THOUGHT & BEING — TRANSCENDENTALLY DIFFERENTIATED IDENTITY
In The New York Philosophy Corporation Fall 2011 course BookEnds&Odds the following question was posted to the Question & Answer Forum by Jonathan Rogers on December 4 (color guidance added):
“On [p.] 153 [of Faith and Philosophy1], the text reads: the new consciousness of the third millennium is ‘a consciousness otherwise than the beginning of being but not other than being & nothing.’ I had expected consciousness to be associated with a beginning otherwise than being, along with being other than being/nothing. I am confused in part, I think, by the formulation in the Preface: ‘But this is to think the beginning otherwise than being—that is, other than being & other than nothing’ [p.] xiii). The subject here is beginning; the subject in the Appendix is consciousness. But I can’t get my mind around ‘consciousness (as) otherwise than the beginning of being but not other than being & nothing.’”
The instructor’s answer (revised and expanded):
Definitions: ‘otherwise than’ x = ‘beyond’ x = not x and not not x. ‘beyond beyond’ x = not ‘not x and not not x’ and not not ‘not x and not not x’ = ‘absolutely now’ = ‘the not yet’.2
With these definitions in mind the statements above can first be simplified as, respectively, “consciousness beyond the beginning of being but not beyond being” and “to think the beginning beyond being”.
The latter then = “to think the beginning not being and not not being”. This is a statement concerning the conception of ‘beginning’.
Similarly the former then = “consciousness not the beginning of being and not not the beginning of being but not not being and not not not being”. This is a statement concerning the conception of ‘consciousness’.
Substituting the predicates of ‘beginning’ found in the latter phrase for the term ‘beginning’ in the former phrase yields:
For the first time “a consciousness not the not being and not not being of being and not not the not being and not not being of being—beyond the beyond being of being—the absolute now of being—absolute productive receptivity3—at once not beyond being, i.e., not the not being of being at once not the not not being of being.” In other words — less dynamically — this is being itself at the disposal of consciousness for the first time.4
For the first time consciousness is the beginning qua the beyond of being not beyond being ─ qua the beyond of being not beginning ─ qua the not of being beyond beyond being ─ qua the not of being beyond beginning ─ qua the not of being absolutely now ─ qua the not of being not yet. The absolute intimacy/nighness5 of thought & being always & everywhere for the first time: the identity of thought & being transcendentally differentiated for the first time.6
Implication for World Existing Persons
“This absolutely created world whose truth is absolute otherness is the perfect field of action for an I completely free for the first time. Everything I am is not mine; yet I am it completely. Everything I have is not mine; yet I have it completely. Everything I make is not mine; yet I make it completely. The infinitely transparent I is the surface identifying body and world absolutely. This is the foundation of an unqualifiedly total engagement with the world.7 This is the foundation for an essential transformation of the world order. Every I I meet objectively is not me; yet I meet it completely in differentiating it. The face-to-face of perfectly other I’s is a unity perfectly differentiated. The assembly of completely independent I’s in a unity otherwise than presence, perfectly differentiated, is a society.”8
1 D.G. Leahy, Faith and Philosophy: The Historical Impact (Aldershot 2003).
2 Cf. D.G. Leahy, Beyond Sovereignty: A New Global Ethics and Morality (Aurora, 2010), Section III.1 and Backnote 1, et passim.
3 Cf. ibid., pp. 86ff., “The Index of the Ethic of Simplicity”, the category ‘Gratitude’ (‘productive receptivity’), then pp. 225ff., “The Morality of the New Beginning”, the imperative 'You shall be absolutely now’.
4 Cf. ibid., pp. 86ff., the category ‘Readiness’ (‘being at the disposal of another’).
5 Cf. ibid., pp. 17ff.
6 Cf. ibid., p. 259: “In the thinking now occurring for the first time transcendental difference is identity . . .” Cf., also, D.G. Leahy, Novitas Mundi: Perception of the History of Being (Albany, 1994), pp. 316ff., et passim. Cf., also, D.G. Leahy, Foundation: Matter the Body Itself (Albany 1996), Section I, et passim.
7 Cf. Leahy, Beyond Sovereignty, pp. 225ff., the imperatives ‘You shall be wholly engaged with the world’ and ‘You shall create the world’. Cf. Leahy, Foundation, p. 78: “This beginning is the saying in which every difference except the transcendental difference . . . is overcome: this is the material productivity which is absolute consciousness itself: of this word the elemental form is work itself, in the objectivity/receptivity of being itself, i.e., in the actuality of existence, the essence of reality.”
8 Leahy, Faith and Philosophy, p. 160. Cf., also, Leahy, Beyond Sovereignty, pp. 225ff., the imperative ‘You shall love the person’.