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Fragment 199, word count: 534.

Tags: nature, metaphysics, ideality, Fichte, dystopia, patriarchy, property, hive-mind, sovereignty, self-possession, politics.

The Primacy of Ideality

The physical world does not care, respond, or prepare. It does not question or answer. Not only does the cosmos not revolve around us, as Copernicus observed, but it also has no other accommodations for our sensitivity, desperate caring, freedom, or wishes and plans. Subjective ideality, which is to say, willful spirituality, does not determine objective actuality as a whole or on the grand scale. However, in a crucial sense ideality comes first because of its crucial evidentiary or experiential primacy.

When Fichte observed that the existence of the objective world occurs in a spirit’s positing (supposing) such a world, he has to be referring to the physical world as a conception of what is being received by a spirit, a conception created by a spirit in its quest for effective agency based in a sense of orientation. No matter what we receive via sensory stimulus we still individually have to make something of it in ideality, come up with a way of conceptualizing something as other than the excitation of a personal sensitivity. Reality is mutable because the structure of reality is crucially suppositional.

Even though ideality senses its condition as a receiver of a world it does not plan into existence on the grand scale, and finds itself placed within and dependent on the world of not-self so received, the primacy of ideality means that however anomalous and superfluous it might seem in relation to the vastness of not-self brute actuality, ideality does exist undeniably and exists in an asymmetrical duality of mutual influence and determination with uncaring actuality. The existence of ideality changes everything by adding a metaphysical principle to existence. It means that a certain sort of incompleteness and uncertain-anticipation is native to existence, to reality. Nature otherwise lacks any trace of anticipation. It’s just physics. With ideality, reality is no longer just fields of force occurring as they must, at rest in nature even when unfixed or unbalanced. Ideality, as metaphysics, is the world now making something of itself, planning out, searching out, and building a multitude of personal ways into the non-actual not-yet. Now the world is at risk and not at rest. It is restless, curious, and living.

The Dystopian Predicament

The human predicament is not metaphysical but rather cultural and political in that we find ourselves surrounded by ubiquitous and pervasive dystopian societies. Historically, dystopia forms as misogynist patriarchy, in which privileges have been seized and claimed along with property through violence and the threat of violence. Competitions for dominance create stacked layers of social stratification, a hierarchy of dominance in which each stratum prides itself on being a superior beings club with a cultured contempt toward the less wealthy and powerful. What often keeps the layers together as a functioning hive-mind, in addition to the core dedication to the language of competition and to accumulating trophies, is a universal orientation up toward a top layer asserting ultimate sovereignty. Deity (or Nature) serves as a cultural paradigm of sovereignty as all-powerful commander and judge with absolute ownership over the less powerful. The metaphysical situation means that this actuality is mutable and that self-possession is viable against hive-mind.

Embedded links:

Fragment 99, November 2, 2016, What is Patriarchy? (word count: 3,700)

Fragment 193, August 25, 2022, Spiritual Self-Possession (word count: 1,093)

Copyright © 2023 Sandy MacDonald.