No matter what you are doing, thinking about it, or what is happening…
Some shit-head has got to come along and ruin the whole thing!
No matter what you are doing, thinking about it, or what is happening…
Some shit-head has got to come along and ruin the whole thing!
The irony inherent of Zizek is that within his daseinic Hegelian-Lacan presence of material world consciousness, he seems to more and more be missing the synthetic polemical operation of time/material itself. That is, the change in the way we measure change that should be accounted for within the materialistic analysis seems to be outside of Zizek’s calculus. How much more irony could we stand?
Introduction to Plato: Platonic Irony and Satire
Just had to mark this in my own blog.
And just as we are just beginning to be be able visualize the singularity that is human consciousness, which is to say, the universal human object.
Kierkegaard is often misunderstood to be speaking of every individual human being. The misunderstanding arises because he talks about the “individual”, for example, he even has an essay called “the crowd is untruth”.
Yet another mistaken idea of his that is often used by born again Christians to reify their faith, is his talk about “the contemporary”.
I decided I would try to give a more tangible example of what he’s really saying by using math.
For every philosophical proposal a, two conditions arise to the individual thinker as to classification:
Open or closed: 1/10,000
– Philosophy for the closed group means the potential for any kind of thinking.
For the open group:
Interested or not interested : 1/10,000.
– Philosophy for the not interested group means a potential for a particular kind of thinking.
For the interested:
Not Invested or invested: 1/10,000.
– Philosophy for the invested means a particular professional skill or adherence to a proper method for truth.
So, the chances of an open interest, non invested Philosophy is (if anyone knows about statistics perhaps you can correct my layman mathematical art, lol):
1/10000 x 1/10000 x 1/10000 =
0.0000000001 percent of the population at any time for any philosophical proposal will understand it.
The present population of the planet earth is:
Thus, for any philosophical proposal at any time, less than seven people will understand it.
Yet, if you take the number of people cumulative since Kierkegaard, say for example, then we have a different kind of dynamic because then we have to account for “any moment”.
At some point in the future of Kierkegaard there will become such a saturation of those who would understand what he is saying that in fact what he is saying will become “untrue” by virtue of the fact that the crowd, then, will be understanding “what is true”.
The absurdity involved in these two equations in an effort to reduce to some sensible understanding of Kierkegaard to all the individuals of the human race, thereby shows that there is no reconciliation in these two manners.
And that this is the irony of the situation as described by the master of irony himself.
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.
Yes; one could say ‘divinity’. I think the problem, as some people have talked about elsewhere, is what that term incorporates; hence the ‘need’ for commitment, what I could term, conventional commitment, or maybe a commitment to the institutionalized-ideologized State, the incorporated arena thereof that has been designated (conventionally) ‘x-ism’, or even for another arena, ‘family’ – the need for commitment because the journey ends in the wilderness, one never leaves, and so far as one might say ‘divinity’ and holds to the term as it is supposed to convey something ‘already known’, she has made a commitment to that presumption. But the presumption often misses the meaning because one is attempting to place some meaning gained in the wilderness into reality. Yet, the one stays there because the wilderness is that one-ness, the place where one is, and reality is not of oneness, and ‘divinity’ thus mis-represents – that is unless one then has made a decision for commitment. Here then one type of faith may arise out of the wilderness for its longing to bring the wilderness into reality, but reality is civilization, it is idea-ology, community, multiplicity: reality is humanity. If one needs no commitment but rather decides upon a commitment it is because she has no one to bring with, but sees reality as One, as The One, The Only One; she is the individual, the subject of multiple discourses, the pure multiple of the One. By this, as a methodological reduction, I would venture the commitment of decision is likewise the non-philosophical Real under which the (non-) article in the ‘last-instance’ of conventional methodology resides. The wanderer into the wilderness knows she is one, has encountered the one in communion, and wishes reality could be this, wishes the one-ness could be brought into reality – but alas, what is romantic? Why else would she have found herself there? Why would there even be an issue?
Maybe it is not so novel; perhaps this is very much like Francois Laruelle’s essay about ‘The Call’, his ‘tearing away’ from philosophy, except here the tearing has already happened. Inso much as it still might happen or is happening, as in philosophies of progress, violence appears to explain reality in a quite interesting manner. See, correspondingly, it seems, I am tending toward violence, of a type, maybe a dialectic of violence of non-violence. The ever-present violence and the ever-present effort to counter it; reality and its philosophical discursive acrobatics based in, basically, an effort of denial, of ‘covering up’ the violence. It appears that violence is the real standard, the evil that always peers its head and makes itself be known without effort.
Anger, frustration, conflict, suffering, desperation, self righteousness, deceit; these seem the given of life. Peace, contentment, happiness, openness; these are taught to us early in childhood, but the teaching is instigated by violence. We recall here the discussions around prohibitive “Thou Shalt Not” religions, a violence, as well ironically and by contrast Socrates’s ‘daimon’ that behaves to indicate where he should not proceed, as an indicator of non-violence. The point here is that the former dictates movement, where the latter guides. Indeed, the child is initiated into human life through violence that is confirmed by the ‘no’; it is the parent saying by perfect parenthood, “you, the child shall have no contentment, no peace until your first learn that life is not acceptance, all is not good. You child need know what life really is, and it is proper assertion of who you are, and to know who you really are, you have to compete.” From birth we are taught violence against what we are. Every parental kindness, act of love and compassion is tempered by the effort for the development of the child’s real identity, of being able not only to function in the world and be able to absorb or deflect life’s inherent crassness, but to excel amidst this violence to oneself; indeed, to make by example the real effective denial of violence. A distinction between what is violent and not violent is the difference between being told the truth and knowing the truth; non-violence as a bridge between these worlds appears to seek telling without telling.
Excellence. A commonly heard standard for human life. It is no wonder that we can arrive with conventional reality, that consciousness is a retreat from the world. The human being must become something it is not, it must learn from that which is not of itself, to be itself. One must excel, endeavor for excellence, in becoming something he or she is not, so if life can be said to be a movement of coming to know oneself, then already we have a confusion involved in the effort toward, what can be called, self awareness, effectiveness, or maybe even authenticity; a confusion based in what it means for what we do to be excellent. The meaning of some centers of philosophy seem to resonate this maxim as a sort of mantra; we need only arrange terms in a excellent way and this excellence will thus be the truth, by proof that the terms could be arranged in such a way. The irony settles here and the description of where it settles evidences a prohibition that cannot be reconciled, except through a violent act of departure, and thus only of ‘witnessing’.
Duality insists upon the human being at its conception, for it is this conception that is the individual in reality, a conception involved with de-cision, a reiteration of the One. The violence I speak of against the One occurs due to ‘re-cision’ (or maybe even as I have said “recede”), for reality is a move of joining that which has been put asunder or is truthfully segregate. The unity of the universe is in decision since if we are part of the universe then our functioning is not segregate from its operation and we cannot be separated enough from the universe to gain any true understanding of its functioning; we have no ability to be excellent, to make progress well, to excel. So ironic it is, reality is typically and routinely the Idea that excellence is not innate to the human being, which is to say that the individual by itself is nothing – as nothing is validated in nothing, some essentially empty or null ‘no-thing’, some transcendental non-unknown but not even unknown as known…we could go on infinitely attempting to describe this nothing – and so requires an Idea outside of oneself that is true, something one must necessarily appropriate of the world, such that excellence in the world must become the object. More so, as now the individual must achieve against others in the world, a proper method arises, and the True Object is born. The individual is an inherently violent manifestation, being at odds with itself for the sake of itself, and then for this sake of itself is at odds with the things of the world. The real violence is the presentation of the individual in existence by an orientation of being re-presented by the terms of reality, as well, the terms that designate what is true of reality. One could say that this particular orientation moves linearly, progressively.
It is possible ( but I have yet to see how this can be so, beyond the witnessing mentioned above) non-violence could be seen as a revealing the curve unto its violent linearity, but the representation of this significance risks violence unto itself, since if the violence is the linearity, and this linearity is real, then to show that such linearity is really not linear and not non-linear is a violent act upon reality, for reality always transcribes for what is real. Besides, the revealing of the curvature is always done linearly, maybe to say, conventionally represented; by contrast, the curvature’s revealing is presented ironically.
Capitalization upon presented subjects is the maturity of the real individual as excessive violence (overdetermination, representation) taken in course as reality, the activity of ‘bending straight’ the divergent. Reality is then an acquiescence, non-acceptance (if you will permit) of the real individual, its necessary violence. The will against what cannot be willed, infinite strength applied upon an immovable object. Violence itself is the discrepancy inherent of the individual in reality that allows for the gaining of the upper hand in the stalemate, and its application, its effort, its assertion, what I have called ‘conventional faith’, the faith that is ‘taught’ of reality, which, as an orientation upon True Objects, arises as method, the method by which faith diversifies, as objects contain no truth in themselves, but give rise to new objects of the terms, new (conventional philosophical) Faiths of the True Universe. The universe is the clash of faiths, the arena of the ‘faithful’.
It might be important to delineate the situation, to bring into relief for the sake of purchase the point of contention. The point arises between the question of choice, determinism and contingency. I see the performance of non-violence as having to do with mitigating that damage that is ‘already’ done, yet acting from a position where violence is ‘not yet’ done. Violence as the basis from which human beings may exist as humans, the real issue becomes scale or degree such violence is left unchecked; the practice of non-violence then would be in reference to this ‘place’ in which we find ourselves in the world; in practice we find ourselves in conventional reality, the violence being done, making a claim as to the particular manifestation of violence in reality, such as, social equality, gender and race inequality, human abuse, drug abuse, gangs, and political justice, to mention a general few. This can be said to be the real violence.
The true violence, I dare say, is the more significant issue with regards to our existential situation, consciousness presented as consciousness of human existence and the conventional individual. That we have been taught of reality, which is to say, in hindsight we were taught, is violence already enacted and denied. The compounding of violence is already enacted by the viewing of our birth as an act of (neutralized) violence, as well as our indoctrination into reality, for here we are viewing the situation through the violent lens, the lens that is already situated to show only ‘no-violence’, ‘just’ reality, the film that violently arranges us to avoid the violence involved with the seeing that our ‘double’ birth is twice removed from the infraction. Our doctrine of reality sees neutrality where violence is occurring, because in truth, we were not taught faith, but such faith is the necessary determination of reality. Conventional faith here is the standard, the Law, for what is real.
So the deeper, or maybe, anti-meta talk about violence enters when we have the conception that we were taught (or that which could be taught); it is taught with danger, but not the danger of the wilderness, for that was already manifest, not taught. It is, as someone, I’m sure, has said, the situation of violence that we attempt to reconcile non-violently, the real situation; there are two arguing parties, and I, a third, as a vehicle of non-violence in their dispute. I am the interventionalist for the violence. When we consider the situation already brought, as I am brought into the world, (“thrown”, “held out into”, ala Heidegger) we cannot but see that a disruption has occurred somewhere. The third party is proposing by his intervention to be a one relieved of the violence. His disclaimer is only relevant by the occasion of violence; since the violent parties are obviously real, they have a possibility of referring the violence to the intervention. Yet this real situation of the interventionalist is that he has understood the issue, and thereby makes a commitment of a sort (a decision upon ‘violence is X) to teaching others (the world) the manner by which he himself has been ‘dismissed of’ or has otherwise reconciled the violence. Because he himself has been taught through the violence of his humanity (from childhood) and has understood the issue, the discrepancy involved there as to the commitment had to have occurred, further, by some third party that is not prone or ‘responsible’ to the violence, and this element is the proposed transcendent interlocutor, by which the interventionalist mediates the real violence, but also by which he is a mediator between the real and the ‘non-real’, the world and the transcendent, an agent of non-violence.
Here I am, now, using the method I was taught to speak about that the method was taught to me, implying by this talk that the method is violence, and that somehow I am going to rely upon the method, by introspection and thoughtful consideration of the issue, to counter its violence, but indeed it is this very method by which I have been able to come across the transcendent interlocutor as if the interlocutor were already operating in their life and they just need to be taught how to find it. Indeed, if I may shine a spot over to Francios Laruelle’s non-philosophy; the crux to the meaning of non-philosophy is its admitting that philosophy is the staple, the given, the present form of what is true, or the true form of what is present, by the very act of the annexation of the ‘non-‘. By this act, non-philosophy proclaims that philosophy is King of the Real, and the ‘non’ merely presents its kingdom, and at this so to suggest that the revealing of the kingdom to its King will somehow transform the King, or reveal to Him that his obligation is to step down, for the kingdom will not rise to overthrow the King because it is itself, by its very nature, the King’s-Dom-ain. It is no more ‘of the last instance’ to accompany the King on a tour of his kingdom than it is to assassinate the King. The King is dead; long live the King. Without the King there is no kingdom, and without philosophy there is no non-philosophy; non-philosophy may be able to show the King his kingdom, but it shows no more than the last guide showed of the kingdom to the last King; it was the same plot of earth. The non-philosophical Ego, regardless of how it is situated and due to its philosophical (read, methodological) basis of representation, is nothing less than the ‘Kether’ of the philosophical beast, the King of Kings, so as it may be, of non-philosophy, the ‘Future Christ’, the ‘one day as now’ God in Man. So it is with violence and non-violence.
Hence, it is just as well if I wish to enact a revolution I should not propose to be radical or reformist; I am not sure if the apocalypse, the ‘revealing’ or ‘uncovering’ is possible as a future, but it may be possible as a past for a present. The violence I wish to incite is what had already been mentioned, and it is so much that this mentioning again reveals the ‘monsters be here’ part of the Real, the place where the Real does not go or even reach but only indicates. It is not ‘non-Real’, because Laruelle already designates the Real as a realm of non-philosophy; it is ridiculous and beyond any good meaning for the intent, to then say the ‘non-non-real’. This type of reasoning is what gets is to the Real. The End. The No More but now we have to come up with a More that somehow leaves the no more behind: conventional reality is all this all is. A reaffirmation that reality is real, and that the real is One, and that the One is all there is: the real-ization of violence involved with a responsive non-violence only reifies that violence is justified, but in the Real, violence is justified by the implication of the progressed incorporated State, which in this case is non-violence as a real practice.
When we no longer wish to be radical in our approach to reality, we are left only to the revolution that comes from what is not real. In a way of speaking, one no longer practices, or develops a praxis, instead, one performs. The actor, instead of returning a play of the script and replaying the method of reality, improvises. She is no longer reading and playing His script. She takes cues from the audience and responds accordingly; no interpretation is needed, and no director. The actor no longer acts, as in pretends to be a character of the play that she is not, rehearsing backstage, secretly in mind of ‘himself’, the actor, awaiting her praises after the scene, the character of herself; instead, the actor plays the role that is given to her by the crowd. There is no longer distinction between the actor on the stage and the actor of rehearsing and praise, between the scene and the audience. She no longer ‘takes’ her place, but rather she ‘has’ a position. This is no non-violence; it is a complete rejection of the real method of violence: a violence upon violence. She has not revolted from the abyss of freedom to come able to enact a new agency. She has become freedom; she has absolutely withdrawn, to the place of relative violence, but in the position of absolute violence, absolute peace.
Perhaps, we can now speak of the elements of violence.
The issue is the term.
The real problem is deconstructing the conventional term, but then, once that is seen as impossible to its real end, and we ‘commit’ to radical practice, then the stakes become all the more threatening, the theatre all the more violent. For this much I think (I wonder) we can concur; the place is a madhouse, the audience is rioting.
I would venture, the move into the wilderness was already deconstruction. Indeed, perhaps that ‘(maybe) irreducible point of singularity’ is/was the impetus, the ‘prime mover’,so to speak, by virtue thereof that the wilderness was the only option, maybe in Laruelle’s terms, the Real option, but I would think the Real encompasses the possibility of retaining the wilderness in civilization. Maybe the difference lay in what the romance entailed/entails, the romance being the possibility of the deconstructed universe to its universal bias, the ‘scenario’ upon which the terms of civilization ‘take’ place.
The issue that arises, though, concerns the point at which and the manner in which the commitment takes shape. How do we situate the bias in real terms, in the scheme of which for meaning the terms are relying upon (the bias) for conventional-civilized-reality? The situation of the non-philosophical Real serves irony; while its author(s) propose to recoup all possible meaning unto itself while relieving itself from that responsibility, the seriousness of its being proposed as Real removes it as a true viable method by excluding the individual through a restating of an encompassing reality, as if the individual exists by this Statement. It is a discursive trick of mirrors. Yet if we make fun of the seriousness of the author(s), the project practitioners, and take their statements with tongue in cheek, then we begin to see how violent such peaceful and innocuous encompassment that is non-encompassing may be, how its seriousness reveals its bad faith, and how offense is the basis of the conventional faith of reality.
What we learn from the ‘post-modernists’, but Kierkegaard and Wittgenstien at least, is that the meaning they intend is/was not comprehended by the majority of people, even by people who’s interest and skill is deep critical thinking, never mind what rough interpretation has gleaned from an incomplete reading (for example, existentialism, post-modern itself, but we can include all the critical ‘turns’), and not to mention the ‘popular’ meanings that serve to justify whatever occasion through fad out of context quoting and name dropping. In effect, we have not only a misconstruing of their meaning, but we have a meaning that has taken effect as the meaning of what they said. Such it is that there was a ‘post-modern’ era and PM writers and such. The irony of the authors is that they are (were) speaking of themselves, about themselves, in reality. Their meaning is just facts, but the facts are seen as advocating an agenda (which, if argued of the authors themselves, may be said to be based in a commitment to themselves – which brings to mind the issue of commitment itself! ). The facts indicate the solution, but do not lead to a solution through the consideration of their discourse as method, as terms are ‘to be’ schematized, properly put in their place, when the terms of their discourse are taken to refer as identity to True Things. Hence, I see that such discourses have occurred throughout what is usually known as human history, and have likewise been misunderstood and misappropriated. The misappropriation, or Lacan ‘mistake’, taken as an apparent whole, is what I call reality. The nature of the misappropriation cannot be disclosed to reality as a method of understanding, but only is understood correctly when it is already understood. The nature of reality, convention, is to usurp the, maybe intended, but true, meaning for the real meaning. Deconstruction as a conventional method to truth fails, except to show that the present temporally manifested truth is faulty and needs a reworking; in reality, again, this has been the basis for the discourse of social justice. Hence, also, this ‘problem of problem’ is ‘how we found each other’, or more correctly, you found me, this as evidence of “the Crowd is Untruth” (Kierkegaard): how is one oriented?
I recall from a conversation something like us both having a resistance to be ‘boxed’, confined, labeled. I suppose that is indeed a type of risk we accept when we make the commitment; the risk ventured and lost is the coming upon the value less individual, that the value lay only in that we do (in all we do) and that the consideration of such doing by the individual ( am I doing or thinking about what to do; am I thinking about how doing is distinct from thinking ?) devalues the actual presence for being of service, in the service of love. In reality, the risk ventured and won is always won by reality through methods that are constantly developing in the effort to reconcile these questions and ideas, but they achieve only more method, and more thoughts about actions, actions of thoughts and the eternal recurrence. Perhaps this is a similar movement of K, his aesthetic, ethical and religious. That the commitment may be into the ethical, but the substance or the fidelity to the romance of the aesthetic in reality is in turn religious. It is interesting; the basic problem with which K dealt and reconciled with the ‘true’ Christian – but he could not overcome the discrepancy for his person himself, except through faith, and his discursive assertions, but even that was despairing; for his moment, his is the evidence of a qualitative movement of history – seems to be what Laruelle, and so much as I have, come to terms, and you (? -it seems) – is that the terms are the problem, not the Objects that the terms seem to be indicating, for the Objects are the terms. Hence Laruelle attempts to ‘fully deconstruct’ the Object, as he sees, of the ’cause’ of this repeating mistake, philosophy. But more so, his invocation of the Ego remains, as I see it, ‘in the last’ a bastion of this history of oneness, with his Real. A true irony that non-philosophy is of ‘in the last instance’, for he is speaking of the last words of the subject-object of a particular history of terms. Yet, as with all historical discourses on the point of contention, his will not be ‘the last’, but will, or has already become, another philosophical object to be one day set aside or placed in its category (Is Lyotard’s “The Differend” really a piece of literary critique?) in the never-ending march for reality’s one truth. His may mark a type of peak-point in the oscillating wave of meaningful existence of human consciousness, but conventional faith will not cease in its operation, as I said above, just because he, or me or you, for that matter, said something. I step from NP method, as NP announces, to aphilosophy, the rebuttal of method for the True Object. Hence, as to faith, I speak of orientation upon the Object as the issue of the point of contention.
‘From where’ does the Object take hold? Does it ‘already’ have hold? Or do I ‘hold it’? (Be-hold?) If it already has hold, then the terms, the situating of terms in or of reality is the issue; but not ‘how might I go about this’, but rather, ‘how I do go about this’. If I hold it, as I may posses and consider the Object as it is a True Thing, an object In-itself, then I find reality as the omnipotence, of which I am subject, an individual in reality. These – though I am still working – present absolute situations, partitioned in essence, that which cannot be resolved, except in a re-solution, that avoids history, and thereby avoids reality. The indication that serves to establish me in reality, amounts to the commitment that is never made, the choice that is no choice, except in reality. If I have to decide, then I am lost; the true choice made is the choice that could not be made.
So, the commitment can also be made in fidelity to the significant event, the romance, through various situations of terms. ‘How do I speak about it’, I see, as not deriving from any choice I have, but rather, how the occasion presents a correspondence of terms. Maybe our role, between us, through our interaction, is to map out some of these possibilities. But maybe this is just my part; perhaps I am just as intimately involved in yours too. For you see, just as there is the true meaning of what I intend, am obligated to say/act, so there is also a real meaning that takes shape, likewise entailing or implying an obligation. The apprehension of this is the effective conception of the State, but where the despair moves through the dreadfulness, through the offense against faith, there we have a true comprehension, just as reality itself is comprised comprehensively.
SIGHTINGS and Further Readings.
* Blog: Adfontem: Beyond Categories: Aquinas’ Commitment to Christianity (Part III). 2014.
* Book: Principles of Non-Philosophy. Francois Laruelle. 1996. English translation 2013.
* Essay: The Call and the Phenomenon. Francois Laruelle. 2013. Published in “The Journal of French and Froncophone Philosophy”.
*Book: Being and Event. Alain Badiou. 1988. English translation 2005.
* Book: The Differend. Jean-Fancois Lyotard. 1983. English translation 1988
* Essay: Letter on Humanism. Martin Heidegger. 1947.
* Any of Soren Kierkegaard’s writings.
*Essay: concerning convention; Link: http://darkecologies.com/2014/02/12/gilles-deleuze-on-humes-theory-of-society/
Let’s see how much people like stories. I investigate here the Big Story of the Bible as it may concern human history.
I will try to fill in the Story with what I see as human course. In a way, it is a story of the Big Story, which amounts, I guess, to a type of exegesis of the Big Story itself. I ask that you suspend your belief and give me the benefit of doubt.
I begin with being human, because there is nothing that can be talked about or known without a human being. Though God may be responsible for my existence, and it is possible that God may have created me, I do not begin with God, because God does not come to be known until there is a human to know of God. Also, this knowing does not begin with knowing God created me, knowing begins with knowing and then God might be known as my creator. So I guess, my Story begins with the human being. The Story can include God, but the Story can only be told by a human talking about God. If a human being knows of or about God – and here I am not necessarily referring to the ‘knowing God’ as we have talked about in our (mine and yours) discussion – it is because that human being is human.
There is an apparent inability for human beings to reconcile their existing, that they exist, with the world of their experience. We have doubts, insecurities, things don’t go our way when we think they should, etc.. We feel that when we are doing ‘right’ that things should be right, but this is not always the case. In this state, we are defacto ‘knowing good and evil’, not in an absolute sense, but in a right and wrong sense. When things are right, then the world is right, or at least our being in it, and when we are wrong it is because something is off or not right. If things are wrong, we must make them right, yet even when they are ‘made right’, something wrong happens again. Also, when something contradicts what we know as right, we typically get offended, feel ‘wrong’, and often plain deny it. There is an apparent discrepancy with being human in the world.
In the search for why this may be so, it is not difficult to extrapolate the discrepancy into some aspect or element of what we are able to come across of our lives that is more than this, more than what we are able to account for, as to what I just said, that we feel that things should go our way, that the world should follow a sort of moral guideline, that we should not feel wrong when we feel or think that we are doing everything right. We thus have a tendency as well as ability to ‘see’ that there must be a ‘more than this’, that we as conscious creatures should be accounted for in our shortcomings and inabilities by an even ‘more conscious’ consciousness of sorts, since it is apparent to us that we are not like other creatures and should not have to be accounted for as merely another creature that is ‘not (human) conscious’. It can make sense that there should be a ‘God’ that tends to us in particular because we are as we are, a ‘special’ consciousness. This sensible understanding, as a primary cognition, should be able to relieve the discrepancy, since such sense would mean that we are taken care of, that whatever happens God has ‘got my back’, and our insecurity would diminish. In so much as it does, it is not a far stretch to call this relief ‘life’, as the feeling associated with a removal of worldly doubt and insecurity is more than more preferable to the life plagued with such discrepancy, a life that in relation to the ‘God-backed’ life, so to speak, can easily be seen as ‘death’.
If this may be the case, then we have to account for why it should be so, being involved with this God, that we might be left to our discrepancy for accounting of the world. We can understand this in one scoop and call it a ‘fall’, since if there is this God we have to account for why It would have us in such a situation in the world. A ‘Fall’ can then make sense of our discrepancy, and of course it must have happened before us, since it seems to all humans that there was no time when everything went our way, except maybe the remembered perceptions of when we were a child. The Fall can account for why a sensibility for God does not relieve the discrepancy; arguing backward from what can make sense, we ‘fell’ into discrepancy, since the cognition of a necessity for an accountant of human consciousness, God, must have occurred before the consciousness that is accounted for.
What humanity was before the Fall is not knowable; rather, it can only be knowable through consideration of what it is to already have fallen, which is the state of human discrepancy. In relation to this, then, before the Fall human beings were ‘secure’, ‘un-doubtful’, ‘content’. Humans could account for themselves in the world since after the Fall human beings ‘wonder’ why or how it is that they evidence a discrepancy in the world; they accounted for themselves through God. There is no sense in having a sense about God that does not fulfill somehow the doubts that are involved with human sensibility. A very sensible way to speak about how it was before the Fall is: heaven.
Yet, the discrepant state through which such sensibility derives its sense persists in its sensibility of its pre-Fall state. In as much as humans in that pre-Fall time were still humans, it is sensible to have them be curious and at times downright obstinate and even defiant. Hence, the Fall argues itself as a sensible moment before our present human condition without the need to explain what may have been before, because, in the same mode of sense, God was before our sensibility. The redundancy involved in having a Fall explain our discrepancy while extending the sense of human demeanor to a time before the Fall resolves in a further sensibility: The Fall could not have so much to do with everyday attitudes and necessary reactions to worldly matters, it has to do not with one’s worldly life, for the world is not the proper domain of humanity, God merely made the world to place humanity; the proper domain is of the soul, the spirit, which is the domain of God, or perhaps more sensibly said, God is the domain of the spirit.
We should see that at some point in our growth from child to adult, we became aware of this problem of our discrepancy. Perhaps it develops slowly, but at least there is a distinct moment in our lives when the particular awareness of oneself in this world becomes apparent, when we begin to reflect and try to make sense of the discrepancy. If the sense that comes to know of God is insufficient, story of an ancient ancestral Fall can do well to alleviate our wonder.
Further, it makes sense that if this is the case, the reason for our situation as we come upon it in life and experience, then it also makes sense that there should be some capacity or ability to ‘return’ to God, to ‘recover’ from the Fall, to come upon an understanding or type of experience of the world that reconciles the discrepancy, for we know of this God, and it would not make sense that this God, as our tender, the one who accounts for our existence in the world, would leave us in such a state, us having become aware of the situation as we have, of such a God, us, and the world.
Yet we, as a humanity, do remain there. The ‘covenant’ that arose between God and man, those told of Noah, Abraham, and Moses, as an efficient way to describe the developed situation above, fails to bring any but a very few back to God. The aggregate of humanity fails to be ‘brought back”, at each reinstatement of the covenant, people continue to remain in the discrepant world, and more of them.
What makes sense is, as a more than suggestive route, again, not happening; there is still a discrepancy. People are not being able to come back to God, the formula of sense that is necessary is not sufficient. The ‘faith’ in the sense of sense is not sufficient. So what makes sense then is that we need something else, we need something that will act as a intermediary, something that takes the sense that should make sense, the God-world calculus mentioned above, and, since this is not making enough sense for people to get it, make it easier for people to make ‘the right’ sense: the correct correlation of meaning that is knowledge of God is not separate from God, the sense that relieves the discrepancy, the sense that brings one back to God. The easiest and most sensible sense is now one does not need to make any more sense than that what makes sense is not sufficient, let alone needed. One needs only believe in Jesus and Jesus will do the rest to bring one back to God. Faith turns from a primary sense into a secondary sense of ‘belief’.
But again, this is not working, even this simple sensibility is not sufficient for most people. From here it can make sense that since it is so simple – one does not need to make the right sense, one need only believe – it must not be a failure of their ability as human, but a failure in what they want. The Fall then also functions unilaterally dual to explain this. Why would anyone wish to stay in such an aggravated uncomfortable state? Well, it makes sense that it is not their own doing; some other element must be causing people to not wish to return to God, some element that screws up their ability to make sense, an element that deceives them despite their supposed inherent ability to make the right sense: Sin, instigated by the Serpent on one hand, which explains the condition, and on the other, Satan, or the Devil, which explains why people are obstinate in their want to stay in the discrepant world.
Now, not only does Jesus take up the sensible human inability as a trait of an individual person, but he also takes up the apparent increasing discrepancy occurring as more and more people do not even take the shortcut that Jesus is. Satan thus accounts for, makes sense of, the historical movement of sustained discrepancy, the discrepancy that increasingly becomes the norm. As repeated successive covenants seem more to serve the realization that the sensibility is lost, that there is less and less an effective sufficient explanation, or right sense, even that concessions to allow for the lack of sense do not work to overcome the overwhelming and sheer number of people who now take the discrepancy as course, which is to say, as the ‘right sense’ or the truth, the sense that accompanies the human knowing of God as of course makes still more sense of this situation. History accounts for this continuing move away from what is sensible, and accounts for it by extrapolating the movement into the future, when the discrepancy has become so aggravated at its ‘senselessness’, when Satan has implemented a series of even more grand deceits, when Jesus, the shortcut now removed at length, ‘returns’ as sense returns, the sense that is the equivocation of God and knowing of God.
The Virgin Birth.
To back up a little; there is another unilateral duality at work. In case you are unfamiliar with this term: a unilateral duality is two aspects of a single operation that function separately, segregate to one another, where one cannot be reduced to the other except that they function along the same ‘unilateral’ line, but where also one of the pair can account for the other, and one of the pair does not account for the other, hence the ‘duality’. The situation is uni laterally dual. A strange way of saying what this means is, the one side is two; or, if there is a side, then the other side is the same side; or, in so much a there is a ‘side’, there is only one side, but because there is a side, there is an other side. At once, the structure of the meaning has an inclusive aspect and an exclusive aspect. Here, I am speaking of the virgin birth.
As I mentioned above, there is a point in the life of every human being when he realizes his situation in the world. A point when the person has a certain type of cognition about him or herself, when they realize they are conscious, perhaps a moment when they start to understand what consciousness really means to them as an individual, as this connotes also a certain awareness of the world that has a significance for them as being human; some have called this the moment of reflection. What existed of them before this point, which is to say, what they knew of themselves before this point becomes a particular point of knowing: at this point they know that there was a ‘before’; maybe it can be likened to realizing that they ‘were’ a child, and now they are something else, say, a young adult, or even an adult. One cannot put a timeframe to when this moment occurs for each individual, but at some point they know ‘differently’ than they did before.
This ‘before’ moment is the period I wish to highlight here. The fact that I was an infant is known to me, but when I was an infant I did not know it. Perhaps I knew something of myself, but it was not what I know now of what an infant is, neither was it a knowing that was ‘myself’. This knowing of myself, that I was an infant, is different than the knowing I had when I was an infant. In fact, it is only in as much that I am capable of knowing myself as myself that I can say I was an infant. I could not know this when I was an actual infant. The notion that I was an infant as well as knowing that what I knew as an infant was different than the knowing I know now, is exactly the situation of memory. But I have no memory of when I was an infant, except maybe a few brief flashes of scenes, I only remember that I must have been an infant.
This situation can be understood as the meaning of ‘being thrown into existence’. I am here, a human being, myself, but I only know of the present situation in which I find myself; the past, my history, my memories – all such knowledge about myself and the world is just me, right now, having memories of myself in the past, which is to say, all that I know of myself are ideas. It is a working of presence where I have ideas of the past, where these ideas function to categorize aspects of myself not only as to qualities of my demeanor or attitudes, but likewise function to place ‘the past’ as such, of the past as opposed to my, this, present in which I am considering the past. But all such consideration are occurring only now. They are not so much being ‘summoned’ by recorded memories of some actual past as much as they are a situation of consciousness that is me, right now. The realization of the total reality that consciousness presents to itself as me brings an odd sort of experience of being here, but ‘how did I get here?’ This moment is the moment of being thrown into existence.
If we can understand this situation, then we can begin to comprehend what could possibly be ‘before’, since even in those supposed moments of the past my consciousness was creating for me as me my world in the same way as it is doing now, now that I see how consciousness operates, and that also, in as much as consciousness was doing that of and for me then, it is only doing it now for my ability to apprehend that it may have been doing it before – but now: before what? The answer, as typically versed, would be, before that moment in which I remember.
In this way the meaning of the virgin birth breaks up into four meanings ( again, follow: uni lateral dual: one that is two that is two) a quadripartite, that all stem from the same meaning, which is a birth that was consummated by something ‘not of this world’, beyond the normal working of things, of a miracle, or for short, God.
The first could be the movement in the Story itself, where what is sensible is made plain in the Story because it is seen as, in a manner of speaking, more than just a story. Perhaps, this is most similar to your Big Story of the Bible.
The second then could be another way the Story makes sense. In the sense of meaning and possibility, the Story could be a what makes sense of making sense, so to speak, of reducing the truth of the story to a ‘meta narrative’, the story that tells the story of the story, similar to the narrative above. The virgin birth might be argued to be metaphorical or symbolic of actual historical situations, such as how trees seem to sprout from seeds spontaneously, this certain sensibility and or set into contexts of superstition and ignorance, such as the outright misidentification by (ancient) superstitious people of natural phenomena.
The third is the more proper existential version. Here, the Story begins at arbitrary points, and speaks not so much upon or toward an actual truth, but instead situates the Story as the relation of its meaningful parts that cannot be sorted out of the context of the whole, for the whole is also a meaningful part; the whole being its significance to human experience as commonly come upon, the context of the whole only finding ground in the relation of its parts as any part can be the context of the whole when the ground is ultimately the human being in a commerce of economy of meaning. For example, how I am developing the concept of the virgin birth, by the way, that I have not yet fully developed here.
So, my Story has to do with how any telling of The Story might be argued against any other telling. These three ways of situating how a story amounts to the Story, including that one may be more correct, tell the story of the universe as it is apparent when we consider the Story itself, that a sensible rendition of the issue of existence, as I have presented it considerate of human discrepancy (described as ‘sin’) and its resolution (God, Jesus), is insufficient to render a sensibility of an absolutely true Story beyond the argumentative bases of merit in the discourse located by the telling of the Story itself. The ‘moral’ or ‘sensible meaning’ of the story is not automatically included in the mere telling of the authoritative Story, nor even explanatory renditions of it, to bring about its sensible meaning effectively. So I have said, the truth of any Story is found by the faith invested in it.
It is at this point that I am capable of saying, as I have said, that I agree with your telling of the Big Story. This is the fourth telling; that the various argumentative tellings of the Story that seek to tell the ‘more real or true’ story as exclusive from the others, are actually all true because they stem from a basic human situation, the situation that the Bible more or less tells the story of. This is what has been termed, a unilateral duality. Both stories are true, but one story includes the other while one excludes the other. I call this aspect of including while excluding, and excluding by including, irony.
The virgin birth describes a situation of a child that is born without the usual human male female act of consummation, and because this is the case, it means that this child is blessed, but more so, blessed as The Son of God because such a blessedness contradicts what is typically known as blessed due to the fact that human beings who are not The Son of God are blessed in that all other humans are conceived in the usual human manner. The Idea of the Son of a God born of a virgin as opposed to those who are not is a Story told from the perspective for whom the sense of God, where knowing of God is having God, was not sufficient to reconcile the discrepancy.
Where as the first two situations tend to argue over truth, the third situation, while evidencing a standpoint, indicates a movement of meaning to the fourth, which is a recapitulation of the first while incorporating all three.
The virgin birth concerns one who comes across the operation of consciousness mentioned above. There, the ‘before’ cannot be accounted for by any sort of knowledge no matter how it is situated for truth and fallacy, because such knowledge is exactly only knowledge of what exists right now. Because this ‘before’ has no necessary relation to knowledge, but only sufficient relation, that is, the relation of the past to the knowledge of the past is sufficient to supplying a past, but such past is not necessarily correspondent to any knowledge of it, it is arbitrary, and so any notion I have of the past is completely based on speculation, and the more significant feature of being human, offense. When this is come across in experience as experience, what was ‘before’ is understood as being outside of the normal or regular functioning of reality; the manifestation of myself in existence, situated as I am, is, in no compromising terms, a miracle, and act of God. This knowledge is necessary; its meaning draws from a necessarily correspondent actuality. This is right sense in the sense that brings God: the knowing of a God is God.
In this way, the human being in existence is born of a ‘virgin’, because there is only one necessary cause that I can know of to have brought me here. Such a one is born ‘of God’ but ‘of a virgin’ because, in an obvious sense, he was somehow ‘born’ into this world, but, in a maybe not so obvious sense, not in the usual man woman consummated manner. This is not to say that he was not born naturally, in the usual manner, neither is this to say that Jesus is not the Son of a God in the way usually meant, but it is to say that what we have of this situation of knowledge concerning, at least, the Big Story of the Bible, is a unilateral duality.
I hope this is a good rendition of my Story, that you can understand, and why I can say that I agree with your Big Story, but somehow we disagree.
And yet, there is more.
A few other comments.
Of the Three to Two to One.
When we find such a logic, as represented in a unilateral duality, and can see this route as true because it emanates from actual (‘radical’ means little more than an assertion of importance) lived experience, then the three scenarios that resolve in two conclusions as I have just indicated here by the discussion of the Virgin Birth, must be both viable. To wit, the movement of discourse as indicating the truth of human existence; the exclusive tellings, Jesus is a singular historical person, is the Son of God sent to earth, involved with a significance of history, where faith is instrumental, and, the discussion that speaks of the story of Jesus as a social-political event involving an eccentric figure named Jesus, where likewise faith is involved; and the inclusive, the story of Jesus is a story of a typical but particular and uncommon human experience under which all humans may reside, the story of the Gospels an example, a recording, a rendition of the scenario involved with the lived experience; the sensibility that ‘together is brought’ the knowing of God is God. Hence, the conclusion from this, the three conclusions that indicate a two, is that time and history are concepts that reveal a true assertion of power over what constitutes reality, and the two that exhibit a one, that this power can be undermined. This feature of discourse, as we can situate it, calls forth the categories as I have determined them in my essays thus far; which are, conventional reality of faith, which reduces to the one, and the ‘indivisible remainder’, that of the one evidencing two, that I have termed ironic.
The One of Two.
The situation indicated by the third rendition, itself and then also its movement into the fourth is, what can be called, the end of history, or and also, what some philosophers say is the end of philosophy. The most prominent and explicit indicator of this is the Non-Philosophy of Francois Laruelle. Slavoj Zizek also sees this, but does a very good job as ‘speaking from the middle’; Alain Badiou has even suggested along these lines that philosophy has to become something else, whatever that is. Quentin Meillassoux and others accordingly have or are proposing what this ‘new’ move may be.
With this in mind, we have left to make explicit the correspondence between the third rendition and its movement and the Big Story of the Bible. If we begin with the beginning of the Big Story, in a certain way, in a particular manner of understanding, we have a movement in history that does not take us to the end of the Bible, but to the middle of its last book, Revelation. In this, if we have understood the true cognizance that is occurring with the human being who has become aware of the operation of consciousness, it is most ironic that what has occurred at this moment is, in the most absurd and impossible way, a revelation. The sense that should equate the knowing of God to God, the sense that has ‘been ceasing’ to make sense through history, as I tell about in the beginning of this essay, has played out. The ‘right sense’ has become ‘nonsense’ and the discrepant individual in the world has asserted its own sense as true due to the increasing number of individuals, as these individuals manifest in a discourse no longer capable of ‘sensibly’ considering what God could mean, being unable to make that ‘right sense’. A complete inversion of meaningful categories has come to fruition, so predominant and ubiquitous is this ‘nonsense that has become true’.
This is so much the case, it can account for the historical movement of Western philosophy. Where philosophy had pondered God, and included the idea in its deliberations, which might be said to have reached a ‘plateau’ with Neo-Platonism and perhaps Scholasticism, oth which may evidence a method of reducing and instituting the absolute transcendence of the ‘One’ in reality, soon God was ‘argued’ out, religion went its dogmatic way, philosophy went on its questioning way, such that in the 19th century God ‘died’. The aspect of philosophical consciousness that at one time included God, had ‘killed God’, removed the requirement or need for the term. God became the dialectical, that aspect of consciousness that no longer need the term God, a ‘spirit’. Soon the spirit was unneeded. Martin Heidegger tore it up to Being, and Ludwig Wittgenstein showed how only language remained. Language shredded what was left of what was human such that we found ‘nothingness’ beyond. Jean Paul Lyotard spelled out the dire situation: there is no communication occurring, right sense cannot be justified. This can be transcribed as meaning, we are dead. Perhaps Gilles Deluze offered a hope in the parameters of insanity. Yet this nothingness was left to us in such a state that the State itself seemed the only recourse for our humanity, and not ‘divine’ or ‘Godly’ justice emerged, but rather social justice, human justice in the face of and for the sake of being human. And we heard Jaques Derrida, in the midst of the deluge of linguistic tempest, ask why ‘spirit’ had become such a pariah, such a ‘forbidden’ word in philosophy. Even then the sense that is the knowing of God as a God could not be voiced, it was enough and barely tolerable that he could even summon the ‘spirit’ to write an essay about it and be taken seriously.
As I will show in a later work, the situation upon the point of contention has not changed, only the terms that are used to describe it has changed. The emphasis or orientation being upon the terms’ nature complicit with its objects’ truth, reveals history as such as the representation of the condition or ‘shape’ of conventional reality.
Now, of course this is a very rough and highly porous telling of the story, and though I could fill in much more, I’m sure, highly argumentative, speculative and conspiratorial ideas, many many authors’ contributions I have left out. But this much makes sense: Of the knowing of God, such a one who ironically comes upon his own ends without having posited them beforehand as history, summons (for a Biblical context) Jesus, but without the ability to name him. He stands ‘born of a virgin’, ‘anointed’ by the unknown, ‘delivered’ from the world to his death as course, and ‘delivers’ his own death for the world; he exposes himself in the ‘spirit’ but thereby serves to ‘kill’ what the spirit meant. He stands in the middle of history, revealed into history. Seeing the past, argued backward and told as a beginning for the discrepant, he acts in mode of history, the mean of human possibility for knowing. He is blasphemy and he is the death of God. Yet he is reborn in the world, as himself, yet not himself. Man yet not man, Christ yet not Christ; God but the motion that accuses and destroys the sense of God. He is proof that is obstinately rejected. He speaks but is effectively silent. He is and speaks the truth, and hears in reply only “what is truth?”
And Pilate says to the crowd, “I find no fault in him”; and the crowd yells, “Barabbas” – that thief and murderer, that representative of discrepancy – “free Barabbas!”
How am I able to tell the Big Story? I say I agree, but somehow we disagree. For when I tell how the Big Story has any meaning, it becomes nonsense. Perhaps, Lyotard is too correct.
It is from this point that a ‘new’ philosophy fails, and ironically the question of ‘how a new philosophy could fail or not fail’ is pertinent. It is at this point we may consider what is actually meant by a ‘return’ of the ‘right sense’.
Because, don’t you know, this whole scenario is nonsense. We have to tell how this is the case also.
Everyone has an idea of what is true and real. In fact, most do not see any difference between these ideas. Against this we have the notion of superstition, in the historical mythological sense. Superstition is the justification of faith, and together they form a basis by which the activities to solve the problems of reality are justified.
When superstition is excluded in the consideration of what is true, that is, when it is taken as a ‘false’ by which ‘truth’ is situated, meaning if it is included then it is so by a negation, here we have not only reality, but the evidence of faith.
There is a different route before us. Let us take the example from what we can call Biblical mythology.
It would seem we have at least two possibilities; the universe of Adam and Eve that does not adhere to our modern scientific version of laws that have governed the workings of the universe since its beginning, and the the universe (of them) that has operated the same since their time to our time.
It seems it has to be one or the other. A beginning of the universe that actually began with two God created people must have existed, as humans like us, in a universe that was completely foreign to our understanding, that is, by contrast, if we live in our present world of scientific type methodology of real things, where evolutionary theory describes the actual universe for all times.
The former universe, one could say, had ‘miracles’, a universe where a serpent at times could talk and be motivated by ‘more than instinctual’ animal processes. This universe also has staves that could turn into snakes (Moses), a certain finite number of creatures that Noah could gather, and ‘works’ of Jesus, where a person that was dead could actually come back to life physically, and probably a myrad of other miraculous possibilities spoken about by other cultures. A universe where extra-universal energies (God?) still were involved directly with the universe.
Now, see though, I am not being facetious. I am not even thinking about ‘what if’.
The other universe is one where the humanity we know now, the capacity and ability we count as human today, including that part which extends into science, is The universe that has always been, running by the same Laws, the same limitations, one of which says that serpents could never speak to humans let alone convey a complex thought in speaking, or staves that could become snakes, or if such things could happen, then it was a mistaken apprehension of the events.
Also see that I feel that in being human, I should explore the world with all my capacities, barring no thought, considering all that might be able to come under my view. Granted, this view involves a certain morality so far as to what I may enact, but so far as the possibility of truth in the world, I must be at least willing to consider it in its possibility, including the possibility that may offend my idea of what is real and true. To me, this is a God given capacity and ability, that It gave me (us) to use to its fullest. In other words, I should, within this capacity and ability, be at least willing to try to set aside what I know is correct; the truth lay then with all that is known. The transition from real discourse to true communication occurs as we move to the experience itself.
Under this maxim for being in the world, this is why I can say or have said I do not have faith, but my faith is in doubt. For, if I do not have faith, then the faith that I do have is defacto, by definition, doubt. But inso much as somehow I have a commitment or an imperative of my being that does not allow me to have faith, by virtue of this situation, I am having faith in a meaning from which I derive that statement ‘I do not have faith’ in order to be able to say it and mean it, and thereby this condition admits, my condition, my faith is in doubt. I become subject to a peculiar situation whereby the position I advocate betrays itself, and I am left nowhere by what I may say, except that somehow I have said it, because the faith that I do have, the faith that allows me to speak and mean with conviction, is in question by the very fact that I may say and mean ‘my faith is in doubt’.
So it is that the possibility that there was a singular and momentous human being who was the Son of God, sent into this world for the forgiveness of sins, that those who believe in him may not die, but have everlasting life, this actual person-God 2000 years ago as the Bible tells – I do not have faith in this, which I to say I do not believe it, but yet I do believe, have faith in the idea, that it is just as possible as the truth I know, by which I have faith in doubt. This is ironic, the situation of irony: to have faith in doubt.
The possible situations of the universe as I presented above, both rely upon an implicit idea of progress. The former, where a serpent actually talks to Eve, suggests a universe that has been moving away from God, a universe that began with a God and where God used to interact, where miraculous things could and indeed did happen as they are told about, but that the universe is or has been moving in a manner where such strange occurrence, one could say at least, become less and less, leading ultimately to our time, wherein any and all miraculous events are immediately usurped and explained by our modern understanding, thus stripping them from the truly miraculous and leaving them, at most, merely strange or mysterious.
The latter universe extends its reaches to the ‘beginning’ and proclaims that humans a long time ago were not as intelligent as we are now. Even though they had the capacity innate in the (our) developed brain, its processes, as an adapted mechanism of natural selection of acquired traits, needed time in trial and error in dealing with the true universe to find out what is actually real and true. Early man was superstitious, and believed in all sorts of spirits and demons, gods and deities, supermen and fantastic creatures, and was prone to believing false ideas such as a geocentric universe, four basic elements, and the body’s functioning through chakras and humors. Eve talking to a serpent is explained as analogy or as ignorance, as a real human event hidden in symbolism or clouded by superstition. This universe is of a progress toward true knowledge, of humans learning and understanding their true place and the true structure of the universe.
I am unable to have faith in either one of these universes, to believe , which is to say, will myself, choose, to have one or the other be true; ‘evidence’ merely begs the question of and announces simultaneously to what ‘faith’ is being attested. I can only consider their possibility in regards to possibility. In fact, so much as what is true, is that they are both possible given the condition of knowledge that I inhabit; and this is to say, they are both true, and this truth requires, as an act of will, no faith. But my faith is in doubt. That which I come upon as true has given these sensible conclusions. What is real as to the world in which I live, while tending toward the latter, ‘scientific’ universe, comes to be in question because of what is true. This question then brings what can be called ‘commitment’ (see my posts “Tangent 3.9: Love”, and “Concerning Commitment…”) and develops along lines that can be called faith. Which universe do I choose?
As I invite the reader to truth, I can confront your faith.
The point, I suppose, that I am getting at so far as Eve and the serpent is that I am incapable of coming to a Big Story of the history of humanity. Or, I would have to say that it is ‘in between’.
It is this in between-ness that is the problem between us, between individuals, maybe. Because, in a way, what the story the Bible presents I can say to be true, but the meaning I have of this truth seems not the same as what you mean when you say it is true or false. In part, I would say my Story is both stories, the former and the latter. What this would mean is that taken separately their veracity must be taken in faith, an ‘either/or’. Taken together would show something to the effect that the historical move away from God is the move toward God, that in one way, God is knowledge of truth, and in another way God is false knowledge; this totality then would deny that there was ever a ‘true’ history designated by either the Bible’s Big Story or the Science/evolution Big Story, but that the apparent contrary movements reveal no movement, or a movement that exists only in the ever-present moment, and that on one hand, the promise of Jesus can come ‘in the blink of an eye’, at the end of time, or on the other hand, in the ‘thoughtful’ realization of the oppressively limiting power that ‘scientific’ knowledge has over the individual in reality right now. Since the Subject of both stories is the single human being’s relationship with the world, and how that Subject really has nothing to do with the world, but has everything to do with him or herself as a Subject of worldly things, the true issue cannot be so much what one believes is true, not so much what their faith ‘witnesses’; rather, the issue has more to do with what it is to be the Subject of God.
Now, the notion presented in the foregoing essay might seem to many quite…ridiculous. We are quite comfortable with what our scientific reasonings say; basically, we got it down. Our explanation of reality is true; evolution is the right fit, even though we still are working on the details. Fundamentalist Christians have their Biblical creation truth. Then there is the debate that crosses these two truths that attempts to pull ideas from either side and argue which one is more true, and this occurs at all levels, between all sorts of ‘fundamental’ ideas, their arenas of discourse.
This essay poses the issue upon the more religious horizon. But this is not merely an isolated ‘what if’; it is a sound reasoning based in the same ability that I would say is stuck in its own faith.
Science is also offering it own reconciliation of the problem of such faith; here is a link to an essay that describes this same motion put into the rhetoric of science:
Likewise Quentin Meillassoux, for one, offers his more scholarly reduction in his discussions referring to analytical appropriations of historical philosophical authors and their ideas.
The issue I address through this ‘coincidence’ of reality, has to do with how it is possible that such a reduction is being made. Reality has it that there is an historical context that is informing our ability to know of things, and the conclusions and assertions of truth, put forth usually as theory and or hypothesis, are likewise informed due to these previous delineations of ideas. Such it is that we have the individual who exists because and due to the information that was before him or her, mediated by a sort of transcendent consciousness of free will, determining by this contingency of essential forces what the present is as well as what the future has to deal with in ideas of the world.
When we move from superstition, which is of faith, which includes what is otherwise metaphysical, conventional science, to what could be called true science, we find our place in the statement, “I doubt this causal formulation”.
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.
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