Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Miracle of Bonds

Not without specific reasons of my own, I had spent the whole last year, with its brutal haphazard variegations, writing about what is the meaning of human bonds. What I wanted to do then wasn´t strictly theological or specifically philosophical for both ways around the subject carry withal, the limitations set by contemplation on the one hand and by instrumental logic on the other. There´s this something about writing, activity in which often ideas come either too early or too late but never at the proper moment because our experience of life and world is strictly prohibitive on permitting careful elaborations about the present tense. More often than not writing anticipates forms of thought that carefully blend into the way in which we experience things at a later date and configurate on the basis of this precarious aprioristic foundation, our understanding of things that tend to occur more haphazardly than we are ready to believe. On the other hand this could intertwine with the kind of belatedness best exemplified by posterior and ulterior reflection. Some things that we have already overcome in life find their way through our words as concepts that contain the form of experiences fresher and newer than no longer befit the categories in which the writing has hade itself at home establishing paradigms that no longer possess the urgency necessary to sublimate a claim or suspend judgment about an issue.

I spent last fall writing about the quality of human bonds and the miraculuous way in which they surface in the aggregate of human relationships as if created from nowhere; the power of language to entice and create empathy out of the least particular experiences rooted in that familiar sense of generality bestowed by the singled-out experiences of the everyday. The truth of a human relationship, unlike those truths of philosophy and the arts, can never be made silent, or at least cannot be justified or grounded from the basis of silence alone. Silence in human relationships is, at best, a symptom of an impassé or non-balance and most often the signal of one of two things: in privacy it comes to signify the rupture of an established bond even if temporarily and in public, it could be no less than the utter and imminent destruction of the public space that makes possible not only the privacy of interdependent individual human bonds but also the deliberate possibility to terminate them and the ever so available choice of solitude, insofar as it remains a choice.

The silence of a human bond can be translated into thought and into the arts, into reflections of that kind elaborated by everyday wisdom and also by more prescient forms of discourse but it can never be maintained in the form of the bond as such. That seems to be a crucial difference between dialogical religions such as Christianity and Judaism and their counterparts in the ancient polytheism and medieval Mohammedism. The despot ruler were heard but not spoken to, and therefore the creation, not only in terms of the obvious functioning of nature, but on its most abstract and objective level, that of the system of the law and the relationship between the God and human beings is left in a state of finishedness that allows no variations in the course of history and deeds. A relationship can change, but it can´t be limited to silence, even the solitary dialogue with imaginary interlocutors, dead and alive, writers and friends, tradition and experience, is not lacking in that dialogical quality that permeates the tissue of the physical world and allows humans to establish themselves as the sole creators not of the world but of its reality.

The reality of the world and therefore, its truth and the certainty about truth and existence as a whole, distinct from the mere facts and deeds of the world, is strictly depending on the possibility that human beings speak to each other and the vaults of memory that contain our experiences dialogically serve as the basis of history and of rationality. Reason here is understood as not the exact equivalent of reality and truth, for its rules are not binding, but rather we understand reason or rationality as distinct from rationalism in that it is an spiritual understanding of the world; not spiritual as spiritualistic; the metaphysical and otherwordly search for consolation and ultimately of an escape from the evils that befall the world. Spiritual here means the common sense of being able to experience the world in terms of the forms that it is freely offering us and thus the ability to distinguish between veracity and falsehood on the basis of an intrinsic relationship to specific human beings and not to universals that might be grasped as universally valid or generally legitimate.

The fact that a human bond can be set free in the world and at that, to its own consequences and then taken up and left out, at a later date, is the site where the founding of the human community begins and not alone in acts of rationality that are ultimately posterior to the experience of particular and general human bonds. The setting free of the human bond is not a particular act of rationality either or a positing of a logical possibility but rather the most unexplained of anthropological miracles; this miracle is questionable at the level of necessity because it does not serve to eliminate the unique individuality and thus, the loneliness, of every human person; what is happening is that human bonds rather establish the particulars of solitude through the act of differentation between one person and another through a relationship which is not a concrete object of thought or of grasping but the possibility of an experience of reality that would be closed to the lone individual in the absence of the bond and as such, he would be also prohibited to enter the realm of generalities of the human community that are rooted in the particular experience of the particular human relationship.

Questionable miracles are not acts of apostasy as an attitude but they reveal the real potential of a relationship with God: the raw and indisputable fact that humans can influence God, and that´s precisely the reason why he has opened channels of communication with them that work in a three-partite manner: In the relationship with God, the acts of speaking create and destroy worlds and reveal both the earthly and divine character of human nature; in the relationship with the world it establishes the possibility of truth and reality and in the relationship between neighbours, it does not only establish the human community through acts of love, but also establishes the character of rationality as 1) the recognition of the miracle 2) the building of the world through specific acts 3) reveals history to the human person as the recognition of the miracle inherent to this self-sufficient bondness as a worldly act and not merely as a consolation over a supposed theological abandonment.

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