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A Question of Being Human 4




                    Gift of Place/Place of Gift   





So the eternal present gives it (a) self, a present, a gift. Gives itself a gift. The self. Imaginary (what else….?). Necessary, though.  No sense of ‘world’ without a sense of ‘self’… The place (the time) where both happen. ‘This’, then, itself defined as (a) gift.


The eternal present…


together with its shadow text, invisible parallel, (the rhetoric of) eternity.


Of the eternal present (and its shadow) as giftIn these we see, we witness, we take part in the production (illegal in terms of logic, a self-reference to an element in a set in the process of its self definition) of self and meaning, of that which we need to survive, to persist, mentally; of that witch and her spell which sustains us (equal parts maternal and magical), the inevitable sleight of hand that sustains us over and above the more rarified tautologous world reserved for a minority (of operations). A reliance on logic alone (like ‘reason alone’) as a self-deception of the highest order… Caught between enchantments; that of logic and that of continually witnessing the emergence of reality ‘before our very eyes’. Gift we give ourselves as a species.


(Idealism) To say that reality, the world, in within us, is only assembled into a totality, a ‘world’ inside our heads, is not to say, with ‘idealism’, that the world is (only) idea, but that the world has entered us, and inhabits us, gives us our idea… I do not make the world, the world makes me… (but was this perhaps what ‘idealism’ anyway always meant?). The other sensible position attributable to ‘idealism‘ is that it is our linguistic, cultural, and physiological predispositions, what we have learnt as well as what we are, that give us a framework (to include perhaps, time, space and many other ‘fundamental’ co-ordinates, up/down, left/right, centre/margin, proximal/distant) in which to place and even recognize the things of the world.


Away from the simple binary of mind and matter, we witness a tug-of-war between the ‘opposing’ forces of the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’; the perceptions that our sensorium collects and sends ‘in’ and the predispositions, uneasy balance of learnt and inherited frames and propensities, language, culture and ‘transcendental’, psychological -perhaps physiological- givens, that rush ‘out’ to meet them; the result: our experience, the experience of the eternal ‘now’. A ‘tug-of-love’ whose child now is pulled this way, now that, like a point on a line between two teams. At times reason places the ‘weighting’ of this point on a line nearer one parent than another, nearer one pole or another. Nearer one definitive ‘last word’… or another. Nearer one point of origin. One asexual genesis. A putative one-parent family.


It is as if we had watched the parents struggle for influence over a child, a child which we all thought was the Object. But which turned out to be… ourselves; our…. Self (the … ‘Subject’). The disputed borderline of the meeting of these ‘opposite and equal’ forces (according to philosophy, religion or ideology, we might place it further ‘in’ or further ‘out’, nearer the ‘subject’ or nearer the ’object’, nearer ‘mind’ or nearer ‘matter’), is the membrane on which is etched the pattern of the ‘real’, the veil that receives the imprint of the world, the borderline on which the ’I’ is situated, the veil that is our inner face, our inter-face, ever-changing product of agon, of the conflict and resolution of these opposing armies, one (the ‘outer’) unrelenting, without limit, the other (the ‘inner’) although accumulating its forces over age, can nevertheless not defeat nor hinder the ingress of the former, only meet it in unequal combat. No quarter asked. No quarter given. Only ourselves as given. As the given outcome.


An outcome that takes place where?


(‘Behind the eyes’) The space of awareness (intuitive, behind the eyes, but fictional, un-measureable) the place of awareness (complete with the ‘spirit of the place’, the ‘genius’ that dwells in this impossible, uncanny, space, equally fictional)? So rendered sacred. The sacred grove whose inhabitant is ‘spirit’ (is its ‘soul’).


(In…‘Our Room’) In turn giving birth to the exterior sense of room as type of place, enclosed, personal and, multiplied, our urban womb… Gift of a reconstructed exterior.


And when?


(In the ‘Eternal Present’) So the time is ‘now’ (always now), is also the time of awareness, our sense of inhabiting an eternal present, relentless, persistent. (‘In Your Face’) Actually in our, or my, face… or just behind it… ‘now.’


An event horizon which, the further it looks, the further backwards it sees; product only of its past (how could it be a product of its un-arrived future), a time-lag, delayed effect, reliant upon its input (and any preordained modifications as required by the shape of the receiver or the form of unity…).


In perpetual receipt of gift…









Copyright Peter Nesteruk, 2012