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Re: [Kierkegaardians] Re: Some Questions for Bill

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  • James Rovira
    Jim S: Isn t philosophy oriented toward the past recollection (Socratic), and didn t Kierkegaard suggest philosophy understood Christianly should be oriented
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 29, 2006
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      Jim S:

      Isn't philosophy oriented toward the past recollection (Socratic), and
      didn't Kierkegaard suggest philosophy understood Christianly should be
      oriented toward the future (repetition)? So isn't a definiton of
      Kierkegaard's philosophy as "past-oriented" mistaken? Of course, I haven't
      read the entire article, so...

      Jim R


      > > "Judge William, in his second letter to the aesthete, makes an
      > > explicit connection between the preoccupation with the past and the
      > > practice of philosophy. "Philosophy," he says "turns towards the
      > > past." � [Kierkegaard] is perhaps delivering a warning to himself �
      > > a warning which can also be directed to ourselves, his readers. For
      > > as we read and write about Kierkegaard today, what are we doing
      > > other than contemplating the past? Isn't there something better we
      > > have to do?" ("Movements and Positions: Kierkegaard's Philosophy of
      > > Becoming", Clare Carlisle, pp. 57-8)
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Will Brown
      Bill, let me rearrange what you have said, not to change it, but to offer a different slice of it. What if the before/after complex that needs to be open were
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 29, 2006
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        Bill, let me rearrange what you have said, not to change it, but to
        offer a different slice of it. What if the before/after complex that
        needs to be open were exorcised by the present, as presence, as a
        self-presence that had no before/after? In such a case, all one would
        need do is be present to oneself and the rest would follow, wouldn't it.



        Here is my slice of it as I understand it: From my perspective, which is
        to say, my understanding of it, the present that depends upon, springs
        from, the future is always empty, and that is the source of the seeker.
        When the seeker ceases the act of seeking, there is the suffering that
        ensues, which I see SK describing in /Purity/ as the condition for the
        cure. Without a future, this seeker sets the condition for seeing how it
        is the past that holds it together, and allows it to come to an end in
        repentance. ----willy

        --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "billybob98103"
        <billybob98103@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46"
        > jjimstuart@ wrote:
        > >Jim S., Yes, the commentator you quote emphasises to Jim R. the
        > importance of time in understanding the Good.
        >
        > My understanding of time is of course based on Heidegger's
        > elaboration. In my own experience the transformation of the will
        > results in a rupture of time that is no longer consistent within
        > itself. It is not something that one so to speak stands back
        > passively and observes for the sake of observing. If the present
        > springs from the future one has to determine oneself in time to
        > orient oneself. The will doesn't disappear before God, as if one is
        > already determined, but is transformed. This transformation orients
        > one to ask "What am I doing?". There is no measure from which to
        > know how to proceed unless we can keep in view both the 'before'
        > and 'after' as what must be transcended, and therefore always open.
        >
        > I only know so much, and this is at the limit of my understanding.
        > Bill.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > > Bill,
        > >
        > > Thank you for your post which I was pleased to receive. Even though
        > > you do not answer many of my questions, I appreciate your genuine
        > > attempt to communicate your understanding of Kierkegaard.
        > >
        > > Let me respond to your first paragraph. You write:
        > >
        > > << I suppose I don't care too much how anyone else interprets SK,
        > > but like Hegel, I don't believe SK can be understood from any
        > > rational point of view given how Kierkegaard emphasises paradox in
        > > Religiousness B. >>
        > >
        > > I agree that the nature of the religiousness B life cannot be
        > > understood from the rational point of view as in making the leap
        > > from the sphere of religiousness A to the sphere of religiousness B
        > > the individual comes to believe "against the understanding".
        > >
        > > There is also a sense in which one cannot understand the ethical or
        > > religiousness A spheres from the rational point of view either, as
        > > one has to live within a sphere to fully understand it.
        > >
        > > Thus I would claim that I understand the ethical sphere because I
        > > have decisively chosen to make that possibility (ideality) actual.
        > > By this criterion I do not understand the sphere of religiousness A.
        > >
        > > However decisively choosing the ethical sphere does not involve
        > > me "believing against the understanding" as there is no absolute
        > > paradox involved here, so my general rational outlook can remain in
        > > tact.
        > >
        > > I'm sorry you have not managed to find any quotes about the silence
        > > which is "outside with everything else." I have now
        > > ordered "Repetition" from my local bookshop, so when I read that
        > > text I may find the passages for myself.
        > >
        > > I don't fully understand what you write in your last two
        > paragraphs.
        > > I would need to read the Hannay quote in its wider context to fully
        > > understand it. I aim to get around to reading Hannay's book on
        > > Kierkegaard before too long.
        > >
        > > I do agree with your sentence about knowledge:
        > >
        > > << I don't believe we can ever have enough knowledge or information
        > > about the world. >>
        > >
        > > I read Kierkegaard as arguing that the pursuit of knowledge is a
        > > worthless activity. In "Concluding Unscientific Postscript",
        > > Johannes Climacus says that "Either/Or" is a "polemic against truth
        > > as knowledge." (CUP, Hong p. 252, Lowrie p. 226) Rather than truth
        > > being knowledge, for Kierkegaard, truth is inwardness. This is what
        > > Climacus is saying in that wonderful quote that Willy brought to
        > our
        > > attention:
        > >
        > > << "If truth is spirit, then truth is inward deepening and is not
        > an
        > > immediate and utterly uninhibited relation of an immediate Geist
        > > (spirit, mind) to sum total of propositions, even though this
        > > relation is confusingly given the name of the most decisive
        > > expression of subjectivity: faith. The direction of
        > unreflectiveness
        > > is always oriented outward, thereunto, toward, in striving to reach
        > > its goal,
        > > toward the objective. The Socratic secret—which, unless
        > Christianity
        > > is to be an infinite retrogression, can be infinitized in
        > > Christianity only by an even deeper inwardness—is that the
        movement
        > > is inward, that the truth is the subject's transformation within
        > > himself." (CUP, Hong, pp. 37-38; Lowrie, pp. 37-38) >>
        > >
        > > It is ironic that in order to appropriate Kierkegaard's thought
        > > that "the truth is the subject's transformation within himself", we
        > > have first to look outward and read the "sum total of propositions"
        > > in his books. Reading (aside reading Scripture) is a quintessential
        > > aesthetic activity which Kierkegaard's "existing individuals" do
        > not
        > > do. Here is how a recent commentator on Kierkegaard expressed the
        > > paradox:
        > >
        > > "Judge William, in his second letter to the aesthete, makes an
        > > explicit connection between the preoccupation with the past and the
        > > practice of philosophy. "Philosophy," he says "turns towards the
        > > past." … [Kierkegaard] is perhaps delivering a warning to
        himself –
        > > a warning which can also be directed to ourselves, his readers. For
        > > as we read and write about Kierkegaard today, what are we doing
        > > other than contemplating the past? Isn't there something better we
        > > have to do?" ("Movements and Positions: Kierkegaard's Philosophy of
        > > Becoming", Clare Carlisle, pp. 57-8)
        > >
        > > Finally, I agree with you when you write: "sin is an error one
        > > cannot explain, and therefore one is silent."
        > >
        > > Jim Stuart
        > >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • billybob98103
        ... future , then would we not be coming from somewhere, and how would this be an empty conclusion? There instead would at least be movement, and one could
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 29, 2006
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          --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Will Brown" <wilbro99@...>
          wrote:
          >Willy, Thanks for your reply. If the present "springs from the
          future", then would we not be coming from somewhere, and how would
          this be an "empty" conclusion?
          There instead would at least be movement, and one could ask "What am
          I doing?", to which one could answer the obvious; that one is "coming
          from somewhere"?

          There is a fantasy that one will not be denied, and this is the
          motivation for our seeking, but I agree with your reading that this
          future is denied once it understood as a fantasy that we cannot
          recognize, and requires the recognition of others. Willy, this is
          an interpretation based on Hegel, and if you were familiar with it
          I suppose you could point out its flaws. Bill
          >
          > Bill, let me rearrange what you have said, not to change it, but to
          > offer a different slice of it. What if the before/after complex that
          > needs to be open were exorcised by the present, as presence, as a
          > self-presence that had no before/after? In such a case, all one
          would
          > need do is be present to oneself and the rest would follow,
          wouldn't it.
          >
          >
          >
          > Here is my slice of it as I understand it: From my perspective,
          which is
          > to say, my understanding of it, the present that depends upon,
          springs
          > from, the future is always empty, and that is the source of the
          seeker.
          > When the seeker ceases the act of seeking, there is the suffering
          that
          > ensues, which I see SK describing in /Purity/ as the condition for
          the
          > cure. Without a future, this seeker sets the condition for seeing
          how it
          > is the past that holds it together, and allows it to come to an end
          in
          > repentance. ----willy
          >
          > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "billybob98103"
          > <billybob98103@> wrote:
          > >
          > > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46"
          > > jjimstuart@ wrote:
          > > >Jim S., Yes, the commentator you quote emphasises to Jim R. the
          > > importance of time in understanding the Good.
          > >
          > > My understanding of time is of course based on Heidegger's
          > > elaboration. In my own experience the transformation of the will
          > > results in a rupture of time that is no longer consistent within
          > > itself. It is not something that one so to speak stands back
          > > passively and observes for the sake of observing. If the present
          > > springs from the future one has to determine oneself in time to
          > > orient oneself. The will doesn't disappear before God, as if one
          is
          > > already determined, but is transformed. This transformation
          orients
          > > one to ask "What am I doing?". There is no measure from which to
          > > know how to proceed unless we can keep in view both the 'before'
          > > and 'after' as what must be transcended, and therefore always
          open.
          > >
          > > I only know so much, and this is at the limit of my understanding.
          > > Bill.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > > Bill,
          > > >
          > > > Thank you for your post which I was pleased to receive. Even
          though
          > > > you do not answer many of my questions, I appreciate your
          genuine
          > > > attempt to communicate your understanding of Kierkegaard.
          > > >
          > > > Let me respond to your first paragraph. You write:
          > > >
          > > > << I suppose I don't care too much how anyone else interprets
          SK,
          > > > but like Hegel, I don't believe SK can be understood from any
          > > > rational point of view given how Kierkegaard emphasises paradox
          in
          > > > Religiousness B. >>
          > > >
          > > > I agree that the nature of the religiousness B life cannot be
          > > > understood from the rational point of view as in making the leap
          > > > from the sphere of religiousness A to the sphere of
          religiousness B
          > > > the individual comes to believe "against the understanding".
          > > >
          > > > There is also a sense in which one cannot understand the
          ethical or
          > > > religiousness A spheres from the rational point of view either,
          as
          > > > one has to live within a sphere to fully understand it.
          > > >
          > > > Thus I would claim that I understand the ethical sphere because
          I
          > > > have decisively chosen to make that possibility (ideality)
          actual.
          > > > By this criterion I do not understand the sphere of
          religiousness A.
          > > >
          > > > However decisively choosing the ethical sphere does not involve
          > > > me "believing against the understanding" as there is no absolute
          > > > paradox involved here, so my general rational outlook can
          remain in
          > > > tact.
          > > >
          > > > I'm sorry you have not managed to find any quotes about the
          silence
          > > > which is "outside with everything else." I have now
          > > > ordered "Repetition" from my local bookshop, so when I read that
          > > > text I may find the passages for myself.
          > > >
          > > > I don't fully understand what you write in your last two
          > > paragraphs.
          > > > I would need to read the Hannay quote in its wider context to
          fully
          > > > understand it. I aim to get around to reading Hannay's book on
          > > > Kierkegaard before too long.
          > > >
          > > > I do agree with your sentence about knowledge:
          > > >
          > > > << I don't believe we can ever have enough knowledge or
          information
          > > > about the world. >>
          > > >
          > > > I read Kierkegaard as arguing that the pursuit of knowledge is a
          > > > worthless activity. In "Concluding Unscientific Postscript",
          > > > Johannes Climacus says that "Either/Or" is a "polemic against
          truth
          > > > as knowledge." (CUP, Hong p. 252, Lowrie p. 226) Rather than
          truth
          > > > being knowledge, for Kierkegaard, truth is inwardness. This is
          what
          > > > Climacus is saying in that wonderful quote that Willy brought to
          > > our
          > > > attention:
          > > >
          > > > << "If truth is spirit, then truth is inward deepening and is
          not
          > > an
          > > > immediate and utterly uninhibited relation of an immediate Geist
          > > > (spirit, mind) to sum total of propositions, even though this
          > > > relation is confusingly given the name of the most decisive
          > > > expression of subjectivity: faith. The direction of
          > > unreflectiveness
          > > > is always oriented outward, thereunto, toward, in striving to
          reach
          > > > its goal,
          > > > toward the objective. The Socratic secret—which, unless
          > > Christianity
          > > > is to be an infinite retrogression, can be infinitized in
          > > > Christianity only by an even deeper inwardness—is that the
          > movement
          > > > is inward, that the truth is the subject's transformation within
          > > > himself." (CUP, Hong, pp. 37-38; Lowrie, pp. 37-38) >>
          > > >
          > > > It is ironic that in order to appropriate Kierkegaard's thought
          > > > that "the truth is the subject's transformation within
          himself", we
          > > > have first to look outward and read the "sum total of
          propositions"
          > > > in his books. Reading (aside reading Scripture) is a
          quintessential
          > > > aesthetic activity which Kierkegaard's "existing individuals" do
          > > not
          > > > do. Here is how a recent commentator on Kierkegaard expressed
          the
          > > > paradox:
          > > >
          > > > "Judge William, in his second letter to the aesthete, makes an
          > > > explicit connection between the preoccupation with the past and
          the
          > > > practice of philosophy. "Philosophy," he says "turns towards the
          > > > past." … [Kierkegaard] is perhaps delivering a warning to
          > himself –
          > > > a warning which can also be directed to ourselves, his readers.
          For
          > > > as we read and write about Kierkegaard today, what are we doing
          > > > other than contemplating the past? Isn't there something better
          we
          > > > have to do?" ("Movements and Positions: Kierkegaard's
          Philosophy of
          > > > Becoming", Clare Carlisle, pp. 57-8)
          > > >
          > > > Finally, I agree with you when you write: "sin is an error one
          > > > cannot explain, and therefore one is silent."
          > > >
          > > > Jim Stuart
          > > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • jimstuart46
          Jim R., You write:
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 30, 2006
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            Jim R.,

            You write:

            << Isn't philosophy oriented toward the past recollection
            (Socratic), and didn't Kierkegaard suggest philosophy understood
            Christianly should be oriented toward the future (repetition)? So
            isn't a definition of Kierkegaard's philosophy as "past-oriented"
            mistaken? Of course, I haven't
            read the entire article, so... >>

            I don't know if Kierkegaard would be happy for his pseudonymous
            writings to be called "philosophy" or not.

            But, yes, K's philosophical writings, based on the idea of
            repetition are future-orientated. Not only is repetition future-
            orientated as opposed to the past-orientated recollection, but also
            recollection moves from finite, situated existence to ideality
            whilst repetition moves from ideality to existence.

            So I think Kierkegaard would distinguish between the majority of
            philosophy which was based on recollection, was past-orientated, and
            was based on contemplation, with his own "subjective" philosophy
            which was based on repetition, was future-orientated, and was based
            on existence and action.

            Given all this, I think K would think that he placed more
            responsibility on his reader than, say, Hegel or Plato did. If one
            reads K's texts as speculative, objective philosophy, as direct
            communication to be merely contemplated, one goes wrong. K thought
            of his works as involving indirect communication in which his
            thoughts had to be "appropriated". The reader should be active
            whilst reading K's texts, she should be prepared to make inward
            movements, and be considering whether to actualize the existence
            possibilities K describes.

            Jim Stuart
          • jimstuart46
            Jim R., I could have added: Objective philosophy based on recollection associates truth with knowledge, whilst subjective philosophy based on repetition
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 30, 2006
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              Jim R.,

              I could have added:

              Objective philosophy based on recollection associates truth with
              knowledge, whilst subjective philosophy based on repetition associates
              truth with inner transformation.

              Jim Stuart
            • James Rovira
              Jim S -- Thanks for the responses. I agree with everything you say, as usual, but would like to add detail, as usual -- which may lead to some disagreement on
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 30, 2006
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                Jim S --

                Thanks for the responses. I agree with everything you say, as usual, but
                would like to add detail, as usual -- which may lead to some disagreement on
                specific points.

                Looking back, I think I misread your quotation from Carlisle as adovcating
                philosophy as recollection rather than criticizing it. That was the reason
                for my question. Reading it again, I see I misunderstood. But, the
                misunderstanding may turn out to be productive.

                I would say that Kierkegaard deliberately modeled his authorship on Plato's
                dialogs. The difference is only in scale -- while Plato might have 2 or 3
                or 4 different points of view represented in a single dialog, each
                individual psuedonymous work represents only the standpoint of the
                subjectivity behind it. So in Kierkegaard, rather than individual
                characters being in dialog within a single work, whole books are in dialog
                with one another. This means that any individual work may be didactic (such
                as Concept of Anxiety) or speculative (such as CUP) in -form-, but that does
                not mean that they represent K's own point of view on that point, or the
                goal of his entire authorship.

                Haufniensis said in CA that his goal was to write from the point of view of
                Plato and Socrates had they been Christians. This is a basic restatment of
                the classical Christian tradition that has existed for centuries, almost
                from the very beginning of Christianity. I would say then that yes,
                Kierkegaard is doing philosophy, just like Plato was doing philosophy -- but
                not in an objective sense (remember that K's Socrates was an individual),
                just with different assumptions. You are right in saying this is not an
                objective philosophy. It is therapeutic, actually -- philosophy as healing
                for the soul.

                Jim R


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Will Brown
                Bill, I messed up my comma placement. Here is the corrected version: From my perspective, which is to say, my understanding of it, the present that depends
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 30, 2006
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                  Bill, I messed up my comma placement. Here is the corrected version:



                  From my perspective, which is to say, my understanding of it, the
                  present that depends upon, springs from [ remove,] the future [add,] is
                  always empty, and that is the source of the seeker. When the seeker
                  ceases the act of seeking, there is the suffering that ensues, which I
                  see SK describing in /Purity/ as the condition for the cure. Without a
                  future, this seeker sets the condition for seeing how it is the past
                  that holds it together, and allows it to come to an end in repentance.



                  Your questions have the sense, to me, of being asked from the other side
                  of a wall; I hear your questions, which is to say that they make sense
                  to me, but I don't see you. Let me see if I can break down that wall. I
                  say that there is an insight process that is applicable to the process
                  SK talks about in his scheme of the spheres, which is his way of
                  representing that process to himself. If we know the process, we can
                  recognize it in/through/by his scheme. I would say that the process is
                  grounded in an insight into a conditioned pattern, and what I think
                  makes SK's process the unique one that it is is that the conditioned
                  pattern it reveals is the conditioning that goes lock, stock, and barrel
                  with the temporal sense of self; which is to say, with the sense of self
                  that uses the future to make itself into what it wants to see itself as.



                  I think his book, SUD, lays out that form in the first part of the book
                  in terms of consciousness, or reflection, and describes that temporal
                  sense of self as the self of despair. He describes two movements from
                  that position of despair, one trying to be someone other than what one
                  is, and the other as someone trying to escape what one is, with the
                  former being derivative of the latter. To say that the present is empty
                  is then to say that this represents the self in want of, which leads to
                  the particular want for. So, it is descriptive of the sensation of
                  hollowness, of emptiness, that desires filling with the experience of
                  fullness.



                  Emptiness seeks recognition, that would be one way of describing it, but
                  not the only way. Emptiness seeks gratification, or the experience of
                  gratification, one of which would be recognition. What drives it? Damned
                  if I know other than to say that this is the nature of the temporal
                  sense of self. If I were to guess, I would say that holding the shape of
                  the temporal sense of self requires energy, and what is being sought is
                  release, which temporarily happens in the experience of fulfillment.
                  Notice how the getting gets old in time and a new getting is required.



                  Anyway, all of this is to lay out the form, or one of the forms, to
                  represent one of the spheres of existence, and, if I read SK correctly,
                  hoping that someone will recognize themselves in it and gain insight
                  into the problem that is the self. The larger the pattern is that is
                  seen, the greater the release and the more clearly the pattern is seen.
                  To me, this says that the first seeing of the pattern can be either a
                  general seeing or a seeing in particular, and depending upon how one
                  enters the process, this is how one then describes it, or the terms of
                  it.



                  For instance, say that one is to choose the next step, and, if Judge
                  Williams is to followed, that choice is either made because a difference
                  is seen that allows the choice to be made or made in hopes of making a
                  difference. That difference is a difference with a portfolio if the
                  difference seen in the first instance is a choice that contains a
                  disjunction, which is to say that the difference seen is between two
                  disjunctive ways of thinking self, one of which must end for the other
                  to be. This choosing would then have a touch of the negative about it,
                  like setting aside of one's sense of self aside in order to be one's
                  sense of self.



                  I don't know, maybe all I have done is create clutter, but I was trying
                  to say something. If one is to choose, and really choose, as opposed to
                  choosing on the hope of what will come of it, then the choice must be
                  present, like choosing the apple from the orange, which is to say that
                  an insight into the difference must be present to present the choice,
                  which is to say that one must have seen the pattern to be discarded
                  before it can be discarded, which is to say that the pattern cannot be
                  discarded from inside the pattern; it requires the meta-view, that
                  insight into it. That insight can be about the particular or it can be a
                  global insight, and one that sets the way the process will work its
                  will.



                  Ok, enough blather. If this doesn't makes sense, don't hassle it.
                  ----willy

                  --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "billybob98103"
                  <billybob98103@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Will Brown" wilbro99@
                  > wrote:
                  > >Willy, Thanks for your reply. If the present "springs from the
                  > future", then would we not be coming from somewhere, and how would
                  > this be an "empty" conclusion?
                  > There instead would at least be movement, and one could ask "What am
                  > I doing?", to which one could answer the obvious; that one is "coming
                  > from somewhere"?
                  >
                  > There is a fantasy that one will not be denied, and this is the
                  > motivation for our seeking, but I agree with your reading that this
                  > future is denied once it understood as a fantasy that we cannot
                  > recognize, and requires the recognition of others. Willy, this is
                  > an interpretation based on Hegel, and if you were familiar with it
                  > I suppose you could point out its flaws. Bill
                  > >
                  > > Bill, let me rearrange what you have said, not to change it, but to
                  > > offer a different slice of it. What if the before/after complex that
                  > > needs to be open were exorcised by the present, as presence, as a
                  > > self-presence that had no before/after? In such a case, all one
                  > would
                  > > need do is be present to oneself and the rest would follow,
                  > wouldn't it.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Here is my slice of it as I understand it: From my perspective,
                  > which is
                  > > to say, my understanding of it, the present that depends upon,
                  > springs
                  > > from, the future is always empty, and that is the source of the
                  > seeker.
                  > > When the seeker ceases the act of seeking, there is the suffering
                  > that
                  > > ensues, which I see SK describing in /Purity/ as the condition for
                  > the
                  > > cure. Without a future, this seeker sets the condition for seeing
                  > how it
                  > > is the past that holds it together, and allows it to come to an end
                  > in
                  > > repentance. ----willy
                  > >
                  > > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "billybob98103"
                  > > <billybob98103@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "jimstuart46"
                  > > > jjimstuart@ wrote:
                  > > > >Jim S., Yes, the commentator you quote emphasises to Jim R. the
                  > > > importance of time in understanding the Good.
                  > > >
                  > > > My understanding of time is of course based on Heidegger's
                  > > > elaboration. In my own experience the transformation of the will
                  > > > results in a rupture of time that is no longer consistent within
                  > > > itself. It is not something that one so to speak stands back
                  > > > passively and observes for the sake of observing. If the present
                  > > > springs from the future one has to determine oneself in time to
                  > > > orient oneself. The will doesn't disappear before God, as if one
                  > is
                  > > > already determined, but is transformed. This transformation
                  > orients
                  > > > one to ask "What am I doing?". There is no measure from which to
                  > > > know how to proceed unless we can keep in view both the 'before'
                  > > > and 'after' as what must be transcended, and therefore always
                  > open.
                  > > >
                  > > > I only know so much, and this is at the limit of my understanding.
                  > > > Bill.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > > Bill,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Thank you for your post which I was pleased to receive. Even
                  > though
                  > > > > you do not answer many of my questions, I appreciate your
                  > genuine
                  > > > > attempt to communicate your understanding of Kierkegaard.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Let me respond to your first paragraph. You write:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > << I suppose I don't care too much how anyone else interprets
                  > SK,
                  > > > > but like Hegel, I don't believe SK can be understood from any
                  > > > > rational point of view given how Kierkegaard emphasises paradox
                  > in
                  > > > > Religiousness B. >>
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I agree that the nature of the religiousness B life cannot be
                  > > > > understood from the rational point of view as in making the leap
                  > > > > from the sphere of religiousness A to the sphere of
                  > religiousness B
                  > > > > the individual comes to believe "against the understanding".
                  > > > >
                  > > > > There is also a sense in which one cannot understand the
                  > ethical or
                  > > > > religiousness A spheres from the rational point of view either,
                  > as
                  > > > > one has to live within a sphere to fully understand it.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Thus I would claim that I understand the ethical sphere because
                  > I
                  > > > > have decisively chosen to make that possibility (ideality)
                  > actual.
                  > > > > By this criterion I do not understand the sphere of
                  > religiousness A.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > However decisively choosing the ethical sphere does not involve
                  > > > > me "believing against the understanding" as there is no absolute
                  > > > > paradox involved here, so my general rational outlook can
                  > remain in
                  > > > > tact.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I'm sorry you have not managed to find any quotes about the
                  > silence
                  > > > > which is "outside with everything else." I have now
                  > > > > ordered "Repetition" from my local bookshop, so when I read that
                  > > > > text I may find the passages for myself.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I don't fully understand what you write in your last two
                  > > > paragraphs.
                  > > > > I would need to read the Hannay quote in its wider context to
                  > fully
                  > > > > understand it. I aim to get around to reading Hannay's book on
                  > > > > Kierkegaard before too long.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I do agree with your sentence about knowledge:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > << I don't believe we can ever have enough knowledge or
                  > information
                  > > > > about the world. >>
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I read Kierkegaard as arguing that the pursuit of knowledge is a
                  > > > > worthless activity. In "Concluding Unscientific Postscript",
                  > > > > Johannes Climacus says that "Either/Or" is a "polemic against
                  > truth
                  > > > > as knowledge." (CUP, Hong p. 252, Lowrie p. 226) Rather than
                  > truth
                  > > > > being knowledge, for Kierkegaard, truth is inwardness. This is
                  > what
                  > > > > Climacus is saying in that wonderful quote that Willy brought to
                  > > > our
                  > > > > attention:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > << "If truth is spirit, then truth is inward deepening and is
                  > not
                  > > > an
                  > > > > immediate and utterly uninhibited relation of an immediate Geist
                  > > > > (spirit, mind) to sum total of propositions, even though this
                  > > > > relation is confusingly given the name of the most decisive
                  > > > > expression of subjectivity: faith. The direction of
                  > > > unreflectiveness
                  > > > > is always oriented outward, thereunto, toward, in striving to
                  > reach
                  > > > > its goal,
                  > > > > toward the objective. The Socratic secret—which, unless
                  > > > Christianity
                  > > > > is to be an infinite retrogression, can be infinitized in
                  > > > > Christianity only by an even deeper inwardness—is that the
                  > > movement
                  > > > > is inward, that the truth is the subject's transformation within
                  > > > > himself." (CUP, Hong, pp. 37-38; Lowrie, pp. 37-38) >>
                  > > > >
                  > > > > It is ironic that in order to appropriate Kierkegaard's thought
                  > > > > that "the truth is the subject's transformation within
                  > himself", we
                  > > > > have first to look outward and read the "sum total of
                  > propositions"
                  > > > > in his books. Reading (aside reading Scripture) is a
                  > quintessential
                  > > > > aesthetic activity which Kierkegaard's "existing individuals" do
                  > > > not
                  > > > > do. Here is how a recent commentator on Kierkegaard expressed
                  > the
                  > > > > paradox:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > "Judge William, in his second letter to the aesthete, makes an
                  > > > > explicit connection between the preoccupation with the past and
                  > the
                  > > > > practice of philosophy. "Philosophy," he says "turns towards the
                  > > > > past." … [Kierkegaard] is perhaps delivering a warning to
                  > > himself –
                  > > > > a warning which can also be directed to ourselves, his readers.
                  > For
                  > > > > as we read and write about Kierkegaard today, what are we doing
                  > > > > other than contemplating the past? Isn't there something better
                  > we
                  > > > > have to do?" ("Movements and Positions: Kierkegaard's
                  > Philosophy of
                  > > > > Becoming", Clare Carlisle, pp. 57-8)
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Finally, I agree with you when you write: "sin is an error one
                  > > > > cannot explain, and therefore one is silent."
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Jim Stuart
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >



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