Beyond the Good: Not Hither the Good
(& Not Hither Beyond the Good)
 

With reference to the Platonic notion of the Good as ‘beyond being’, Heidegger writes in Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), trans. P. Emad and K. Maly (Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1999), pp. 146f.: "In beingness (ουσία) ειναι, being, is intimated as what is somehow other, which is not fully fulfilled in ουσία.  Thus, in going further on the same way, i.e., by grasping presencing, one tries to go beyond beingness: επέκεινα της ουσίας . . . . But since the only question concerns beings and their beingness, it can never encounter be-ing itself or come from it.  The επέκεινα can thus be determined only as something that henceforth designates beingness as such in its relation to man (ευδαιμονία), as the αγαθόν, befitting [das Taugliche] that founds all befittedness—thus as condition for ‘life’, for ψυχή, and thus its essence itself . . . . The επέκεινα της ουσίας as αγαθόν (that means: the fundamental denial of any further and orginary questioning of beings as such, i.e., questioning of being) . . ."

Returning later in his text to the question of the Platonic beyond being, Heidegger writes (ibid., pp. 202f.): "Occurrence of the truth of be-ing—that is essential swaying.  Thus essential swaying is never a way of being that is added onto be-ing or even one which persists in itself above be-ing.  By what means must this manner of seemingly genuine continuation of questioning (a being—its being—and then being of being, etc.) be cut off and redirected into genuine questioning?  As long as everything stays with ουσία, a ground for no-longer-continuing-the-questioning-in-the-same-manner is not to be found.  The only thing left is to deviate [das Abbiegen, the turning off] into επέκεινα."

Eschewing beyond being, but refusing to stay with being, Heidegger is forced to turn off into beyond.  He articulates the logical import of this deviation into beyond in the context of his understanding of the Da as follows (ibid., p. 210): "In the other and future meaning ‘being’ [sein] does not mean occurring [vorkommen] but inabiding carriability [Ertragsamkeit] as grounding the t/here [Da].  The t/here [Da] does not mean a here and yonder that is somehow each time determinable but rather means the clearing of be-ing itself, whose openness first of all opens up the space for every possible here and yonder and for arranging beings in historical work and deed and sacrifice."  Turning off into beyond as the only alternative to staying with being when the metaphysical beyond being is no longer an option is in fact deviating into the openness of be-ing itself that "first of all opens up the space for every possible here and yonder."

The Platonic επέκεινα της ουσίας fundamentally anchors metaphysics in what the thinking now occurring for the first time understands as the logic of ‘beyond x(cf. Note to Faith and Philosophy Further to the Ontology of Real Trinary Logic).  Heidegger’s project is not to do away with this logic of ‘beyond x’, but rather, turning off into beyond just before beyond becomes beyond being (‘beyond x’), his project is to originarily ground every possible ‘beyond x’ ("every possible here and yonder"), to retrieve the truth of be-ing (Seyn) just this side—hither—the inception of the truth of being (Sein).  Heidegger’s only notion here is to ground "every possible here and yonder" (every possible ‘beyond x’) in an origin hither the origin of metaphysics, in the be-ing of the origin before the origin of being.  His thinking is in effect the originary grounding of origin.  Since the Platonic (Neoplatonic) επέκεινα της ουσίας is the Good (αγαθόν)—the One (εν), the Source (πηγή), the Cause (αίτιον), the First Principle (αρχή), the God (θεός), the Absolute (ανυπόθετον)—Heidegger’s thought originarily grounds the Origin, the One, the Good, the Divine (θειον), as ‘belonging’, the Absolute as ‘own-dom’ (Eigentum), mastery of ownhood.  It is precisely here that the thinking now occurring for the first time qua beyond beyond x is clearly able to be seen to be not only beyond origin, beyond the God, beyond cause, but to be consequently the nonbeing of Heidegger’s originary sovereignty, the nonbeing of own-dom, the nonbeing of avoidance of the Good: thinking for the first time actuality absolutely now.  Beyond beyond being (beyond the Good, not the Good and not not the Good, beyond the God, beyond the One) thought essentially the act of world-creating, the absolute simplicity of act of existence for the first time.

Nor is this beginning of an absolutely new existence beyond the Good to be confused with an impossible return to Meister Eckhart’s beyond the God not the God and not the creature, with the possibility of an infinitely regressive beyond beyond the God.  For the first time the beginning & end of the beginning & end of the thought of existence is the very simplicity of the historical existence of very simplicity (cf. D.G. Leahy, Faith and Philosophy: The Historical Impact [Aldershot and Burlington, 2003], Appendix).  Existence is the real for the first time: simplicity of existence the beginning as absolute impasse.

In this connection it is noted that Alain Badiou (A. Badiou, Being and Event, trans. O. Feltham [Continuum, 2005]) is not beyond the One, but, thither the death of God, thither thither Heidegger, hither beyond the One (ibid., p. 417: "the truth of the situation . . . not the absolute commencement of another"), given over to the ‘Platonism of the multiple’, being and truth sans the One, beyond the belonging together of being and truth (ibid., p. 355: "the Heideggerean thesis of an originary co-belonging of being [as φύσις] and truth [as αλήθεια, or non-latency] must be abandoned"), beyond belonging, not belonging not not belonging, the indiscernible not indiscernible (ibid., p. 409: "a subject . . . discerned realization of an indiscernible"), the void the proper name of being (ibid., pp. 52ff.).

Badiou describes (ibid., p. 502) Cantor’s theorem concerning the relation of a set α to its power set p(α), | α | < | p(α) |, as "the law of the quantitative excess of the state of the situation over the situation."  Concerning this excess he says: "It is the impasse, or point of the real, of ontology."  Earlier he writes concerning Cantor (ibid., p. 42): "Cantor’s ontological thesis is evidently that inconsistency, mathematical impasse of the one-of-the-multiple, orientates thought towards the Infinite as supreme-being or absolute . . . . However, one could also argue that Cantor, in a brilliant anticipation, saw that the absolute point of being of the multiple is not its consistency . . . but its inconsistency, a multiple-deployment that no unity gathers together.  Cantor’s thought thus wavers between onto-theology . . . and mathematical ontology, in which consistency provides a theory of inconsistency, in that what proves an obstacle to it (paradoxical multiplicity) is its point of impossibility, and thus, quite simply, is not.  Consequently, it fixes the point of non-being from whence it can be established that there is a presentation of being . . . . That it be in the place of this non-being that Cantor pinpoints the absolute, or God, allows us to isolate the decision in which ‘ontologies’ of Presence, non-mathematical ‘ontologies’, ground themselves: the decision to declare that beyond the multiple, even in the metaphor of its consistent grandeur, the one is.  What set theory enacts, on the contrary, under the effect of the paradoxes—in which it registers its particular non-being as obstacle (which, by that token, is the non-being)—is that the one is not."

Badiou: beyond avoidance of the Good, hither beyond the Good, the void in place of the Good.

Badiou’s nomination of the void as ontology’s real in place of the one is not insignificantly prepared in the thinking of Thomas Aquinas.  In Summa Contra Gentiles III.57.3, the paradox in Aquinas is formulated as the proportion of improportionality between God and the natural intellect: "the distance of the highest intellect in the natural order to God is infinite in perfection and goodness.  But its distance to the lowest intellect is finite, for there cannot be an infinite distance of finite to finite.  So the distance between the lowest and highest created intellect is as nothing [quasi nihil] in comparison to that distance which is between the highest created intellect and God.  However, what is as nothing [quasi nihil] cannot make a sensibly perceived difference."

Now thought thinks absolutely beyond the origin for the first time.  In the absolute immediacy of the act of creating the world no situation is and a fortiori the state of the situation is not.  Beyond sovereignty the latter's excess over the former—whether minimally measurable or immeasurably errant (cf. Badiou, Being and Event, pp. 410ff.)—is essentially & absolutely conceivable as belonging but to thinking in the past.  Likewise no longer conceivable is the void in Thomas’ comparative-incomparability of God and creaturedistancefinite/ = distanceinfinite—that which, qua predicate of this ontologically dimensionless ratio, is effectively the mark of the Void the mark of the Idea: {the Finite/the Infinite}/.  (For the relation of excessus and "the empty concept of being" in Thomas Aquinas, cf. K. Rahner, Spirit in the World, trans. W. Dych [Continuum, 1994], p. 401, et passim.)

Beyond set and power set, beyond belonging and inclusion, beyond axiomatic ontology and excess, neither the one nor the void is conceivably "the point of the ontological real."  As never before the impasse of ontology is very existence.

Beginning now reason actually beyond absolute reason.  As never before absolute proportionality beyond proportion.  The real for the first time absolute simplicity itself—existence itself absolute particularity (for beginning the infinite difference of x, see, on this web, The Real Beyond the Void: the Beginning/the Power Body).

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Concerning the first beginning, Heidegger writes (Contributions to Philosophy [From Enowning], p. 146): "When ιδέα is once set up as beingness of beings and when it is grasped as κοινόν, then it must—again be thought from beings, as it were (the individual ones)—be among these the most being, the όντως όν . . . . the most-being [Seindste] and actually a being."

But now (ibid., p. 239ff.) "before the gate of a new moment of . . . [the] hidden history [of the essential sway of truth]," the truth "that never ‘is’ but rather holds sway," the "truth of be-ing," is the "[t]ruth [that] is what is originarily true . . . . the most-being . . . . [m]ore-being than any being . . . be-ing itself . . . . [t]he most-being [that] ‘is’ no longer but rather holds sway as essential swaying (enowning)."

Thus (ibid., p. 242) Heidegger displaces the Idea as beginning and end of the world (cf. Leahy, Faith and Philosophy, Appendix) with the question of truth—the "questioning" that is "here beginning and end", effectively & precisely, of the Idea (absolute in Hegel) of the beginning and end of the world.  Heidegger, unable to think the essentially apocalyptic thinking now actually existing for the first time beyond the Good, instead originarily grounds absolute idealism’s "absolute occlusion of the formally apocalyptic identity of thought" (ibid., pp. 148ff.).  Hither the Good, Heidegger ventures into the abground, into the originary depth.

Beyond belonging not beyond inclusion it remains for Badiou hither beyond the Good to take the measure of this Void.  "Every Subject . . . opens upon . . . an un-measure in which to measure itself; because the void, originally, was summoned" (Being and Event, p. 430).

Beyond Heidegger’s originary grounding of "correctness" (ομοίωσις, adaequatio) as "the essential sway of truth" (Contributions, pp. 229ff.), it falls to Badiou to understand "an opening on to a history of truth which is at last completely disconnected from . . . exactitude or adequation" (Being and Event, p. 433).

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Heidegger writes (Contributions to Philosophy [From Enowning], p. 343): “The surpassing of gods is the going-under into the groundership of the truth of be-ing.  But be-ing en-owns Da-sein for itself, for grounding its truth, i.e., its clearing; because without this lit up, separating-deciding [lichtende Entscheidung] of it itself into the needfulness of god and into the guardianship of Da-sein, be-ing would have to be consumed by the fire of its own unredeemed glow.  How can we know how often this has not already happened?  If we knew that, then there would be no necessity of thinking be-ing in the uniqueness of its essential sway.” 

The self-consumption of be-ing by the fire of its glow is now known never to have been capable of having happened—out of its own necessity, its unredeemedness.  The undecidability of the necessity of thinking be-ing, the inability of avoidance of the Good to know anything about the nonexistence of its own necessity—this for the first time, otherwise intact, is now nonexistent.  Now for the first time there is no such necessity.   

Now actually happening the beginning of existence beyond the Good, the nonbeing of be-ing/hither the Good, the nonbeing of not not yet no longer (ibid., p. 288: “the not, as not-yet and no-longer”), the nonbeing of “the not”-beginning, the nonbeing of the “crossing” between the first beginning and the other beginning in whose "ambiguity" [Zweideutigkeit] "mindfulness [Besinnung] must continue to touch upon that which . . . increasingly shifts itself into a simple doing" (ibid., p. 325).  Now for the first time, beyond recollection, existence, essentially thought, is "simple doing" absolutely.  That which increasingly shifts itself into a simple doing : existence for the first time simple doing absolutely :: being toward death : being for the first time living death absolutely.  In the thinking now occurring for the first time existing absolutely now is living the death that is the end of the future and the beginning of the past—the immortality of absolute mortality.  Now as never before the unicity of being itself freely thought: existence not still not yet: existence beyond the Good not still beyond the Good: existenceabsolute world-creating beginning (see, on this web, The Simplicity & Syntax of the Concepts, Immediacy, Mediation, Omnipotence, & Beginning).

 

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