Much of my thinking and reading lately has come to a head over the issue of immanence and transcendence. In recent blogosphere ventures I encountered several posts on the issue (Larval Subjects here and here, Rough Theory, Transcendental Enquiries). There is understandable criticism over forms of transcendence which need to appeal to something outside in order to explain things or solve things. This of course is the common domain of
My interest in transcendence does not grow out of a need to appeal to something beyond what we can see, experience or explain. However, I also do not assume that humans have the resources or senses to bring all of reality under a loosely scientific model of inquiry and explanation. That may lead some to view my thinking or theory as weak. I am beginning to understand that what I am concerned with is the relational aspect of reality. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “Suppose truth was a relationship – what then?” This is definitely a structural approach to reality. Meaning arises in contextual relationships.
I am however not satisfied with the view that this leads to an evasion of meaning, that meaning is endlessly deferred. This is I suppose where people explicitly or implicitly appeal to a transcendent source to stabilize or deliver meaning. This is where I begin to move towards what may be viewed as an incarnational (any other terms available?) view of reality. What I mean by this is that all of reality, reality as such, has its being (ontology) in a certain potential which as of yet has not bowed and submitted to human colonization. This is where the poetic and aesthetic become most helpful. The poetic respects the possibility of reality. My guiding quote in the header is becoming more and more significant for my thought, “There is another world, and it is the same as this one.” Beauty has not yielded her secrets but she still invites. This is not some plea for something “outside” to clarify or correct. This is the eternal task of relationship, of taking ourselves out of a perceived centre and hovering around the sacred absence necessary for relationship. This in turn leaves not a deferral of meaning but honouring its abundance.
Criticize where necessary. This is certainly a work in progress.