Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Sublime

How do we know when and where we encounter nature naturing as we negotiate our way among the orders of nature natured?  I believe that part of the answer lies in the experience of the sublime.  For Kant, we have the mathematical and the dynamic sublime with the latter being the more important.  The dynamic sublime is met in the towering immensity of our experience of nature's raw powers over and against our littleness.  But note that for Kant the sublime is not in nature but in our transcendental structures of experiencing.  Schopenhauer corrects this and notes that it is the Will in nature, not merely our modes of representation, that is sublime.  Experience such as a storm at sea or a roaring mountain water fall show us the power and indifference of the Will as objectified in nature.  I believe that it is through our experience of the sublime that we come closest to experiencing the potencies of nature naturing.  In addition, the sublime is also the locus for our experience of the archetypes of nature as the archetypes straddle the ontological difference between nature naturing and nature natured. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Esoteric

The exoteric aspect of my ecstatic naturalism is (reasonably) well known but its deeper esoteric core remains just that, esoteric and largely hidden.  It is not hidden by design or from a desire for secrecy or some cultish need for secret teachings, rather, the issue has been that of finding the categories and metaphors that can link these seemingly contrary dimensions.  Part of the task of my work-in-progress, Pansophia, is to find and strengthen just such bridges.  For example, how do the linked concepts of personal subjective immortality and reincarnation correlate to the analysis of the finitude of the human process as it negotiates its way between finitude and transcendence within the innumerable orders of nature on 'this' side of so-called death?  Or, can mystical experience bring us closer to the heart-beat of nature naturing than can so-called ordinary experience?  Or, yet again, are there extra-human beings (modes of differently embodied consciousness) who can aid us in finding wholeness 'within' this 'dimension' of nature?  Or, which is more ontologically primary, heterogeneity or homogeneity, or is there another possibility as yet unthought?  Can the selving process, which we are, become open to what has been called "astral realities" on the nether side of normal sense experience?  And if so, how can one learn to distinguish between delusion and reality?  As you surely note, working all of this out will take time and unending care in using both ordinal phenomenology and horizonal hermeneutics.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Spirit or spirits

I have come to some tentative conclusions concerning Spirit and an alternative concept of spirits:

1) There is no such thing as the one and only Spirit.
2) Thus, spirits prevail in nature but not a monolithic Spirit.
3) Nature 'contains' all spirits and cannot be contained by them, or by anything else.
4) These quixotic spirits are not conscious beings.
5)  The 'sum' of spirits does not have a single goal or purpose-in-view.
6) It is possible for spirits to collide, calling-forth creative human responses for resolving conflict.
7) The spirits that interact with human communities are spirit interpreters.
8) Spirits, while finite, work in our lives as if they were infinite, and that is appropriate.
9) Spirits are not bodies of signs to be decoded any more than they are blueprints for my or any other human life.
10)  Spirits make ethical life possible by opening us up to the precarious and needful nature of other lives, giving us a kind of New Being of compassion.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nature Naturing and the Will

Spinoza uses the Medieval distinction between natura naturans (nature naturing) and natura naturata (nature natured) but does very little with it.  Ralph Waldo Emerson is much bolder in his speculative deployment of this primal distinction.  Schopenhauer briefly refers to the distinction hinting that his notion of the Will might stand for nature naturing.  Finally, Justus Buchler states: "Nature as ordinality is natura naturans; it is the providing, the engendering condition.  Nature as "orders" is natura naturata; it is the provided, the ordinal manifestation, the World's complexes." Metaphysics of Natural Complexes, Second Edition, p.276.
  I define nature naturing as: "Nature perennially creating itself out of itself alone," where the stress is, on sheer potency and generative fecundity.  For nature in its naturing there can be no teleology, first principle or ground, ultimate substrate, ultimate simples, substance (defined as that which cannot be a predicate of anything else), stasis, architectural form, or order.
  These negations leave us very close to Schopenhauer's Will.  The Will, read cosmically, is without order or direction.  It is the original chaos, pure striving without a striving for, without a to which or a from which--just a will to life.  NB It is more accurate to speak of a will to life than of a will to live as the former captures the push and shove of the Will as it objectifies itself under the conditions of space, time and causality.
  For me, Schopenhauer's concept of the Will is the least worst analogue to the concept of nature naturing that we have and it can be deployed in a variety of contexts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why I am not a Whiteheadian

To see some of the technical reasons why I am not a process philosopher, please go to my home page:  Go to the publications section and under articles download the following: An Appraisal and Critique of Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality and Justus Buchler's Metaphysics of Natural Complexes.  The file also contains pictures of me with Charles and Dorthy Hartshorne and with Justus Buchler.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The First International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism

On April 1st and 2nd of 2011 Drew University in Madison, New Jersey hosted the First International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism to explore Professor Corrington's works. .  In addition to the ten papers his play 1,2,3 had a staged reading.  The play brings Peirce's three categories of firstness, secondness, and thirdness to life through the characters of Madam Egg, Buster, Weaver, and the Unknown Stranger.  The Second Congress will be held at Drew University on April 6th and 7th, 2012.  There will be a call for paper proposals shortly.