What does it Mean to Exist? A Thought in One (Complex, Networkological) Paragraph [Updated]
What you see below is my attempt to summarize ‘the’ thought embodied in contemporary philosophy, in the most concise form I could. This thought is perhaps boiled down to its simplest form first by Schelling, extended, temporalized, and self-intertwined by Hegel, refined by Lacan, pluralized by Deleuze. In the version below, presented in the offset paragraph, this is refractively articulated networkologically. I’m going to keep updating this paragraph. Consider it a work in progress . . .
What you see is an attempt to articulate the intertwined structure of a single yet complex thought. One can emphasize this insight’s mutiplicity or unity, twoness, or threeness, but I like to describe it, in a manner that I feel does it the most justice, threeandically, that is, the way in which the oneand, or the one which exceeds itself, manifests in the threeand, the three which exceeds itself. For in order to be able to truly describe that which exists, one needs at minimum three radically differing parts, and . . .
According to networkological relationalism, the oneand manifesting in the threeand is the structure of the network: node, link, ground, and network/level. Much more can be said about this, and will be elsewhere. For more on Boy’s Surface (the simplest visual representation of a threeand), see here.
Anyway, what you see below is my attempt to simplify ‘the’ insight of contemporary philosophy to its most succinct core. This was an experiment, set to myself as a break from reading some Levinas, though this texts is haunted by him as well as all the names I mentioned above:
“Something is. It is, because it is not what it beyond it. Thus we have a something, a beyond, and the border which separates them as it relates them.
Each of these relates to the whole of which they are parts. A whole is composed of the parts yet is also beyond them, prior to yet after them, encompassing its parts yet contained in them, representation and represented.
All that is is composed of intertwinings of multiplicities of somethings, borders, beyonds, and wholes. Each of these terms is not so much a particular thing, as a mode of being in relation to other beings. Anything that exists is a something, border, beyond, and whole, and often many different types of each, if differently in its relation to other existents.
To the first term, or a something, corresponds the notions of being and existence. To the second, or a border, corresponds the notion of difference, negation, space, distance, extension, and objectivity. To the third, or a beyond, corresponds the notions of relation, substitution, exchange, representation. To the fourth corresponds time and subjectivity.
All intertwine with each other, statically in space, and dynamically in time, in unity as well as in multiplicity.
For just as one thing is what it is by means of its dynamic negation of another, this another is also a something, itself representing others in turn, and this movement is time, the time within being.
Being and time, existence and change, object and subject, representation and relation, these are sides of each other, found each other, maintain, and complete each other. For something to be, it must come to be, it will cease to be, and it now is. To be is to exist outside of oneself, and this outside, which constitutes and which is constituted by oneself, is change, and change is time, the foundation of time, the completion of time, the being of time.
In this manner we see how something is always through that which it is not, and this relation is mediation, symbolization, representation, relation. That which is represents that which it is not, as well as the border and the whole, each of which represents the others, the static intertwining of which is space, the dynamic interplay of which is time, the interpenetration of which is representation.
When things relate, they represent each other, they are exchangeable with each other, even if they each must share a whole with which they can never fully exchange, a border between them which is equivalent, and beyonds which partially exchange, just as each of these is itself something, beyond, border, and whole, in being, time, representation, and negation.
If objectivity is that which keeps objects separate, making wholes into parts, subjectivity is that which brings them together, making parts into wholes, allowing each to become one another, without destroying their differences, via representation.
Thus an object becomes a sign, and that sign an object in turn of another sign, in a movement which is the change within existence which is time. And as we see, nothing is but in dynamic relation to what it is not.
Philosophy in its many forms – metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics – is an attempt to understand the implications of this complex thought.”
Am I missing any parts? I think we have the key parts we need here:
something, beyond, border, whole
existence, relation, representation, time
sign, object, subject, exchange
and each intertwined in the others in a dynamic, complex and complexifying, emergently fractally self-differing whole. . .