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Towards an Analysis of The Logomachy of Zos
 
 


VI

"Subject understanding object by 'as if' may become, with courage, an ingressive emotional experience giving mutual expression."

To anyone familiar with Robert Anton Wilson's "Quantum Language" or E-Prime, this sounds like an early precursor. "I see the cat 'as if' it were walking towards me."

"Ecstasy is our out-span touching Reality. It is a potent generative instant having a surplus that, when synchronized, may be used abstractly to incarnate another wish."

Anyone who really pays attention to the thrust of a lot of my comments would inevitably notice that I am no friend to the subject/object distinction. In point of fact I view it as a distortive artifact of early modern thinking which we have all pretty much internalized and which we now take for "common sense" or which we consider "obvious". All that being said, the first statement seems to suggest a way out of the mess by, as I mentioned earlier, something along the lines of E-Prime or quantum language where all forms of the verb "to be" are removed. Notice, however, that this need not specifically be something like E-Prime. I can say "It appears as if the cat lies in front of me." or "It IS as if the cat IS in front of me." the question is what the difference is. The "as if" need not do away with a concept of Being or Reality, phenomena can be viewed as just as real as the things they express, it's just that they exist in a different ontological region. Phenomena exist as "as if"s while other regions will have their own modes of being.
The purpose here, then, does not seem to be to limit our dogmatic assumptions concerning what does and doesn't exist but rather, to begin with, to place objects into the realm of phenomena. Note, for instance, that one can be a staunch Realist and experience "It is as if the cat is before me" as "I am receiving visual data concerning a substantial material object" or "There is manifest an expression of constitutive desire", neither of which need to be read as failing to assert the reality of the cat before me. The western, especially modern, world has been working with a wildly depleted sense of both Being and Illusion for quite some time due to a compulsive search for an absolute Reality against which everything else can be written off as illusion, "mere appearance", or "mere opinion". Recall here, for example, the famous saying "What is real is what allows itself to be measured." I wander off topic, however.
Why does the concept of courage come up here? Surely it takes courage to recognize over and over the implicit changeability and unpredictability of everything. In a realm of phenomena understood as expression all things become dependant upon an unknown expressor and/or thing being expressed. We are always, as it were, in the middle of a work of art the purpose and origin of which we do not know. I don't mean this in terms of empty clichés along the lines of "Life is beautiful like God's art" etc. Here the ground starts to slope away and the endless mystery, in a dark terrible yawning sense, opens up. Everything is Other, Foreign and Unknown. Really submit to this, and your coffee cup can come to be a revelation, a terror, or a riddle destining you for the nut house. Everything is "as if" and "as if"s are always tentative and changing. Everything becomes a mask.
Good, now we turn to an "ingressive emotional experience giving mutual expression". I will bracket the word [emotional] for now and focus on the concept of an ingressive experience giving mutual expression. The word emotional adds another loop later on.
When we ingress we enter. When we, as subjects, understand objects as expressive phenomena we have an experience of entering which gives mutual expression, but to what? Perhaps mutual expression to both subject and object. Then who is having this ingressive experience? I dare say, again, subject and object. Subject understanding Object as expressive phenomena enters into their unity, and thus overcomes the dualism, in an experience from whence, through mutual expression, both arise. Remember, at this point, expression carries more than its usual meaning, but is rather the origin of all non-absolutes as well. This "as if" exercise then, with courage, brings us into the originary experience of the birth of subject and object.
The final thing to take into account is the bracketed word "emotional". All of this is wildly cognitive and intellectualized. But it is not thinking which puts us in contact with Reality, but rather Ecstasy. The ingressive experience is an emotional experience. Beyond the bounds of illusory reason stretches the explosive experience of the world's unity, both our unity with it and the derivative nature of both "I" and "it". This can make a lot of sense. The philosopher Heidegger, for example, talks about "mood" as a fundamental attuning to the world in which our unity with the world, what he calls Being-In-The-World, is made apparent to us. Mood, read here as emotion although Heidegger has in mind only some selective ground-moods such as anxiety, boredom and joy, reveals us as wrapped up and caught up in the world. We are involved and also more than a little at the mercy of our being in the world. How we feel affects how the world shows up, but the world dictates much of how we feel, and neither is in our complete control. Take this to the point of an absolutely paralyzing anxiety or boredom, or a world changing joy or ecstasy, and the artificial epistemic construct of "I" and "world" and our "interaction" or "experience" of each other can fall away into the primordiality of relatedness.

This relatedness in which we experience Ecstasy, this out-stretching striving wherein finally the object striven for and the subject striving explode each other and dissolve, is the same creative moment from which both come. It is the relation out of which the subject and object derive, and so in the return to that moment just before or after the relation one can "incarnate another wish". Note this surplus. Of course there would be a surplus, because subject and object are always more and other than they seem when experienced "as if" they were separate and oppositional. What they seek to express is more than they manifest as expressions.

 
 
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