"Everything is what it is, and not another thing." (Bishop Butler, 1726)
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Contrasting Heidegger and the Philosophy of Theological Materialism (reblog from June 6 2013)
"Everything is what it is, and not another thing." (Bishop Butler, 1726)
Contrary to Plato, mathematical things, triangles, as well as such things as justice, beauty and love, are human definitions pertaining to actual objects, they do not exists as entities in themselves.
Nonexistent spiritual definitions have been given far too much attention and power in religion and philosophy, which has led to misdefining and degrading the real world. Ascetics even put up a Great Spiritual Blockade against the material world, which actually blocks the real path to Godhood of material evolution. When people like Paul Tillich or Heidegger say such things as, “God is being-itself, not being,” they perpetuate the same belief in nothing but a mode of thinking.
Spiritual definitions need to drop back to their support role or defining role and they need to cease to be Gods themselves. The natural world has to be unblocked if we are to reach real Godhood by way of evolution. The confusing name-games for God will stop when Godhood is seen as existing in the same sense that everything else exists. The exoteric needs to rise again over the esoteric in religious theology, and does so with theological materialism where Godhood is seen as a supermaterial object evolved to in the material world.
The Twofold Path makes room for the traditional, non-object, idea-only definitions of the God-Within, or Father-Within, of the Inward Path of the great religions---this is included but transformed in the Outward Path of the Theoevolutionary Church. This brings the real world into religion and religion into the real world, and most importantly, it unblocks the long-blocked natural path to evolving to real Godhood, the real purpose of existence, which is only reflected in the God-Within. This is a transvaluation of Plato's and i dare say Heidegger's world.
An unmanifest God, which can be seen in Hinduism, and in the Christian Meister Eckart, is a definition, or principle, or denotation, or an intuitive experience of God, but this is not Godhood. Plato too saw an unmanifest God, as did his followers. God or Being has been seen as unmanifest all the way to Heidegger, whose Being remains a hidden Being, or is a process of the human mind where Being needs thought to manifest itself.
Heidegger's chilly Being seems not to be exactly the same as the loving God of Aquinas, but both thinkers see Being as not an object in time but a process happening through human thought or special experience. Aquinas at least does say that even if we can not know God completely, God is there knowing himself, God is a mystery but not to himself. Although the God of Aquinas does manifest the world, his God remains a nonmaterial, unmanifest God, and not a manifest-supermaterial-evolved-Supreme Object-in time-Godhood, as Godhood is seen in the Theoevolutionary Church.
This God or Father-Within of Aquinas (and the Eastern religions) is found in the Involutionary Inward Path, it is the “unmanifest” God contained in the virtual tabula rasa Soul. This Father Within is attained or experienced by first ridding the body of all material desires and surrendering to the Soul. Nevertheless, it is only through the Evolutionary Outward Path that one can attain Real Godhood in the cosmos. This requires not ridding the body of material desires but fulfilling the goal and promise of material desires in evolving to Godhood, the supermaterial zenith of the material world .
Philosophers and theologians have compressed too many things in God, for example, God as Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer, when these things derive from different things, even if they are related. Primal Matter and the Spirit-Will within Primal Matter seem to be the creator, and natural evolution is, at times, the destroyer, and Godhood is the manifested Zenith of natural and supernatural evolution.
I do allow the ideal to go beyond man's mind alone and beyond man's existence. The ideal meaning can appear within the Spirit-Will which exists within man and within life. But this is a Spirit defined as remaining in the material-supermaterial world as part of the natural world. I think when early phenomenology tried to avoid metaphysical constructions it cut its head off, which is what science did...
This also means that man is not as “free” as Heidegger suggested. We are not “hurled” into the world with no idealistic-natural goal. The goal of the Spirit-Will is to activate our material being at any given stage of evolution to evolve to the Zenith of Beings, which is Godhood. We are determined from within by the Spirit but shaped from without by “freer” evolution.
Heidegger seems to think that language not merely expresses the world, including Being, language gives the world shape, the shape of Being is always and only linguistic. ( see “Heidegger and Aquinas,” Caputo).
This is considered a problem in modern philosophy, but it is not a problem in reality. Language should not and does not create the actual world, or create Being, when it does it is giving itself far too much importance.
I think language remains what it was for Aristotle and St. Thomas, an exterior sign of interior mind. Language does not give birth to Being, when it does it is in error.
The error of relativistic Structuralism seems to be in this Heideggerian reading of language, to them Being always depends on the language used to define Being, so there are different Beings for different languages, since Being only exists in languages.
We invent being with language when we don't know what Being is, but this invention does not mean that Being is only an invention of language, it illustrates that we are inventing Being with language and not that Being is only language.
Being is an Object, a Thing, and man can try to put a word to Being, but the word does not create Being. The exact, Absolute, Real Word or Words for Godhood can only be known by Godhood, or perhaps by a penultimate God.
As we become higher evolved we will better define Being, but language will never be Being Itself, not even with Godhood. Even with Godhood, language will still be the exterior expression of interior mind--- in Godhood's case, it will be Absolute Exterior Expression of Absolute Interior Mind.
No wonder that solipsism rears it's selfish head in philosophy, which seems to me to be a false entrapment of the ego in itself. I find the world real, the Spirit-Will real, and Godhood real, as actual existing objects. Being and being-to-Be have material and supermaterial substance as objects.
I think I also reject Heidegger's definition of Being more or less as time. Profound as this philosopher was, this seems to be a rejection of the actual object in favor of a definition of certain moving aspects of the behavior of objects. Time the definition is not Being the object.
Likewise Plato's Forms are not Being, forms secondarily define Being. In the old paradox, does unity define being or is unity beyond being? I say the form or the thought of unity is only that, a thought in the mind-brain of being or Being, and unity is not a real object. Unity is only part of being as the mind-brain is only part of the body. Total unity, or Absolute Unity would happen with Godhood attained at the zenith of material evolution (with supermaterialism). That is, Godhood's mind knows, but only knows within the united Body of Godhood.
Now if philosophy wants to try to define this real world just described in epistemological detail it is welcome to do so. But I think Being has to be rescued from such things as Heidegger's definition of Being as the history only of Being. Being and being are more than any kind of definition of Being.
Is this “faith” I am applying in defining reality, the leap of faith? Theological materialism is a religion after all, a religion with a kind of idealistic materialism, but an idealism grounded in the projected goal of an evolving living object with immanent and transcendent real substance.
I am beholden to no one for this “heresy” which allows me more freedom than most---some would say perhaps too much freedom. Is my perspective really “poetry” or does it move outside of philosophy? Like a pre-philosopher I see no difference between existence and Being and I see no separation between essence an existence. Essence would be the Spirit-Will within the existing real object being.
Time follows Being, time defines the existence of Being, time is not Being, as Heidegger seems to suggest in “Being and Time.” Time is not an object, but Being is an object.
Thinking of time as Being is like thinking of God as beyond the object, beyond materialism, even beyond supermaterialism. This is making an idol of denotation and definition.
“Being” doesn't mean unchanging “permanence,” Godhood Itself seems to transform into a new cosmic Godhood, the old cosmos continues to be activated by the evolutionary Will To Godhood, or Spirit-Will, until it has reached its final goal of Godhood, then it seems to begin again, or continue on to even higher Godhood.
Being does not “stand outside” of existence, even speech and thought are part of Being, as the mind is part of the body.
I think that in standard ontology, Being (big B) is the definition or denotation only of being (small b) as in this the brain defines the body. Even in Godhood Being is the mind of God (being). Being depends on being and being depends on Being.
This suggest to me that the being of ontology deserves the large B of Being because the overall total being is superior in its totality to the Mind or Being. Being is never separate from being. Being never “emerges” away from being on its own. Being or Godhood simply exists as a supermaterial object who knows itself fully as it exists.
This relates to what I see as the false separation between “essence” and “existence.” The essence, or idea, is never separate from the existence of the object in the same way that Being is not separate from being.
Aquinas, the central philosopher of Catholicism, sees Being as act, to be is to act, and this I can agree with. But Being also exists as a living being that has evolved to Godhood, which is the potential of all other objects in the cosmos. Being then transforms, or continues evolving as other lesser objects transform, into the next cosmos or the next being.
There is no It or Being left behind when being emerges from being, or Godhood. Only the Spirit-Will remains within matter activating the next cosmos.
It should be understood (it may be obvious) that my thinking on Being and being, like Aquinas, is ultimately mystical, “ratio” knows its place. I conceptualize a mystical view of Godhood (intellectual intuition) but I consider conceptualization a lesser instrument than knowing or being the total Object Itself.
In the tradition of trying to understanding Being historically comes the next stage of understanding Being in an evolutionary way, this is the “metaphysics” of theological materialism.
But traditional metaphysics sees Being as eternal, always existing outside of history, so it is really ahistorical, not unlike much of modern philosophy, in seeing Being as withdrawn from the world.
There is a separation between what I call the idolatry of denotation and Real Godhood. The denotation and defining becomes the idol, the God, is given eternal life outside of material and even supermaterial life.
Being does not “withdraw" from the historical or evolutionary “sending” (Heidegger's term) of life, time and history are only denotations, definitions of actual living and transforming Being and beings, which do all the sending and begetting---nothing outside of living objects does the sending or transforming.
There is no “oblivion of Being” (again Heidegger's term), there is only the transformation of Being or the evolution of beings.
I do not think we should feature the “principle” of substance, called “form” by Aristotle, who thought form was the highest principle of substance. This is how religion and philosophy veer off beyond reality, beyond the object, beyond the truth of the object. Truth is an object first, a principle second.
Godhood or Being should not be envisioned as form or principle or abstraction but as a Supreme Object, a Supermaterial Object of substance, or super-substance.
The Spirit-Will is the acting animator of material-supermaterial being, all the way to Godhood, whereupon Godhood is transformed into a new cosmic Godhood containing the animating Spirit-Will within each material being.
For St. Thomas, Being is act, not substance, which would be like saying God is Spirit-Will (although the Spirit-Will is an acting substance). The Spirit-Will, which is material, is not Being or Godhood, the action of the Spirit-Will is part of evolution, Being is a Supreme Acting Living Object.
To Heidegger, Being is also not causality or actuality but the radiance of what shows itself to us (Caputo, “Heidegger and St. Thomas"). But Being is the Zenith of Causality and Action, more than “mere” radiance which is “only” a property of the Object Supreme Being.
Truth is found in objects, in things, which are then seen and described by minds. Minds require bodies, just as the Soul and Spirit-Will require bodies. A Divine Mind exits in the Divine Body of Being.
Transcendence is another word for evolution, the transcendence of being to Godhood is evolutionary, and the transcendence or transformation of Godhood into a new cosmic Godhood is evolutionary.
As to proof, describing this ontology and metaphysics corresponds to Heidegger's preference for the poet's way of naming Being, as poets and thinkers who have been touched by It (in older words, faith and intellectual intuition). I am waiting for more concrete “scientific” proof, for example, proof of the Supreme Substance of Being and proof of the evolution of beings to Being or Godhood, which will come in the future, I believe.
I see it as a device, an abandonment, to say, as Heidegger said, that Being is time, or more precisely, that Being gives Itself to man in the form of time, because our senses operate within the horizon of time. This way one doesn't define the ground of Being.
The way to ground Being is to secure Being in materialism-supermaterialism, to define the Spirit-Will as Essence, which is also supermaterial. One then can define Existence as a material-supermaterial Body, activated by the Spirit-Will, and shaped from without by evolution.
Godhood is this way grounded in Its own Essence and Existence, as all other causal life is, only Godhood or Being has evolved to the Zenith of the material-supermaterial world.
The problem seems to stem from the old duality of material/spiritual and the inability to see God as material-supermaterial, along with the insistence on a wholly spiritual God with no “confinement” in anything material or supermaterial.
Creation is “mutatio,” nothing can be created out of nothing. This is causal thinking, this is theological materialism. It is time to end the battle between spirit and matter, religion and science. At this time, reason and science can take us to the gate, and intellectual intuition and religion can pass us through the gate, until reason catches up.
Heidegger thought that Scholastic metaphysics constitute an oblivion of Being (“Heidegger and Aquinas,” Caputo), but I think religion and philosophy in general have created an oblivion of Being.
How much simpler, elegant, to suggest that all is materiality and supermateriality, which can even explain Angels and Godhood, as well as human life. The lower material evolves to the higher supermaterial. Hairsplitting arguments about “form” and “substance,” “Potentiality,” “purity” and “spiritual versus material” no longer apply.
Angels would be Penultimate Gods, made of nearly the same supermaterial substance as Godhood, which are not non-material pure spirit or pure act. Angels and Godhood are the highest evolved Beings in the cosmos, yet made of the same material and supermateriality as the rest of the cosmos.
As above, so below.
If only “beings” are, what does “Being” mean, asks John Caputo (“Heidegger and Aquinas”). I think Being in this sense is meaning only, and far secondary to so-called lesser “being.”
If you need to give being a capital letter then Being is at the Zenith of Evolution and being (small b) is all evolving life leading to Godhood.
In this way both Being and being are actual physical objects with material and supermaterial substance, in the world, of time, and belonging to causal laws. To “define” these things is far secondary to their actual existence.
Definition is not worthy of the terms being or Being, these are not abstract concepts. Essence is in existence and existence is in essence. This suggest a rejection of any real distinction between essence and existence---this is not Thomist. I uphold the Involutionary Inward Path to the God Within, and I uphold upward evolution in the Evolutionary Outward Path to Godhood without, which is the Twofold Path of the Evolutionary Church. Heidegger's teacher, Braig, seems to have been closer to our way of thinking about Being than Heidegger.
For me the subjective/objective-ideal/real arguments come down to how much of the actual object we can subjectively see. The higher evolved we are---that is, with higher consciousness and higher intelligence---the more we can see of the actual object. We see differently from a dog or honeybee but we also see more of the actual objective object. Heidegger and Husserl seem to deny the whole idea of seeing an objective being-in-itself, and so they deny realism. (“Heidegger and Aquinas,” Caputo)
Seeing more of an actual objective object has apparently enhanced our success in survival and reproduction. Evolving to much higher consciousness and higher intelligence will allow us to see more and more of what is real and actual, and eventually our evolving to the highest consciousness, or Godhood, will allow us to see all of reality and truth, which is the goal of our evolution, activated by the Spirit-Will within life. I do not think it is enough to center on advancing machines rather than genes, as the Singulitarians do in their political correctness, which avoids biological evolution.
I can at least agree with Aquinas in defining Being as the very act of existing, Being as Being, rather than merely defining Being as Being. But I do not think that only in God are essence and existence identical, as Aquinas seems to have thought. Essence and existence are never separate in any life form, the difference is that in Godhood essence and existence have evolved---together never separate---to their highest form. Essence (Spirit-Will) activates existence (material/supermaterial body) all the way from the simple to the Supreme-Being-Actual-Object-Godhood.
Heidegger sees Being as rising up out of concealment (Caputo), but this looks to me like the old metaphysics, making Being pure Spirit separated from the rest of the world. I might interpret this “rising out of concealment” as a description of the creation of the world, but I see no real concealment, I see only different levels of evolution where only a God could be evolved high enough to understand the formerly unconcealed God, who is necessarily concealed from the lower evolved by levels of intelligence and complexity. I doubt that Heidegger meant “unconcealed” in this way.
It seems to me that Heidegger does not make his case for changing the old idea of language as primarily communication, words as an exterior sign of the interior mind, or language communicating meanings already constituted in the mind.
Heidegger wants to reject this “dualist” language theory, but in the process I see only complicated obfuscation---to say that “language is not representative but manifestative” is to me obfuscation.
It is true that we can develop names for things that do not exist outside of our minds, but this is still language representing our interior mind, our interior minds simply can be ignorant of the exterior world and not describe reality. The hope is that intelligence and consciousness will evolve to find the correct or real knowledge of the exterior world, and then use the interior mind to describe that exterior reality.
When both beings and Being are known and seen as material and supermaterial existing objects, and not as immaterial word-creations or definitions, then the language describing these objects can eliminate Idealism and most metaphysics. Language will continue to be an exterior sign of interior mind, but with high enough evolution---perhaps only with the Supreme Object Godhood attained--- Godhood's Mind existing in Godhood's Body will describe Absolute Reality with Absolute Language.
The “unconcealed” which seems to define truth in Heidegger's ontology (and in Ancient Greek philosophy), is defined in theological materialism as an Object. “Unconcealedness” is attained when life evolves to its highest truth and beauty, which is not a definition or denotation but is a supreme supermaterial object called Godhood. Theology and philosophy always end up perpetuating the same belief in nothing but a mode of thinking, definitions and denotations of God. Definitions wrongly become Gods themselves.
A key idea is to define some “truths” as “unconcealedness,” as the Greeks supposedly did, and as Heidegger did after them, but then go on from there and define unconcealedness as a living object, not an idea or math symbol.
If Heidegger was right that the Greek word for “truth” means “unconcealment,” then I would define truth as a material or supermaterial object released from the concealment of nonmaterial, traditional metaphysics, and mathematics.
I could agree with Heidegger's idea that the history of metaphysics is the history of the “oblivion of Being,” but I would put it another way: the history of religion and philosophy is the history of the oblivion of the real object. Given the oblivion of the real object it is no wonder that materialism rejected religion and much of philosophy. In rejecting religion, materialism and philosophy ended up with empty materialism.
In the theological materialism of the Theoevolutionary Church, the real object of materialism is seen as hypertrophied or evolved into the Supermaterial Supreme Object, or Godhood, attained through evolution. This retrieves religion and philosophy and even science from the empty oblivion of Being.
The real object has been lost in almost diabolical abstractions, which means that Real Being is lost in abstractions. Yes, we must use mathematics to technically run the world, but mathematics does not replace real objects and does not replace the Supreme Object of Real Godhood.
We know that living objects exist in the world from the simple to the complex, and it seems possible to think, without abstraction, that a hierarchy of living objects exist in the cosmos, and this evolution could evolve up to the Supremely Complex, with a highest level of evolution, where Godhood would dwell.
A child knows that what he sees is real, without abstractions, even if he does not know that he will see more of the object as his senses and consciousness and intelligence advance. This is basically all that needs to be said regarding how we regard the real world. The emperor of abstract definition has no clothes.
It seems that St. Thomas shifted from Aristotle to Plato in describing abstract God which I don't go along with. This becomes a God of definition.
The abstract idea of “pure perfection” always blockades the real material world, as if the world is evil. But when the material is seen to evolve to the supermaterial then this Great Spiritual Blockade of the material-supermaterial evolution to Godhood will be opened, and true Godhood can be reached.
“...If metaphysics is the summit of philosophy, it is necessary to look for the root outside of metaphysics.” (Gilson)
Generally, both religion and philosophy have been a philosophy of Being without existence, or Being is considered beyond at least material existence. This has been a great error. This has defined God as a non-object, or even as “Nothing” in relation to material life, which is often the way mystics define God. Philosophers and theologians have seemed to “animate concepts,” as John Caputo put it, with “absolute idealism.”
Godhood is a supreme object with essence, existence and being, and not Being without existence as we know it. Godhood is not beyond the material, Godhood is supermaterial, which is not the same as nonmaterial spirit. Godhood is in the world as we are in the world, but Godhood is at the zenith of evolution in the world. The Being of Godhood has existence in the cosmos, as all other objects do.
If metaphysics kills the material world then science should be the science of Being, seeking to discover the substance of the supermaterial. Until then, until science knows it has to be thus, by deepening its search to religious subjects, I have to define idealistic materialism, which seems contradictory but is not.
Heidegger said Being “rises up into unconcealment,” but being is never concealed, although at this stage in our evolution it may be concealed from us. In all life, all the way to Godhood, being is not merely the definition of the object, being is the existing object, from the material to the supermaterial.