ontology of being

If the individual cannot take the realness, aliveness, autonomy, and identity of himself and others for granted, then he has to become absorbed in contriving ways of trying to be real, of keeping himself or others alive, of preserving his identity, in efforts, as he will often put it, to prevent himself losing his self. What are to most people everyday happenings, which are hardly noticed because they have no special significance, may become deeply significant in so far as they either contribute to the sustenance of the individual’s being or threaten him with non-being. Such an individual, for whom the elements of the world are coming to have, or have come to have, a different hierarchy of significance from that of the ordinary person, is beginning, as we say, to ‘live in a world of his own’, or has already come to do so. It is not true to say, however, without careful qualification, that he is losing ‘contact with’ reality, and withdrawing into himself. External events no longer affect him in the same way as they do others: it is not that they affect him less’ on the contrary, frequently they affect him more. It is frequently not the case that he is becoming ‘indifferent’ and ‘withdrawn’. It may, however, be that the world of his experience comes to be one he can no longer share with other people.

R. D. Laing, The Divided Self

As Jews, I feel that many of us struggle with internalizing the Christian worldview to the point of denying the felt and lived reality of HaShem in our lives. We face the now-universal injunction for those who consider themselves “religious” (there has never been such a thing on the face of this Earth before Christianity; Christianity is the first and the last ‘religion’) of “but do I really believe in G-d?” This injunction, this “test of faith” is part and parcel to a Christian mode of subjectivity which has made the (simultaneous) production of, and disavowal of doubt–the challenge of “true faith” versus “hypocrisy”, “heresy”, and “unbelief” which together form the Christian problematic–an integral part of religious experience. The need to identify true faith qua true belief was historically the need to identify the class of true believers, as opposed to those (indigenous, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, heretical) nonbelievers who constituted the body of the unassimilated Christian faith. This became the Christian West’s means of constituting itself both internally and externally; it was inherently a theology of and constituted by antisemitism, orientalism, and colonialism. Even all of the secular, Western atheisms and philosophies uphold this reality.

Today, we feel the effects of this and the pressure to view ourselves and our religious practice in terms of belief and to deny the living, communal, and practical reality of HaShem in our lives. HaShem is there in Jewish practice, in prayer, when we kiss the mezuzah, when we lift up the Torah scroll, when we light the holiday candles. HaShem is the smell of besamim during Havdalah, HaShem is the soft glow of Shabbos candles on a child’s hands, HaShem is the Brahcot we whisper to ourselves when we are filled with joy or sadness, celebration or grief, with the profound sense of wonder that clings to every scrap of this world.

HaShem is not a free-floating metaphysical entity. HaShem is not the object of belief, for HaShem is not an object. Neither is HaShem an all-seeing or universal subject constructed in our own image, nor is HaShem an abstraction such as Reason or Justice. HaShem is the ontological grounding of our being in this world, the very breath of our life and striving. HaShem is the shattered and scattered presence of divinity which unfolds daily, a divinity to which all of creation sings praise continually (Psalms 66:4). To be Jewish is to access and actualize this already-present divinity. HaShem is never beyond our reach, HaShem is never something to “come to” in a moment of revelation as for the Christians. We can only ever return (l'shuv, teshuvah) to HaShem (I believe Herman Wouk pointed out in “This is My God” how strange the Christian phrase “I found G-d” is to Jewish ears. Was G-d hiding from you?). When we affirm the name 'HaShem’, we are not affirming our undiscerning yet firm conviction in a reality that exists beyond some uncrossable divide between the physical and the metaphysical. Rather, we are affirming a reality that is brought forth in each gesture of our practice, a reality which “lo b'shamayim hi” (“it is not in the heavens” -Deut. 30:12). To be Jewish is to unfold this reality and bring about the redemption of the world (tikkun olam), a process that is not metaphysical but deeply, richly, and intimately physical.

It is significant that seldom in Jewish history have we drawn lines around the 'community of believers’ in contradistinction to the apostates and the heretics. If anything, we only ever condemned those who refuse the work, a term in Hebrew (avodah) which has nothing to do with our capitalist understanding of labor but instead refers to the act of bringing about that which underlies and redeems the world, of performing mitzvot (commandments), of tzedek, tzedek tirdof (“Justice, justice you shall pursue,” Deut. 16:20). As our sages said, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either” (Rabbi Tarfun, Pirkei Avot 2:16).

To this day I still answer the question “do you believe in G-d” in the negative, because there is no part of me that can affirm my faith in such terms. I simply say, 'oh no, I’m Jewish!’

Refuse to assimilate. The question of faith will never be answered in terms of a verbal affirmation of belief, but in the existential and practical orientation towards the shattered divinity of a broken world. Judaism always responds to a world in crisis. This is our G-d, this is our faith, this is our work and life as Jews.

Heidegger on ‘How to Read Heidegger’

If we were to be shown right now two pictures by Paul Klee, in the original, which he painted in the year of his death-the watercolor “Saints from a Window,” and “Death and Fire,” tempera on burlap -we should want to stand before them for a long while-and should abandon any claim that they be immediately intelligible.

 If it were possible right now to have Georg Trakl’s poem “Septet of Death'· recited to us, perhaps even by the poet himself, we should want to hear it often, and should abandon any claim that it be immediately intelligible.

 If Werner Heisenberg right now were to present some of his thoughts in theoretical physics, moving in the direction of the cosmic formula for which he is searching, two or three people in the audience, at most, would be able to follow him, while the rest of us would, without protest, abandon any claim that he be immediately intelligible. 

Not so with the thinking that is called philosophy. That thinking is supposed to offer "worldly wisdom” and perhaps even be a “Way to the Blessed Life.” But it might be that this kind of thinking is today placed in a position which demands of it reflections that are far removed from any useful, practical wisdom. It might be that a kind of thinking has become necessary which must give thought to matters from which even the painting and the poetry which we have mentioned and the theory of mathematical physics receive their determination. Here, too, we should then have to abandon any claim to immediate intelligibility. However, we should still have to· listen, because we must think what is inevitable, but preliminary. 

Therefore, we must be neither surprised nor amazed if the majority of the audience objects to the lecture. Whether a few will, now or later, be prompted by the lecture to think further on such matters, cannot be foreseen. We want to say something· about the attempt to think Being without regard to its being grounded in terms of beings. The attempt to think Being without beings becomes necessary because otherwise, it seems to me, there is no longer any possibility of explicitly bringing into view the Being of what is today all over the earth, let alone of adequately determining the relation of man to what has been called “Being” up to now. 

Let me give a little hint on how to listen. The point is not to listen to a series of propositions, but rather to follow the movement of showing.

-Heidegger, On Time and Being.

anonymous asked:

Hi so I just went through your like analytical posts on trc and I noticed you seem to really like blue. The series for me started to get kids lackluster after tdt and one of the things that I think contributed to that was actually blue, not just plot-wise but character(isation)-wise too. I really absolutely adored her in trb - she stood up for herself, she was conscientious, and she was just really honest in fair way, if that makes any sense. Anyways I felt like she slowly became something (1/2)

Of a joke almost. It’s hard to describe but sometimes she came across as being like super offended over everything and reading too much into things. Sort of like how people go “oh sjws on tumblr.” I felt like she lost her depth and a lot of the time malggie only remembered this aspect of her and the fact that she was sensible. I’m sorry if this doesn’t make any sense it’s really hard for me to put into words. I’m just wondering I you noticed any specific differences in early and late blu e (2/2)

sorry for my delay in answering this, I saw it a couple days ago on mobile and haven’t been on the computer much. this response would be more informed if i’d actually get around to my reread haha, so just now that i haven’t reread in a while and as such my memory isn’t the freshest. also i’m incapable of answering asks succinctly so BUCKLE UP

i def think that blue was sidelined a lot. she was introduced as the main character, our entry point into the series, but in the end didn’t really get to do much, and it ended up not being her story as much as the others’. that said, i guess the main thing I disagree with in your message is that it was only in trb that blue was at her best. we often consider bllb to be adam’s book but imo blue was great in bllb, and i think that book probably has the most in-depth exploration of blue. in bllb we see blue without her mother, with things in her life changing rapidly (her relationship with gansey; her position in the gangsey; noah’s state of being; her family unit, with maura’s disappearance and persephone’s death and the gray man) and kind of struggling to deal with all that, and i personally found it effective.

Keep reading

For my own reference I attempted to compile the most complete list of published books on speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, new materialisms, and associated work and I figured I would share it. I also include in this list works from feminist materialisms, because they are important for providing a fuller genealogy for contemporary research, and those authors that are harder to classify together but generally write on nihilism, pessimism, and eliminationism. For the moment I’ve left off Francois Laruelle, who is still very confusing to me, and accelerationist authors like Nick Land and McKenzie Wark. The tags are my own and don’t necessarily reflect how the authors self-identify.

Graham Harman – Object-Oriented Ontology

Tool Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (1993/2011)

Guerilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things (2011)

Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (2009)

Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures (2010)

Circus Philosophicus (2010)

The Prince and the Wolf: Harman and Latour at the LSE (2011)

Quentin Meillasoux: Philosophy in the Making (2011)

The Quadruple Object (2011)

Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012)

Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (2013)

Levi Bryant – Onticology/Machine-Oriented Ontology

The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism, Edited with Nick Snricek and Graham Harman (2011)

The Democracy of Objects (2011)

Onto-Cartography: An Ontology of Machines and Media (2014)

Timothy Morton – OOO, Ecology

Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (2009)

The Ecological Thought (2012)

Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (2013)

Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World (2013)

Ian Bogost – OOO, Game Studies

Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing (2012)

Quentin Meillassoux – Speculative Materialism

After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (2009)

The Number and The Siren: A Decipherment of Mallarme’s Coup De Des (2012)

Ray Brassier – Eliminative Materialism

Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction (2010)

Iain Hamilton Grant – Naturphilosophie

Philosophies of Nature After Schelling (2008)

Jane Bennett – Political Theory, Vitalism

Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (2009)

Reza Negarestani – Eliminative Materialism, Theory-Novel

Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008)

Ben Woodard – Naturphilosphie, Nihilism, Pessimism

Slime Dynamics (2012)

On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy (2013)

Steven Shaviro – Film Studies, Process Thought

Without Criteria: Kant, Deleuze, Whitehead, and Aesthetics (2009)

William Connolly – Political Theory, Pluralism

A World of Becoming (2012)

The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism (2013)

Paul J. Ennis

Post-Continental Voices: Selected Interviews (2010)

Continental Realism (2011)

Adrian Johnston – Transcendental Materialism

Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism: The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy (2013)

Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers (2014)

John Protevi – Deleuze, Science Studies

Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic (2009)

Life, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences (2013)

Eugene Thacker – Media Studies, Horror, Dark Vitalism

After Life (2010)

In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy Vol. 1 (2011)

Thomas Ligotti – Horror, Nihilism, Anti-Natalism

The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror (2012)

Diana Coole and Samantha Frost – Political Theory, New Feminist Materialisms

New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (2012)

Stacy Alaimo – New Feminist Materialisms

Ed. Material Feminisms (2013)

Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (2010)

Bruno Latour – Actor Network Theory

We Have Never Been Modern (2012)

Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (2007)

An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns (2013)

Adam S. Miller - Theology

Speculative Grace: Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology

Dylan Trigg – Phenomenology, Horror

The Aesthetics of Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia, and the Absence of Reason (2006)

The Memory of Place: A Phenomenology of the Uncanny (2013)

The Thing: A Phenomenology of Horror (2014)

Tom Sparrow – Phenomenology, Horror

Levinas Unhinged (2013)

The End of Phenomenology: Metaphysics and the New Realism (2014)

Peter Gratton

Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects (2014)

w/ Paul J. Ennis, The Meillassoux Dictionary (2014)

Tristan Garcia

Form and Object: A Treatise on Things (2014)

Elizabeth Grosz – New Material Feminisms, Deleuze

Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (1994)

The Nick of Time: Politics, Evolution, and The Untimely (2004)

Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art (2011)

Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth (2012)

Donna Haraway – Cyborg Theory, New Feminist Materialisms

Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (2003)

When Species Meet (2013)

Rosi Braidotti – Nomad Theory, Deleuze, New Feminist Materialisms

Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics (2006)

Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (2011)

Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming (2013)

The Posthuman (2013)

Karen Barad – Agential Realism, New Feminist Materialisms

Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (2013)

Manuel DeLanda – Deleuze, Realism, Science Studies

A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (2000)

A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006)

Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason (2011)

Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2013)

Isabelle Stengers – Process Thought

Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts (2011)

Cosmopolitics I (2010)

Cosmopolitics II (2011)

Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin

New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies (2012)

Existence is an absolute that is asserted without reference to anything else. It is identity. But in this reference to himself [soi-même], man perceives a type of duality. His identity with himself loses the character of a logical or tautological form; it takes on a dramatic form, as we will demonstrate: In the identity of the I [moi], the identity of being reveals its nature as enchainment, for it appears in the form of suffering and invites us to escape. Thus escape is the need to get out of oneself, that is, to break that most radical and unalterable binding of chains, the fact that I [moi] is oneself [soi-même].
—  Emmanuel Levinas from On Escape
What is Being?

Being [Sein], for Heidegger, is the “presencing [anwesen] of presence [Anwesenheit].” Yet in “presencing,” Being is not itself present, because Being [Sein] is not a being [seiende]. This means that “Being itself” isn’t “present,” but rather “conceals itself” while “unconcealing beings.”

So Being makes beings present, but hides itself.

Take Heidegger’s example of light. Being is the “light” that makes beings visible. Yet you cannot make light visible with light. When I turn on the lights, the room becomes more visible and brightens up. I notice the light indirectly, through the objects in the room becoming visible. Yet light isn’t one of these objects. Nor is light “the lamp.” Even if the lamp is the source of this light, the lamp is not the light, but only the source (likewise, even if God is the source of Being, he is not “Being itself,” but “a being” that is the source).

For Heidegger, Being has been “forgotten” because we have overlooked the ontological differences between “Being” and “a being.” We have either described Being by representing it through the Being of a particular kind of being (like Thales does by saying “everything is water”) or accounted for Being by tracing it back to the highest being (such as the form of the good, the unmoved mover, God, or the human ego). As such, metaphysics is “ontotheological” (ontologically representing Being and theologically tracing Being back to the highest being), overlooking “Being itself” and focusing on “beings.”

Originally posted on /r/ ask philosophy

If life were inherently meaningful, boredom would not, could not exist — both ontologically and phenomenologically. Boredom reveals being as a whole. In all the world’s complexity, its infinite capacity, each moment being unrepeatable (never again this time, this day, this year; never again this life, this self, this “I”), somehow still a sense of complete ennui can inundate us: the desire to merely sleep it all away, to jump ahead to the peaceful nothingness which awaits, instead of the multifaceted flickering of the now, the screen of life before us. How? If not for an emptiness fundamental to every life. Drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence.


Jason Silva delivers a powerful message about the sheer divinity of awe in human experience. The proposition is that to be awestruck has given humans a sense of cosmic importance because it makes our species want to be something bigger than themselves. 3.20 minutes and you will not regret it.

anonymous asked:

I'm a Marxist but could you explain what is the matter with humanism?

i dont have like some huge anti-humanist resource post or anything like that but you can get the gist of my opposition from a discussion i was in a while back

also i think its important to point out that you being a marxist doesnt necessarily mean you have to be an anti-humanist. there has been a long tradition of marxist humanism stretching all the way back to marx himself, but i just think its incompatible with my own understanding of the world and that it generally leads to some pretty nonsensical positions. 

any value in a marxist humanism, meant to reclaim “alienation” or otherwise, can be made just as easily within an anti-humanist framework and so i think the dogma that comes with a lot of marxist humanism is an absolute waste of time, but not everyone is going to agree with me on this. 

it may be a good thing to point out that if you’re into the gender nihilism stuff thats moving around tumblr quite rapidly, then it takes anti-humanism as its starting point. the anti-manifesto says 

“Antihumanism is a cornerstone which holds gender nihilist analysis together. It is the point from which we begin to understand our present situation; it is crucial. By antihumanism, we mean a rejection of essentialism. There is no essential human. There is no human nature. There is no transcendent self. To be a subject is not to share in common a metaphysical state of being (ontology) with other subjects.

The self, the subject is a product of power. The “I” in “I am a man” or “I am a woman” is not an “I” which transcends those statements. Those statements do not reveal a truth about the “I,” rather they constitute the “I.” Man and Woman do not exist as labels for certain metaphysical or essential categories of being, they are rather discursive, social, and linguistic symbols which are historically contingent. They evolve and change over time; their implications have always been determined by power.”

to quote jeff foxworthy, “if you can unpack all of that and agree with it, you might be an anti-humanist”


If life were inherently meaningful, boredom would not, could not exist – both ontologically and phenomenologically. Boredom reveals being as a whole. In all the world’s complexity, its infinite capacity, each moment being unrepeatable (never again this time, this day, this year; never again this life, this self, this “I”), somehow still a sense of complete ennui can inundate us: the desire to merely sleep it all away, to jump ahead to the peaceful nothingness which awaits, instead of the multifaceted flickering of the now, the screen of life before us. How? If not for an emptiness fundamental to every life. Drifting here and there in the abysses of our existence

Ma'at, Part 2

Part 1 can be found here (including some further quotes from a different scholarly work.) As before and I cannot stress this enough, this is not my work, it is the work of Dr. Karenga. I’m only providing a condensed breakdown of what I feel to be the more relevant points about Ma'at.

 Part 2: Maatian Ontology

The ancient Egyptians’ fundamental, even prior, ethical concern is not ontological but experiential and practical, i.e. concern with defining and living the good life, of being a worthy member of family and community and of creating and sustaining the just and good, i.e. Maatian society and world (p.176).

[In a passage from the CT] Maat is posed as the essence of life, indeed, the ground of life. Thus, the concept of eating, absorbing or assimilating Maat for spiritual nourishment is introduced. Here, it is introduced as a practice of and necessity for God. For Maat is that by which God lives and is satisfied. Therefore, Maat must be constantly offered to God, a practice which is both spiritual and ethical (p.181).

It is one’s Maat, one’s character, one’s virtue, one’s heart which goes on to do good, brings honour, causes one to speak truth and do justice. In a word, it is one’s internal grounding that causes one to become what one ought to be. This place-making, or locating and grounding oneself, then, is key to Maatian ethics… One always acts ethically in a given context, one is worthy in one’s family, town, city or district. One speaks truth there, does justice there and walks in the way of righteousness there. Thus, one is socially and morally grounded there. Location is also another way to discuss the ethical tradition itself, for one is always concerned about following in the footsteps of the ancestors, i.e. honoring the tradition. Place-making, then, is both a creative and ethical concept and poses an ongoing challenge to ground oneself and in that context, on that ‘primordial mound’ to act morally and creatively (p.183).

In Maatian theology and ethics, non-being poses a dual challenge. It is at once a threat and a ground for creative activity. As a threat to creation, non-being or the non-existent is the disordered, the evil, the impure, the injustice and all those things negative to being, especially being as life. Thus, the ethical imperative is to constantly overcome non-being by creating, recreating, sustaining and restoring rightness and righteousness, i.e. Maat which is the essence and energy of life. Thus one is challenged to be and act like Ra, to speak Maat and do Maat. For Maat is life and life is a being actualizing itself in a dynamic and eternal process (p.184).

Creative action is ethical action and ethical action is creative action. For Maat is both product and producer of both. This is affirmed in the highly abstract and seemingly contradictory contention in ancient Egyptian theology that Maat is both the mother and daughter of Ra (p.186).

Together Hu and Sia symbolize and express authoritative utterance of exceptional insight and are at the heart of both creative activity and moral practice in Maatian ethics. For they are powers which are available to all humans, in order that they may understand, speak, and do Maat and defend and increase good in the world in a cooperative project with the Divine (p.188).

Inherent in the Maatian ideal is the assumption that good speech is a vital and necessary good for everyone and that everyone as equal access to it for beneficial purposes… It is important to note here though that speech in Maatian ethics also carries with it the possibility of misuse. The emphasis on the moral imperative to speak and do Maat carries within it a prohibition against speaking and doing the opposite… To speak wrongly then is injurious to Maat and the moral community which gives it life (p.190).

As the orderedness of being, Maat endowed the world with a law of nature, operative and expressed in the anticipated regularity of processes and phenomena, i.e. the rise and setting of the sun, the rise and fall of the Nile, the coming and going of seasons, but also the inevitable triumph of good and the eventual defeat of evil in both the world and society (p.193).

Virtue or moral law was given the same immanent status and function in the social world as physical law in the cosmic and natural order. In fact, the very distinction between the moral and the natural, the cosmic and the social, was never sharp and very often non-existent. For Maat was an inclusive cosmic order, in a word, the very orderedness of being (p.193).

[Maatian ontology] poses being as life and life as a dynamic process of constantly becoming in the context of cooperative and collaborative projects whose central goal is the constant realization of Maat (p.202).

To do Maat is an open-ended project and task with no codified list of all things to be or do. On the contrary, the conceptual elasticity of Maat allows for a myriad of things to be done, in terms of modalities, i.e. create it, recreate it, sustain it (p.212).

In conclusion, then, being in Maatian ontology, is a structure and process of possibility, comprising opposites which offer a productive tension in an ongoing dynamic process. Maat, as the essence and ground of being is, of necessity, immutable in its essential nature, but is a principle of activeness in its role as an instrument of extending the existent and restoring the damaged and decaying, replenish the lacking, healing the injured, setting right the wrong. Maat is above all a constantly realized reality…. Given the nature of reality which requires a cooperative and collaborative practice of the Divine and humans both against the negative and in the constant realization of Maat, reality or being can never be static. By its very constitution and constant construction and reconstruction, it is a dynamic and open-ended project (p.214).