Perception is a mode of knowledge. It is a taking to be true of that which is universal. And all objects for perception, by being absolute negativity in that they are other than itself and indifferent to consciousness, are neither here nor there nor this or that. They are not-this. In their not-this-ness, they emerge as objects for perception which are already extant and open to deception. They may be what they seem to be, but not really. Perception, in its pursuit of what is alien to it, “talks itself” into believing the true. By doing so it deceives itself and can never contain a certainty since that which is universal is the mere simplicity of objects of existence that are without essence. The only thing perception can find in objects is the essence of itself emerging through them. It is not exactly the object that perception is concerned with. It is the understanding that follows by allowing perception to experience the history of itself and breaking through to a point in self-consciousness where it begins to know what it knows; where it takes its understanding to be what is true for itself in becoming indifferent to the universal. This is how spirit emerges by understanding the not-this as that which is a mode that sense certainty follows. Should sense certainly dwell in mediation that it becomes obsessed with its own negativity, it leads to a consciousness which can neither deal with its own being, or the appearances outside of it. It is the unhappy consciousness that takes hold and turns the not-this into something that contains a totally self-alienating mode of this-ness; a particularity that can no longer be culled from the universal but is now “baked” into the unhappy consciousness. The not-this which once was the underlying truth in an understanding perception, becomes true deception and, within its dialectical movement, the transitory object that the unhappy consciousness struggles to remove from its own existence.
Immediacy is the coming to itself of the true. It is the first instance of encountering existence and, beyond that immediacy, becomes something other. It becomes mediation which perverts immediacy and cripples it from its apparent becoming. In mediation, certainty is lost. The only true certainty can be immediate since it is not met with confrontation or question; cannot be denied nor can it be covered up. The essence of mediation is immediacy. Without it mediation could not reason. It would fall from its own perch, as pellets of water dropping from ice. Without the ice there could be no water. Without immediacy nothing could stand up against the truth which, in its absolute absolving, it comes to the person in clusters of certainty marked by an origination which is really not an origination at all. There are no origins of anything as immediacy is created along the way. Truth is created immediately. Falsehoods can only follow immediacy once they are put to the test of knowledge; once they’ve been autopsied from the body of the immediate truth. More than bones and tissue are uncovered. The whole collection of vessels and dead corpuscles are rearranged in their aftermath; in their journey from life to death.
Reflection on the immediacy of truth is a reenactment of history. A deciding of what once was a now, but no longer belongs to this now…which has dissolved into another and another. To know absolutely, to face the truth of the essence of being and be able, for an instant, to experience one’s absolute spirit, one must detract from his wisdom and his purported thoughtfulness and escape back into the essence of the very first certainty; the truth that will always be; the immediacy in which every moment unfolds and life is created from nothing into a something, and only momentarily.
The here and the now are immediate and, as such, are a nothing in their nature. They negate themselves as they are always becoming into new here’s and new now’s. As I move from here to there, the there becomes my new here. And from here I can say that I was once over there. Moreover, when I was there I was in a now moment which is no longer. It has moved beyond and negated itself in order that the next now moment can arise. Each now is not now as it moves into a new now. In that case there could never really be a now, or a here, because they are never here and now. They are the corridor for the restless spirit which, in its immediacy, must come into itself, but by doing so it is immediately mediated and enters the universal realm where other’s enter into their own here’s and now’s. It is an immediacy for the others, but for the self it is always mediate since it takes place outside itself and in the simplicity of the universal. As other’s go from here to there, the self itself is moved at the same moment since its relation to other is in a different place at a different now. Nothing remains static except the universal which is the backdrop of existence; the horizon where all matters unfold and spirit becomes a self by returning to itself. It remains a spirit for itself by being outside itself so it is recognized by others as the self that it is; a self-consciousness which needs recognition and desires nothing less than the fullness of itself in the consciousness of others. It can only know that it is recognized by being-for-others-for-itself. In its this-ness, it is here and now. In its other-ness it is no longer here and now, but is universal. And it is through the universal that it enters new here’s and new now’s and, in so doing, negates its own self while it turns into what it is not, which is being for others while all it really desires and needs is to be for itself in its here and now.
Incidental finitude arrives in a presupposition made possible by history and surviving along being as the other to itself. This otherness is consciousness which self-consciousness sees as its finite being and its reason of reality. Finitude forms the environment where reality finds itself, where it interacts with the universe, shaped and moved by the endless vicissitudes which meet it daily. This is the playground of consciousness, the unfurling of objects and their superficial meanings when, put against the absolute nothingness in which self-consciousness dwells, construct the clear truths of all phenomenon. But these truths are only for consciousness. Self-consciousness sees them as reality but does not partake in their subjectivity. Instead, self-consciousness goes beyond this finitude and reasons itself out of nature, leaving behind the history of itself and of the world. It moves beyond itself to come back to itself. It sees in consciousness what is other to it and independent. It looks upon independent consciousness as caught in a finite existence and measures its own progress by turning back from this otherness and reaching for an absolute existence where spirit coincides with will. Thus knowledge, which being is for, loses its meaning and nothing but truth appears. A truth which goes beyond the incidental finitude that consciousness finds its being. A truth that reveals the phenomenon of spirit and the law of itself. And the joy and suffering, which only consciousness could know, is finally lost to the darkness of a reality trapped in the incidental finitude of time and space.
Relative knowledge is that which is limited to a particular relation, a specific subject that is known. It is a limited reason and represents the qualitative capacity of the agent who is confronted by it, and made to acknowledge what he knows. These limitations are not due to reason itself, which is the system by which things become known, but reason limiting knowledge; a knowledge which is abrupt, almost truncated, due to the lack of ability of the knower. Yet whatever is limited is, in itself, related to the absolute. It actually has no limits. It is reason liberating itself from itself, securing a path to absolute knowledge through any kind of knowledge.
Reason is consciousness. It preserves itself by elevating itself to greater heights. Through reason all knowledge is obtained. Once a thing is known it is changed. It becomes for self-consciousness the relation between the knower and the object. They exist for each other. Thus, that which was previously unknown and hidden from perception, becomes a reality and is supported by reason. The knower, through his own reasoning, takes the object to be what he reasons it to be. It is thus limited to his own knowledge. Although the object may hold a multitude of various contents, as in its chemical makeup, its origin and history, the knower only is aware of what he knows. His lack of knowledge is due to his reasoning which can only relate relatively and, beyond that, has no control, nor want, to approach the manifold of multiplicity. His aim is directed within his self-consciousness to keep its knowing, or lack of, within the reasoning he uses to approach all matters. He’s cut short and obliterated by anything more than his knowledge will take him. A knowledge that is absolute in its limitations, but beyond that nothing more than a relative reasoning that avoids absolute fulfillment.
Reasoning requires a system. It does not emerge from behind a curtain, nor can it be brought about by sheer willingness. Reason’s object is to escape its own limitations; to expand into the unknown and make it known. This absolute character of reason, its essence, lingers within all consciousness’s and has the want of freedom from all limitations. The consciousness that denies all presuppositions and unfolds in thought, is one that can reach the greatest points of knowledge and look into the invisible realm where reason awaits, craving its freedom.
Spirit is self-consciousness manifesting itself in the absolute. It dwells in the self-that-is-being. It is also, at the same moment, separate from the self-consciousness revealed through it, in that it is always in itself for itself before becoming for others. It is the dialectical movement of spirit and the force of its absolute essence as it unfolds into an existence that becomes other than itself.
Spirit is the utterance of creation, the moment of being and the immanent movement out of the darkness and into the light. It is what gives consciousness to consciousness, the appearance to appearances, and the revelation of reason, to which all matters are unfolded and neatly laid out in an historical sequence where one body affects another and another. It is the actuality of itself incarnate; the truth of being and the inescapable shadow of existence where all moments fade into; where life itself sheds its corporeal flesh.
To acquire self-consciousness one only needs to be born. To acquire spirit, one must be created from nothing. It is within this nothingness where an otherness dwells, where its own negation is a swirling mass of contradictory matters that struggle to emerge and self-illuminate. Spirit is, in effect, contradiction. It is a negation of the bottomless abyss where silence dwells and darkness rules. From this empty void, this blank pit of utter insignificance, spirit comes to be through an inexplicable and violent struggle. Once it is revealed it can no longer be hidden from itself but must embark on a movement guided by something other than itself; a climbing into the vacuum of existence marked by moments of extreme joy and suffering; moments that can only be experienced by the being that is self-consciousness.
Art, as an abstract expression, is an essence-less creation of an essence-full being. It is, thus, an empty image filled with the image of its creator. Its selflessness portrays the negation of the soul, a pouring beyond of consciousness into the pure experience of itself. Through this, being acts out and becomes something other than it is, an object or relic; a force of itself that is an imagined essence, albeit without life, without self-consciousness or true being. Its being is its presence and, beyond that, a mirage.
Through his artful expression, being portrays himself as a suffering being; one who is at the mercy of emotions, feelings. These expressions are phantoms of life, dark patches of soul-less entities that enter the senses and stay for as long as they are embraced. The moment these images are turned away and buried by new images, they become lost to another world; a world that houses the shadows of the past and the faded imagery of a time that has been erased, or rather, removed from existence.
Some art, as do some structures, persist through several lifetimes and hold their meanings, their symbolic essences, in suspension. They shape lives and cultures, facilitate historical events, or they can stir emotions that lend themselves to specific forces which, by themselves, encourage wholesale changes on the world. Lives and people are swayed by the existence of expression. All expression is art.
All art is consciousness imagined outside itself and entered into the world as a connection between spirit and existence. It is the presence of spirit made meaningful in an existence that struggles for meaning; a reality that cries out for purpose and reason, and will never rest in its challenge of existing for something other than its own self.
Morality is what consciousness sees as the connection of nature to all things that are good, benevolent. It is necessarily what is, and for moral consciousness it represents the responsibility of fulfilling the universal will of man; complying with laws, rules, edicts that contain natural inclinations toward the overall happiness of all. It is not the act being fulfilled that is moral. It is the act itself of bringing consciousness to a point of no return, where it sees its actions as being in the right; a recognizable action as a consciousness of what would be universally accepted. Any action which does not potentially further the thought of life, the sensation of improving upon what already exists, and making for it an easy transition into actuality, borders on an evil act and one which, when judged by others, as inappropriate or harmful, can only be treated with disapproval or scorn.
For moral consciousness to find what it considers to be good, it must create another consciousness; one of purity and incorruptibility; a consciousness that would only act in the way of what is ethical and righteous. The other consciousness, which has existed in all moral societies, is the consciousness of God. It is the alter-consciousness represented in the corporeal realm as religion that presents itself as the bond between humanity and the Beyond. Its existence depends more on man than does man depend on it since it is a creation of man’s moral consciousness which is the cohesive element of a society, which is the natural formation that brings humanity together in a self-fulfilling proposition. It is the reflection of moral consciousness itself, which is manifested in laws and protocol. What also is borne of these moral formulations, and which places man above all other living creatures, is the intentional determination of consciousness to seek meaning for its own awareness; of its being the crown of all creation; the seed of morality and the only creature that understands itself and its place in the universal realm of benign relevance.
Absolute freedom brings about the destruction of personal freedom since it is defined in the universal sense. In its universal actuality, freedom takes on the universal will and sets forth the limits in which freedoms are enjoyed. Laws, rules, designations, etc. are put forward so that one person cannot be free himself while others flounder in conflict. In essence, absolute freedom brings about the death of personal freedom. It buries the spirit in a storm of annihilation and replaces it with a universal spirit, one in which freedom is defined as what the universal will considers it to be. Any conflict between the personal and the universal is resolved through the termination of the personal. It is post-revolutionary thought; rules designed to rein in those who would attempt to act singularly; who would take it upon themselves to enjoy a thought, or utter a statement, that doesn’t ‘fall in line.’ We are fast approaching, if not already embroiled in, a universal will that has taken on forms that grow more abstract by the day. They’ve begun to transcend basic differences to a level of thought which looks to encompass all forms of ‘living’ into a single expression through suppression. What is suppressed is any inclination to take control of one’s individuality if it does not coalesce with what the universal will has established as the cohesive element, the binding mandate that has proclaimed its superiority. If one’s thoughts were to transcend the newly established borders of humanity, he is immediately taken down through all and any means. And, in that immediacy, the visions of quick and thorough oppression are easily disseminated as others are made to look on and cringe at the notion of disobedience.
The sudden deluge of differences which have been bound together in a form of instantaneous acceptance, make for an uneasy, uncertain existence where one’s statements, utterances, are examined under the most intense of micro-investigatory moralistic masters who’ve proclaimed themselves as true interpreters of fairness and justice. They base their beliefs on the emergence of appearances that are in opposition to the primal structures of society. These conflicts, along with many contradictions that form on the surface of commonality, are the newly risen rules for the universe at the cost of the person who is left squirming in a hole of his own making.
The well-being of an individual depends entirely on the will of others. He is at the mercy of an alien will. He is in his own consciousness, his own true consciousness, acting out the needs of others and not in allotting for his own needs. Their needs must first be fulfilled before the individual’s needs since he cannot act solely for himself. His whole self-esteem, his pride, his value to himself, is uttered by what is in opposition; by what is not him. His wellness is an afterthought, an end which is dubious, uncertain. His clarity depends on what is unclear, what is in doubt. He is separated from his own spirit while being-in-the-world, dependent on providing for others at the cost of the beyond, which he seeks to reach but can only do so in separate stages, or shapes of consciousness. In his constant alienation, he eventually must come back around to himself as, ultimately, there is nothing but the self and, outside of that, nothing at all.
Spirit, which is pure consciousness, looks to unify with the true; to become pure essence in an alien world and to reach a point of self-unity. It cannot, however, simply do away with true consciousness as it is that actuality which has been grounded by its purity and, this dual consciousness succumbs to the reality which it finds itself sinking into. It tempers this conflict with culture which gives power to something other than itself so that, in its universal realm, it is brought to a point that becomes, over time, recognizable to the self-alienated consciousness, and allows it to cope with its foreign status by engaging with other self-consciousness’ in the real world.
Spirit is in search of rational moments. It uses culture and language to lend a meaning to itself, for, in seeking rationality, it also looks to unify with the world and its own essence.