Comments Interregnum, (or reflections along the way)
The joke that is found in Moliere, if we give it in translation, updating it, ceases to bring us amusement. It would read something like: How does that sleeping pill work? It has an active ingredient. Everyone knows, at least vaguely, what an “active ingredient” says. Though, in itself, it is empty to speak of one, tautology is all that results. It points to some chemical substance. This manner of study, however, was not known in Moliere’s time. The activity of the ingredient in Aristotelian terms is the ‘virtu’ or ‘power’, it is the form of the matter called, in this case, diphenhydramine, a simple molecular compound. It is the specific and unique motion of that compound. This historiological transformation, in a certain sense, explicates the work of Spinoza. For, the reliability of causal explanations dispels meaning. Which is to say that in Spinoza, the work called ethics, is no matter of exhortation to right behavior. Rather it is a matter of demonstration of causal structures. A doctor shows that the lungs turns black and rot when one smokes, rather than, a morning prayer that inculcates the abstinence from the vices. After this there is no essentially compelling sense to any dogma.
This is the sense in which being “withdraws”. In its withdrawal it nonetheless comes to no solicitous resolution or perfectio. A pomegranate tree moves towards the perfectio, the ripeness of the savoury seeds of the fruit. Each stage in its growth is towards the telos. Thus its nature is discovered or invented, and its essence brought to thought. This is torn apart, by the presence of the causal explanation for growth. The whole world, the natural order or cosmos, if it is thought to have a telos, tends towards the Utopia, or Salvation under the medieval thinking, and the Enlightened principle of labour. To be sure, in Marx, labour never means physics. And it thus, retains its dogmatic possibility, in the anomaly of its priests' correct consciousness as set off against the base masses with their religious atheism, always tied to the wicked substance of Capital and the Devil’s lucre, the surplus. Yet, in the withdrawal proper nothing like that that the messianic Truths hold comes forth at all. The Truth turns out to be terrible. The creativity is the renaissance of the telos as the relativistic God, i.e., it is what Nietzsche finds in the overthrow of the causality. It is a unique opening, and it is a rebirth. It is an end to what was, and it is the same as what is more of the same. Because the causality is a tide that comes forth, destroys, e.g., the notion of witches, in the light of the understanding of chemical efficacy, but rolls back from its own annihilation in the sand of the shore, back into the great sea which has become the abyss of the will. In Schopenhauer the will speaks to itself, through language, trying to show that it has built a hell. In Nietzsche, contrary to this, or, at least something closer to contrariness is there, the will stretches back into the will to will.
Angelus Silesius ended his life as a “fiend”. He converted to Catholicism and wrote anti-Protestant tracts in a cell. So writes Carl Jung. For a moment he discovered the “because”, the frontier of poiesis, which is what comes to, and stands in man, when he moves beyond the Protestant freedoms, the irrationality. Marxist thought can never abandon its sentimental religion, its dogma, its conservatism, its Catholicity. This is the safe house of all fiends. The ritual signs and the ordo with its deathless goals. The “because” was more than Silesius could withstand, when he glimpsed it, he was suddenly lightened, and everything unconformable in his being drew forth into the concept, into the openest concept. Spoken from a million miles above, formalistically, a absorption occurs where 1. The captivation of the animal, 2. The presencing of the world with the human, comes to 3. Poiesis, where the concept is standing in being and as what is soaked in the richest illumination.
One should sense, which means something much like what Dostoevsky struck upon in his notion of the felt thought, the world-laden texture of the human being as beside the captivation and the concept as letting be alone. The being of being here shows the Fate in its manifestations, and thus points to being with no rubric, i.e., that which is represented as Being. In Poieses, that is, "the because", we let be:
Nothing is without reason. Given in the first voice: Which is a rather British tonality, a world-British thinking: Whenever something is there, one can find a reason for it. One's shoes are missing from the door-well, an empty spot is there, and we can go on to search out the reason. In the secound voice: that which was Heidegger's distinct and high discovery: Everything is, so far as it has a reason. What it is to be for Da-sein, is to have a reason. But, in the "because" one "lets be".
There is another tonality which is not explicated in the Leibniz text, but is, nonetheless implied: THE Nothing is Without reason. Nothing, nicht nichtet, is without reason. Nothing, as nothing, is not a condition for the possibility. In fact, in Kant it is the thing by itself (in itself). This means that in the play of what withdraws, what comes forth in the seriousness has Reason. In what withdraws, according to language itself, according to the work of Hussrel, in the text most praised by Heidegger, the way language speaks world itself brings the nothing to the threshold as inability to hold to what is speaking in and to the essence of world as truth.
These passages in the so-called Monadology, should be given in French:
29. But it is the knowledge of necessary and eternal truths that distinguishes us from mere animals and gives us reason and the sciences, raising us to the knowledge of ourselves and of God. And it is this in us that is called the rational soul or mind.
30. It is also through the knowledge of necessary truths and their abstractions that we rise to reflective acts, which make us think of what is called I, and consider that this or that is within us: and thus, thinking of ourselves, we think of being, of substance, of the simple and the composite, of the immaterial, and of God himself, conceiving that what is limited in us is in God without limits. And these reflective acts furnish the chief objects of our reasonings.
31. Our reasonings are founded on two great principles: that of contradiction, in virtue of which we judge that which involves a contradiction false, and that which is opposed or contradictory to the false true.
32. And that of sufficient reason, in virtue of which we hold that there can be no real or existing fact, no true statement, unless there is a sufficient reason, why it should be so and not otherwise, although these reasons usually cannot be known by us.
Heidegger even fell to admiring Matisse because these lines were written in French.