Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Causal and the Withdrawn

This issue came up today in a discussion so here are some excerpts from my previous posts on the topic. They are from different posts in different discussion threads so lack coherent continuity as in an essay or academic presentation.

Kennilingam does posit the Causal, which is in a sense withdrawn. But not in the OOO (and Bhaskar?) way. Per the Lingam the Causal can be directly experienced, apparently in toto, via the nirodha meditative state. My take is that the withdrawn is real in an ontological sense but is not the kind of firm foundation we see in a metaphysics of presence, since it is not wholly present or given. Or wholly absent, for that matter, since it is not Whole. In that sense it seems well akin to Kant's unknowable, but is a thing in itself? It seems a thing in itself implies something wholly present as given, whereas Bryant's objects are always constructed and at least partially present, partially withdrawn.

I think this might be why Wilber reserves the causal apart from the manifest, since the latter is always perspectival relations. In a sense it's like Kant's unknowable transcendent categories or Bryant's withdrawn, except that Wilber's causal is capable of being wholly present via direct perception during certain meditations. This seems to be the metaphysics of presence, of which one expression is the tenet of a direct experience with the causal. I argued that this was in fact one pole of the epistemic fallacy here. So in that way Wilber's epistem-ontology distinction is still caught in the epistemic realm.

Wilber lays out his ontology as subsistence via the causal in this post. I commented thereafter that it superficially appears to be akin to Bryant's virtual withdrawn in distinction with local manifestations. But as you say it really doesn't get at the ontic because Wilber's causal realm is completely withdrawn from ever entering the manifest realm, always subsisting it and ne'er the twain shall meet. In many posts and threads I've continually criticized this as duality, which is one of the philosophical definitions of the metaphysics of presence. Whereas for Bryant the ontic withdrawn, while never completely entering the manifest, is still immanent and constructed nonetheless.

Given the thesis that this iterative differance is the endo-structural core (khora) of the universal hyperobject at large, it too iterates with each moment. It certainly appears to be an unchanging eternal form given the size and scope. But per Bryant it requires corporeals to manifest and thus change, and without which it too would dissipate and die. Hence like the SES quote we have our causal realm as foundation for the material, "not the goal of each and every thing but the Suchness of each and every thing." But unlike Wilber's causal it is not timeless and changeless.

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