Cut Out That Signifyin' Jive, or Don't Make Me Come Down There!
So, just what signifies, anyway? What I mean is, in standard semi-idiotics, you've got your signifier (the word) and signified (what it points to, or that to which it refers). It's very much like the dynamic between Bion's ♀ and ♂, or container (i.e., signifier) and contained (signified). Let's just say "word" and "thing."
I'm simplifying here in order to be abusive, but those naughty French folks responsible for deconstruction turned reality upside down by suggesting that the signifier did not point to any objective reality, -- any ontologically real signified -- but instead creates the signified. This obviously blows a huge crater in the middle of reality. However, as a consolation, it means that The Tenured™ get to usurp unprecedented power, since they are the ones who now interpret reality with their endless verbal games of deconstruction.
Here again, this is one of the master keys to understanding the postmodern left. In order for leftism to be effective, it must first dissolve the sacred covenant between word and thing -- which is where truth resides -- and replace that bond with mere power.
This is the magic through which they can make the Constitution mean anything they want it to mean, or redefine marriage, or say that the Geneva Convention applies to terrorists, or that rough interrogation intended to save lives is torture, or that Israel is responsible for Muslim terror, or that Boy Scouts are bigots, or that there is a constitutional right to abortion, or that Porkulus is stimulus, or that terrorists are freedom fighters, or that Gitmo is a gulag, and on and on and on.
< insert standard diatribe here >
The point is, we know better. No, we are not Platonists per se, but we do know that objects take precedence over the words we use to describe them, that the purpose of language is to be adequate to reality, and that reality has many objective gradations and dimensions which can be disclosed and memorialized through the proper use of the word.
Yes, poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, but they are not the tyrannical dictators of the world. They disclose the rule of cosmic law, not the anarchy of goofy French linguists.
This, I think, is the nub of the crux of the gist of problem. There is no question that reality is "ambiguous" and subject to multiple interpretations. However, that should not be taken as an excuse to believe that all interpretations are of equal value. Nevertheless, this latter belief is the hateway drug into the various pneumapathologies of the left, e.g., multiculturalism, moral relativism, the "living Constitution," etc.
Again, if there is no objective way to arbitrate between competing versions of reality, then it comes down to a matter of raw power. Or, as Obama put it, "I won."
This is obviously how political correctness has slithered its slithery way into every corner of reality. In the world of political correctness, it is always 1984. Take the example of Miss California. Because even beauty pageants are run by tyrannical leftists, all points of view are of equal validity. However, if you voice the incorrect truth, then you are punished. You see? Perfect nonsense -- not the liberating kind, but the oppressive kind, AKA hell.
And it is hell, quite literally, for hell is anyplace that is beyond the rule of reason -- where reason, quite simply, does not apply. It is a world in which a person cannot simply say, "b-b-b-but a man can't marry a man. It's impossible."
Actually, it is possible, so long as you create an impossible world. And the world of the left is most assuredly an impossible world, since it is literally detached from its source, its archetype, its origin, and therefore its purpose. To put it even more simply, the "absolutely relative" is an ontological impossibility, and is therefore guaranteed to generate absurdity.
Are we all together so far? Anyone missing? Let's do a head count. One, two, three.... There's McCraven off by himself again, brooding in the back. Skully! Where's Skully! What? There are no liquor stores out here. Someone go get him and bring him back.
Now, HvB notes that truth "does not lie in the appearances as such," but nor does it lie "behind" them, for this "background" never actually appears to us. It is like O, which never shows itself -- never could show itself, since it contains us, not vice versa. However, you know it when you're in it. To evoke a palamine, you might say that you can know its energies, but never its essence. But as one draws closer to it, it is as if its essence spills more and more of itself into, or "through" one, i.e., O-->(n).
Yes, you could say that there is no O, but this is not the same as saying that there is nothing but Ø. Rather, to coin a phrase, (n) is O's witness to itsoph.
Again we return to the idea of the "transitional space" between objects and nervous systems: "Truth can be found only in the floating middle between the appearance and the thing that appears. It is only in the relation between these two things that the empty mystery becomes a full, perennially self-replenishing mystery" (HvB).
This is a critical idea, because it transcends the bipolar notion of signifier and signified, and introduces the transcendent third into the mix, and it is within the dynamic space of this transcendent third that truth "takes place," so to speak.
To cite an obvious example, this is the "space" where religion "takes place," for it is the space in which we encounter God. When one engages in this multifaceted thing called "religion," whether it is through prayer, or meditation, or lectio divina, or blogging, or eating bacon, one is specifically attempting to enter and deepen this space that exists between us and God. We are endeavoring to create an open system between us and our source, so there can be a free exchange of energy, information, subtle emotion, and other valuable prizes.
Excuse me. Future Leader just woke up and broke the trance. That's what I call a "spellcheck." He checked the spell.
Back again. Okay, we now have the idea of this intersubjective third, or transitional space, where the human rubber meets the road of reality. But right away you can understand that this can equally be a road to hell that is paved with good intentions. For obviously it is the space of freedom -- the freedom highway, as it were -- but it is supposed to actually lead somewhere, not merely be a land of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
Rather, it is supposed to lead in and up. We know this, because this space itself is "in and up" in relation to animals. In ether worlds, the hard part was finally entering this space, which took 14 billion years. We have it relatively easy, because all we have to do is sprint from one end of it to the other. But God made it even easier when he decided to personally come down and show us how it's done, since too many people were just brooding at the bottom of the space, or using it to wander off to the liquor store and suchlike.
Better stop. Long day.