A properly ontological investigation is a ceaseless circulation around the notions of emptiness and presence, a rigorous attempt to discern the peculiar concepts of existence and nothingness, always and once again a faithful commitment to seeking out ones and zeroes. Patching up holes; but precisely in such a way that the reality grasped by ontology (like theology) is always-already as a shadow of reality, like the phantasm of another life. Cantor thought transfinite series a pure and untouchable trace of Difference. A proof of transcendence, disguised as a proof of immanence. But how else could a universal theory of events be constructed?
The critique of ontology encounters yet another surprise when it allows its gaze to move beyond the event itself. The patient observer discovers within the folds of interleaving processes an uncanny kind of hidden writing, whose nature is exceptionally difficult to grasp, for the nature of this half-erased or subtle writing ceaselessly shifts its ground as quickly as the question is posed, and can just as easily turn out to have been nothing at all. –A coincidence, upon which ontology has always made a strange decision: that being and nothing are One, existence is non-existence. God may or may not exist, but this subtle writing can be exhumed from the essences of things. It has affirmed this strange paradox precisely in order to allow a meta-philosophical plane of thought to be constructed.
Being is the first focus of the elliptical orbit traced by ontological thinking. The basic ontological statement is made by Lucretius: all things have within them the seeds of their becoming. Even the void, absolute nothingness, can be seen as a positive emptiness capable of infinite becomings. Being can thus be seen as a kind of positive nothingness, the radically empty pure essence of reality. Hence to be is to become everything — to communicate with infinite becomings, with forces radically exceeding our “individual” structural limitations: the earth, the cosmos; animals, plants, molecules, stars, etc. Thus nothingness is the second focus of the elliptical orbit traced out by ontology, for the reason that to become capable of becoming is the event itself — the paradox which ontology affirms as its rigorous essence: to diagram being.
Existence is essentially infinite in a precise sense: it has within itself the seeds of countless transfigurations — creative, neutral and destructive events. In fact what ontology can be counted upon most faithfully to remind us is that to be is always already an event, and only falsely divided into subject and object. Being is the source of becoming, already a trans-ontological process ceaselessly disseminating events, communicating with processes beyond its own boundaries. Ironically (perhaps) it is precisely this uncanny inter-resonance of widely disparate events which causes the ontologists’ rigorous functionalization to falter.
A fantastic image. I have a book of black and white photographs called Fluid Dynamics. I picked it up at the Stanford book store years ago but it has some magical photographs of water, air and oil in motion. This pattern is familiar at many scales. Fantastic. Who captured the image?
I believe it’s from a USGS survey. But to be honest, I’m not sure.
It is so easy to be and not to be. I enjoy this subject so much, I write on a blog I named pomoetry, paying homage to this era of disinformation. I guess it’s my ontological approach to poetry, writing about the subject of writing, inspiration, and poetry itself.
Keep writing about this, and I shall keep reading! 🙂
Joe…! I don’t comment much on here regarding your writings, but I felt especially compelled after reading this entry. I am glad you did the breakdown of ontological thinking into the format you did. Being, as a word and as a form of ideology itself, seems completely under-evaluated. There is so much enveloped into the statement of being, the search, the actualizing of reality; the means of becoming. The ability to accept that the paradox of being and becoming are in fact one in the same…they are the ties that coagulate this approach of thinking (to me). You mentioned that “Even the void, absolute nothingness, can be seen as a positive emptiness capable of infinite becomings”. This seems to be one of the most difficult concepts to grasp for a lot of people I come in contact with because of the unending fluidity it exudes. The “void” in essence becomes the Channel. People spend their whole life attempting to fill this void without realizing that the attempt is a miscalculation of the void itself. Rather it is the means through which our being, our becoming, functions outside the bounds of restrictive thinking and structural confines. Anyway, I don’t know if this made any sense but I wanted to comment none-the-less. 🙂
You got it perfect. 🙂
Yes, indeed, very sharp sir.
Real thinking is always a cyclone, around absence and presence, existence and nothingness, zeroes and ones. Patching up holes, like shadows patch light.
With his transfinite series, Cantor delivered an argument for transcendence, disguised as one for immanence. How else could a universal theory of events be supplied?
The critique of ontology encounters another surprise when it allows its gaze to wander from the event itself. The observer discovers, on the other side of the page, an uncanny kind of hidden writing, half-erased or subtle, maybe really nothing, maybe more. So it comes to face a strange notion: that being and nothing are One, existence is non-existence. God does, and does not, exist.
Lucretius says: all things have within them the seeds of their becoming. Even the void.
To be is really to become everything: the earth, the cosmos; animals, plants, molecules, stars, etc. Or – in other words – nothing. Or nothingness. Or the event itself.
Existence bears the seeds of countless transfigurations — creative, neutral and destructive events. Where ontology can be counted is that “to be” is always already “event”. Being is the source of becoming, disseminating events, communicating with processes beyond its own boundaries. Ironically.
In response to Milton (above), the image was caught by LANDSAT 7 on 9/15/1999, and shows ‘ a vortex street in the wake of Selkirk Island’, according to media.efluids.com: see page 19 of their efluids media galleries.