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.