Double Economy II (Supplement). Living on the Faultline:
Diremptions (describing the world).
For our lives are dominated by two kinds of ¡®assertion¡¯: of fact, and of self¡
¡®Subject/Object¡¯: two sides to the hinge¡
Two fingers to the world¡
(Meaning: double; a pun). Two descriptions/ interpretations/ readings/ voices; out and in, objective and subjective: one, referential, pointing, describing the world, constative; the other. expressive, emotive, gestural, self-assertive: taken together, performative of the meaning of this article¡
Two functions found in all language, in every sentence, in all discourse, two kinds of assertion: asserting ¡®Truth¡¯ and asserting ¡®Self.¡¯ ¡®Truth¡¯ as referring, constative, communicating something about the world. ¡®Self¡¯ as expressive, asserting, communicating something about ones¡¯ self. The realm of ¡®Truth¡¯; a singular manifold (what ¡®is¡¯), and relevant science and educational institutions (object ¨Cin all senses- of reason and philosophy, as of religion before them) ¨C but Quantum physics now questions the unity of the object manifold. The realm of the Self; shows the subject manifold asserting its unity and ¡®sovereignty¡¯; but itself as always already riven (but with a posited ¡®essence¡¯ as ¡®cure¡¯, the ground of ¡®humanism¡¯), based upon distinction and identity, ¡®differential definition¡¯ and recognition and belonging, so the basis of a sense of community. Asserting Self (and Collective Self), indeed are all forms of identity support, the papering over of the cracks of subject and object, self and others, self and Other, and not least, the fragility and un-locatability of the self itself; an identity support including even negative identity (asceticism, etc.) as asserting just ¡®another¡¯ form of self. These two major functions are also manifest in the difference of law and ¡®Law¡¯ (the legal and the ¡®sacred¡¯, actual laws and core beliefs, again, observance and assertion), but are also found in the anti-institutional pose - an ¡®antinomian¡¯ or ¡®rebel¡¯ identity, the cult of transgression¡ (Desire before Law; Self before All ((including Death¡)) so paradoxical ground and unity of all selfish and sacrificial relations¡).
To the subjective side of language use or discourse, in addition to the presence of the self as desire in the ¡¯subjunctive mood¡¯, we might further add the ¡®vocative¡¯ a difference of the name of a role and the calling someone by their role¡ present in some languages as separate words, less so in others (in Chinese yisheng/Ò½Éú and daifu/´ó·ò). A difference of the description of things and persons using agreed nouns, and the calling to, so asserting of self towards other using a honorific form of address not used in description, a kind of role-based Proper Name.
Also in discursive practice, there is the difference between ¡®mention¡¯ and ¡®use¡¯, between citing and performing, so constative and performative; otherwise, as quoting or stating or describing something (objectively) or as employing it as a part of your sentence as part of the means of expression (subjective choice of means) - and not just the reported content (of expression). So also showing the difference of subject and object, of rhetoric and of fact, of identity as informing manner (and so the surrender, or exchange, of object, for point of view, or assertion of self in the statement) and reference or ¡¯selfless¡¯ witness. Again, we find the difference of gift exchange and of rational exchange (of symbols, language and time, and so of ¡®use value¡¯ as information for others: as opposed to ¡®using¡¯ as an extension, expression or assertion of self)! For the performative usage is also a form of rituality¡ also an identity assertion, or exchange¡ Whereas its opposite takes the subject as grammatical and so transparent¡ (a ¡®metaphysics of im-presence¡¯¡). A putative denial of self.
By contrast, in the history of philosophy, we see the putative privileging of (one¡¯s own) ¡®voice¡¯ (the ¡®Word¡¯) over ¡®writing¡¯ or any form of representation. So, after Derrida, the full presence of the thought (one¡¯s own voice in one¡¯s own head) as undermined by the past, or our reliance on memory and on the prior experience of culture and language (not always conscious¡). Present to ourselves in the present: but ¡®differential definition¡¯ suggests that all meaning is governed by what it is not¡ and not only as a result of past association; in the future too, as in repetition or iteration, where, as context changes, as we change, so does the meaning of any given thought. And of course once the thought is made public (is written or verbally passed on) is made ¡®utterance¡¯, this is even more the case, as context and interpretation suggest that all meaning is as an infinitely evolving form of ¡®writing¡¯, as every new ¡®reader ¡®writes his or her contextually constituted ¡®last word¡¯ ¨C a ¡®last word¡¯ deferred to infinity (just like the infinite expansion of all living languages and cultures). A full presence often stated as prior, reliable, axiomatic, universal, originary and teleological (yet undermined by Idealism¡¯s reliance or ¡®absent¡¯ essence, Structuralism¡¯s -and Linguistics¡¯- reliance on absent deep structures or differential definition ¨C both forms of the rhetoric of eternity, and in Husserl¡¯s Phenomenology, the insistence of the past in the present, the nature of repetition ¨C undermining any claims to a short-cut to universal species being, the short-cut from the subjective to the objective). This is the role of the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯, the illusion of full presence as (on Derrida¡¯s reading) constitutive of, or foundational with respect to, the human sciences¡ (and well, provisionally¡ it usually is¡).
Indeed, the rhetoric of eternity is implied by the presence of the present, (the ¡®Eternal Present¡¯ as site of our experiential being) as always there, where we are, the meeting place of sensory input and memory. Eternity (and its functional synonyms: universal, heaven, immortal, general (General Law), axiomatic, a priori, Nature (Natural Law) etc.) as a generalization, or universalization (sic) of the sense of the Eternal Present into a parallel , invisible, unknowable, unchanging a-historical realm appears essential (sic) to religion, ideology and even the sciences (insofar as not resolutely, empirical and contextually inflected). A place ¡®outside¡¯ which we can rely on ¨C except is has no existence outside of our minds, a guarantee that being eternal, is nowhere¡ Again the ¡®metaphysics of presence is seen to rely on a, this time, totally, un-present, and unpresentable, fiction, that nevertheless is a function of our minds (perhaps hard-wired into the brain along with the sense of the Sublime).
The Eternal Present being impossible to ¡®put one¡¯s finger on¡¯, to ¡®pin down¡¯, the rhetoric of eternity was conveniently ¡®invented¡¯ to sustain it (whence ritual, with ¡®eternity¡¯ (Myth, Belief) as its centre, and the sacrifice, identity exchange, as its price¡). The ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ supported by the metaphysics of non-presence¡
So not a matter of ¡®beings¡¯ and ¡®Beings¡¯ (the ¡®ontological difference¡¯) ¡ but the ¡®eternal present¡¯ and ¡¯Eternity¡¯ (the temporal difference, the difference of being in time and being ¡®outside¡¯ of it). And with each second term, the final term, the ¡¯big term¡¯, functioning as an illusion; for what, in our experience, could be ¡®bigger¡¯ than the ¡®eternal present¡¯ ¨C anything imaginable, would at once be contained within it. (Such as¡ what is not present: the past or memory (retrievable) and the future (projectable) and these are ¡®semi-present¡¯, contained¡ And everything else¡ imaginable or not-imaginable¡ un-present, the Absolute Other¡
Indeed the ¡®moment¡¯ of full presence is the ¡®moment¡¯ of non-presence, or absence, for as we stop to examine we find Nothing, the ¡®moment¡¯ gone, and any successive ¡®moments¡¯ impossible to pin down, empty, non-full¡ (not ¡®one¡¯, not ¡®I¡¯) only possible to experience¡ (and lose to memory). As we become conscious, we become conscious of ¡®it¡¯ passing, that¡¯s all¡ whence the ¡®necessity¡¯ of ¡®eternity¡¯, to the foundational supplement to the flux of the eternal present (which in turn becomes its fleeting, passing, surface aspect or appearance, essence is always, eternal¡). Eternity, an imaginary extension, beyond the ¡®moment¡¯ as forever¡ A universalization, an extension to fill all possible (read imaginary) space and time, but something not of any ¡®moment¡¯¡ (¡®¡ that¡¯s all¡¡¯ And it is. That¡¯s all there is: everything we experience (as ¡®we¡¯ experience it ¨C as I experience this¡).)
The borderline of subject and object is the difference of subject and object. Not ¡®objective reality¡¯, where binaries blur, or are a matter of point of view (so relative, complementary) but as a linguistic or culturally received opposition, as our personal experience ¡®as it arrives¡¯ - the difference of two terms before we blur it, or dismantle it, or load it with provisos¡ (not originary difference ¨C this, whatever it might be, would anyway be lost in the depths of the pre-conscious, but distinction or difference as the focus of consciousness and so the description, putting into words, of experience; not ¡®passively¡¯ absorbing, not ¡®actively¡¯ constituting, but noting the difference). This meeting place of subject and object is ¡®us¡¯, ourselves, our consciousness, the meeting of ¡®in¡¯ and ¡®out¡¯, inside and outside, and incoming or perception/stimulus (including from the body) and memory (linguistic and cultural recognition and the preconscious). A meeting point, a borderline, a difference that is ourselves, our ¡®place¡¯ in the world, our ¡®moment¡¯ in time (but unlocatable, so, when relied upon, a ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯, a ¡®non-place¡¯¡ and when the basis for decidedly un-present and un-presentable, ¡®parallel¡¯, extrapolation as ¡®eternity¡¯ - then the basis of the ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯). ¡®Self¡¯ separates as ¡®difference¡¯ separates¡ The ¡®Subject¡¯ too subdivides, until what is left is the eternal present of human experience, our perception of the differentiation in space of things and (in or as) time (constituting ¡®time¡¯ as our temporality) ¨C as when nothing moves, then our sense of time passing continues¡. Our selves as eternal witnesses to ¡®Becoming¡¯. A becoming that includes ourselves¡ (¡®time passing¡¡¯). So the ¡®Same¡¯ exists only a convention of identity, and not a literal fact - the Self is never ¡®the Same¡¯. On the borderline, the ¡®difference¡® is ¡®us¡¯, our ¡®moment¡¯¡ and our movement¡ a ¡®moving target¡¯ (the ¡®rest¡¯ is the Subject or Self as Object or Other - as described by the sciences).
Commodity exchange proposes an exchange value for a use value (the cost of a given desire); identity exchange offers brute matter, persons. commodities (and time) in exchange for identity as the required use value (recognition and its cost). Perhaps standing in relation to each other as the sign to the symbol: like the sign itself, the commodity may be read as having a second meaning (a second use value), a symbolic meaning (and identity exchange may, of course, be described as ¡®symbolic exchange¡¯). All are exchanged for ¡®time¡¯ ¨C the common measure. The passing of human time (objective), in the service of a temporal identity (subjective).
Identity exchange, fundamental to human identity (not just a throwback to archaic gift exchange): witness the sacrifice unlimited, of self or of others, witness war¡ its continuation (for years¡) beyond stalemate (WW1) beyond any hope of concrete gain. A ¡®face-saving¡¯ defiance which would sacrifice one¡¯s own people, community or country; an anti-economic anti-rational destructiveness, only unleashed when identity is at stake¡ Self-image as death¡¯s head, a card trumping all reason and logic, all economic sense and all and any common sense (perhaps the card with the face of the Joker). Our everyday obsession with ourselves, become megalomaniacal.
Identity and finitude; for all may disappear in the imagination, all may be dispensed with - all saving the self. And this too may be dispensed with¡ when in the service of the self-image of the self¡
Subject and Object also feature in another side of human culture; our means, form and content of representation, as in our writing and picturing¡ and in making copies (of things and the world)¡ in our deployment of Left/Right as markers of Subject and Object points of view, inner and outer, personal and another¡¯s (other), personal and that of the deity (Other). As found in narrative images, Left to Right in West, Right to Left in Middle East and in the traditional art of the East (now often switched to, from Left to Right; as Chinese ideograms, for example, are suitable for an easy switch of direction, un-like Arabic or Hebrew scripts (Abjads), or Western writing (Cyrillic and Latin Alphabets). These narrative directionalities show the direction of writing and image reading (cartoon strips), and are complimented by movement around an object, traditionally clockwise in the East and West, and anti-clockwise in the Middle East and the Islam-influenced cultures in the world¡ The later showing self-first or ¡®Subject right¡¯ in relation to objects: the former, ¡®stone worshipers¡¯ showing ¡®Object right¡¯, the dominance of the object¡¯s point of view or its right-handedness¡ (as opposed to ours, the viewers¡¯). Shown in art as the sanctified top left corner, with the different forms of narrative Left Right indicating the direction of approach, ascent or influence (these two dominate art history, East and West until the 20th century). But as the right side, anti-clockwise, is also iconoclastic (anti-image)¡ Might we say that Object right is manifest if the deity is so , otherwise (if invisible, unnamable ) not shown, nor showable, then Subject right has priority, as in ritual (opposite to that of East and West). Therefore, the Subject/Object division also dominates cultural and writing production. With clockwise showing the point of view of the Other¡ (or kings; the statue as it faces us¡). Subject w/rite for self-assertion. Object w/rite for the Other realm and its assertion (Might is Right). Culture is also a divided manifold and its fault-lines follow those of the human and ¡®hard¡¯ sciences and what they describe¡.
Culture, of course, includes, architecture and in the built environment we have the physical function of a building or part of a building and the symbolic function, again of the whole or of part of a building (usually the top, and other ¡®decorated¡¯ elements, entry, windows). In effect the difference between objective and subjective functions (how we use it and how we see it; how we employ it and how we understand it; what is it for, and what is it for us¡). This ¡®extra¡¯ expenditure of ¡®decoration¡¯ is, of course, an ¡®identity exchange¡¯ ¨C a performance of intense meaning, an act cultural assertion (the ritual force of a building, street or square). Indeed the ¡®Solar¡¯ tops of buildings (or of entire streets and squares - for this concept is trans-building) may also be read as divided between narrative or subject right and object right, as stories are depicted and statues look out¡ but most of the solar top level and its d¨¦cor is skyline related¡ a hypsosis that begins from below and leads our willing eyes up to the rim above and beyond: cornice (edge), spire (deictic), symbol (regional cultural code).
So, in summary, 4 major aspects:
In art: recognition of Object Right, the assertion of the object as deity (in most cultures, East and West); recognition of the Other (not depictable in cultures without Object Right, like those of the Middle East). In architecture in the (top) decorated part, its expenditure as identity exchange. All in opposition to Subject Right as evinced in narrative and script direction.
In human behavior in general as ¡®identity exchange¡¯; the assertion of Subject Right (over the object, including Self as Object, as in self-sacrifice or suicide). Also the scene of the clearest insistence of ritual in modern culture (and so inseparably sutured to the modern extended form of exchange, the commodity form ¨C even as its non-equivalence form of exchange (¡®disjunctive reciprocity¡¯) is defined against it).
In philosophy (¡®Anglo-American¡¯) the ¡®is/ought¡¯ or ¡®fact/value¡¯ difference as the opposition of objective and subjective points of view (description versus choice or action, asserting fact versus asserting identity). Further divisible into (descriptive) institutions of science (describing self, other and objects) and (prescriptive) institutions of governance tying the self to laws and norms (mores) held by an-other, regarding the behaviour due to self and other, and guaranteed by a (fictional) Other (¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯) ¨C the assertion of a Collective Subject of conformity.
In physics (and the physical sciences in general); the division of classic and quantum descriptions of reality, as the recognition of subject interference (in quantum physics) so indicating recognition of the subject/object relation as the ¡®edge¡¯ which differentiates description.
What if the glove has two fingers: ¡®two fingers to the world¡¯¡ with mutual contact, overlap, a shared part of the glove (or¡ not¡) only a mutual application - but no unity. Or four¡
Note I. The terms subject and object; or rather the ¡®subject/object¡¯ divide¡
Regarding the terms (or better, ¡®dyad¡¯): ¡®subject/object¡¯¡ where I have preferred to use ¡®asserting self¡¯ (or taking the point of view of the self) and ¡®asserting fact¡¯ (or taking the point of view of the object) ¨C with the former in fact (sic) often actually an assertion of fact mobilized as an assertion of identity. This received and deceptively simple opposition of ¡®subject¡¯ to ¡®object¡¯ in practice includes or overlaps with a variety of ideas¡ (whence my use of ¡®assertion¡¯ for clarity¡). Ranging from: the original terms, subject/object, with the near cognates, self/other and same /other, followed by the more metaphysical Same/Other with the implication of a collective Subject (¡®mind¡¯, ¡®Spirit¡¯) as Culture (Language) or History, as Nature (as 2nd nature becomes Nature, ¡®Natural Law¡¯). Again, we have object as matter with subject, or subjective point of view, as personal experience and assertion, or the object as the other point of view or ¡®object point of view¡¯, perhaps as a (putative) collective point of view (of others/of the Other). Or if Subject as Collective Subject, with community again as the asserting subject. In the case of the object, or objective point of view, we have the limit case of empiricism, effectively of collective witness, of Truth as inter-subjective and (within limits and with many exceptions) repeatable. The collective subject of course is analogous to Hegel¡¯s ¡®World Spirit¡¯ or Heidegger¡¯s ¡®Being¡¯. The subject/object division in physics, as noted above, is the point of view (or limit or edge) of our species being, with the Quantum-influenced sciences showing a subject ¡®interference¡¯ and so offering a divided manifold: leaving classical physics as still representing the objective point of view (with denial of subject interference) as guarantee the claim to a unified manifold (which if read as metaphysics is no longer an empirical statement about the world, but a statement about how the world should be¡ so ideology¡ in subjunctive mood¡ and so back to the assertion of a subject position or belief).
And on the other, ¡®the Other¡¯¡ home of the Sublime, the Face of the Object writ large (subject of no little personification) and (reinforced by the capitalized adjective, ¡®Absolute¡¯) Proper Name for unknowability.
So the so-called ¡®subject/object¡¯ difference, or subjective and objective points of view, include a range of relationships¡ which not only include their differences (internal/external, same/other, subject of perception/object of perception, self/other, self/Other, individual/collective, experience/witness, unique/iterative, etc¡ as well as generalised and collective versions) but also their common human origin and place(s) of enactment. The border on which we find ourselves¡ The border from which we launch our modes of assertion¡
In summary, this diremption traverses or fractures all human activity: in science in general, the description of things, in relation to our ¡®species-being¡¯ limits; in the human sciences, the description of human behaviour, of society and culture; in the particular case of the arts, of subject versus object point of view as in script and narrative Subject right versus Object right, the two complimentary points of view needed to describe directionality and meaning in the arts (with different solutions in different cultures); and in thought and language, in philosophy (where, again, both sides are necessary) the distinctions of is/ought, fact/value, use/mention, analytic/synthetic (lost in Quine¡¯s monism where the analytic becomes a habit of thought, so historical object) and most obviously in language¡¯s, I/you; I/she, he, it together with their plurals and; I/we; constative/performative, indicative/subjunctive.
All of the above binaries are also hierarchies; that is they have traditional associations as positive and negative, upper and lower term, major and minor, main and accidental, essence and appearance, which may also depend upon ones (ideological) point of view¡ With the first term read as ¡®restricting¡¯ because excluding. And the second term as ¡®general¡®, because inclusive, becoming the supplement to the first term. Unless full reversal simply turns the lower term into the upper - a reactive mimetic formation which maintains the hierarchy, apes tradition and repeats the same errors ¨C remains ¡®inside¡¯ the same paradigm whilst believing it is leaving it¡ Like Bataille¡¯s own attempted reversal of ¡®restricted¡¯ and ¡®general¡¯ (his terms) in the preference for ¡®gift exchange¡¯, unequal forms of exchange and destruction; as opposed to production, rational forms of exchange, equivalence, or commodity exchange¡ (as noted by Derrida). Both terms are necessary for a non-exclusive description of human behavior.
And the same might be said to be true for the basic terms of human thought (philosophy, language, formal languages) subject/predicate, element/set, topic/comment, the difference of the two terms of function f(x) and¡ subject/object. With the added observation that these pairs invite paradoxes if interrelated as (i) infinite contradictory self-reference, where A becomes ~A, (the alternating two terms of ¡®going in¡¯ or ¡®down¡¯) and (ii) accreting layers of metaset, as each succeeds the former as the last word, the ¡®last all-encompassing view¡¯ (additions ¡®going out¡¯ or ¡®up¡¯). With the metaset relation or process as ¡®before¡¯, with each step as ¡®more fundamental¡¯ so ¡®past¡¯: and relation of process of contradiction as repeating onwards, so as ¡®future¡¯ - in an implied arrow of time¡
Another way of thinking our limit and its relation the outside is that every time we think it¡ our circumference just got bigger (so each metaset to infinity potentially increases the space inside¡); Just as the infinite reference of self-reference, of the movement ¡®in¡¯ (as opposed to ¡®out¡¯) increases the interior depth, or the dimensions of the pocket.
Note II. Double illusion.
Illusion I. The metaphysics of presence, a kind of listening to oneself, as privileging oneself (mental voice/¡¯logos¡¯) as present to oneself now, therefore always reliable, ¡®true¡¯ - with the inference of being present. So again, reliable, in this way ¡®forever¡¯.
Illusion II. The ¡®rhetoric of eternity¡¯ employed as a support to identity and ideology (religion, faith-based and ¡®Natural Law¡¯ type) as ¡®place¡¯ of deep structure, Essence, Nature, Universal; put ¡®outside¡¯ time as guarantor of their authenticity, their ¡®Truth¡¯, their eternal value¡
So both methods of establishing ¡®Truth¡¯ employ an appeal to eternity: the first, intuitive, as presence, with the inference that ¡®this¡¯ intuition or thought will always be true, always be the case, always be the same (ignoring time and iterability, or other interpretations of the given thought or utterance - even by one¡¯s self¡ repetition as difference): the second, logical or received, as absence, opposed to appearance, the surface, the mutability of the above, as an eternal verity which is hidden elsewhere - beyond time, eternal (and so beyond us¡). Double illicit moves because the first assumes eternity for a (passing) moment in the eternal present; whilst the second assumes eternity from an, equally imaginary, generalisation and extrapolation from the eternal present, ¡®Eternity¡¯.
Note III. Criticism (description or ascription of meaning) and Psychology.
too (literary, aesthetic, ethical), no longer seeks wholes, nor to put things
¡®back together again¡¯ ¨C as with criticism in the wake of ¡®deconstruction¡¯,
showing the parts that no longer make up a whole¡ Adult thinking no longer
requires that all cultural objects and practices have a simple (unified)
meaning, any more than it requires that the law of non-contradiction to be
operative from the very beginning of an exploration of a given ¡®difficult¡¯
(contradictory, contentious) topology or topic.
One product of the divided self is the power of belief¡ Charms, lucky actions, placebos, etc., have no direct objective validity, in effect are superstitions, often based upon dubious associations. But here again we have two points of view¡ objective and subjective - or perhaps we should say, psychological¡ Moreover it is here that objective analysis (as in of a poem or piece of music) robs the belief of its power. Two starting points, fact and belief, as seen from the outside and felt from the inside ¨C but it is the later that carries psychological force, is the most effective¡ (mysteriously so ¨C the outside view however, provides the answer, descriptive, indicative, but, because of this, not performative ¨C no longer ¡®usable¡¯, effective¡).
Should we begin to think of this diremption, traversing all aspects of human life, as the experientially originary split, or rip, or tear, fundamental to our being, crossing all other differences (gender, generation, ¡®race¡¯, class, culture, belief, sexuality, life-style¡). Our species-being, a ¡®constitutive diremption¡¯¡ irreducible, unavoidable, ¡®incommensurable¡¯ - an existential double-bind. Little wonder the dogged persistence of humanity¡¯s ages old resort to ritual exchange, ¡®identity exchange¡¯, whose ¡®disjunctive reciprocity¡¯ is the nearest we can get to unity, to crossing the bridge - little wonder that this practice is so important to human identity¡ our assertion and our continuance.
Subject/Object; Subjective/Objective; Self/Other; Eternal Present/Eternity; our vision of the present/our visions of the imagination; our presence of the present / our ability to imagine the absent; our imaging of ourselves/ our imagining of ourselves in the place of the other; different kinds of internal/external points of view¡ a complex of complementaries. Not so much an ¡®ontological difference¡¯ but an ¡®alternating difference¡¯ or a ¡®reciprocating difference¡¯. The flip sides of a Mobius-strip, running into one another, but always on opposing sides¡ with us, the edge, thinking the difference¡ now one, now the other¡
Humanity¡¯s most intimate of divisions. A barrier Husserl once tried to bridge. But the subject/object binary is now better regarded as unbridgeable, indeed, constitutive, formative rather of ourselves and our relation to our context, our environment, our ¡®world(s)¡¯.
Or if bridged, bridged, symbolically, that is subjectively, performatively, in our acts of assertion, in the ritual ¡®disjunctive reciprocity¡¯ (exchange of matter for mind) where an action or ¡®cause¡¯ in one (¡®material¡¯) mode, has a ¡®parallel¡¯ reaction or effect in the other (¡®spiritual¡¯) mode ¨C or, more simply, ¡®identity exchange¡¯.
Double Economy/Diremption III. Diremption and Temporality (the ¡®double economy¡¯ and our experience of time).
Let me recapitulate the four zones of divided manifolds¡ (in each case the second term accepts and complements the former ¨C reminding us of the fact of the involvement of a seer or speaker). In the physical sciences, classic/quantum description; in the human sciences, equivalence/non-equivalence in exchange, commodity/identity or ¡®gift¡¯ exchange; in thought and language, fact/value, or is/ought, together with mention/use and indicative/subjunctive; and in art and architecture, object right/subject right directionalities. In each case a division or admixture of the assertion of fact and the assertion of self (degrees of subjectivity returned to the object).
From where does it come then¡ this division in our world, in our life, that never leaves us whilst we live¡ a division that tears a massive, near unbridgeable, rent in our individual experience of ourselves and the world as in our species being? A division, diremption, dichotomy that can, after all, only be based on one difference¡ on one experience. Our experience of experience ¡®now¡¯¡ and then the rest of our previous experience. The experience of the ¡®Eternal Present¡¯ in which whilst we live, we live¡ and its others. In practice these all come from the past; source of all continuity (in self and perception), all our other knowledge (we know ¡®others¡¯ are others because experience has taught us so). The diremption of our eternal being in the present: and the semi-present presentation of past being (framed, experienced -again- only in the present): the past, our memory (of what we have done and what we have learnt from others and other sources) and (its projection, the projection of what we know into what has not yet happened, as¡) the future. Together they make up the others of the present; the places of remembered experience, and the experience of things we have not ourselves experienced, the experience, recorded, of others¡ knowledge, all knowledge, and the results of the sciences¡ the results of thousands of years of stored collective memory (it is this, I think, that makes our species different). And the projections of this knowledge, these rhythms, repetitions and the predictions we base on them, forwards¡ making planning and foresight possible (our window on the future). We have only to add the extrapolation from the Eternal Present to non-experience of ¡®Eternity¡¯ which offers the indispensable non-ground of universals and of laws in secular thought, of the gods and their heavens in religious thought, (together with dream time) to complete the set of human options on temporality.
Root of our diremption. First and second (and third) hand experience¡ The first as the basis of our self, including our experience of our self, of being a self, and of having a memory of that self, our self-recognition¡ (our self, having memories, remembering who we were¡). The second, also from our memory, of others, of the point of view of others (of the possibility to recognize this), of their collected, inscribed, transmissible experience, whether as myth or narrative, religion or ideology, fact or fiction¡ what we learn or believe or what we take for granted ¨C what we take as given and what we accept from others (and make our own). A temporal ensemble made from the Eternal Present (the present) and its others (past and future) and its Other (¡®Eternity¡¯)¡ with only ritual to bridge them¡ With only the assertion of that self (the experience of the Eternal Present and its associations, its communities, its differentiations and distinctions) through identity exchange to bridge the impossible chasm¡ to unify the un-unifiable¡ Much as ¡®eternity¡¯ glues together our orientation in the past, present and future, offering ¡®the world¡¯, the narrative of first and last things, with the ¡®metaphysics of presence¡¯ attempting to ground knowledge in the self, and the rhetoric of eternity acting as guarantor of these connections and ¡®groundings¡¯¡ For the self has two pillars, one within and one without¡ and the arch that bridges them is the sum of the assertions made in ritual exchange¡ assertions that are also renewals, assertions of self, identity, assertions of community membership, of recognition, as self with others, assertions of dominance (or its opposite), assertions of the state of the world, of first and last things, and so to assertions of fact¡ And if we are fortunate the facts fit the former identity propositions and we have an objective picture of the world, and if we are not¡ then we lie to ourselves and to others¡ we live in denial ¨C and, when questioned or challenged, become vicious¡ individually ¡ or collectively.
Twin Pillars bridged by the Arch of Memory. For memory is both the bridge and foundation of the basic diremption of human experience. For memory is both subjective and objective, the memory of our own experience and our experience of others experience¡ of learning¡ Yet despite the importance of presence, of our presence to ourselves in the present as our place in space/time (our ¡®self¡¯ identity), despite this ¡®situatedness¡¯, Truth, nevertheless, is intersubjective (we, ¡®I¡¯ might be dreaming, delirious, deluded, drugged or just forgetful) so group witness constitutes empirical knowledge (facts), which we (¡®We¡¯) store in archives before we (¡®I¡¯) locate it and store it in our individual memory (the absolute external viewpoint, metaset or ¡®absolute objective¡¯ is of course the Other point of view and is fictional, even if assumed in much thought ¨C the ¡®God¡¯s eye view¡¯, or again , the point of view of ¡®eternity¡¯). However one more element yet is required: the repetition that accompanies learning and maintains memory, as it maintains our links with others in the world; repetition in required for connections, whether to self, memory, identity or to others, our collective identity, the desire born of recognition¡ Whence the force of ritual; repetition with affect - at its most powerful, repetition leaning on the rhetoric of eternity (fueled by some manner of exchange, of sacrifice or gift¡).
In summary (and continuing to simplify as much as possible), perhaps the biggest difference of all is the difference between our present experience (our experience of the present) and everything else (a very practical division, enabling response and survival, but with the illusion of autonomy ¨C as witness the force of habit). Either the rest is not there, not accessible (unconscious, pre-conscious, reactions, habits and repetitions), or it is semi-present, as when we access recall, find memories (or project into the future). Thus this ¡®everything else¡¯ (we know or have experienced) is present to us (the ¡®bridge of memory¡¯) as demarcated from the present, as ¡®semi-present¡¯ ¨C if you like the co-presence of our subjective and objective worlds. Things objective, which we prove in the company of others (empirical proof or witness), or learn from others, lodge in our memory, whence we access them, make them present to our subjective experience. For the difference between subjective and objective experience surely lies in numbers, subjective experience may be deluded (or memory faulty), but collective witness is more likely to the right. Truth, so perhaps reality also, is intersubjective¡ (but all objective matters are present to us, in us, subjectively¡). This difference between the experience of present and past would then be the basis for the diremption(s) noted in this account of the description of the world and the assertion of our selves (easily confused, so suggesting an origin point for the difference of subjunctive and indicative mood and their analogues in philosophy, fact and value). Perhaps we might say, the past (re)asserts facts, the present (re)asserts self (we have a present reason to re-assert the fact). Our lived temporality is again found to play a key, in not constitutive, role in our relation to the world, how we describe it and the limits of this describability.
Copyright Peter Nesteruk, 2020