being, flaw, impossibility, knowledge, language, machine, message, metaphysics, ontology, trace, truth

Mind

Where is truth — in knowledge or learning? If truth is processual, it is therefore also non-definitional; if it therefore exceeds classification, it annihilates a priori any possibility of its subtraction or division as such. Hence truth is impossible; yet this “impossible” subtraction of truth from an inconsistency, once postulated, nonetheless functions, it even begins to produce something, the impossible even becomes possible — and so perhaps produces everything. Thus the question remains, like a bone in our throat: how?

Just as it is the subtlety of silence to express that which language cannot, it is the very non-being of truth which is the origin of being. This answer may sound like madness, but it is actually a calm and clear way of speaking: behind both the world and the word, a silence lingers. And just as the voice emerges from a background of noise, from sublime meaninglessness the truth is subtracted. It traverses the warp of both language and experience. Knowledge bursts along particular lines, through circuits of learning which are in no way arbitrary and contingent, but rather the expansionary fault-lines of history, the exposure or blistering of time itself which results from precisely this trace of impossibility exuded by the irreversible relation: a pure non-functioning, a subtraction and division of an irreversible flow, a growth which is only as biological as technological.

The machine is again the proper metaphor here, and yet it is not even a metaphor: against time itself, learning struggles to function, and functions only so long as it does not understand — hence this struggle is not a spirit but a trace of the spirit, a flaw in the univocal sense of Being, a break in the signal which itself signals. Like a halo, the flaw is a messenger, a fragment which doesn’t belong and never did, and is included only by being excluded. From this inconsistency the wor(l)d inevitably and irrepressibly flows.

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3 thoughts on “Mind

  1. Thanks for the very interesting post! A couple comments/questions.

    “… it is the very non-being of truth which is the origin of being. … behind both the world and the word, a silence lingers. And just as the voice emerges from a background of noise, from sublime meaninglessness the truth is subtracted.”

    The event you’re describing here strikes me as profoundly Heideggerian, especially in light of his appropriation of the Greek “phusis”. Heidegger uses phusis as a metaphor for how beings emerge from Nothingness, how they spring forth onto the world and disclose themselves. In “Introduction to Metaphysics” he writes:

    “But phusis, the emerging sway, is not synonymous with these processes, which we still today cound as part of ‘nature’. The emerging and standing-out-in-itself-from-itself may not be taken as just one process among others that we observe in beings. Phusis is Being itself, by virtue of which beings first become and remain observable”

    Is your contention that Truth emerges in the same way, that it “stands-out-in-itself-from-itself” in a self-propelling leap from meaninglessness?

    In other, less convoluted words, does Truth ground Being or does Being ground Truth?

    Thanks, sorry if I’m misreading.

  2. Thank you!

    I would say, first and simply, that being, as in the ‘real,’ is not rational, and that the truth, as in the ‘proper,’ is a kind of impropriety. Truth grounds being in the formal sense that thinking, which names the process of truth’s emergence, has an ‘inconsistent’ structure, a ‘broken’ algorithm.

    In particular, this means the question of the value of truth is far more important than that of its function vis a vis being, which is paradoxical — it works because it doesn’t work, it relates by not relating, it exists by not existing, it destroys by creating…

    Nonetheless I would say there’s a kind of critical interdependence between physis and phusis (nature and emergence) which is at the very heart of the question of the origin as such, as well as the origin of reason. Is it radical birth or existence itself, must we choose between knowledge and learning — i.e., must we accept a priori the subdivision of thought? I think it all depends. In Descartes it is still taken for granted that the element of thinking is indivisible…

    Let me know if any of this is close to clearing up the ambiguities indicated by your questions! Thanks again for your thoughts,

    Joe

  3. “Just as it is the subtlety of silence to express that which language cannot, it is the very non-being of truth which is the origin of being.”…
    “Hence truth is impossible; yet this “impossible” subtraction of truth from an inconsistency, once postulated, nonetheless functions, it even begins to produce something, the impossible even becomes possible — and so perhaps produces everything.”

    I love this one…I used this entry as I was cross referencing on Descartes ‘Cogito ergo sum’. Whether it is actually related or not doesn’t matter, it relates to me in a number of ways.

    Also “subtlety of silence to express that which language cannot”; silence is one of the most beautiful and enlightening “sound” expressible… as if to say that in the silence the “stars are talking to us”. Not just in the stars but the leaves, the trees, the wind, and the rain; the material, the physical, and the spiritual; man made and otherwise: the look when eyes meet for instance…it avails us answers to the questions unasked and questions to answers not yet found; in the (loud)silence of existence.

    “yet it is not even a metaphor: against time itself, learning struggles to function, and functions only so long as it does not understand — hence this struggle is not a spirit but a trace of the spirit, a flaw in the univocal sense of Being, a break in the signal which itself signals.”
    😉 A smile is all I can express…

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