202201061555 📃 the minimum knowledge constitutive of all human action and being

¶1. The immanent knowledge of one’s ownmost being, possibilities, and history must be knowable. If it is not, then no action can be justified either in itself or for itself, for no action is itself. If no action is itself, then communication itself (which is always about action, or change) is impossible. But communication is possible and actual. Communication does produce results. Therefore, actions are themselves.

¶2. If actions are self-identical, then knowledge of them is possible. Now this always comprehends in itself the immanent otherness between Humanity and its Concepts described [[ 202112251155 📃 Notes for Difference-Making#^49ae7f|here ]]. The scientific-real and social-ideal moments are at work here. There must, then, be some kernel of the real amid the ideal, and a kernel of the ideal in the real, and so on in infinite concatenation as depicted [[ 20211017104553 Rights in consciousness and society|here ]]

¶3. Therefore, the action-in-and-for-itself is unknowable. However, the action in-itself (for-us) is knowable. The object for itself is knowable so far as we grasp it in-itself. We never treat the in-itself as merely in-itself. Rather, we treat it as though it were in-and-for-itself, and it is in such treatment that we believe we have the real. This proposition, “This is reality as it is everywhere and always,” is constitutive of the attitude or affect of confidence.

¶4. Therefore, an action is itself for-us when we believe it to be in-and-for-itself. If this is the ultimate ground of knowledge, then what-is-ours concerning action is our ownmost being, possibilities, and history (past, present, and future). This knowledge is had-now when we believe it to be in-and-for-itself, when we are confident in ourselves. This confidence arises when we have actions-themselves for-us. We have these actions ready-to-mind as signs signifying our ownmostness (a summation of being, possibilities, and history). What is signified here is a sense, an attitude or affect. Thus, the signified is identical with the feeling which incurs the sign, for the sign-reference relation is one and the same in the midst of one’s living and feeling.

¶5. Here we have the essence of being-well: (1) a set of actions (2) which we feel as signs (3) signifying our ownmostness (4) as confidence.

¶6. But our actions are always intentional (cf. Husserl), purposive (cf. Dewey), and therefore in-the-midst-of a whole (cf. Hegel). Therefore, our confidence is immanent to an unthought manifold, for the essence of what it is “to be inside” as an agent is to not know that one is inside of it. One cannot be inside a thing per se so far as he knows of the thing. Once he knows of it, he can search for it and, thereby, act without it. The moment one sees sides, therefore, he is beyond them.

¶7. But actions and confidence are conceived of in a manifold for-us, or what we want at the moment of conceiving. This immanent manifold is different from our being-immanently-in a manifold. The latter is a transcendental manifold, for we can only see it as a manifold from without, or transcendentally. This is the paradox of immanence and transcendence: what we pose to ourselves transcendentally is immanently constitutive of a transcendental manifold, something we only see transcendentally.

¶8. The immanent manifold is both (1) my world-view, or my present conception of the alleged immanent manifold and (2) my ends-in-view (cf. Dewey), or what I want to transcend this immanence. The transcendent manifold is, on reflection after-the-fact, what I make of my place in what I believed. Both are always present, but the latter is only knowable after actions I have taken. It is, as reflection, a moment of the progressive reconstitution and reconstruction of the immanent manifold.

¶9. Therefore, ownmostness (or self-concept) is also structured. It is (1) a set of actions conceived (2) as signs (3) signifying an immanent manifold and an end-in-view (4) to be changed and enacted. This is what we are always doing as we live, and there is no living which is not constructed in this way. These four are necessary and sufficient for our self-concept.

¶10. The transcendental manifold appears as a reflective moment in (4) above. It is structured as (1) immanent understanding (2) action (3) reflection. (1) of (4) comprehends all prior aspects of ownmostness, taken up so as to begin action. (1) and (2) are a practical syllogism. (2) and (3) are a reflective syllogism. Reflection is the same as the set of actions conceived — this is the sum-circuit of all self-conceptual thinking, as it always comprehends doing as a moment within itself. Ownmostness is therefore always therefore conceptual. Confidence is the feeling we take up when we have completed this circuit to sufficiently warrant the fulfillment of our desires.

¶11. Desire is the undergirding thrust behind which all reflection and action operate. The Desire-Action-Reflection syllogism is necessary and sufficient for life just as ownmostness is. Yet, Desire-Action-Reflection is transcendental, whereas what is sketched in ¶9 is immanent. For, when we desire, we do not know what we desire — it is our immanent otherness at work thrusting us on to aims which we only realize after-the-fact. Of course, we have some understanding of this as we act — this is our immanent understanding as described in ¶10. Yet, we do not know it entirely, nor do we ever (hence the need for self-reflection or “reflection into self”). We reflect for nothing other than the understanding of our deepest Being, the desires that spurred it on, so that we might more adequately enact it in the future.

¶12. Anthropology is nothing but an account of our bottommost Being, Desire. Biological anthropology posits (1) long-life (2) reproduction (3) genetic altruism. Philosophical anthropology posits (1) knowing the truth (2) doing the truth (3) being the truth. Theological anthropology posits (1) loving god (2) loving neighbor (3) manifesting god in our love of neighbor. Business-economic anthropology posits (1) wanting value (2) creating value (3) obtaining value.

¶13. A critical-universal anthropology, however, unifies all of these encyclopedically. Knowing that no speech can fully adequate the internal otherness immanent to that speech, it must begin neither as a mere formal tool nor as a material description of the subject, nor as each of these unified. Rather, it must begin with all that it has and seek to look on into itself. The writer of this piece can, therefore, offer nothing but what he himself wants and, thereafter, hope that such wanting is after-the-fact constitutive of an anthropology somewhat attuned to what is understood above.

¶14. What do I want? To be loved and cared for, as though I mattered to another beyond my family. To speak my mind as I feel it. To create without worry and want. To have the net result of these things be that others are more readily capable of enacting their own desires.

¶15. Even though I want these things, I could easily conceive of their being already-present-to-me. Therefore, to conceive of desire as something per se is illusory. Rather, what I desire is only what I do not have, something I see others having. I need not know it in-itself, but I sense it for-itself, feeling my lack. It is this feeling of un-having and un-being which spurs my desire, so that I want whatever it is I do not have. This is the hedonic treadmill, and I am living it each and every day. I feel it with respect to matter, to form, and to all else that arise from their conjunction.

¶16. Therefore, everyone alive already has all that they could desire, if only negatively. For, the negative presence of what one wants positively is the condition for wanting. (No one can want bread without knowing what bread is and that they don’t have it. No one can want to be full without, if only as a baby, having experienced fullness. cf. 202112221249 📃 The impotence of the individual) (Incidentally, here a problem of the emergence of consciousness arises, for no one can discuss that object of want with which no one has ever had acquaintance, as for one to be alive is for one to have had acquaintance. The baby that is never fed is dead. The baby that is never clothed is dead. To live is to have experienced and consumed — there is no alternative.) Therefore, the constitution of desire is immanently constituted by absence-for-itself, as this comprehends desire-in-itself. This concatenation is itself groundless and purely dialectical, save for the one ground of Being which it warrants. Desire is always the desire-to-be and, therefore, Being as that universal predicate is at the same time our universal Anthropology. The Anthropology of Being and continuing-to-Be — this is the encyclopedic anthropology. Desire is always, therefore, the desire to BE.

¶17. But over and above Being simpliciter as existing, we want to Be-Well or LIVE. This has already been described in ¶9 as our ceaseless striving and our endless restlessness (cf. Augustine). Even when we have achieved every desire had at time t₁, our new desires at time t₂ will outstrip them, and we will search on endlessly. This is because of the un-being which we comprehend as a moment of our Being (cf. Hegel, Plato’s Phaedo). We are not Parmenides’ God, so we have some lack as a part of us. We search without end because of what we are as partial moments of the universal totality, the All or One (cf. Plotinus, Proclus, Parmenides). Therefore, no matter what we do right now (aside from engineering post-desirous living, a task for a later time), we must continue to strive in the fulfillment of desires.

¶18. With this said, though, we can establish in the depths of our hearts those things to which we will always want and after which we will always hope, a task I uncritically undertook in ¶14. This reaching down and thinking about what would make me feel complete occurs only because I recollect past senses of completeness, past feelings of the One Whole. I felt this as a child in love for my family, as an adolescent in love with my consorts, and as a creator online feeling love in sharing the Goodness of Being Itself and the Badness of all that has distaste for it.

¶19. Therefore, love or completeness is that thing towards which we always strive, a banal factum with which all men are likely already familiar. But knowing that this is the case, we can only hope to furnish it through a reconciliation of our desire to grasp reality, fulfill desires, and complete ourselves by enacting our completion. We do this severally.

¶18. First, we do this in our actions as we furnish our confidence. This confidence is partial in ourselves and therefore demands a transcendental consequence, which is charity (cf. Augustine). But this is also partial in our own community and therefore demands a cosmic consequence, which is theurgy (cf. Iamblichus, Ficinus). We practice any art as a theurgy when we recognize in it our microcosmic imaging of the One Whole, the macrocosm. This recognition is itself immanent to the theurgical practice and, therefore, any art which wins for man a knowledge of his finitude is therefore possibly theurgical. This knowing-of-finitude is simultaneously a knowing-of-desire, for leads us to the knowledge that we are searching after that infinitude, Oneness, which is complete, whole and entire, only in the One Whole. The circuit understood here is: confidence-charity-community-cosmos. This entire circuit is the theurgical recognition.

¶20. This ascent is the mystical practice of the magician, who orders reality according to his will. Because there is no reality for man but a social reality (especially as Mitsein in cohistoricity, cf. Heidegger), all material-chemical-physical relations redound and are justified only insofar as they complete the theurgical circuit, that is, insofar as they give a man confidence, allow him to give of himself, bring about community, and allow further action in accordance with the cosmos. The practice of an art, any art, wins this for man, for in the practice he further sees himself as part of the totality of human work, a piece which makes him feel whole and secure in being in a community of knowers, doers, and beings.

¶21. From this standpoint, transcendental to the practice of any one art, the final end-in-view is the self-confidence of the subject, a view which makes for him a bee in the hive. This is not mindless, however, for the work itself confers onto him a sense of his being-in-the-whole. This sense derives from the actions constitutive of his confidence, actions which similarly constitute charity, community, and the cosmos for-him. It is this four-fold constitution of his actions which simultaneously confers confidence itself, for no action is purely self-reflexive. All acts have a transcendental moment or an affect-without which involves others. It is in seeing this affect-on-others that a man feels power in himself, something which is also constitutive of his confidence.

¶22. This is immanent goodness, a totality which can comprehend both suspicious hermeneutics and meta-reason within itself. Both, prima facie, seem to escape immanent goodness, for it establishes itself both as good (and therefore unsuspicious) and immanent (and therefore without a meta-reasonable character). Yet, meta-reason can be subject to the same laws and satisfactions, as can suspicion, so far as both are moments of a totality which functions in-and-for-itself beyond all knowledge of individual moments within that totality.

¶23. What this means, though, is that we must have an immanent accounting for the totality as it appears for us and as we appear for it. We have done just that in this writing. This knowledge, arising from the circuitry of self-reflection and action to the circuitry of one theurgy is the completion of desire, desire which perpetually outstrips itself but which does so for the greater glory of God. Charitable action thus confers on man his self-satisfaction and on God’s Creation its ultimate striving towards Him. This work and knowledge is the right orientation of desire, right-work which wins man knowledge of finitude and, therefore, right knowledge of his wants and needs as is minimally constitutive for the greater ordering thereof.

¶24. The same theurgy, considered from the perspective of charity, is Ethics. From the perspective of community, Politics. From the perspective of the Cosmos, Physics and Metaphysics. These special sciences must be considered at a later time. They are grounded in the theurgy of self, that ownmost being which is constitutive of all scientific possibility

Total outline

  1. Actions are self-identical (¶1)
  2. Actions are knowable as confidence (¶2-3)
  3. confidence is structured (¶4-5)
    1. a set of actions felt
    2. as signs
    3. signifying ownmostness
    4. as confidence
  4. ownmostness is structured (¶9)
    1. a set of actions conceived
    2. as signs
    3. signifying an immanent manifold and an end-in-view
    4. to be changed and enacted (¶10)
      1. immanent understanding
      2. action
      3. reflection
  5. Desire-Action-Reflection guides (3.) and (4.) (¶11)
    1. immanent manifolds (desire-action)
    2. transcendental manifolds (reflection)
  6. Desire is always a desire to Be (¶16) and a desire to Live (¶17).
    1. Living is ownmost confidence (¶9)
    2. Being is completed by the One (¶18), Living is completed in Love (¶19)
  7. theurgical circuitry (¶20)
    1. confidence
    2. charity
    3. community
    4. cosmos
  8. Art is the practice of theurgy (¶21)

Condensed Outline

  1. Self-Confidence
    1. Desire
      1. Having-Not
      2. Wanting
      3. Achieving
    2. Action (¶21)
      1. Art
        1. for-itself (immanent)
        2. for-another (transcendent)
        3. for-self-and-other (ethical)^[the subject of this writing]
      2. Charity
      3. Affectation
    3. Reflection
      1. Actions
      2. Signs (positive affectation)
      3. Power
  2. Charity
  3. Community
  4. Cosmos


| desire | action | reflection | | ——————————– | ————————— | ———————– | | charity | community | cosmos | | having-not - wanting - achieving | art - charity - affectation | actions - signs - power |

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