philosophy as not philosophy: para-ontology, hauntology, schizoanalysis

"Articulating the past historically does not mean recognizing it ‘the way it really was’. It means appropriating a memory as it flashes up in a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to hold fast that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to the historical subject in a moment of danger. The danger threatens both the content of the tradition and those who inherit it. For both, it is one and the same thing: the danger of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. Every age must strive anew to wrest tradition away from the conformism that is working to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer; he comes as the victor over the Antichrist. The only historian capable of fanning the spark of hope in the past is the one who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he is victorious. And this enemy has never ceased to be victorious."
- Walter Benjamin, Thesis VI

"The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and upbringing forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. This doctrine must, therefore, divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society. The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice."
- Karl Marx, Thesis III

Friday, August 8, 2008

Immanence 1: Departing, Remaining, and Abandoned Homes

Immanence: to remain in... Immanence is not and can not be presence, which is simply to be, to be there, to be therein. Im-manence: to remain in, therein, which already refers to contrast with departing, imparting, or parting-with. Immanence remains in, rather than departing, stepping out. And in this sense, immanence already includes something which does or has passed, has departed or left behind its there, its presence. Not absence, not necessarily a being which was and now is not present, but a presence, a therein (a being that is in what it is) that passes outside itself, that is no longer in what it is, but is outside what it is, that is outside itself. Does this mean in another? Or is it already in-nothing, outside of everything, standing at the limit of all inclusion? This is the question of transcendence, of going beyond or stepping out, of leaving, departing, escaping.

Immanence thus cannot do without reference to a movement of transcendence by which something has departed and gone outside itself, leaving that which it was in, that is to say, leaving itself (an in-itself that has left itself, leaving itself empty). Immanence is that which, in regards to this movement of departing, nonetheless remains in. It is what stays behind, is left or abandoned. Yet it is not simply there, simply present. It is only there as left there by something that has gone. And, in leaving itself, the being leaves only an empty therein, wherein nothing remains, an empty itself without that which is itself and is in-itself. So we can propose that immanence is that pure therein that is no longer a being-in, as the presence of the being within has been evacuated.

This does not leave us with an absence, but with an abandon which is not the lack of presence, but a presence which gives only the loss of presence, a presence of the place itself without that which was in it. Absence prefers the place as emptied container, a pure, neutral recepticle. Abandon is, rather, the place as itself presence, now visible as itself in the lack of what occupied it. This is immanence: the abandon that resides in the vacated residence itself, the homelessness not of the being that has gone, but of the now unoccupied home that cannot be itself for lack of those it would keep in dwelling. Immanence is what remains in when no one is home.

1 comment:

Prince Roy said...

I don't mind you using this photo, but attribution would be nice!