actuality, eternity, ideas, living, metaphysics, personality, religion, science, time, transcendence
Posting 137, Word Count: 501.
Before the scientific Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the world as a whole was perceived universally as personified, as a living Being. As such, intelligent teleology was thought to be the innermost reality of everything, of existence. That is religion, near enough. Remarkably, the eventful objective world was thought to be never-truly-real, a fleeting, deceptive, dreamlike, and unknowable shimmer, where everything soon becomes something else, always on the point of being different. Time itself was thought to be the genius of failure-to-be-real, and reality, properly identified, was conceived as eternal sameness, the One of Parmenides, a living, conscious, willing, and ideal, sameness. Metaphysics was the effort to identify features of that living ideality which could never change, subsisting without time, and so the stuff of absolute knowledge. In that effort, the transcendence of living intelligence, of personality, was conceived, for example, as logos, a rigidly structured willing that was eternally constant. However, such a removal of ideality from the eventful intervention of personality into actuality is a gross confusion and contradiction of ordinary experience. It completely misses the transcendence of ideality in its bearing toward newness, in the creative will to freedom in that intervention. Ideality is always experience for some personality, and personality is a kind of existence which must actively develop its identity by creating an oriented bearing into the non-actual next moment of embodied life in the world, a newness and incompleteness that can occur only as ideality, never something definite, always bearing into newness in the willing of freedom, and so within time as a technique of living existence. Since time requires some sort of presence of the non-actualities which are no-longer and not-yet, and the only presence other than actuality is ideality, and since ideality is always experience for some teleological personality, then time is a thing of personality and not of actuality.
Eternity is the world that doesn’t matter. Eternity is not transcendent or ultimate reality, and has no merit as the focus of metaphysics. The focus of metaphysics is transcendence, and the transcendent wonder is willful agency, teleology, which is ideality imposing novelty on nature by conceiving and imposing time. Since nature just falls, true becoming isn’t imposed on experience by material nature, but is imposed on material nature by personality in its willful agency.
Thinking of teleology in the narrow sense of goal-oriented movement, purposive action, or future-directed force, is too simple a representation of personality, the self-thinking idea. Of course, personality strives toward a specific not-yet or non-actuality, which is the essence of creation and of teleology, but there is more. There is an effortful bearing into indefinite futurity within a broad learned and learning orientation involving both not-yet and no-longer, strict ideality making what sense we can of a largely indefinable situation, curious, caring, questioning. Personality is teleology, which must be ideality, the time-scape ideality of aspiration, expectation, intention, and desperate desire.
Copyright © 2018 Sandy MacDonald.