Beyond Affirmation and Negation

       Affirmation and Negation can be understood to be the positive or negative reactions we have towards the contents of experience. These reactions are causally consequent of the registration of sense data, which abstracts fact from sense and upholds fact within reflection. While reaction may be a causal consequence of this entertainment of the datum of our experience, it is not necessary for this to be the case. Being re-actions, they are in some sense repetitions of that which precedes and causes them, albeit being registered differently. In this regard, we can understand affirmation and negation as means by which we become overdetermined by the past. The decisive activity of the moment is lost, and the past infiltrates the future without the creative mediation of the present.  This similarity between these opposing kinds of reaction reveal that their apparent opposition may not be absolute, for the one-sided exacerbation of either leads to the same destructive consequences. For, at the most extreme, naive affirmativity leads to failure at the face of chaos and nihilistic negativity leads to helplessness even in the light of hope.

       Both affirmation and negation introduce breaks into the continuum—the stream of becoming—through the interjective power of reflexive thought. Perhaps this does not produce an ontological rift but an epistemic one in which the object of thought is divorced from the actuality that is its cause, and we are found within a dilemma in which we cannot know being other than by its representation in thought. The divorce is a necessary aspect of the re-presentation of actuality into concept or idea, and then affirmation or negation become reactions to the contents of this lofty, static image. When thought becomes absolutely obsessed with this representational image, one gets lost in the phantasms of simulated internal worlds which obscure what is really going on. The exacerbation of either of these affective reactions in excess of the other become the means by which we become lost in illusory worlds, whether they be blinding idealistic empyreans or blinded nihilistic caverns.

       Is there a position beyond the mere affirmation or negation of life? Not just merely beyond the choice of one aspect over the other, but also beyond the infinite dialectic of mediating between the two? (though we may prefer the latter over the former)

       When the past is incorporated into the present moment, there need not be an expenditure of energy in the affective reaction of this past. For life is flowing whether or not it will be reflected. This flowing movement is ascendatory—an immanent movement towards transcendence. This continuum is one which always escapes reflexive capture by thought and precedes, exceeds and supersedes it. Life goes on, whether or not there is something to think it, whether or not there is something to affirm or negate it. Thus, we may conserve our energy such that we can be fully conscious of how we make use of the past, rather than being determined by it, such that we find satisfaction in the results of our actions. By eschewing the privileging of positive or negative, we then strive to achieve balance within ourselves.

       There is no place for affirmation because divine satisfaction has not yet been achieved; likewise there is no place for negation because the process has not ended. Ultimately there is no death nor birth but the explosive prismatism of eternal silence—the infinite which is infinitely lived.

It is the Becoming-Being of cosmos, the height of value intensity which may be found through the cultivation of unmediated experience. For it is when we live life as it really is, that we may arouse the spark of divine creativity to new heights, to accelerate the ascendatory revolution towards our World-To-Come.

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