Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Being, God, and Writing

Being, roughly translated is based on the Old Testament's Tetragrammaton and it comes out in translation as something like: he becomes which in Hebrew is all one word yah-way. In the Hebrew language in which the original version of the OT was written, vowel markings did not exist, so all that you are left with is the YHWH. Vowel markers were added several centuries later by grammarians.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh, I am that which I am, translated into Greek becomes  "ego eimi ho on", "I am the being." (Wiki entry is good).

Being as an is-ness, as a manifesting, or a presencing, is like God himself, What was, what is, and what will be. The Alpha and the Omega are tied in a a knot in a continuous line. Times have collapsed into sequences. Times are relative to a location in time. Extremes meet, and infinity is bound to a pulse, not a circle, but a circling, which itself opens up into a line.

The word Being is a complex verbal noun, a process which has been transmuted into an object. The primordial cause of all known effects. The Origin. It has been sufficiently disarticulated to be all encompassing.

The primordial impulse of western metaphysics is thus to disarticulate the ontological object, shave off those qualities which at once are unique to some object, and so exclude others.

In order to construct such an ontological object, one in which any unique attribute assigned to it would discern it from something else, one uses a process of negation. In the Christian tradition, such a meditative practice has been handed down by an unknown Christian Mystic in the form of the Cloud of Unknowing.

Now, I haven't really done a great deal of research on via negativa, but the general impression I get is this, when we invoke the name of an image, for instance, we can evoke the image, let's say: God is not the sunrise, you will think immediately of the godliness of the sunrise, and then negate the idea that God is the sunrise.

The effect of repeating this process, over and over, we suppress the impulse by which we collapse Being/God into a single image, and allow the image itself, to "stand in for" the concept.

By evoking the concept of God/Being over and over, collapsing it into solitary images, and then negating, erasing, or blotting out the image, we can turn off the projections, without turning off the projector.

This is accomplished through a linguistic and visual process, by which God/Being, is positively defined by a negation of any image you may associate with it, regardless of whether or not it is concrete or abstract or even some event.

An object so transmuted, would cease in time to refer by collapsing, to what is in truly, all of the things that it is not, but not merely any of them.

The process is roughly analogous to reduction. In effect, we are searching the lowest common denominator between all existing things. That being, that they are.

The sense then of a text written in a fashion which adheres to such a process, would necessarily not refer beyond its own semantics or signification as a process, and also become a performance of the questioning as opposed to an answer to a question.

Now, this rather Christian notion, deeply grounded in Western Metaphysical tradition, has become the foundation for its collapse and the history of this process, is undertaken specifically by Derrida and the post-modernists who followed. It is also founded on the very Eastern metaphysical concern that the Word/Sign/Signifier not be confused with the concept/thing which it signifies, since in actual fact, the two are separate. However, by not trying to make the concept the direct object of some text, and by making the flow of the logic and the flow of the language a performance of the thinking, the text itself, becomes an example of exactly that to which it refers, in fact, re-fusing, the word and concept into a single unity, by virtue of the fact that it regards the two as two distinct entities.

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