Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is Immanent Transcendence?

Human freedom.

If we accept that individuality emerges from social, cultural, linguistic, historical, material, and other conditions, and that individuality is the locus of freedom, then we are not free for the most part.  We are free only in those moments in which we transcend our conditions, and every moment is such a possibility as long as chance is loose in the world.  However, those conditions also empower us and give our existence meaning.  Perhaps only a mystic would appreciate a transcendence that becomes meaningless, perhaps finding peace in the no-thingness that is God.  But that is not he path of human freedom.  Freedom is the transcendence of desire, eros, conatus, and it may be found in human imagination.  Yet if transcendence is to be meaningful, how do we reconcile the common conditions of meaning with the uncommonness of transcendence?

Heidegger called it authenticity, but for him it was a momentary escape from them.  Its call was that of conscience that calls me back to myself by calling me forth to my ownmost possibilities.  He understood the dilemma of the social genesis of individuality, but posited alienation through conscience as a source.  He did so against the Catholic tradition of conscience as a tribunal.  How that that project the nullity, the not-yet, of my ownmost possibilities?

I do not believe that we should free ourselves from others for transcendence, but that we should free ourselves from impulsive desire, eros, conatus….  Meaningful transcendence cannot transcend the other, or even the other within myself that is my fallenness, but is a transition from lower to higher value.

1 comment:

  1. The name of the blog comes from the title of my dissertation, Phenomenological Pragmatism: Freedom as the Immanent Transcendence of Desire.