Evergreen University and the Intersectionality of Race, Vocality and Religion. An opinion — Yes, From A White Male.

(Sorry; correction: Evergreen State College) I’ve been paying attention to the blog Why Evolution Is True, specifically about the situation at Evergreen University in Olympia, Washington.

Here is a quote from that link that I think gives a pretty good representation of what is really occurring over there, but a number of places besides:


“If you had asked me who is one of racism’s most powerful foes, I would have said Bret Weinstein,” Eric Weinstein told The Times.

“There’s something sort of ‘Twilight Zone’ about one of the most thoughtful commentators on race, at one of the most progressive schools in the country, getting called a racist.”

Here is another article about that situation, and there are a bunch more articles.

I think it’s interesting that just the other day I was commenting on another post in the blog “Why evolution is true” about postmodern articles and the potential for people to hoax papers or put forth fake papers that are taken as actual legitimate theory.

I don’t know if I really understand how engaging theoretically with a
‘Sokal-esque’
hoax article or fake theory posed as a legitimate theory gets us anywhere. It seems to feed right in to the whole post-modern phenomenon where you can’t even really tell anyways if a paper is legitimate or fake; in the end the credibility or veracity of any paper ultimately relies upon whether the author comes out and tells you whether it’s fake or not.

My take on this last post about quantum theory (or at least its terms and or ideas) being used in a post-modern social cultural paper (if you scroll down a couple posts on the “Why evolution is true” blog you’ll probably find the post I’m referring to), is that, first off, I think the paper is actually not fake, and I think the professor or theorist put the paper up as a legitimate piece of theory; second, I understand what she’s saying, but I think the mode of presentation that goes along with such pomo (post-modern) theory presents it self similar to religion. and actually in the comments to that (WEiT blog) post I described how people in such theoretical academic legitimate positions are actually taking their theory as substantial, which is to say as having legitimate and authentic substance, but to the point that you cannot even argue with them about the substance of their papers, because the current environment of postmodern theory is such that if you argue against the substance of their papers (not the content; if you challenge the theoretical basis of the paper rather than challenging the argument itself then…)  you are actually confirming that the substance of their papers is correct. And I surmise this situation as a kind of fundamentalist religious situation.

Now see, what I’m saying there is not merely theoretical or speculative. Indeed I am saying something about the actual situation of certain academic arenas, or areas within the arenas, as there are indeed departments that house representatives of more than one theoretical paradigm (hopefully), and this seems to pan out if you understand that the discourse of racial relations arose out of, or at least largely at the same time as, the postmodern era.

I’m sure we could find traces of postmodernity going back all the way to the mid-19th century, say with philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, but we could say that feminist theory is closely linked to postmodern (structural and post-structural) racial theory and where it finds its theoretical footing as a social movement; women’s suffrage, but namely white women’s suffrage (maybe, but maybe not).

I could be wrong about the actuality of the unfolding of these events, but it is not too far-fetched to say that there is a coincidence of the arrival of postmodern theory with the arrival of the 1960s and the social uprisings.

The image of race relations now, exemplified at Evergreen, doesn’t appear to be a rational discussion of race relations, but neither reaction based in being fed up. it doesn’t even seem to have its basis in the historical actuality of social justice, political movement in general or its academics. It seems to me like a bunch of kids with narrowminded views of over a century’s worth of discussions of actual hands-on working out of race relations and systemic racism.  They appear to be acting or appropriating an idea of social activism that steps into the world of fundamentalist religion.

Again I don’t know all the details about what’s happening up in the northwest of America, but it seems to me that it is not valid to reverse the situation. Of course, we do have some evidence that there is a significant form and tradition of systemic racism in the Northwest areas that we (or at least me) are not used to thinking about, so perhaps there are tensions that are not overt to the outsider (such as myself).

Systemic racism is not solved by just reversing the positional hierarchy of colors or the genders of the players involved in that system of racial and basically human oppression; that would be to admit defeat of what we consider intelligence, higher learning and just plain social justice. Systemic racism is not solved by just reversing the colours or the genders of the players involved in that system of racial and basically human oppression. (Oops. Did I just say that?) It is not correct merely to say that, oh, white people have been in power all this time oppressing people of color, and so if there’s any instance of a white person maintaining a certain type of rationality against what a person of colour maybe suggesting is proper, then he is racist; that is basically like just putting the people of colour in the position of power to oppress white people.

The true enlightened mind moves beyond such retaliation; but I think any even more appropriate statement of the situation is that these are just kids with fucked up ideas, or ideas that have removed themselves from the ideal anchor of a humanity beyond base racism and oppression. They have ceased their thinking critically about the issue and instead develop a reactionary politics (if we can even say this) that appears much like a fundamentalist religion. I may be a white man, but I am sure that there are people of colour that are in positions of power, that have a rational mind, that have been in this process of working out race relations and social oppression for many many years that would disagree with, not that these young people are protesting or not that they might disagree with what that professor did, but rather that they presume to merely switch the polls and enact the violence they propose are being effected against them. Has any of them ever read The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” ???

It appears that one of our institutions of higher learning is failing to teach higher intelligence and critical thinking to its students, and actually fostering ignorant reaction.

But again, I am outside of that area’s immediate situation, as well, a white male.

>>

We might see where this (apparently) actual situation is operative and concordant with my statement of position as it is reflected in the ideas I put forth in my essays.

For what is occurring, it appears here and there, is that what we generalize and call “Post-modern” theory or critical thinking, is actually loosening itself from any practical and indeed applicable bearings. The ‘theory’ is ‘misinformed’ by (the phenomenon) what I am calling the ‘term-object identity’. I cannot go into all the twists and turns and ramifications of this sentiment here, but basically what we are seeing is what happens when ‘talk and discussion’ and the ‘natural’ ability to ‘make sense’ takes itself Too seriously. Its not that we do not need a correction in our system, but the manner by which the meaning of theory is not only being produced, but is first and foremost being appropriated, is askew with intelligent application; substance is reduced to meaning-making instead of meaning-making being reduced to substance, which is to say, answering to actual substance. While for those who are caught up in all the ethereal theoretical and analytical postures might feel that there is actual substance underneath such heady discursive gymnastics, the actual substance is evident in what is occurring on the ground of their departments on their watch: It is inciting and enflaming ignorance.

But further, this situation, itself, is not theoretically unfounded, as I will discuss in a later essay concerning the Significant Event.


The Sad State of Speculative Religion.

Like many of us, I did like what the Speculative people were getting at, but also as we know, they really failed to come full with the promise.

But the horse is already out of the gate, and the nature of our reality, which is based in the developing of identity for the purpose of generating excess capital, just tells us that they are merely doing what everyone else does. Nothing wrong with that. But the problem with their philosophy is that they are now trapped in their identity they proposed to do away with through Objects. They are already on our list of great philosophies, so any critique that would poke a real good hole in there foundations of their start, is usually useless. They are laughing to the carnival bank. “$5 a show!!” or “$130 a book for this most significant piece of philosophical chicanery!!” If we take it as what is really is, entertainment, then maybe some of them are worth $100. But not for its substantial philosophical content, in many cases.

the main critique Ive heard of the SR (and extensions) is that they are merely repeating old phenomenological tropes in different terms, that we aren’t really hearing anything new. I think I got a more significant handle in a critique, but I doubt any of the career philosophers will address these issues regardless of how sound a critique it is. That is the beauty of SR and our day for the production of philosophy: As much as they might ask, our modern media prevents them from having to hear any valid and good critique. Maybe in a few years they will. But I doubt it.

sideshow-alive-on-the-inside

In particular, Harmans’s Object Ontology is about objects’ Being only inso far as he is involved with the topic of objects, this is to say, the Speculative turn is one based in an apparent misunderstanding of the issue, and this is to say because :

1)the argument that says reality equals discourse.

2)discourse is affected by human agency (the thinker)

3)continental tradition is constantly proposing that we can therefore change the situation of Being human itself by addressing the different terms of discourse.

4)Specultive turn thereby proposes to change where the human being is positioned in the universe by changing the focus to objects.

5)what happens is that indeed discourses change, but the human being stays right at the center of it.

6)the Specultive turn is based in a suspension of credibility, and deception. Like a magic show that people like to be entertained by. They are no longer involved with something foundational or basic, but quite suspenseful and speculative. Like a modern movie that never resolves, they merely precipitate out in a quite noticeable fashion the ‘sand-like’ nature of much of philosophical activity, falling through ones fingers as they attempt to hold it, washing away and shifting with the tide. Like a façade on a building that advertises the business, but in this case, a façade that is proposed to be actually occupying and representing the substance of the building itself — even as Quentin Miellassoux talked about the problem of ‘magical thinking’.

7)this goes well with out current Capitalist state because it proposes that the idea as well as reality of change breaks through the correlational cycle into actual substance (chaos, super-contingency). It therefore not only relies upon capitalist maxims and operations, but uses it to support capitalist ideological foundations.

8)this is not wrong or incorrect, but inherently either based in ignorance (in so far as they see the manner by which they come to their arguments and how they use them as achieving something philosophically different or progressed), or deception (in so far as they see that the manner is based in a denial of what should be obvious).

The Speculative turn will go down in history as a marker of philosophical division, a division that I don’t think any SR will expect or approve of.

>>>

I should say again, they are not wrong in their way. I actually enjoy much of their stuff. It is only that they could not produce what it seemed was promised, in a manner of speaking. And I wonder if they just went with it despite knowing that their ideas were – can I say it?? – kinda empty.

The Truth is not on Trial: The Religious Apology for Reality.

Lets see if we can get anywhere.

The issue is Truth. No other issue is significant. Other issues may exist, but then of these questions, the matter of existence is at issue. What is True is not in question; rather, where we have the question “What is Truth?” thereby do we have a misunderstanding of the issue; we have, as I say, the issue of reality. 

Reality is the misunderstanding of the issue, and the perpetuation of this misunderstanding, as it confers a method for uncovering or discovering things, is the effectivity of faith; the organization thereof, is the institution of religion. The working out of what is common, which is to say, the working out of everything that is included, including that which should be included, is the development of a catholic (unitary, whole) religious dogma.

*

So when we say that Truth is not at issue, we are not talking about what may be real, but are specifically designating reality as such: A true thing, The true thing by which all else may be real, which is to say, function or otherwise be noted or be used in the capacity thereof, true or false. This is the same designation that Soren Kierkegaard designates when he says “The universal is the ethical”. So the significant question is always “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical”, for which Kierkegaard’s answer reveals a particular moment by reflecting unto itself, the truth — not from what is false — but from what is real.

We should further clarify that this is not fantasy. The things of fantasy exist in reality, and through this juxtaposing we find all the various colloquialisms where terms are thrown about with vague and local meaning; e.g. Unicorns are not real, but the fact that she left you is real, et cetera. We have to ask then how it is the I might be able to say such things and mean it in its truth. The answer cannot be that I am reasoning incorrectly or am insane because then we have merely reified the reality that we are supposedly challenging by entertaining what I have to say. If I am insane, then it is because what is ‘you’ is limited in the possibility of estimation, what I call one’s faith. This is an exceptional definition of what insanity actually may be, so far as what is not real might be proposed as True, outside of the religious dimension.

The analogy concerns the user and the programmer. The user is content and free to surf the web and construct webpages and Facebook identities; there is nothing incorrect in this activity or procedure so far as what is constituted of the rule and as it constitutes rules for itself.  Yet, the programmer understands that while such platforms do function effectively, they do not show what is True. Also, as this analogy, this is where philosophy, as a discipline that is supposed to be able to contain a ‘whole’ discourse, becomes clouded in the correlational ontology. We need begin to discern who is speaking to what, and what proposals and conclusions are valid within what frameworks. We need not attempt to further extend this analogy to say that the programmer is likewise caught in a type of ‘web design’ that is the same as the ‘surfer’, for then we have merely negated the actuality of the order of real things; we have affirmed a common ontological arena, which we are finding is nothing less that a religious dogma. This is not to say that people cannot or are wrong to route the programmer back into ‘real’ website estimations, but rather that to do so is based in a misunderstanding of the situation at hand. In this analogy, from the perspective of the ‘surfer’, like Plato’s Cave, the programmer would be insane and caught in a fantasy. The issue is not one of reducing to a common reality; in fact, the idea of a common reality is itself a speculative truth.

It is an analogy; there is not absolute reference to Real things; we already know this. We call this ‘relativity’. It is by this maxim (usually avoided within the discourse of itself) that it is improper to say that ‘discourse’ thus conveys or otherwise determines reality as an essential and absolute Truth of existence, for then we have merely closed of the realm of possibility and bookended it be ‘discourse’. Every time we enact such a procedure, we take another step toward that catholic world religion that everyone so wants to avoid — and yet we don’t; not really (that is another discussion).

So we can say that Truth as Truth is not a function of reality, but reality may designate what may be true. In reality, things, proposals, events, may have and elicit gradiations of true and false, and ultimately the result of having reality be the total limit and furthest horizon of possibility yields what so many want to discuss as ‘correlationalism’ and then the possibilities that can arise outside of the correlational limit. I say that any proposal that says it can arrive somewhere outside the correlational limit is utterly speculative and is thus  working toward a catholic religious domain: The common reality.

We will discuss what ‘transcendent’ means elsewhere.

The current philosophical discussion that would attempt to move out of the correlationalist limit (cycle, problem) is a discussion of religious dimensions. If we are steadfast and rigorous as well as brutally honest with ourselves, it is by this inevitable conclusion that we have the move for division in philosophical estimation.

 

 

 

 

 

Extreme Dialectic: Spinoza and the Term (revisited).

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overheard from the conventionalists’ table:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

*

Issues and Existence.

I subscribe to a blog called “Bigstoryguide” where he author is involved with a running commentary as he goes through the Bible. Yes, the whole Bible. His blog he calls ‘Jesus’s death to life project’. I think he just got to the New Testament.

I am not a Christian; I am not religious nor prescribe to any particular religious doctrine. I would say if there is a god then he-it-they guide and/or ‘cooperates’, not so much with me, but, more so say, ‘upon’ or ‘through’ me. I’m not much for claiming god as my homie or leader of my gang or nothing, but neither, as what could appear contrary but complimentary to religion, would i say i practice or believe any sort of spirituality; if i am spiritual it is because i am motivated to convey (in practice and speech, as writing or talking is a practice also) what I understand and understand how i might be able to convey it. God or gods, religion and spirituality are just interesting to me, and seem to suggest many significant issues with reality, life and the world, as well as their solutions. If I say I am religious or spiritual, believe in God, gods, spirit, universal energy, etc… It is in the ‘spirit’ of colloquialism for the purpose of the attempt to communicate and/or to help. In a way, one could say, it is not so much what I say I believe, but what is true of what I say.

*

So this blogger posted a nice piece that I use as an occasion to comment. Here is his post, with the link after:

One night during the Spanish Inquisition in Seville, a cell door swings open and The Grand Inquisitor steps into the doorway. Pausing on the threshold, he lifts his lamp into the small dungeon to cast light on the prisoner’s face. The light yreveals what he already knows. The prisoner is Jesus.

There will be no trial. In fact, The Grand Inquisitor has already made his decision. He will burn Jesus at the stake in the morning.

The verdict: What Jesus offers human beings is not enough. Although He offers Himself as the bread of life, it simply is not enough.

Thou has promised to them the bread of life, the bread of heaven; but I ask Thee again, can that bread ever equal in the sight of the weak and the vicious, the ever ungrateful human race, their daily bread on earth?

(“The Grand Inquisitor” from The Brothers Karamozov by Feodor Dostoevsky http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8578/8578-h/8578-h.htm)

John 6. Non-fictional.

A crowd of people searched and found Jesus – excited about the way He had miraculously provided bread for them. However, Jesus didn’t want to talk with them about miraculous provisions of food.

Instead, He offered Himself to them. He offered Himself as “real food” and “real drink.” Their verdict?

“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.

http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/bread-of-life-no-thank-you/comment-page-1/#comment-132

I don’t think the blogger intends it, but the situation he presents here in juxtaposing the fiction and the, supposedly, non-fiction, sums up what can be called our current ‘existential situation’.

Again, as I have said in previous posts, the issue is not so much about what may be true of these stories, but how to speak of it, about its significance. The religio-mythological writ coordination of meaning, such as the (assumed) intent of the Bigstoryguide blogger, is much too dogmatic for me, too much like “…and the moral of the story is…better eat yer veggies!” As if one can merely choose to believe; as if if I just explain it to you well enough, then you will of course choose the obvious better choice. My question is: Why wouldn’t you? I mean, if all you got to do is believe and everything will be ok, why would anyone choose not to believe it? I, for one, can honestly say I have not chosen anything about what I believe, except maybe that I believe I will leave for work tomorrow 20 minutes early instead of 30. So it is that we have our existential situation. (By the way, in case you didn’t know, Dostoevsky is considered an existentialist writer, though he wrote before the term was coined.)

{ Side: Somewhat recently I saw a book, a humor book, that was called something to the effect like, ‘The Idiots Guide to Choosing a Religion’. It was great; truly funny. Similar tongue-and-cheek to a book from the 1980’s called, again, I think, “The Book of Money”, or maybe “The Money Bible”, From what I remember of it (the latter book), someone wrote this book using ‘biblical-speak’, with titled books that mimicked the actual books of the Bible, numbered chapters and versus; stories similar to the Bible stories’ content, but its was all about money. I wish I would have gotten it when I saw it. It was classic. The best chapter, which was in the book with the name and style that mimicked the book of Psalms, and was called “Money”, went something like this:

1. Money money money; oh money. Money money money money money money thou money. 2. Money money, money money. My money money money: money money money money. 3. Money. Money money money ….

Well, you get the jist. Absolutely hilarious. And the really great thing about it, the thing that struck me about it, was I wasn’t totally sure that it was meant to be a joke. As I said; Classic.

The ‘Religion’ book, though, is like a reference book, and it has every religion, sect, and cult that you can think of from the ages till now, all listed as to their qualities. Fundamental beliefs; type of pantheon, from one God, to paganism, to polytheism, to natural philosophy; benefits, such as, having an afterlife, or being forgiven, to you get to have you own universe, and ‘thumbs-down’, like, believes there is a hell, or must be willing to kill yourself, or have to wear certain clothes; practices; etcetera. Each religion and/or spiritual belief system has its own listing and even is rated, like, in a five star scale, against others. At least, again, this was my impression of it; the actual details may be slightly different. And again; I’m not totally sure that it is a joke, but I’m pretty sure it was written in good fun.

The reason I mention it is because it comes out of the idea that people can choose what they believe, like we can actually go shopping for a religion that best fits our beliefs, as if i can find one that meets most of my criteria and the rest ill just choose to believe; or, I can even choose what I want of believe because I’m not totally sure what I believe, or what it means. Well, I’m sure we can do this, but what does that really say of what we believe ? }

*

The issue I am going to deal with now is posed in the excerpt. Particularly how John puts it, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Again, if I wasn’t clear, I am not advocating Christianity, or that one needs to ‘accept’ Jesus as their personal savior. But likewise, I am not taking a dig at Christian blogger dude; he likewise could no more choose not to be a Christian (I only assume he is a Christian), than he could choose to be, say, an alligator, though it is just as well that most everyone believes that there is a choice to be had. I suppose the significant idea is found in asking someone to believe she can choose to believe that she has no choice. Or even better, asking someone to not believe in what they believe. That person might then respond by saying that their belief (that is in question) has developed through a consideration of circumstances, upon choices made, and that they cannot choose to not believe what they believe because their belief is sound, and they would not want to change their belief. So then I would have to say that they have no choice in what they believe. The rebuttal then would affirm that for their present belief they have no choice because the choices made in the past have brought them to their current condition of belief, which is to say that our present situation is determined by our past choices, which is thus sound (or not sound, as the case may be with having an issue (read on; see below) but the point then for the response is that the belief that they have an issue, is sound) Well, I say, what prevented the past situations of belief from being chosen out of; at what point in time did you have a choice upon what you believe? And back: And why would I want to believe that I had or have no choice? And me again: in what way has your wants determined what you choose? So can you choose to not want what you want? The argument could go on and on, through many avenues and considerations, quite like Plato’s dialogues, but the pivotal response would inevitably arrive: Why would I want to choose out of that which has soundly brought me to my place of truth? And, why would I want to choose not to want what I want anyways?

This is the issue, isn’t it. Issues.

*

Here is another way of looking at it.

The question I have pondered for a long time is: why wouldn’t I choose the ‘easy’ way; I mean, why wouldn’t I choose what is healthy for me, or ‘better’ for me? Why would I choose to make things difficult on myself? Am i not intelligent and sane? Now, I don’t mean this in the sense like studying and going to school to be an engineer might be difficult. Rather, I mean why would I choose to party real hard, too hard maybe, so I am incapable of studying well enough so I could get the career of my dreams? Well, the typical thinking goes to psychology: I am just fuckt up like that, like, something is wrong with me, like I have some issues embedded in my psyche or my mind that makes or compels me to make decisions that are not to my benefit despite myself.

I propose for this situation that the individual in question could not choose because she had no choice, and Christianity, the institution, and all Religion and spirituality in general, as well as psychology, the ‘science of mind/ behavior’, so to speak, develops not only in response but out of this apparent inability. I submit that the individual was doing all she could to do what was in her best interest, that in fact, she was doing what was in her best interest the whole time ( ill address the ‘best interest’ part later). Most if not many would say, that is because she does have issues. Ok; say I believe that I have issues. I reflect upon those times, or I resent those times because I come across thoughts that I had, or now have in me that were telling me that I should make the other choice, the one that at the time I knew was the right choice but did not make. I have an issue, and then I have an issue because of the issue, so I decide to get get help with my issues. I goto therapy. Over time I come to terms with my issues and get better – or maybe I don’t.

Never mind that many would argue that one does not ‘believe’ he has issues, he merely has issues; well, who is talking about what one believes? What issues are there if one does not believe that there are issues? The issues everyone else sees, or believes they see? The issue one has in-itself, or the issue that one believes everyone else does not have? But here, this is not a matter of believing, it is a matter of what is true.

The significant question has got to be: Why could I not just choose to leave my issues behind when I realized that I had them? Why would I sit in them when I know they have caused and are causing me all sorts of problems? The answer has got to be concerning belief, and not so much of what is reality and what I chose as a subject of reality; it can not be so much about what may be true of reality as much as one is involved with it. Perhaps it can be said, it does have more to do with what I am not choosing, but not so much as my issues have not been chosen in so much as they were thrown upon me: it is because my issues are informing me exactly as to who I am, and I cannot dismiss myself from my identity, nor do i want to. And, if i want to, I cannot. Hence the problem.

So I have to ask, against what am I having the cognition that I have issues? Exactly against the idea that allows me to know that I have issues. It is not some issue in-itself, as if there is some natural, ‘non-issue’ way, and due to this, I have some issue that is making me screwed up in my choices. Perhaps a person looks out into the world and sees that his life is not a picture that he enjoys, or perhaps he just feels wrong in his own skin. Again, the question must be, how could he be any different? Against or within this question lay the pertinent answer: in the past as different choices, or the future as a result of making different choices. Indeed; if such answers ( and so the question) were not salient, would there be an issue? And what is the past and future? Only an idea against which can have ideas about how one might have issues or not. ‘Now’ is not viable; in fact people will argue against my having an issue even while they will admit it. Likewise, those pictures and feelings one has of oneself and ones life can only exist in that they take form as ‘something that I am not’. I’m sure many are thinking that this is a most ridiculous notion, merely a conceptual game – but again, a ‘game’ as opposed to what? To what is Real? I say that it is just this game that we are all playing. In truth, such issues are entirely of one’s self, not put upon him by some separate force, but exactly the force that is that person entirely and absolutely, which has no true basis as a construction of outside forces. To bring in and reiterate what I have said before; in so much as I am an individual that has real issues thrust upon me, so much do I have faith, as well, am a subject of faith, and thereby do I look to solve my issues through faith, but ironically that faith that expresses my inability to choose to exit from them.

The thing is, so much as i may have issues, when I am able to fully concede to my issue, and thus fully accept it as me, it goes away. In as much as I deny or ignore it, it remains, and if I accept it, but not that it is me, likewise it remains. This is the presumed mode or operation of modern ‘psychoanalytic’ and/or ‘encounter’ therapy; when someone realizes whatever it is that has prevented them from ‘real-izing’ the issue (which is, really, a break from their usually reality), it is a ‘breakthrough’, like they have ‘broken through’ the facade of ‘their’ reality. And also, in this very same way, this is the presumed mode of the Christian problem, expressed in the above excerpts, that is solved through ‘belief’. In truth, this is to say of either solution, which actually is the same solution, either the issue still remains, but is accepted of oneself, or the issue is gone and so needs no acceptance; either way, the effect of the issue having power over or in ones life, is proposed as belief of the problem ‘no longer an issue’.

This is so much to outline the situation of human existence.

*

The main problem that the excerpts shed light upon is that for most people, such a ‘breakthrough’ never occurs. (At some point I will address this issue). So far as Christ might relate to the human condition, people are unable to sufficiently understand, or believe, so to bring about a dismissal or relieving of the issue. Beyond the dogmatics of Christian religion, Christ is the figure or actual-symbol of the message that a person merely needs to fully accept, understand or otherwise come to terms with her or his situation as an existing being. In fact, one cannot merely ‘believe’, as if a choice can be made; one must actually ‘give up’ the ideal relation that establishes oneself in, as I have spoken about it, reality. Yet, within the belief of Christianity, the functioning thereof, Jesus is that element of oneself – a precipitate of sorts, of oneself ‘un-revealed’, so to speak, unto his inability – that holds the person back from making the breakthrough, which is to say, ironically, Jesus ‘fills’ in that place, aspect or otherwise resisting area of the individual that prevents one from ‘accepting the teaching’. Jesus is the bread, is the link between the ‘not being able’ and the sought after ‘wanting for’. His presence in position of interlocutor for the discrepancy is that part of oneself that is denied for the sake of having belief being effective as a belief of choice; in other words, the Christianized Jesus is choice objectified, is that boundary, that chasm, by which one may find oneself in the substantive echo, the ‘issue’ of not being able to believe well enough, such that one may then choose to believe what suits her the belief that belief is significant. Such it is that only with the presentation of Jesus do we have the situation of a “hard teaching” that no one can accept, except that one may then, for Christianity, choose to believe.

For Psychology, as it is for Christianity, one need only choose to believe. If I can choose to believe that a ‘discussion’ about the terms of my issues will allow my issue to go away, then similarly I can choose to believe in Christ, since I need only to address my issues behind not believing. But one need not choose; choosing is the problem. So it is that the problem of the apparent inability is taken as indicating course, and a method for discerning exactly where the inability resides within a psyche or mind or soul of a now real individual (one who cannot but have the inability) is drawn out through a method of finding truth; the truth is thus the way as well as the life; it is the only way to find truth, as it concerns the human life, the only life that can be for all humanity in reality. The method becomes the true method to find truth (of oneself). No more then must we choose because our inability to choose ‘the better’, the ‘not having an issue’, is found in the choice that is the method: we need not and can not choose our way out of the situation of reality that is the issue, we instead goto therapy and believe. The therapist works to draw out the issue, as a leech for the disease of the blood, by listening to the individual speak and directing the individual to possibilities within what the individual has said, possibilities that have arisen as the science of psyche has developed out of and due to the analysis of the inability to step out of the issue. At some point, hopefully, the individual ‘speaks the issue’ so to speak, and or comes upon the issue in relation to a meaning of what was being said about it, around it, or because of it. The issue thus ‘breaks through’ the ‘wall’ of the psyche that was created by the psyche itself to protect itself in the procurement of a proper reality from the issue, but it thereby effects or establishes a reality that is ‘off’. Thus the issue is responsible for reality, as reality is the issue. Like the tract responsible for ambergris, the psyche of psychology develops along with the issue such that the matter of expulsion of the issue becomes a disgustingly beautiful thing to behold, but likewise, we can be sure the functioning of the psyche will produce another issue in its procurement of reality. The truth of this method, and or the method for finding a method that works, is hardly chosen, it is taken in faith that it is true, and that its methods are real, at least. Hence the conventional bias that sublimates and or denies its basis of operation for choice and belief.

The “breakthrough” of Psychology is the “bread” of Jesus of Christianity extrapolated in time’s discourse for the incessant and persistent inability or refusal of humanity to come to terms with its own existence. It was the same in the supposed time when the Gospels were written, as it was for Dostoevsky’s time, as it continues to be for our time. Nothing has gotten better, no one has gotten closer for all the ‘progress’ we might purport. I submit, just as many believed then as now as with those doing therapy now – so it seems.

*

The mid-20th century notion of Existentialism, as coined by the thinker Jean-Paul Sartre, is the expression in its explaining of the condition of not being able to relinquish such an identity. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, whom Sartre called the first existentialist, was the first (it seems) Western, or maybe also ‘modern’ thinker to come upon the point of contention in the way I am presenting it. They tell of the motion of existence, possible ways of situating existence in reality, which is to say, discourse, and the process whereby human beings come to terms with such an understanding. The proposal can be seen as ironic; people either are in bad faith, or they find themselves in a situation of ‘bad faith’; this is the process of conventional faith on one hand, and faith in doubt on the other. With reference to John (above, and please keep in mind that I am not advocating believing any type of dogmatics), when a person finds themselves in a situation of existence, they then realize the paradox of the “hard teaching”, and they become unsettled. They come to have ‘angst’ or become ‘anxious’ because the certainty of reality is failing, and this person either falls back into discourse of the real, or they fall onward in truth. If the latter, such angst leads to ‘despair’, and despair then is the harbinger of the ‘breakthrough’. Ironically, then the person finds that what they saw or knew of reality is no longer real.

And again, and to reiterate; the problem is precisely that understanding this process does nothing to bring it about; actually, understanding this process works to prevent it from occurring; for our examples, understanding how and why therapy operates, and that Christianly speaking, that our sinful nature can be solved through Christ; both resolve in a capacity for belief. The truth of the matter at hand is ‘hard to accept’, I would say ‘offensive’, so this state of innate human offense is solved conventionally by belief; this is summation of the presentation of conventional history. Understanding the issue only functions to bring it back around so it remains, and understanding this further tends to keep it cycling. This is the same problem of reality, what I have called “conventional methodology”. The means and manner by which reality is established and maintained is due to the overwhelming predominance of human beings who cannot let go of their ‘real identity’, even when it is plagued with issues that hinder ones ability to function. The recourse to this plague, this dis-ease of what is real, is to reify that the problem can only be found in what is real, namely, methods.

This is why and how the message of Christ became the institution of Christianity that allowed for Western Psychology. One merely needs then to believe; one needs only to repent; one needs to pray; one needs to confront their issues; one merely needs to get real with oneself; the real answer is always one needs to do something differently. Thus Christianity (of the West), sewed its own predominance; Catholicism let to Protestantism, because the Catholic way was not doing the trick. Protestantism lead to modern ‘philology’, as if we just need to study more and find the true meaning; this lead to the current Western philosophy, and this brought psychology. Round the time of the rebuking of supernaturalistic metaphysics, maybe circa 1750, and into the 19th century, we see a split in method. Protestantism developed all sorts of sects; Transcendentalism arose, as well as all sorts of Spiritualism, culminating in a profound polemic of Atheism and Magic, this last most significantly of the scholarly sort that seeks the truth through study, Alistar Crowley. Though this is admittedly quite a rough description of developments, all seek to reconcile that which is most insistently discrepant: the problematic real individual person.
It also is significant that the concepts of individualism, freedom and capitalism all came about at a time when the Christian sway was evidencing a profound failure: A state founded on the idea of the free and equal individual under the law, and the law as merely a device of negotiating individuals, individuals with pronounced and apparently unsolvable issues.

Direct Tangent 5.31: Radical, Immanence and Faith.

I hope you have a good appetite. We are at a table in a restaurant. Laruelle is my dinner partner in the seat next to me. He is having non-philosophy as his main dish; ironically, I have have opted for the buffet. There are others at our table but they have not been introduced. Many people come by our table and say hi, comment on what we are having or how nice the restaurant is, or the weather, and then disappear back into the restaurant. As I look around, I see other tables ordering ‘what he has’ and pointing to our table…

* * *
This is a discussion of what may be ‘immanence’ and to this end, what may be ‘radical’, through an occasioning of non-philosophy.

*
“There are no illusions. The message will leave a heritage in tattered pieces and interpretations. But it was difficult not to dispute the differend to its core. There will be complete confusion of the multiple, possible, and necessary effectuations of non-philosophy with its interpretations.”
from “Struggle and Utopia in the End Times of Philosophy” by Francois Laruelle.

“In so much as there may be a radical non-philosophical agent, its appearance in reality never is apprehended for what it is, except by those who see the truth of the manifestation, where it therein becomes the mere occasion for radical agency.”
from “Direction 5.18: Recant and Reoccasion” by Lance Kair.

“This is what the imperative of the radicality of immanence meant, to treat immanence in an immanent manner, not to make a new object out of it.”
Ibid. Laruelle.

Laruelle is the occasion for my work here. The significance of his premises are apparent, and the rest follows necessarily: once the issue is understood, the rest is obvious. Many, many, many will read me and argue that i do not thereby understand him, or will ask me to prove it. I will ‘prove it’ by stating the facts. Laruelle has also considered the facts; we are addressing the same issue but approaching it in different terms. What emerges subsequently is of the individual, and does not pertain to the truth of the premises necessarily, though it does sufficiently. The one who sees the parallax conjunction evident in these initial statements will need no discussion on the matter; his or her work will see in ours an occasion that verifies to them that they indeed know the truth of the matter. My problem with Laruelle was never that he is incorrect; my issue with L centers on why his is so shadowed in jargon and dressed in flattery – and if he himself is subject to the mirage (but I tend to think he is not). The truth does not disguise itself, nor does it appeal to tastes. But this does not mean there is no discussion to be had…

Some comments on the opening excerpts:

-In the first excerpt, Laruelle tells us that he recognizes that his effort, non-philosophy, will be taken as a philosophical object, that what may be an actual meaning of non-philosophy will be lost in the confusion, that non-philosophy’s “effectuations” will be commandeered by “interpretations”. The heritage that non-philosophy will leave in pieces will double back with interpretations of what occurred.

– I submit that due to this doubling-back upon the “tatters”, non-philosophy will remain ‘unheard’ due to the persistent confusion that is the discussion of the philosophical object. Yet neither can be excluded since there are no illusions; I would say illusions only occur with the conventionally oriented.

– The non-philosopher, what I could call the ‘radical agent’, is only comprehended by one who already understands what non-philosophy may be, but who may not have called it ‘non-philosophy’, and this one thereby has no need to present an interpretation of it, to make a philosophical object out of it, but instead sees non-philosophy as an occasion that verifies – not ‘tells it the way it is’ – the truth of the matter; that is, unless, as I see it, non-philosophy is proposed as, which is to say that L’s intension fulfills or otherwise acknowledges, an ironic ‘object’ of sorts.

-The question involved in the occasion here, then, is the discrepancy involved in the meanings inherent of these statements (above) taken individually and together. What can Laruelle be meaning by “immanence”? What does it mean for immanence to be treated in an immanent manner?

Most thoughtful people would say that immanence concerns or means, somehow, consistency or acceptance of or within oneself. The problem with such an idea is it means everyone already is behaving in this manner, and that the issue has to do with if they know, acknowledge or realize it or not. Then the question would be how is this possible; how can there be a bifurcation of the same movement? How can there be a ‘one being’ at odds with itself? We can get into the scientific convention of quantum physics later, but the question has to do with the usual answer. Rather, it is really the individual involved and concerned with a proper method that yields an inability to come upon immanence; that then brings a consolation that says immanence is attainable if one does the right things and applies the proper method. This method of consolation justifies the individual lack by reducing immanence to a religious, metaphysical or psychological idea that really means and has meant all along that one just needs to ‘be one’ with oneself, whether it is taken in a religious measure, such as atonement or confession or adhering to certain rituals or practices, or whether it denotes the individual coming to terms with his or her past, or doing some psychological work on the various issues and/or neuroses that are causing one to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with how one would rather be, is causing various problems in one’s life, or is otherwise preventing or hindering one from being comfortable in oneself or in other cases ‘being successful’. Noble and heartwarming as this intent and these activities may be, the proposed end result (objective) does not come close to immanence. It smells a lot like the super-mundane, utter ideological metaphysical pedestrianism, if not outright propaganda. But those so human-healthy will usually be the first to suggest that such activity is a spiritual exercise. What has occurred, though, is that what may be or have been true of ‘the spirit’ or the ‘spiritual’ has been deemed a type of misinterpretation, all this or that time just needing of discussion to figure out what it actually means or is. The discrepancy between the individual and his idea of himself thus marks a failure of the idea rather than the individual, or vice versa, instead of a failure of the scheme of meaning that has brought the idea as well as the individual to contradiction, which is to say, at odds. The method for correcting or reconciling the discrepancy is thus sought through the very scheme that establishes the problem in the first place. This is the method of philosophy, of bringing what may be various knowledges under one knowledge, of binding experience to a particular method of meaning, the discourse of the One Truth, the Universe of the True Object.

I would suggest then, that it is the negation (but not nullifying) of this type of thoughtful activity that Laruelle is up to with his non-philosophy (or at least he should be). Also, this is not my interpretation, rather, what is radical is that which is supposed to be the solution to the problem inherent of the scheme itself, and immanence is that condition that is thus let to knowledge once the scheme (of and in which the problem resides) has been fully renounced (the Name has been relinquished). But the question remains: How can this be?

Many will say this whole line of thought is ridiculous, but what we have here is exactly the condition of letting the concept come into existence through the phenomenon, rather than relying upon an equivocality of concept and phenomenon. It is not a matter of the term being solute with reality, but that such a solution denies other solutions. Hence my “conventional” and possibly Laruelle’s “philosophical” reality; yet, I see the real issue as centering on the ‘term’ and ones orientation upon the object. This cannot be estimated; that is, the reliance upon the equivocality that brings thought into a correspondent relation with (real) objects reveals the inherent over-determination already invested in the effort to produce a viable solution to the problem of reality: This over-determination is exactly transcendence and not immanence, radical or otherwise. The determination of reality must be precise in order for a true relation (or non-relation, as the case may be) to have any meaning at all: the determination must be not real. Otherwise, the meaning is exactly faith. For once the determination is true, no longer do we have reality equated to thoughts except through a mistaken willing of belief – but there exactly do we have difference. It is thus the ‘sameness’, the in-distinction that qualifies the philosophical movements that at once understand but still play the language games as if some progress can be or will be made due to the recognition, within which discussion abounds upon a transcending truth as everyone wills themselves into reality.

Thus, to come back to the individual’s inability to come upon immanence, this means that the individual is routinely unable, does not have the capacity, to renounce the problematic scheme wholesale, and so, as a human ideological-cultural motif, has deemed such ability, as well as any terms that might denote, refer or indicate such ability, to be false. The proper method – right action, right thought, etc…to mediation and yoga, to therapy, exercise or even medication, but also methods of negotiation, philosophical but also including economic, cultural and sociological methods – thus emerges in history toward the true ‘objective’ that has been determined in denial to never be a reconciliation of discrepant objects, but always the creation of problem within a posed solvent future, the mistaken past corrected by the future, which reveals precisely the ideological agenda of the conventional agent, as well as offers routes into cultural critique. Immanence at once is deemed an anachronistic and/or religious-metaphysical (read: false) notion for the sake of the transcendent truth, as well is absorbed into the conventional rhetoric to justify its reductive and unifying motion; immanence becomes an ideological justification of activity localized in the conventional agent. This last is why, i believe, Laruelle had to introduce radical immanence, to admit and assert poignantly and decisively what should not ever be confused -though it typically, habitually and persistently does – with, what I submit is a more precise terming, the conventional methodology.

*

My research has found that other authors have and are indeed addressing reality through the same understanding, but that often the authors and their conventional agents quibble over the use of terms. So it is from this perspective that I join the discussion. As a substrate to my proposals, I must ask: How is it possible that I have come upon such knowledge?

*

My posts have been growing rather lengthy. So I have decided to chop my essays into more easily digestible portions. This helps me to keep to more specific points, as well as develop a more sensible and consistent proposition.

So I will have a drink, and return from the buffet in a moment…

Direct Tangent 4.13: A Particular Addressing.

I have to admit, I had never encountered the understanding that I have come upon, nor this position from where I proceed into the world, in another author that is alive; that is until I came across Francois Laruelle and his non-philosophy. But I still have to wonder of authors. I myself am skeptical of understanding gained by mere learning. I have found that an organization of terms may appear to evidence a false veneer; but i remain open. Nevertheless, because of this feature, I am inevitably confronted with the possibility of tangible verification, in other words, validation, and it is this last possibility that I address through direct tangents.

Now, what this means is that if Laruelle and other authors have likewise been come upon by the same experience, I have an obligation to myself to doubt it. I have thereby only to continue with my exposition here in ‘Constructive Undoing’.

* *
The following quotes are from a quite accessible essay that describes Laruelle’s project, non-philosophy. Here’s the link: http://speculativeheresy.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/smith-anthony-paul-history-of-non-philosophy.pdf.

“Laruelle tells us quite simply in his Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie that, ‘The philosophical decision is an operation of transcendence that believes (in a naïve and hallucinatory way) in the possibility of a unitary discourse of the Real.'”
– [François Laruelle et collaboratuers, Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie (Paris: Éditions Kimé, 1998), p. 40. See also Taylor Adkins draft translation of this passage and the rest of the Dictionnaire available online: . My own translation is modified from that of Adkins.]

*

“In order to overcome the narcissism that arises out of the hallucinatory splitting of immanence Laruelle situates the philosophical decision in its immanent cause – the vision-in-One. The vision-in-One is equivalent to the Real, meaning that when one thinks from (rather than about) the Real then one is thinking from the vision-in-One as radical immanence.”

— — Though these quotes are quite a bit more easily grasped, they still rely upon a certain priviledge. The aire or tone of the explanation, though muted from the orignial it proposes to explain, still lifts itself from the reader as if to call the reader by the usually obscure terms to his or her relative ignorance or intelligence; it beckons the reader to investigate further into the discourse so s/he may become more informed as to what the jargon terms really mean. The pull is created by the mysterious term rather than by reader sympathetic curiosity; which is to say, the reader is forced to consider his ignorance with reference to will, and to fall into an apparent void that the jargon leaves in the reader, rather than the reader being compelled by interest in what is being awakened within him through the presentation. (Though the ‘fall into the void’ would be the proper place to start, as in “thinking from the Real” – ironically, the situation right here assumes its counter-position, as if against a blind.)

One might ask what or how ignorance and interest can be in conflict; for is not interest often aroused because of ignorance? I intend to point to a willing with reference to these ideas, so much that it is an attitude of will that promotes proper method, and it is a lack of owning or having a supposed ability – for example, an ability to understand a sentence because of mere jargon as opposed to an otherwise explainable idea – that places the individual in a perpetual state of ignorance. This type of ignorance compels one into will, so much as one attempts to assert will over the objective world so as to dominate it through absolutely true understanding. The point here is that jargon is an infinitely deep pit of unknowing, yet proposed as if it is a true knowing – without the irony.

I use these passages (above) as a platform from which to depart or detach from the (sticking with Laruelle’s useage) philosophical rhetoric, the endless abyss; whereas Laruelle uses such terms of philosophical jargon, I insist that such forest front can be cleared to reveal the hidden stream, that though one may surely have to venture into the forest to find it, I can almost guarantee that only the honest intent for such a foray is required; a clearing need not be a decimation. Laruelle proposes a re-situating or a restating of philosophical discourse to find a more substantial, positive, ground within and in mind of the premises of modern (post-modern?) relativity; in other words, he proposes his project in a suspension that he calls reality, or Real. I propose to ground such jargon in the actual truth of the situation allowing for no suspension of plausible discursive denial of contradiction, at once, as an extended project, explaining the totality of what may be history as well as what can be known (what I would call) conventional history, as well as how this allows for reality and/or the Real.

*
First, as promised, I proceed with a more particularized addressing of the jargon.

In the first quote, Laruelle speaks of the ‘philosophical decision’. I submit it is this kind of jargon that tends distract one from the issue at hand, enough to make me think that indeed L is merely discussing a particular discursive arena ( a discursive arena is what is talked about around a particular topic or category of topics, such as ‘philosophy’, or ‘diabetes’, for example. ). Let me attempt to distinguish what I am indicating by first offering my take upon his “philosophical decision”: it is what i call the ‘conventional true object’.

The reason I have come to call what is typically known as philosophy (in L’s sense) ‘conventional methodology’, has to do with the true object: philosophy sees its motion as in an effort similar and correspondent with science, to discover the true object. As I have said earlier, in the same way that science is proposed with an object whereby science comes about, philosophy sees itself having a similarly manifested object. It is this similarity that has developed a common discourse about what is true, where science and philosophy are complicit with discerning the absolutely true reality. An ‘object’ is usually particularized, as in that lamp is an object and that tree is an object, but when we begin to think critically about objects, we will find that the philosophical generalizes objects into the question about the object, a category which now includes the possibility of the manifestation of things in the world. By extension and extrapolation, the discussion of the object inevitably concerns all reality; this object is called ‘reality’, ‘being’ and/or ‘existence’, or in more general speaking, the ‘world’ or ‘universe’. Philosophy’s effort is thus to come to a ‘general theory’ so to speak, the grand equation or explanation that accounts for a total sensibility of all objects. What Laruelle calls a “unitary discourse of the Real” – It is the same thing to say that philosophy concerns the effort to discover or find the true object: Real objects are true and Reality is the totality of true objects. I suggest that the effort to discover the true object is a conventional effort, and such conventional efforts that are seen to have somehow discovered or come upon truth are put forth and looked upon as proper, and are thus conveyed or communicated to others as a method by which to reproduce the results which are true and thus makes the method likewise true: hence, philosophy is a conventional methodology because it advocates a proper method by which to find or discover the truth – not just the truth of the matter but the matter of the true object which then has to be absolutely true.

It may now become apparent how Laruelle and I are addressing the same issue but along opposite vectors, such that one might say our discourses constitute a diametric survey.

See that the term ‘decision’ locates a transcendent. In philosophical discourse, a transcendent means ‘god’ but a sterilized form that is meant to be disassociate from any religious doctrinal predicates; that is, a transcendent is god without corresponding moral qualifiers or objective descriptors. Laruelle is saying that philosophy’s motions are based upon a god that is denied in and through, implicitly and explicitly, the very efforts of discussion and argument. This is to say that the act of philosophizing cannot (is incapable of) admit that its functions and operations stem from an impetus that avoids the analytic gaze of philosophy itself – philosophy functions through denial – and, philosophy tends to or usually begins its argument at atheism as a given or truism. In other words, the process of philosophy is based upon dividing and comparing, so this process begins in the de-cision: philosophy begins upon a moment that is not divided; this, and also, the process depends upon acts of analysis to place the distinction in order to create discursive sides by which to construct argument, and this progressive process occurs in mind of achieving a “unitary discourse of the Real”. L is saying that both of these types of ‘decisions’ rely upon a ‘philosophical decision’ (described here above) that is either relied upon or put off and never encountered in the act of philosophy itself: this element thus transcends philosophy, and thus grants philosophy a beginning and an end. It thereby seems obvious to me to ask: Where have we heard this before? “I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end”.

Now, for Laruelle the ‘decision’ indicates a situation a priori, or prior to philosophy and so thereby directs its motion upon a transcendent or a transcending element or aspect toward a unified theory. I, on the other hand, locate the term a priori the decision. More precisely, the term designates what the decision is: the decision, for Non-Philosophy, is true; the decision is a true thing: it is an object. The term is philosophy because it is then we have a situation that Laruelle describes as “narcissism that arises from the splitting of immanence”; the denial of the property of method reveals the philosophical maxim: to find the true reality. Yet, once this property is realized the issue of the term no longer can be a philosophical issue, it must be something other than philosophy: So much as L, the issue must be one of non-philosophy. Nevertheless, because L sees a ‘philosophical decision’ and not the term as the issue, because he has displaced the issue to a secondary or dependent clause, his Non-Philosophy appears as a ‘conventional methodology’. Conventional methodology proposes an ability to encounter the true object through a proper method and this proposal stems from the term. The term itself is a proposal of truth such that convention may have reality; true and false thereby become indicators of what is actually and absolutely true and false. What is false is false; it is not true that what is false is false, but it is not false either: it is paradoxical and contradictory in its process and thus indicates what is true, but again: not what is merely true but absolutely true. This conventional process does not allow for any other truth; it contains and has the ability to find what is true – and only convention has such capacity and ability: it accounts for the true reality.

Hence we have the real issue; hence I have suggested that Laruelle is in bad faith; hence I have come upon the poignant and significant issue: what does this mean? What does it mean that in the effort to situate and describe a space or element that is not philosophical, such effort is indeed philosophical ?

I will address the second quote more thoroughly in the next post.
For now; Im gonna go eat an orange.

Direction 4.5: Jargon, Bad Faith and a brief explanation of the non-philosophical project, its problems and shortcomings.

The other problem with truth is that everyone already knows what is the truth. They encounter it everyday and what they know is sufficient for them to go through life with at least adequate contentment; the rest they can invest in church or their respective church-like elements of their lives.

*

I came off rather strong in that last post. If I have offended anyone’s sense of truth or reality then I have struck something significant with you. It then either beckons you to a question of your reaction or to a denial of the offending proposition.

Anyways, I have only to continue. Here is a sound byte of an author taking about what non-philosophy may be.

(I hope this link is a good link to a 7 minute spoken introduction to a book about non-philosophy that just came out. )
*
It is possible that some readers may have noticed a paradoxical aspect of my presentation. Somehow I disagree with Laruelle but yet in that I am discussing his ideas I appear to agree with him. In particular, I have pointed out that his use of jargon is contradictory to what should seem to be a humanistic effort; as well, I have accused him of being in bad faith. But I do agree that there is a generally “unrecognized” arena or basis of knowledge that is ignored or denied; this is the reason I can speak to his project: because I am addressing the significant issue, and not so much (yet) the veracity of his position.

I should make a distinction in terms between Laruelle’s and my own. Laruelle has coined ‘non-philosophy’ to distinguish his proposal from ‘philosophy’; I propose that what most people consider philosophy is not philosophy but what i call ‘conventional methodology’. Hence, his Non-Philosophy is what I consider as Philosophy, and what he points at and rebuts that he calls Philosophy, I call Conventional Methodology, because it functions the same as any other effort to solve problems between things. He has relinquished a quality of term to the masses so that he just thus frames Non-Philosophy to oppose what has been commandeered and called philosophy.

Ironically, I might say that another reason he uses such “high” jargon is so he might not offend anyone, so he might be thus able to (finally) implement or explain sufficiently the truth of the matter and thus gain some other honest seekers, but it is this futile effort that explains more thoroughly the issue at hand and the phenomenon of bad faith.

The distinction that both of us have come upon has not until somewhat recently (within the past couple hundred years maybe, but particularly in the past hundred – but maybe 4000! ) been noticed, or at least not in institutional or conventional discussion. The problem is located in the assumption of common effort, which is the idea that everyone who might be considering things is human and thus are involved in the same problems and solutions that collectively are known as progress. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were the first to notice this problem, but they were caught likewise in the assumption: they still thought that people, once shown the truth, would thereby change; but this never happens because either no one cares or because they already know what is true. Again, what was clearly delineated in both their works as a break, a polemic, was and is taken up in conventional methodology, or philosophy, to be allegorical; as if K and N were really speaking of and to “individuals”, that their discussions were aimed at everyone so the individual might consider ‘new insights into existence as a human being’ – because conventional-methodological philosophy cannot have essential difference, it must reduce everything back into its common generality. I submit that such insight is entirely wrong, a misappropriation of meaning from what Laruelle would call non-philosophical, what I would call true philosophy, into philosophy, or what I would call conventional methodology. It is correct, of course, to the extent or in the belief as one is oriented in their Being towards a absolutely true, one, single, reality: as one is of an unquestioned faith.

The assumption of common effort is what Laruelle identifies as an understanding of a world given to knowledge: the understanding which philosophy ( I will now stick with Laruelle’s usage ) takes as its ground and purpose, a progress of and towards truth, a progress that Laruelle has eloquently debunked. Yet, it is also where religion gains its purpose. We should see that Laruelle is being strategic in his presentation; he is applying discursive tactics by focusing his attack on philosophy: the analysis and construction of the basic methodological approach for conventional thinking upon being human and existence (ontology and epistemology). But indeed such a critique and commentary cannot be confined without becoming that which it decries. As i have already indicated, conventional methodology behaves as a religion, functions through faith, and develops history along particular lines of control and power. If Laruelle truly sees his effort as particular to philosophy and not to reality in general, then in one instance at least, he is in bad faith. But this kind of bad faith is only of a lower type, and the more significant is being developed here.

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The description of the situation is only made available with or through the understanding that I have come upon, the understanding that Laruelle seems to expound. Yet we have merely come upon and agreed upon the issue; where we diverge is at his excessive and overtly positive asserting – because this seems to necessitate jargon. This is my third explanation for his excessive jargon. Laruelle is fixated upon reconciling the discrepancies of reality, and in so doing, I fear, he is really venturing no further than the philosophy he is supposedly critiquing. The positivity – that is to say, the orientation upon a one reality that attempts to describe a completeness, or total explanation of what occurs or is occurring – that Laruelle is involved in mimics Sartre: his description is so considerate of positive, historical possibility – even while describing it away in meta-synthesis – it seems plausible and credible.

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Here is a bit of synopsis of Laruelle by another author

[Gabriel Alkon,1 Boris Gunjević2
1City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of English, 455 Fort Washington Avenue, US–10033 New York, NY
2Theological Faculty “Matija Vlačić Ilirik”, Radićeva 34, HR–10000 Zagreb gabriel_alkon@msn.com, boris.gunjevic@zg.htnet.hr]

PG. 213:

“According to Laruelle, the true event for philosophy is in fact the coordinated positing of relative and absolute, combined and separate, conditioned and unconditioned, as mutual presuppositions – there is no event apart from the philosophical “decision” that sets these oppositions in motion. This decision is the “proto-event”, which is the self-positing of philosophy as the discourse concerning the relation of the unconditioned to what it conditions, or of the transcendental to the given. This relation, which becomes an immediate unity in the event, is the presupposition that establishes philosophy’s adequacy to its other. The presumed correlation of actual being to a transcendental condi- tioning power is what allows philosophy to know itself through the other by moving beyond the other as given. It is the sheer being-given of what it knows that philosophy must resist; its skill is the derivation of the transcendental – the transcendental that is its unacknowledged presupposition. The event, which undoes the given in the immediate presence of its preconditions, is the true culmination of philosophy – the moment at which it need no longer depend on its objects, which are replaced by the transcendentals that are the preserve of philosophy alone.”

Now, my problem with Laruelle is primarily founded in the high-speak of philosophical jargon. Here is another author explicating what Laruelle has said and he cannot even remove himself from the necessary jargon. It is like a disease that is contagious, spread by the mere act of dense and vague verbosity, not even the person who is attempting to disseminate into, what is suppose is meant to be, simpler language, is able to tear himself away from the sickness, is not able to get simple.

Since I am not concerned with status, position or privilege, I find the truth of the matter in much simpler terms and thus come to a more solute ground of the issue (my wording nor word count does not have a dollar or a academic discursive value attached to its effort):

The issue is the term. Since the object can never be known in itself, we are left with only knowledge. Not knowledge of it the object, but only knowledge. Knowledge concerns the object, but because of its limitation (knowledge reflects only itself) the object thus likewise must be a condition of such knowledge, and not the converse. Such conditions designate reality according to discursive relations of meaning ( I will dispense with the Big-Name droppings since there is no profit in it in truth ), relations that correspond with Laruelle’s “coordinated positing”. Such relations cannot be known in themselves without, as Laruelle also finds, resting upon silent, or denied relations upon which the new relations are thus situated for their truth, and this is Laruelle’s philosophical “decision”. Thus, to be simple, we are not ever dealing with things in-themselves, but only terms; it is not that there may be such “decision” or “proto event”‘ but how one is oriented in knowledge toward those ‘things’. Terms are thus situated in consciousness and are revealed by the manner of their use by Beings as to their orientation upon existence- this orientation operative in the questions: Is the term equivalent to its object? Does the term express a true object? Does the Being see itself essentially integral with a common true reality designated by true objects that are conveyed through terms – what Laruelle calls “the world given to knowledge” ? When we begin to understand the issue, we will see it is one of faith; in other words, terms always rely upon an ability to express absolute truths, an object in-itself, and thus implicate, in their role of expressing truth, a transcending element. Again: We are not therefore concerned here then with what the terms may be able to express so far as absolutely true objects, but whether or how one is so oriented upon the truth that is supposed to be expressed in such terms. Hence the polemical non-philosophical and philosophical projects – which I see as better expressed as ‘philosophical’ and ‘conventional- methodological’, respectively.

It appears that Laruelle in his efforts is like Sartre in that he is attempting to describe a true world. We may find over time and repeated returns to this type of philosophy ( or non-philosophy, as the case may be), that they are indeed giving us a comprehensive picture of reality as it is/was at the time of the position. We will have then another way to view reality in existence as another sort of style or fashion. So far, in as much as every expression is an exact reflection of existence at that moment, at least, we have Sartre’s description and now we have Laruelle’s. The problem is in their bad faith of being able to present a description of a real, true world; they end up only giving us a picture of a world that existed for a moment – but without the irony that would allow their proposal to give a picture of the eternally true world.
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I am honored if indeed anyone has continued with me this far; I must assume that if you are still here then I have been speaking to the right person.

But chances are none have ventured this far.

Nevertheless, I have only to continue, regardless.

But right now, I’ve to go to the snack stand….