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The Philosophy of Mysticism: Perennialism and Constructivism

Randolph T Dible II


The encountering of the experiencer or observer—transcendental subjectivity itself—at the foundation of the world leads inevitably to the recognition of pure objectivity as ultimate reality (which can be taken as its ultimate deconstruction, analogous to the apophatic or via negativa), from which objects derive their value, weight, significance, meaning or objectivity. In this way, pure objectivity can be seen as the supra-self-evident Axiological Axiom, so to speak, even Unconditional Love, in romantic terms. This axiology (value theory) has a structure inverse to the relationship between transcendental subjectivity as the radical unity of pure self-reference and on the other hand, the world of forms, as mere traces (representations, indications) of the unique, original “first distinction” Spencer-Brown speaks of at the foundation of his calculus. That is, all forms (i.e., distinctions, differences) would reduce to being the first distinction, also known as the marked state, which I call penultimate reality (pure self-reference or transcendental subjectivity: the Spirit which animates us), except that forms are complimentary to their content, which is their objectivity or value, which would reduce to the unmarked state or ultimate reality. It is the incongruity of form (thoughts; Whitehead’s “negative prehensions”) and value (feelings; Whitehead’s “positive prehensions,” or my notion of objectivity, meaning and qualia; in short, the non-formal aspects of experience) that holds forms open and keeps them from absolute reduction. This accounts for the brute, concrete persistence of the “functional illusion”-- to use a term from Dzogchen Buddhism-- of the world. Thus this system has an axiology of metaphysical objectivity grounded on the ideal of pure objectivity as the source of all value, meaning and significance, itself the very fecundity of profundity, which is the motive of drawing the distinction in the first place.

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ISSN: 2153-8212