, and in our Modern case, perhaps, the object of empirical physics.

The point he relies upon is the idea that God is the greatest being or thing that can exist, for, so long as we can conceive of something greater, then that is not God. Similarly, we can use this conversely and say that because we can conceive of ‘that which nothing is greater’, this greatest thing exists as a foundational ontological ground of Modern effort as well: The ‘greatest’ thing is the most substantial. 


What interests me is that this simple notice occurred late in the 11th century. Here, already, is a situation made notice that no one noticed until very recently, like 10-20 years ago with the philosophers such as Alain Badou, Francois Laruelle, an then for the younger folks (of the time), of the Speculative Realist Conference. In particular, the idea is that there may be something that exists outside of our knowledge (not necessarily our ability to know), and as for in this situation, that which is greater than the greatest thing we can know. This category has brought modern philosophy (again) to consider things like voidnothingnesschaos and such things, and the corresponding ideal that whatever works to create identity is all good. But if we are honest, we might be able to glimpse the same ruminations of Scholasticism (St. Anslem is said to be one of the founders of the Medieval Scholasticism), occurring in our Modern philosophies, but under different terms. Indeed; I argue (along with Jean-Francois Lyotard apparently) elsewhere that Postmodern scholarship is really a religious apology for Modernity.

In this post I confront the veracity of some of our current philosophical modes and arguments by asking what seems to me to be a most obvious and significant question, a similar question that Graham Harman asks of Heidegger’s “tools“: Why did no-one  notice what Anslem had opened up until now, some 1000 years later? We are able to understand Anslem’s argument to this day; no one proposes that the thinkers 1000 years ago were any less astute than our thinkers today. Why is it only now that we are addressing the possibility of what might be ‘beyond’ or ‘at root but not part of’ (Badou’s consideration of set theory) knowledge? And then we might even ask more confounding question if we find that philosophers during the interim of the thousand years also considered the same question over and over. 

I submit for consideration that we have gotten not very far in philosophy. We might begin to understand the vastness of time and how slowly and incrementally human beings, as a group, accomplish knowledge, and how it is much more like a science than philosophers are capable of arguing. Indeed, if we think into this situation, we can then find often the situation that we have already come across elsewhere; namely, that on one hand philosophy is the way we situate the conditions of our times, how we work out logistical problems of being in a semantic world, and on the other, merely reflections of people (the authors) in-themselves. But if this is all philosophy does and is doing, then we also might see that we are actually merely re-contextualizing not what what has already been contextualized (as thus a re-contextualization), but in actually what we’ve already done, making the same arguments over and over but under different terms. We are reminded of Shakespeare’s “a rose by any other word…“.

Upon this conclusion, we are careful to not move too fast as we might then jump to the conclusion that such an idea should negate the ontological status of what I am calling conventional philosophy, as though such a proposal should then move beyond what we have and what we get through philosophical method. This is not the case. It seems near ridiculousness to figure that we can commandeer reality by a stroke of the pen (or a keystroke) except that we might be involved in such philosophical endorsement; we should then ask how is it that am I to get beyond it merely saying something in a particular manner? No. We cannot ‘turn’ the truth of the matter; we have but to see the power that is invested in the leviathan of religious interests, of maintaining a particular formation and method to know that, as the philosophers have argued, I cannot escape it unless I wish to perform some magic, perhaps some discursive slight of hand. We should ask if we can be done with all this trickery of the ontological police. Then, all we have to do is speak of facts instead of the essential Being of things, to speak teleologically instead of ontologically. We can argue the conditional nature of real essence for the rest of eternity and never get anywhere further than circling back and forth away from and back into Medieval type scholarship. And thats fine, and thats the point: This is the factual nature of reality, the impossible aspect of what we have to deal with in reality. Of course there will be those who will argue that what the philosophers are doing now days is not Scholasticism and who will produce all sorts of argumentative and ultimately circumstantial evidence to support their claim. Great! Perfect! Does this sway me to believe something that I don’t already know?  The proper response, in this case then, is that this is not a proposal toward any popular or social change, and in fact it has little to do with how political ideology might be at any moment; we can of course use it for such purposes (identifying our moment from the past conditional moments of history, for example, etcetera…), thats what Badiou and Zizek tell us…

We are not so much learning anything new as much as we are justifying our limited manner of Being in the world, and this is an end in itself that should be heeded but not as a call for change, as though we can somehow transcend what we are — we can only transcend was we identify with as political and ideological subjects. Rather, we should see this situation as a mark of what is true of being human, as a mark of significance, which is to say, a mark of fact. So another of my indictments of philosophy: Despite all the great discursive gymnastics and the twistings of subtle argumentative semantic juxtapositions, philosophy works to avoid having to look at itself as a human behavior. Conventional philosophy refuses to allow itself to be seen as an indicator of behavior, perpetually argues itself as an exceptional incarnation of divine intuition and inspiration, a blank spot of Being, and then uses this fact as a means to absorb all activity under its purview back into the real political and ideological limit — to say that this is all there is. I see the constant and basically automatic referral of all things ‘thought’ back into this kind of philosophical pond is self defeating to the effort of progress, even as progress itself is routed back into this (touted) ‘speculative’, or ‘realist’, or  ‘post-post-modern’ maxim. It is no wonder outside of capitalism is so difficult to think!

As Amoreinblog has argued somewhere, perhaps anthropology is the way out of this philosophical conundrum; despite all the philosophical misappropriations of ideas involved with the AIME (An Investigation into Modes of Existence) project of Bruno Latour (even by Latour himself, lol), his book can be read as an argument for the need to open up a space (perhaps, in his terms, create a pass) whereby we can avoid this modern philosophical whirlpool that we have been involved with for at least 1000 years. It seems that only now, with Postmodernism, but as of late Post-postmodnerism (must we find a Post-Post-Postmodernism also?) do we really get an idea, but also an actual way to understand and realize what human beings are doing.


Time itself may be the issue that is involved with Modernity invading as it usurps all discourse into its machinery. The issue that opens up after Postmodernism (but is not itself Postmodern scholarship) is the break from Enlightenment Ontology. So it may not be so much that we have to philosophically get out of this temporal mode — that kind of move would be philosophy attempting to avoid itself through arguing itself out of itself, redundantly, establishing as it maintains reality for everyone. It may be as simple as admitting that there is no escaping the philosophical limit, and realizing a kind of anti-Husserlian manner: Of finding the independent object in the bare fact that we know that there is an independent object, and perhaps that we need not speculate about how it can be so in order for it to be so. Of course we can discuss how it can be so…and indeed we will, but that does not mean that we cannot stay where we are at and let the pagan-Christian rollercoaster come around again and again.

Maybe we need to make a clean break.

Do You Love Me: Music Philosophical Theory. 

I’m beginning with a typical theme of this music theory, this philosophy of music, with Nick Cave and the bad seeds song

Do You Love Me, part 1“.

Beginning in this way we notice all the facets involved of many philosophers. The first that comes to mind is Alain Badiou and the idea that the philosopher is concerned with one thing. Theodor Adorno’s Negative dialectics come to mind also. Soren Kierkegaard and his teleological suspension of ethical and his piece on Don Giovanni, as well as most of his books. Derrida also comes to mind, in particular the book I’m reading now, “Of Spirit”. And at that even Heidegger’s Dasien. We might even also see that it is not difficult to consider some of the Speculative Realists and Graham Harman’s object ontology. In fact there is a whole library of western philosophers’ ideas that can be applied to just this one song in a way to where the application removes the possibility of doubt that there may be a linkage of philosophy to art.

I have asked myself why do we find philosophers referring to art in their philosophy? We have Heidegger involved with Friedrich Hölderlin; Kierkegarrd considers Mozart; Quentin Meillassoux takes apart Stephane Mallarme; Harman got into H.P. Lovecraft; there are plenty others. But what strikes me is that noone (no one? That I have noticed, anyways; I could be very wrong (can someone help me out??)) has been considering art that is happening at the time of the philosophy. What I mean is, it appears to me that all these philosophers only consider artists of their (relative) past. Why are all these philosophers bringing past forms into relevancy of our time? Are there no current and living artists that may represent the significance that seems to only occur in old dead artists?

Now, as I said in the other post; I am am not talking about some cultural philosophical analysis the likes to reify themes of social justice or ideological evangelism of recursive ontologies. Slovaj Zizek is great in this regard; his is ideological recursively in its most immediate incarnation; his is the mark of the closed distance, he is the example of his own ‘filling’ of his own parallax gap. We could write a whole book on what is occurring with Zizek, but then by then end of it, never get further than anything Zizek has already said himself; suffice it to say that when we begin to understand my work, let alone his work, then we might also begin to have a baring upon what is occurring for a number of philosophers, if not philosophy itself in general. This brings to mind certain authors, and as well (again) the issue I treat most everywhere in my work: I am not sure we need to plaster over an issue with thick, viscous jargon and dense conceptual acrobatics in order to find out what is occurring. Though an idea might be entertaining in its conceptual gymnastics and the dexterity and or flexibility of thought that is required to understand them might be fun to consider and talk about (like a rollercoaster), often enough it is the assumption of depth in what appears as complex that amounts to true nonsense and really gets us nowhere besides spinning in a theoretical circus. When we begin, as well as when we are proceeding, we should always keep in mind the question as to if we are actually contributing to something significant or if we are merely creating self-aggrandizing conceptual pleasentries for social mobility circles. Are we getting anywhere or are we risking nothing.

Blah; enough of my proselytizing. Back to the point.

When we speak of a ‘first’ philosophy, we must keep in mind the meaning that I suggested in my post “Being Decay”, and see that we have settled in the land of what has been typically called ‘Continental’ philosophy, but likewise that arena from which we find a further divergence, that is, in so much a what is ‘continental’ perhaps has become merely another conventional philosophy; whatever its significance was, we might be able to notice that the destitution of spirit (see my earlier notes on Derrida’s book) marks a collapse of continental arena; more precisely, the move of what could be the point of the continental designation is into what is ‘destitution’, or of ‘desolation’. It is this desolation that the Postmoderns mark by their attempt to ‘pull it back’ from the nothingness, the void that it fell into. This is the irony of the post-Postmoderns such as Laruelle and Badiou, as well as Zizek. This is to say that the idea of democratic multi-vocality is itself a voice of the destitute spirit.

Our concern is that never (it seems) do or are modern philosophers considering an art that is actively present, meaning here, by contrast and therefore the spirit that is indeed destitute, that spirit that is indeed living on desolation row, instead of attempting to deny the fact of its existence. The reason why philosophy, as a philosophy that concerns ‘spirit’ ((with or without parentheses)) of any sort, is destitute is because the spirit by which it proposes to be concerned in indeed lacking. We might then reconsider what I mean when I say that conventional philosophy deals with everything from a distance, but proposes it within a condition of intimacy and why I say that what is theoretical occurs at a distance, but further that this is not always the case, but is only the case in a particular condition of Being, i.e. that ‘spirit’ of Being-there that is destitute of spirit in as much as it exists through a denial of this situation. We shall elaborate on this facet later.

To wit; Nick Cave is still alive and playing concerts! But we will also notice that his situation evidences the transition (the conversion? Harman?) that had already occurred, what we notice as Postmodern, which is an apology for Modern, that still had a plausible purchase upon authenticity in its attempt to rescue the the wayward spirit, and the post-Postmodern, which is an apology for the Postmodern not being able to rescue it. In other words, we find that the German Idealists (in a very general, as well as very specific sense, as well as the French and others) ironically were correct about somethings while being entirely incorrect of those same things. We begin to understand what Kant was talking about, what he was addressing, and we see how the closing of the distance that appeared in the Modern found its closure now in the explanation wherein the destitution of spirit marks, but not in some sort of anti-spiritual atheist biological evolutionist continuance of ‘Being there’ ontology, but rather exactly in the Being-there having no substance, but entirely consituted in material; what we view as historical does indeed function within a presumption of the material of substance. Yet we find the closing marks that point of divergence because the closing that is the meaningful nothingness, the coming upon the nihilistic universe, did not end anything. We find, inevitably, if we can be honest, that it is not that somehow ‘nothing’ is at the base of all things, but indeed, that the rational route by which it founds substance in nothing is the destitute spirit, but further, that the only manner, the only possibility through which such destitution can be noticed is by the spirit that is not destitute, which is to say now, not real.

We begin to get the picture that philosophers sit in their library chair and ponder deep and significant elements of philosophical lore through long hours of reading and study of other literary folk who (it seems) must be dead. We cannot but ask: What risk was wagered? If it was anything less than death then we have to question just what was come upon by such novel considerations. Strangely enough, Heidegger can be seen in the attempt to buck the trend of ‘academic safety in distance’ in as much as he does indeed talk about “the work of art”. I admit, though, that I myself do not go out an look for philosophy-art, but somehow I feel that there should be at least some who are engaging philosophy and art that are contemporaneous with one another. Here is one artist/blogger I have come across. The impression I get from much of our current (state of conventional) philosophy is that same age-old image of the scholar who never encounters anything real (dangerous), while proposing great treaties on the nature of reality; they surround themselves with the ideological, epistemological, ontological, walls built of discourse, isolation, but painted with the veneer of life of the Everyone, of the masses, the common human being, of social commentary. But this is what the academic institution is for, what it does, and why it does: It supports the real ideological paradigm and supplies the rationale for why it is supplying the only route for what can possibly be true. We the call this type of philosophy conventional, but likewise we call it, unapologetically, real.

But what of the actual experience of life? What of the engagement with all things legal and illegal outside the safety of the theoretical world? Here we have a distinct possibility that brought about the Continental-Analytic distinction, what it used to mean. Heidegger, for all his insecurity posed as confidence, at least took a stand, however questionable it may have been. We have to ask as we read, for example, “Being and Time”, what the fk is he talking about? This has got to be the question that leads us into the Continental tradition, and the same one as well that finds it having dissolved in its attempt to be real. This is Heidegger’s (WW2) mistake, as well as all those German idealists; the irony of Heidegger is the truth of the falsity, the forensic analysis of ‘spirit’ that does not understand that its method is destructive; the ‘question’ is the imperative of historical manifestation, which is at once the move toward this ‘spirit/world Being-there’ that is destroyed upon its implementation (what struggle are we talking about here?). It does a disservice to the meaning of them to attempt to bring their ideas into our reality as if it still has relevance as a living philosophy. Even then it was already dead; it just had to come to a re-cognition; that this was indeed the case.

When we begin to see that this closure is not one upon some ‘universal’ or ‘common human’ spirit, then we can begin to see that what has been theorized within a horizon of a closing of distance, of the ‘shrinking’ of the distance between theory and its object, has reached its apogee in the present, now, and we can start to understand what I might mean by a theory of Rock and Roll, or a philosophy of Rock, or even music theory.

A sort of side note: We must have compassion and a certain sympathy, indeed an empathy, for Badou, when, as of late I am told, he appears to have come upon ‘love and happiness’ after a life-long philosophical journey. For it is possible to view him, his work and perhaps his history, as a result of being caught in the ‘mistake’ of the academy, of finding his theory through a closing distance. Indeed; what else could Badou mean but that we, as philosophers, are concerned with one thing? And what else could Hegel have meant by his voluminous statement?

With all this in mind, consider the lyrics to part 1 of “Do You Love Me”:

“Do You Love Me?”

I found her on a night of fire and noise
Wild bells rang in a wild sky
I knew from that moment on
I’d love her till the day that I died
And I kissed away a thousand tears
My lady of the Various Sorrows
Some begged, some borrowed, some stolen
Some kept safe for tomorrow
On an endless night, silver star spangled
The bells from the chapel went jingle-jangle
She was given to me to put things right
And I stacked all my accomplishments beside her
Still I seemed so obselete and small
I found God and all His devils insider her
In my bed she cast the blizzard out
A mock sun blazed upon her head
So completely filled with light she was
Her shadow fanged and hairy and mad
Our love-lines grew hopelessly tangled
And the bells from the chapel went jingle-jangle
She had a heartful of love and devotion
She had a mindful of tyranny and terror
Well, I try, I do, I really try
But I just err, baby, I do, I error
So come and find me, my darling one
I’m down to the grounds, the very dregs
Ah, here she comes, blocking the sun
Blood running down the inside of her legs
The moon in the sky is battered and mangled
And the bells from the chapel go jingle-jangle
All things move toward their end
I knew before I met her that I would lose her
I swear I made every effort to be good to her
I swear I made every effort not to abuse her
Crazy bracelets on her wrists and her ankles
And the bells from the chapel went jingle-jangle

And then, once we see this announcement, this proclamation of the situation in the present, of the present already occurred philosophically, later we find Nick speaking in more certain terms of the spirit in its very destitution, yet within a longing, such that the recourse of such spirit is to prostitute itself, for that is all the substance it has left, all the value it holds in its destitution. In this we caution against holding identities apart to say “this” instead of “that”, that ‘this’ interpretation is actually more real that ‘that’ one; of course, what is real determines is own real-truth, but as it is already determined in its offense, in its resentment (do I hear Nietzsche?). In desperation, people cry out for more institutional definition, so in the destitution of spirit do people look more and call out for what is ‘more real’; hence the recent popularity of (what we might call) the “New Realism” (including Speculative Realism).


Do You Love Me, part2

“Do You Love Me? (Part 2)”

Onward! And Onward! And Onward I go
Where no man before could be bothered to go
Till the soles of my shoes are shot full of holes
And it’s all downhill with a bullet
This ramblin’ and rovin’ has taken its course
I’m grazing with the dinosaurs and the dear old horses
And the city streets crack and a great hole forces
Me down with my soapbox, my pulpit
The the theatre ceiling is silver star-spangled
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle
There’s a man in the theatre with girlish eyes
Who’s holding my childhood to ransom
On the screen there’s a death, there’s a rustle of cloth
And a sickly voice calling me handsome
There’s a man in the theatre with sly girlish eyes
On the screen there’s an ape, a gorilla
There’s a groan, there’s a cough, there’s a rustle of cloth
And a voice that stinks of death and vanilla
This is a secret, mauled and mangled
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle
The walls of the ceiling are painted in blood
The lights go down, the red curtains come apart
The room is full of smoke and dialogue I know by heart
And the coins in my pocket jingle-jangle
As the great screen crackled and popped
The clock of my boyhood was wound down and stopped
And my handsome little body oddly propped
And my trousers right down to my ankles
Yes, it’s onward! And upward!
And I’m off to find love
Do you love me? If you do, I’m thankful
This city is an ogre squatting by the river
It gives life but it takes it away, my youth
There comes a time when you just cannot deliver
This is a fact. This is a stone cold truth.
Do you love me?
I love you, handsome
But do you love me?
Yes, I love you, you are handsome
Amongst the cogs and the wires, my youth
Vanilla breath and handsome apes with girlish eyes
Dreams that roam between truth and untruth
Memories that become monstrous lies
So onward! And Onward! And Onward I go!
Onward! And Upward! And I’m off to find love
With blue-black braclets on my wrists and ankles
And the coins in my pocket go jingle-jangle


But this is not the end of spirit. For the nothingness that we come upon is nothingness because it is not nothingness; it is a mark announcing that the route of reason that came upon its insubstantial basis is indeed incorrect in its estimations.

Secular is a real designation of a particular route, a real route, just as religious and spiritual is likewise real material categories. All designation of a particular meaningful paradigm (mythology) has been worked to its end. A pass is enacted that then allows for reality to move apparently unhindered. We find a similarity to the efforts of Bruno Latour, for an opening is needed since reality is found to rely upon invisible passes that shut out the truth of the situation; something has shaken loose, something that shows reality as a faulty estimation.

More in a bit.

Being Decay. 

{More notes…”Of Spirit”}

I might put it like this:

With reference to the repost below, in one sense, we’re dealing with just sheer numbers, the number of human beings. And so to talk about decay or thought or the decay of intelligent thinking so to speak, is to arouse a certain kind of nostalgia, a particular longing, while also situating this longing in the facts of the matter from which the heartache arises. The tone may sound like accusation, pointing at a situation to show how it is wrong or incorrect. But in our present ruminations we have moved beyond such polemical absolutes, such transcendental Essential absolutes; we already know that any position is already compromised within the knowledge by which the situation exists.

This is the issue with philosophy, The issue that Francois Laruelle attempts to explicate and describe. Yet he falls into the same problem that he is trying to escape; apparently , he is trying to communicate some sort of secret or esoteric meaning . For the religiousness that people find in his writings is based in the idea that there is an essential linkage that threads between basic universal objective substrates that are not only reflected in their essence through discourse, but further are indicated in there essential truth as things in themselves. The idea that discourse can add or subtract to the meaning of this disconnection is itself a misunderstanding, or for better terms and in terms “of spirit”,  a substantive grounding of the destitution of spirit.

We must consider what kind of experience we are having when we seek an answer in an authors text. If I have a question that I’m asking, and I look for that answer any text and find it, what have I found? What is occurring that the question that arose in me to reference a lack has found its correspondence and fulfillment in the text before me of another author?

These questions and others like them should be the founding questions of a kind of first philosophy. It is the avoidance of these kind of questions that bring the duplicity that some authors notice overtly, and other authors comment upon and notice in passing.


Getting back to the initial impetus of this post-

If we can trust a sort of evolutionary history of humanity, where apparently at some point there were quite a few less of us in the past and much much much more of us now; if we can rely upon the idea that there were relatively small cultural centers or groups of human beings that were segregated from each other as they were sparsely scattered across the globe by whatever means, then we might be able to imagine that within each of these groups discourse proceeded to supply an inherently cohesive group identity. So as as these groups got larger, each intersection of boundary disrupted the previous Group identity, such that upon the meeting of two or more groups the identity of group and the meaning of group in itself had to be adjusted. This process and motion we might see has produced a kind of global group now, and in it’s saturation of meaning, the overlapping of boundaries coming up on boundaries coming up on boundaries, and the negotiation of what this means for identity itself, and for group cohesion itself, is it self highly problematic, almost to the point of being unsolvable.


These two dynamics can be said to be at the root of the situation that we call reality, as well as the basic substance or issue that more than a few authors of the past 30 or 40 or so years have been addressing. Any other issue that arises from this cauldron of fragmented boundaries is what I call an issue of subsequence. And as well the reason why we can begin to be able to discern as well as describe the difference between two types of philosophy, two types that have been historically conflated into one effort due to the relatively straightforward capacity for addressing the interfacing of group boundaries (or at least the assertion of an ability for approaching, understanding and negotiating definite boundaries). Yet due to our current situation we can find of such two philosophies, what I call two routes, that we can no longer afford, or rather it does a discredit to the progress of humanity in general, to continue in this delusion of a common arena of philosophical consideration.

The point is to clean up philosophical consideration; not to discredit some forms, but rather merely clean up the arena so we can stop going around in circles, discussing and arguing the same points over and over under different terms, stop the unnecessary activity of fending off arguments that obviously are not considering the same (argumentative) object, as well wasting time in the attempt to describe how such approaches are incorrect in their approach (?); the basis of the non sequitur is that the applicant is incapable of understanding the object because their approach is already incorrect, and no form of description is able to gain access to the incorrect base of approach. The traditional categories should be more properly understood as concerning subsequent discussions, for though I am speaking of teleology as opposed to ontological considerations, it is that such teleology actually moves along a different meaningful area, again, what I call, for lack of a term right now, not real. My example is often computers. I am not too informed about computers, but we might discern philosophy as analogous to the different levels of computer engineering. For example: html does function along its won rules of grammar and syntax, and while we might be able to use the same kind of strategies in lower level computing, the language itself in not compatible to understand the functioning off such levels. I propose that conventional-traditional philosophy is a higher level language that proposes to be able to consider and operate within lower level operations and languages. I propose that we need to discern philosophical capacities similar to computer languages, and 1) stop the incessant privilege that supposes a universal access upon texts, and 2) stop being offended at limited access and the obvious limit of the traditional-conventionally taught maxim of a common human spirit.


One example of this kind of subsequence: The segregating of oneself upon the occasion of a text, of referencing another author from the perspective, or upon the orientation where the author is supplying information inherently and universally separated or held from that reader. This type of approach is upon not only texts, but is indeed reflective of an approach upon the universe itself (there is nothing outside of the text, but more properly: There is nothing outside of the terms); but keep in mind, I am not asserting or promoting a kind of ‘spiritual return’, some sort of ‘cosmic consciousness’, some suspended ‘true spiritual human essence of Being’ nor some kind of religious Presentism. These proposals are not concerning an ontology of things. Quite different; the concern here is with teleology. I am merely stating facts, and one of the facts is that when such a statement is made, often people will take the statement as referencing a kind of true essential substrate of consciousness. This is the same kind of person, of a certain orientation upon objects, that evidences a certain route; when encountering a text and there is a significant meaning that is come upon, this route already is confirmed by the standard of real estimations and the meaning is taken unto itself to have been gained through some secret channel, as if held in some special alcove, that some mysterious as to yet unknown chamber of being has been opened for that reader, but further, and more significant to the meaning of noticing this view, that this mystery is particular to the individual such that it is a secret such that it is something that is real and yet it is much larger than the reality that the reader had known up till that point. In short, it is a kind of supernatural or esoteric knowledge that everyone is coming upon but often sanctioned through institutional norms, in fact, supported through slight-of-hand argumentative strategies that further argues as it institutionalizes term-object identities, in particular, the clausal structure (term-object) that substantiates that terms relate real novelty (as this novelty it gained through the ‘great unknown’ of intuition (God, for any other term).

This type of orientation is already invested in the inflation of identity, because the route that is most often taken out of that situation is the route that keeps the information secret for the benefit of conveying to the rest of humanity the greatness or the specialness of that person (or institution), the communion for whom was granted this secret knowledge. This is the basis of capitalism, the basis of enlightenment thinking; agents of transcendence negotiating with each other within or on a horizontal ‘worldly’ plane. This inherently meaningful given situation allows for the presumption that everyone in the discussion is being honest, but in fact the hidden platform upon which this honesty appears is itself a kind of institutional allowance for deception. This hidden or withheld aspect is scarcity, the ‘excess’ by which interest may be leveraged against other (real universal) Beings. For no longer is humanity assumed upon a level playing field by this acolyte; indeed the reader that is come upon by such significance is already viewing the world as if it is a place that he or she is supposed to assert their righteousness upon. Hence the group that is made from this type of orientation upon text is one of justified universal hierarchal order. Our current situation is that of settling the scaffolding by which meaning can ethically substantiate such hierarchical norms; this is the condition we are calling the destitution of spirit, the real occurrence of the world. The idea of of ‘relative belief’ marks the beginning of the destitution of spirit because ‘belief’ is the evidence of consciousness in the effort to ‘retrieve’ spirit within the functioning scheme of meaning, within the arena of ‘given’, which is to say, as an effective and thus ‘unquestioned’ object.

Once these norms find placement, then spirit, as a meaningful construct, begins again, to return within the scaffolding as a mark of the beginning of another ‘domination’, of another ‘colonial modern’, that then comes to question itself, again to be left in its destitution. This is the long game, of an ontology that is determined by a teleology that is, for all meaningful (real) purposes, not real.


It is a longing because the alternate route of which I speak is that route that knows the assertion of identity is faulty, and yet despite that fault supplies the only route into real human negotiation. The role of such ‘unenlightened’ people is best determined through the granting of truth by its simultaneous revealing of its own fallacy.


Here’s the REPOST:
Death of Culture: On the Decay of Thinking

It is very likely that never in human history have there been as many treatises, essays, theories and analyses focused on culture as there are today. This fact is even more surprising given that culture, in the meaning traditionally ascribed to the term, is now on the point of disappearing. And perhaps it has already […]

Divergence and the Failed Route. (More notes “Of Spirit”)

It is not progress that allows failure; it is failure that allows for progress. But not as a cause. Failure is only linked to progress through a particular framing of meaning that is oriented upon progress. This is an emotional investment. The truth in our feelings, the linking of feeling to event to decision of choice to outcome is the basis of causality, the basis of progress, of the view that sees progress as the real determinate, of the significant mode and method in having and gaining purpose. This is why failure must be defined as we are now, for the real way to have failure is already vested in the progressive outcome. In this we hear that all activity has a reason, and ponder the idea that there are only solutions. We face reality through these maxims. This is why we pout and complain when things don’t go our way. We don’t view failure as a necessity in itself, as a vital component of Being. Always there is another opportunity of triumph.

In darkness, failure has become absolute. This is not a real estimation. It is a determination that does not answer to real rationality; it is its own estimation its own rationale. Here, failure is not a half-way mark, not another means for progress; here, failure is progress itself, for its own sake, by its own motivation, within its own teleology. Decisions were made, choices enacted and progress was never made; at least, progress in the sense of activity undertaken for the sake of progressing in some particular already defined arena for activity, for the sake of real progress. Failure has its own progress but we also lose the very notion, the conventional notion, of progress by this route; we might call this then recession.

A progress of recession. The move of failure that never concedes to (conventional, real) progress is total failure, and by every existential feature, it becomes its own motion, a disregarding of want for relief. So long as we hang on to some idea that there is going to be a resolution, there have we staying in the real progress and become that Being of progress that ‘gets up again’. In darkness we have gotten up so many times that getting up has lost any real meaning, the motion means nothing any more, or rather, the getting up now relinquishes the real power, the real estimation of progressive estimation and comparison. The getting up can only occur in this moment in another way, towards another direction.

People can say all they want about trying and trying again, but the fact is – and this is the fact that no one can understand until they come upon it – is that beating one’s face against a wall is the aggravated Being; there is no ‘getting past the wall’. Getting past this wall only occurs when it wasn’t a wall to begin with, and that is thus not an actual failure but mere a real failure. Coming upon this type of wall and not recognizing it, repeatedly smashing your head into it and turning and finding that this wall surrounding you at every possible exit, but then not recognizing it – this is the cause (the eternal cause) of anger, fear, resentment, attitude, that defines the Geo-political environment, is the present world. And in this we find the discernment of the failure of the Enlightened mind that we read about in Heidegger and Derrida (the book I am going through at this moment). It is the mark of the destitution of spirit.

Failure, in this way, is the continuance of “spirit” in the Heideggerian sense, quote/unquote from the perspective of the real world. Spirit has fallen away and becomes a mockery of itself by conventional estimations; it becomes a fantasy at one end of real rational ideology of belief, and the source and object of belief in the religious sense at the other end. And this is the reason why we can no longer rely upon an extension of a common meaning of discourse, no longer merely assume that discourse contains an essential ability and capacity to uphold a consistent meaning across a supposed common humanity.

This is the reason why we posit a divergence in discourse; two routes. What we find is that there is a truth that is Being expressed, but then along side we have a meaning of this expression that is interpreted by others in various ways. The group of the various meanings get together and discuss their various meanings and never come to a consensus about what they were talking about in the first place. The consensus (conventional) thus eventually comes to the conclusion merely by order of course, that the words are containing and or actually conveying a true meaning, but this meaning is never found and indeed cannot be found, They thus then argue that reality is this arena wherein real agents are in a process of negotiating the terms thereof, such that reality is at all times a negotiation of discourse, and such that thus reality is the negotiation of discourse. Yet if we can follow Heidegger (if we can be honest about what e is saying, and if we know what he is saying before we have read him – we will get to this later), then we see that this current real estimation is an estimation founded in the destitution of spirit. Not as some conceptual apparatus that retains a distance between the thought and its object, but as an actual operating mode of reality.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is essential.. This is essential.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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