?

Log in

 
 
23 December 2007 @ 02:48 am
I am not that I am  
If, as according to the Judaic tradition, "I am that I am" is the name of a god fashioned for human ears, then wouldn't "I am not that I am" be
a delimited name possible for the modesty of a humanApart from that this definition of a human is the negative statement differentiating a human from divinity (which remains to be shown, if both share in consciousness), is there still another sense in which human being is distinguished from the order of being of things--of the what, that, and the it--and furthermore differentiated from the divine? 

According to Derrida's theory of love, human love is "always" caught in a struggle between the "who" and the "what."  Is it "who" a person is, in their irreplaceable singularity, to whom we dedicate our peculiar and incomparable way of love?  Or is it always "that" which they temporarily embody, the "what" characteristics they possess, that we desire for, that draws us to them, and to whom we wake up one morning confronting the possibility it was never that other strange kind of love in the first instance?

Derrida gives no answer to such a dilemma.  In every case one seems to "love" either the ways in which a person embodies one's own ideal traits, characteristics, ways of being; or one seems to love "unconditionally"--no matter how the other is, whether in health or while crippled, young or as old, beautiful as the silence of daybreak or ugly as the "face only a mother can love," because after all it is only who you are that means to another you are loved--in human affairs there seems to be no middle ground--but seeming's  always just believing--is it always really so?

But "unconditional love", agape, is Biblically attributed only to the divine, and to parenthood--eros is always procreative (whether of offspring or of becoming), and lesser in such schema--it never redeems--it is always superfluous, autonomous, and untrustworthy in this schema.  But to what extent does contemporeity derive its table of values from the Judaic one?  To what extent does the notion of love's blindness today give reflection to the tradition of foundering the distinction between the loves of the who and for the what?  Are eros and agape then distinct and incompatible--or do they originarily derive from the same singular passion, as the outcome of a singular will, and of a clarity of sight?

These questions give way then to another, concerning a possible third in-between, a who that always draws forth the corresponding what...  a what  that is always the natural will-to-appearance of a (s)he, never faltering from who one is essentially, never capable of disguising to the one that knows, who one is, what one is, what one will become.  For satiation is the death of the desire of things.  Does there appear a spring of desire that does not ever run dry, does not ever falter, does not ever demand, but draws forth willingly, and is it ever a desire for a mere thing (because if it was, then it would be categorized, and hence also found in other things.........), or is it always forever an I, a (s)he, a You, a who....  Who I am, Who You are? 

Are we things just like other things, things which ordinary people everyday 'love' only until the moment they receive? 
Does eros partake in this, or is it ever in televised media anything but such immortal idolatry, devotion, and worship--'love of convenience', 'love of safety', 'love of consequence'--when love is suddenly everywhere, can love, as a singular passion, ever be the sameBut it may persist in dreams, in fiction and in art--visions of what's to come.

But usage does not guarantee meaning, meaning is always shared, or speaks the potential thereof--if one previously thought they "loved" someone, but really one only loved the "what" the other person possessed, was ever such love the ambrosia of the gods, holiest of mysteries, the baptism of fire intended only for the destruction of  the transient, suffering for the loss of ever lesser things, "as the best and the purest essence to prepare the strong for holy ecstasies"? 

Thus, when one utters the holy name, "I am not that I am", one seems capable of renouncing every thing one appears to be, every world one enters into, insofar as they infringe upon the identity of the who one is, ineffably, unmistakably, unrelentingly.  All mistakes, and shamefulness, and detours, misuses of words, but every desire, appearance, worlds, and visions unfolding therewithin--in short, all things one embodies--seem not to be things one claims as properties in order thereof to give--but to give oneself, who one is (an unknown quantity), irrevocably to an other (a strange attractor), for the duration of all known ways--the possibility with a who of the communion of the mystery of not-things (not-things, and therefore uncompromised by the reap of time, ulterior ends)--if that can't be the elusive kind of love we have in mind, then what could possibly ever be?