The “I” of a reflecting consciousness is the absolute of consciousness. The un-reflecting “I” is the absolute of all else; all that exists and all that is temporary. A consciousness reflecting is eternal, indifferent to time and without duration. It is a solitary permanence that could never be distracted nor prone to deception. It is the inevitable immanence of itself seeking nothing but its own reflection as it wanders from the world and withdraws into a silent repose. It never includes the “self” who occupies the outpost of time and struggles inside a universe that has no remorse and is the nesting ground for the complexities of humanity. The balance between the reflecting and the un-reflecting consciousness is the ground of desire: an insoluble drive to eternal completeness guided by spirit and wholly unbound from phenomenal malevolence of any kind.
By being conscious of something we imprison ourselves and are, thusly, drawn into empirical consciousness. This advent from the “I” thrown-into-the-world, finds it is no longer what it was but now belongs to a world consciousness. Consciousness is the cause of itself as it crawls out of the past and, through its intentions, receives into itself what it immediately intuits. Its intention is self-intending and acts out of a spontaneous notion of itself. We are our own “Big Bang.”
Consciousness of the “I” is the first experience for consciousness and, through this understanding, is conscious of something. Without the “I” of consciousness everything would share the same ground and there could be no separation from that which exists other than it. Nothingness would be the prevailing structure. Consciousness needs both nothingness and something that is other than nothing as being a consciousness of something. To be what it is while simultaneously being-not.
Perception brings sense certainty to the universal and grounds it in an understanding of differences which constitute themselves through an indifference to the properties that form the essential. In other words it brings together the “also” of this and the not-this when perceived as being in the same context as the perception would allow. We can say a lump of clay is hard and is also malleable. It is also formed from water and earth. Each property, in itself, is indifferent to the other, however when placed together become this and no longer are that. To reach a form of completion, this lump of clay is this and that and, also, not-this. It is not a stream of water nor is it a handful of dirt. But, simultaneously, it is both. As in perception, being relates to that which it perceives before distinguishing itself from it; before realizing what it is and what it is not. It is also through perception that consciousness comes to itself and establishes the ground by which sense certainty begins its path to the true.
Experience is a search for what it is not and simultaneously what it is. This is the same for consciousness which, in its struggle to realize infinite absolution, attempts to break away from the relationship it holds with it-self and become what it is not. Its attempts at escaping finitude, where it finds it-self, are bound by its relative unity with what appears as the true. It is within this “truth” that consciousness finds itself and can only hope to return again to its unity with spirit which, once becoming being-in-the-world, clings to the universal structure and, through mediation, becomes victim to its dialectical unravelling. This system forms a reality that combines the invisible forces of itself and that of spirit struggling to escape from it. In the ongoing turmoil between what is not and what is, consciousness is lost in the infinite finitude of all that exists which, for it, is the only truth it can know. And, ultimately, it is the only truth which is not the truth.
It is not possible to prevent immediacy, or sense certainty, from falling into the grasp of mediation in such a way as to suspend what is immediate and look into its movement. Once an object has fallen to perception, once it pierces the perimeter of its own beyond and makes an appearance, it becomes, for the one perceiving, the “now” and the “this” until the next “now” or the next “this” follows. This movement is immediate and simultaneously historical as each “now” is that which is no longer and cannot be stopped on its path to oblivion. It is the betrayal by awareness that hides from us the absolute and forces being into reason instead of revelation. It is through art that we are able to scratch the surface of this undefinable essence from which we ascend and become, by way of expression, spiritual practitioners of phenomenological pursuits.
In the immediacy of the “I” its experience is its intention. It is the only true essential. What follows from this, what evolves into knowledge becomes, for the “I” the inessential. It is the beginning of matters attained in temporality and are matters of the nothingness of existence; the beyond of the shadow that lurks in an altogether supersensible world that has no place in consciousness but merely hides behind itself; stokes the fires of its meaningless flames and, eventually, turns to ashes once reason no longer evolves. To the matters at hand, which come into play through the hidden force of their own intentions, they too must settle into oblivion and dissolve into history leaving traces of themselves through events but, purely, inessential unless they correlate with a movement that supersedes itself and brings upon an essentiality which reverses course and disrupts the manifold, bringing forth a “zeitgeist” which is neither opposed nor preventable.
The “this” I point to, or the “here” where I stand, will always be this or here whether I am pointing at a stone (a this) or standing in the street (the here). Universally, I can’t escape either. I can only embrace the “everything” and the “everywhere” of my immediacy and only distinguish what is different through mediation; a mediation which cannot be held back nor deprived of itself whether I walk to a different place or rest my gaze on another object. I’m trapped by mediation, which is the product, the link, to immediacy. It’s the chain that holds immediacy in its place and deprives being of knowing its own being, its essence. It imprisons consciousness within a “self” thrown into a world of “this,” “that” and “there.” I cannot gaze into the horizon and not notice every aspect of it; every tree, every ray of sunlight, every bird that soars overhead. I could close my eyes and imagine something, or somewhere, altogether different, but still be exposed to the universality that I’m trapped in; still swayed by a self poisoned by the world into thinking of itself as being-in-the-world, in which all that matters is the unravelling of a determinate history clinging to its own events composed of changes in appearances.
There is an essential difference between pure being and the “I” of being. This comes about once sense certainty has resolved into immediate knowledge; once it “proposes” itself to being-in-the-world and loses itself in that world. When sense certainty takes its immediate experience as a knowing, once it recognizes a “this” or “that” it reflects into a world of reflection, a world that is a mirror unto itself, an infinite chain of time and space that unravels before spirit and wraps itself around it in its immediacy of itself as an object of mediation.
There is a restlessness of spirit as it relates to knowledge. Knowledge is a knowing which would negate an object of knowledge; an object which, by itself, presents a relationship only to itself and transfers that knowledge into knowing what is being known. It is, for spirit, an absolute knowledge in its immediacy which does not stop to comprehend the object but understands that the object is that which it is and cannot be anything else. This restlessness transfers the object from in-itself and into a for-itself for the knowing of it, yet, this knowing is only a particular knowing to it-self but, to others, is not yet known. This absolute restlessness is a continuing dynamic as the relationship of the object to the understanding becomes, for itself, a relationship that can only be understood as an in-itself-for-another while, simultaneously, distinguished from any other object and becomes only for-itself in the apprehension of it. Once immediacy turns to mediation, absolute knowledge loses itself in the menacing atmosphere of a reality that has no relationship with knowing but, simply, races through the world with an emptiness of content and a restlessness that is always concealed.