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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Living Religion VI: Deconstruction And The Ecstacy Of The Aporetic Oscillation

["Aporetic oscillation" is an irreverent coinage of mine, based on the term "aporia," and I hope I will be able to adequately define it in this post.]

I have found that deconstructionism, when seriously applied, is the closest that thought, the intellect, can come to the sacred. I cannot say whether or not this is only true for me or those who, like me, are thinking-oriented - but as I have discussed in earlier posts in this series I am of the opinion that a large portion of our experience is dominated by the action of thought. So I am inclined to think that my experience with deconstructionism is of a universal nature.

Deconstruction was born from the scrutiny of text, and seems to retain this primary assignation in most attempts to define it. I, however, cannot see a whole lot of difference between text and thought itself - the former merely being a "snapshot" of the latter. (Of course - to continue this analogy - it is much easier to scrutinize a photograph for detail than the passing scene, so that would go quite a ways towards explaining this, but I feel that if one is nimble enough, then the passing scene can be effectively scrutinized as well.) My (hardly original) contribution to this struggle to define is to merely point out that deconstructionism itself is an exercise in shrugging off all definitions. To understand that is all the "definition" one needs to come to grips with its nature.

I would like to highlight once again the relationship between thought and text, because to do so is to go to the very heart of why I find deconstructionism such a leap in the maturation of the intellect. I find that critics of this school of thought have a belief not only in fundamental truths, but that these "truths" are resident in the mind, and it is only language which distorts them. It is appalling and unsettling to these believers to strip away this vestige of authenticity in the human psyche. There is text, which is derived from language, which is derived from thought, as it goes, and then the rather specious leap that this relationship continues in the sense that thought is "derived" from being itself, which is where true authenticity lies. I submit that there is no relationship at all between thought and being, and that it is within this logistical gap between the two that mystery lies.

As I have established that deconstructionism is applicable only to thought and its by-products, then I hope that I can here come to the elusive "definition" of the term by the useful circumscription that it cannot be applied to the "problem" of being. Being cannot be thought about, it can only be revealed, and since thought is the great obscurer of truth, and since deconstruction is the great slayer of the fictions of thought, so then I hope the reader can understand why I find it such a fundamental tool in the revelation of being. (Of course, this is a proposition of logic - thought - and as such is utterly meaningless and quite deconstructible in and of itself - using "being" in a chain of logic is easily discreditable, so please spare me any of that. It is personal corroboration of the fact that allows me to dangle it out there so, personal corroboration which I again encourage the reader to engage in themselves before thinking they "understand" any of this - lest the sophomoric dismantle your logic. These are all merely words!)

An "aporia" is what results when thought is deconstructed, and "aporetic oscillation" (my phrase) is the resultant state of grace. I am here to tell you (of course you cannot and should not take my word for this) that it is visceral, that it has sensual qualities. I do not want to get too descriptive here, as that will only encourage a "concept" which will only be one more tiresome thing which must be deconstructed out of the way on the journey to revelation. For me, it is as if all of my neurons are tingling at once, and this tingling, or thrill, is propagated throughout my entire body by my nervous system. I have no idea if this is a physiologically sound way of talking about it, but there it is. I like to call it the "philosopher's reward." Physical sensation aside, it is also accompanied by the sense of an alert and innocent mind, and the world around me is as if new. It is quite ecstatic, and this is why I am inclined to equate it with spirituality and the revelation of being.

And this is why, as I opened this post, I asserted that this is the closest that thought can come to the sacred.


My last post (I hope) in the "Living Religion" series is un-glamorously called "Walking The Walk," in which I explore the practical implications of the sacred state of the "aporetic oscillation."

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