The Shaking Table
- JR, I think I now have a fairly secure understanding of the structure
of your structure. Without further comment upon yours except to say
that it is now very apparent to me why we have the bright line
difference, let me lay out my structure in broad outline form,
commonly called the nutshell view, covering the process as I see it
from beginning to end. That it differs from yours is an understatement.
I'll begin a new thread to give us a new beginning. I will comment in
particular about your structure, and lay it out as I see it, after I
lay out my structure for your comment. You have put your house of
cards upon the table and my house of cards needs to be on the same
table before we begin the process of shaking the table; fair is fair.
When I came upon SK, I already had my structure worked out. What I
found in reading SK, and why I read him as I do, is that I could
translate the structure his words created into my structure, as if we
both were talking about the same process.
From time to time, I have made the following disclaimer, which I make
again in making it. It may be that SK is not going on about what I see
him going on about, and it's all coincidence. That being said, for
better or worse, everywhere I turn in his works, I find that structure
being spoken to. I paraphrase: When he says that what he has done is
to speak to one idea throughout, that being the casting of
Christianity into reflection, the one idea that holds my structure
together is the ides of reflection, that is, the role of reflection in
the process of self I have called self-clarification.
Ok, enough blather. The broad outline of what I see SK going on about
goes like this:
The self, not yet a self per se, becomes aware of being tossed around
in the flux of the ever-present -- parenthetically, the tossing around
being the catalyst for that bloom of awareness and positing the
condition of that first awareness, the ground awareness, as
present-tense -- and, in grabbing for a hand hold, or looking for
firmer ground, however you care to characterize it, this not-yet-self
found that ground in a temporal sense of self, a finite sense of self,
as the particular self. It gave up the flux of the ever-present for a
mess of pottage, the esthetic sphere of existence signifying the
particular sense of self in its timeline, its history.
The esthetic sphere of existence must come to an end for the ethical
sphere of existence to be. The esthetic sphere is then characterized
as being separate from the ethical sphere and the talk is of a
disjunctive leap. The ethical sphere is grounded in self presence,
characterized as self-observation in general and an awareness turned
inward upon its own awareness, which is to say, in terms of
reflection, being doubly-reflected. This sphere depends upon presence
to itself, transparency, so is self-related. In this sense it is
As an aside, I think SK has captured the dynamic of the process when
he said, and I loosely paraphrase, that the ethical sphere is a
transition sphere and an active gate, as it were, like a returning
home time and again to the correct position from which to proceed.
The ethical sphere, as the sphere from which to begin, contains the
understanding that the self is given in the reflection, and whenever
that realization breaks into the ethical sphere itself, the reflection
that supports it comes to an end. This break cannot be willed, but
occurs as it will. This break signifies the religious sphere, what I
see SK calling Religiousness A.
I see A as an end of its own and having no way to get from there to B.
I see SK saying the same thing. The movement from the ethico-religious
sphere to B must occur from the beginning, with the ethical. Here and
only here do I see our respective structures having contact. The
'leap' to B is no leap but an acceptance of the presence of the
eternal in the finite which grounds the ethical in the existing world.
I see the same grounding happening when one takes the whole process
simply as a matter of self-clarification. Not having inherited the
religious gene, I cannot take the route of faith; it's not in my nature.
Ok, that's it in a nutshell. Let the comparison begin, let the table
be shook! Oh yes, any other out there who wishes to join in the
shaking of this table, please do. If you have a house of cards of
your own to place upon the table, please do. ----willy