Friday, October 18, 2013

Know Thyself, Know ThyGod

Good news. I understand the books will finally arrive here this afternoon.

True enough, I arranged for the cheapest possible shipping, but matters were further delayed because the mule was not permitted to cross federal lands. I asked the rider why he couldn't simply maneuver around the sawhorses, but it seems he's not here legally, so he didn't want to risk exposure.

I tried to assure him that the officials usually responsible for ignoring immigration laws weren't even there on the job to ignore them, but his only frame of reference is his own government, which is at least serious about keeping Mexicans out of Mexico.

So, where does this leave us?

We were just wondering whether it is true that change is intrinsically bad, while immutability and independence are always good. The Greeks looked at this vale of sorrows and quickly concluded that it was essentially a trainwreck in comparison to the beautiful, abstract, unchanging realm of platonic ideas. Their advice: get out. Tune in (to the Ideas), turn on (to the One), and drop out (of the many).

Which is one big reason why the Incarnation represented such foolishness to these gentiles. It essentially turned common philosophical sense upside down, by suggesting that there was something intrinsically noble, valuable, and redeeming about this crazy world.

For, why in heaven would God, the absolute principle, infinitely distant, free of change, unsullied by hand or tongue, ever submit to such indignity? Why would eternity ever consent to time, of all things?

Besides, how could the intrinsically changeless ever even have knowledge of the intrinsically changeable? To know something is to be changed by it, since it requires the conformity of knower to known; thus, the knower is partly determined by what he knows.

Think about it: just as it would be impossible for a being of pure contingency to know the absolute, it is impossible for a being of pure necessity to know -- and therefore be changed by -- the contingent.

Hartshorne relates this way of thinking to (what he believes to be) a common fallacy whereby irrational extremes condition and relate to one another -- for example, one vs. many, unity vs. plurality, matter vs. spirit, chance vs. determinism, exterior vs. interior.

But what if the truth is in the middle -- not in terms of some weak-minded compromise, but rather, an ultimate principle that is always two-sided?

Looked at this way, immutability is just human nonsense, a pure abstraction that can't even be thought, since it conforms to no object or experience (experience itself being experience of change). Could it be that immutability is an instance of (-k), just as is radical determinism, or materialism, or a logical atomism of exterior relations only?

Well, I say: what's your problem with time? Hartshorne maintains that the Greek prejudice against time persisted into the middle ages, envisioning a God for whom "the entirety of things is eternal, spread out immutably as datum for omniscience. Nothing is really past or future, and nothing is first nonexistent and then existent."

That's all well and good, but have you really considered the implications? For one thing, it implies that God's "decision" to create the world is "both eternal and yet not necessary," which -- recalling what was said above about extremes of logic -- makes the world a kind of "eternal accident" (an example of an unproductive paradox as opposed to a fruitful orthoparadox).

Again: what if we simply take the words "create" and "creator" seriously. Thus, "in the beginning" the Creator creates. And he never stops creating, for the vertical beginning is always now.

And having created, the Creator is "changed." How do we know he has changed? Because he sees what he has created, and sees that it is good. I'm not usually a biblical literalist, but what's wrong with taking this literally?

"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." So, "male and female He created them" (note the Us-them parallel, implying intersubjectivity both above and below).

If we are in the image of God, it very much matters what God is like. And if God is free of change, then so too should we strive to be that way. We should be more like progressives, who never learn, who never change, and who never create.

But what if there are "additions to truth" in "every new act of creativity?" Well, for one thing, what a blast it would be to be God! And what a joy and privilege to participate in his infinite creativity! Otherwise, if it's just the same old same old forever -- well, to quote the book:

Vishnu were here, but just His lux, God only knows only God, and frankly, ishvara monotheotonous -- no one beside Him, no nous, same old shunyata yada yada...


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Power, Truth, Freedom, and Proof that Liberals Don't Exist

Dennis Prager often says that he prefers clarity to disagreement. In other words, rather than arguing per se, it's more productive and less threatening to simply express one's position as clearly and dispassionately as possible, without dissembling, prevarication, evasion, logical fallacies, and other tricks of the tenured.

At the same time, when he has a fundamental disagreement with a guest or caller, he says that, just as he acknowledges the weaknesses or problems entailed in his position, they should have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge those in theirs.

For example, I will acknowledge that liberty has its downside, in that it requires a mature and responsible citizenry, and who wants to grow up if he doesn't have to? But liberals refuse to acknowledge the problems resulting from a massive and intrusive state that provides "security" while inducing passivity, immaturity, and a sense of entitlement in its beneficiaries.

I think we can apply Prager's two principles to our venture into process theology. That is to say, I am happy to acknowledge any difficulties that arise from a point of view that seems to limit divine omnipotence and omniscience (as conventionally understood).

But a person holding the traditional view needs to be honest about the insoluble problems to which it gives rise, most notoriously, the problem of evil (and that is far from the only one). Try as you might, so long as God has the power to mitigate evil, then he is complicit.

This is ironic, in that Christianity, unique among the religions, seems to convey exactly the opposite lesson -- i.e., that even God himself is subject to great evil.

For me, one of the most shocking implications of the Incarnation is that God submits to his own creation -- to history, to human nature, to suffering, and to cosmic injustice. This is unlike any other notion of God, either before or since. And clearly, the apostles had a great deal of difficulty wrapping their minds around it. I mean, what is the point if your god can't just go all Chicago on his enemies, like, say Allah or Obama?

If memory serves, there are some illuminating passages that touch on these questions in chapter four of Meditations on the Tarot, The Emperor. Let's see if we can pull out some relevant nuggets.

First of all, our Unknown Friend emphasizes that God governs by authority and not by force -- force in this context being synonymous with necessity. If God is omnipotent in the traditional sense, then everything ultimately reduces to force and therefore necessity.

But for UF, "Compulsion is only an expedient in which one takes recourse to remedy a lack of authority." Thus, the Emperor "does not have a sword or any other weapon. He rules by means of the sceptre, and by the sceptre alone."

Divine authority only reaches through to the person through a love of the good. It seems that this is the lesson God wishes for us to internalize, for "omnipotent force" doesn't turn out well, neither on heaven nor on earth.

After all, the most successful nation on earth has also been the most free of compulsion (at least BOE, Before the Obama Era) and most oriented to the God of freedom, whereas the most cruel and oppressive ones have been rooted in omnipotent force -- and not only the secular ones. For example, the compulsion of sharia mirrors the force of Allah; as above, so below.

For Unknown Friend, the true Emperor mirrors the divine emptiness (kenosis) in his own humble submission (via love) to a higher authority. For "God governs the world by authority, and not by force. If this were not so, there would be neither freedom nor law in the world..."

And the "first three petitions of the Lord's prayer" are recalled for "the purpose of affirming and increasing divine authority and not divine power." After all, there would be no need to petition a God of force only.

Finally, Unknown Friend emphasizes what was alluded to above, that in the Crucifix we see "the image expressing the paradox of almighty God reduced to a state of extreme powerlessness. And it is in this paradox that one sees the highest revelation of the Divine in the whole history of mankind. One sees there the most perfect revelation of the God of love."

If God is omnipotent in the more vulgar sense, then atheist vulgarians have a valid point: "Why does he not give a visible sign, if not of his power, at least of his existence? Why does he not defend his own interests?" Or in short, Come down from the cross, and then maybe we'll believe you!

A subtle point: truth and power are easily conflated. So, how can this pathetically powerless victim possibly be a reflection of the highest truth? For UF, those who "worship the idol of power" will never see this. But at the same time, there are those who explicitly believe it, but who implicitly draw the wrong lesson, and convert divine love to power.

UF says there are actually two forms of this mischief. There are "those who aspire to the ideal of the 'superman'"; and "those who believe in a God" who is "responsible for all that happens." In other words, omnipotence is either introjected or projected.

For the latter, "Their faith in God depends only on the power of God; if God was powerless, they would not believe in him. It is they who teach that God has created souls predestined to eternal damnation and others predestined to salvation; it is they who make God responsible for the entire history of the human race, including all its atrocities." Again, omnipotence implies necessity, and therefore no freedom.

The bottom line is that "the idol of power has such a hold on some human minds that they prefer a God who is a mixture of good and evil, provided he is powerful, to a God of love who governs only by the intrinsic authority of the Divine -- by truth, beauty and goodness -- i.e., they prefer a God who is actually almighty to the crucified God."

Interestingly, we come back to the meaning of liberty mentioned above in paragraph three. For real freedom is synonymous with real existence. In other words, if I am not free, I am just an extension, or prolongation, or effect, of something else, something necessary.

This being the case, freedom must be "the highest gift," since it is nothing less than the gift of real existence. So: "Love existence, and you have chosen heaven; hate it and you have chosen hell" -- one iteration of the latter being the liberal fascism that renders one a mere extension of the state or of some tinpothead dictator.

God is all powerful in history so long as there is faith; and he is crucified so far as one turns away from him. -- Meditations on the Tarot

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Memo to God: Surprise Me!

Yesterday we were discussing the things that can be, those that can't be, and those that must be (or cannot not be) -- AKA, the possible, the impossible, and the necessary.

Every conceivable thing or event falls into one of these three categories, and each is the negation of the other. For example, what is possible isn't necessary, and what is necessary cannot be impossible.

In some ways this is wrapped up with the nature of time -- i.e., of time's arrow. For example, the past is the completely necessary -- for it cannot not be -- whereas the present is the node of possibility, or the "place" where the possible becomes actual.

Hartshorne introduces an interesting twist here, suggesting that the "unconditionally necessary" and the "always" are essentially synonymous. This is because to say that something must be is the same as saying that it cannot possibly not-be.

Therefore, "a thing is eternal if its 'being' is necessary: and if it is eternal its 'being' is necessary." A corollary of this is that "no eternal thing exists potentially" (remember what was said above about the categories excluding one another).

The bottom line is that Unconditional necessity and eternity are equivalent.

Now, God, who is "necessary being," is obviously eternal. Conversely, the cosmos is perpetually becoming. It is never in a final state; or, each moment is the final state of everything that has come previously, except there's no stopping the process. "Each moment a (partly) new total 'reality' comes to be, containing items not in a previous reality."

It very much reminds me of the structure of consciousness, and probably for very good reasons. In another book Hartshorne makes an observation that really clangs my bong, to the effect that most errors in thinking about God are rooted in errors in thinking about human nature.

Again, if we are "in the image of God," then it very much matters that we understand the nature of this image, not just for its own sake ("know thyself"), but in order to gain insight into the ultimate, the eternal, the necessary. There's really no other way, since we cannot comprehend God directly, only indirectly, via analogy. After all, God's most complete revelation is said to be a person. Sounds like a hint to me.

As we've been saying, Hartshorne insists that any form of radical determinism is an impossibility. For one thing, it conflates the three categories, with the result that everything becomes eternal (because necessary). A cosmos without possibility -- i.e., without freedom -- is nonsense; very pure (i.e., completely abstract) nonsense, but nonsense nevertheless.

We now come to a ticklish fork in the theological road, a sorting mechanism that will send you down one path or the other. That is to say, if God is omniscient in the traditional sense, then this eliminates the possible, or at the very least renders it an illusion of time.

For even if you try to escape the consequences by suggesting that we are really and truly free -- even though God knows ahead of time what we will do -- then you've still elevated the can-be to the must-be. Therefore, not only have you covertly made man eternal (because necessary), you've drained the cosmos of any possible human meaning, because meaning is always a relation. And frankly, in making man eternal, you've granted him the prerogative of a god!

Now, to say that the present is the node of possibility is not to say that it contains no necessity at all. Rather, the present is obviously a kind of crossroads of possibility and necessity, of contingency and determinism, of plans and luck. Necessity, while "outside" time, is also "in" time. Not so contingency, which is only in time.

Thus, we could also say that the present moment is the meeting point of time and eternity, bearing in mind that even eternity does not have the "power" to make time run in the opposite direction, which would be the equivalent of transforming the necessary into the contingent. And that would be absurd. There can be no such thing as "contingent possibilities not in time," nor "conceivable accidents in eternity."

Again, eternal things aren't just "possible"; rather, they must be. Which is one reason why we can know of their existence, since contingent things cannot be known before they happen, a priori, whereas eternal things may only be known that way (since they cannot fail to be in any possible cosmos).

Tradition insists that God is not only necessary, but utterly free of contingency, since the former is said to be intrinsically superior to the latter.

Well, says who? Taking your own life as an analogy, if it were completely plotted out in advance, utterly necessary, would this really be a superior form of existence? Well, you can have it. I'll take adventure, creativity, possibility, and surprise, which are only available now, in time.

"God may be wholly immutable, independent, and absolute in whatever senses it is good to be so, and uniquely mutable, dependent, and relative in whatever sense capacity to change, dependence, or relativity (as in sensitive sympathy) is an excellence" (Hartshorne, emphasis mine).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Can Be, What Can't Be, and What Must Be

So, in this book I'm reading, Insights & Oversights of Great Thinkers, Hartshorne careens through the entire history of western philosophy, from the pre-Socratics through 20th century continental philosophy, showing why they were wrong and he is right.

Oh sure, he spends a little time on the "insights," by which he means "areas where they agree with me." So he can at times be a little overbearing. But perhaps this is because he was relatively isolated from the mainstream of philosophy, and had to fend off attacks (or worse, indifference) from every direction -- not just from non-theists but from theists as well. I suppose that can make a guy a little defensive.

I wouldn't say he reduces his predecessors to straw men. Rather, he clearly knows his stuff, having studied each philosopher in much greater detail than I would ever want to. Me, I prefer to just say what I think, minus all the, er, scholarship.

And while I don't hesitate to enlist cluminaries from the past to support the Raccoon cause, I don't think I spend that much time picking apart the ones who don't. That always strikes me as narcissistic, in the peripheral sense that a common associated feature of the narcissist is that he knows all about what he doesn't like, but won't come right out and say what he does value, or cherish, or hold as a first principle. That would make him too vulnerable, too subject to attack or ridicule.

In this regard, Obama is quintessential. His whole campaign revolved around the things he hates, mainly Bush, Bush, Bush, War, and the Successful. As for what he does believe, this was kept as vague as possible. And little about this has changed in the subsequent five years, as he spends most of his time demonizing opponents while downplaying his own beliefs.

Of course, another part of this is that he knows his beliefs are normative among the tenured but abnormative among the normal. Therefore, all leftists must lie about their beliefs. However, these beliefs were nurtured in the narcissistic jerk circle of academia, so it still comes back to inappropriate self-regard and inability to deal with criticism and dissent. Which is why they dismiss dissent by projecting malevolent motives into us, e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

Anyway, this book can get a little tedious when Hartshorne gets into the details of why, for example, Leibniz or Spinoza were wrong about this or that fine point of metaphysics. I suppose this is why I am so drawn to Schuon, who is able to reduce opponents to jello with a barbed comment or two. Saves a lot of time.


Well, on this page you can click on the philosophy or -er you'd like to see Schuon eviscerate (or exalt, depending). Let's see. How about modern philosophy in general?:

"Modern philosophy is a liquidation of evidences, and therefore fundamentally of intelligence; it is no longer in any degree a sophia, but much more like a 'misosophy.'"


"A science that is called 'exact' is in fact an 'intelligence without wisdom,' just as postscholastic philosophy is inversely a wisdom without intelligence."


"rationalism properly so called is false not because it seeks to express reality in rational mode, so far as this is possible, but because it seeks to embrace the whole of reality in the reason, as if the latter coincided with the very principle of things."


Okay, let's get personal. Kant?

"What is crucial in Kantianism is not its pro domo logic and its few very limited lucidities, but the altogether 'irrational' desire to limit intelligence; this results in a dehumanization of the intelligence and opens the door to all the inhuman aberrations of our century. In short, if to be man means the possibility of transcending oneself intellectually, Kantianism is the negation of all that is essentially and integrally human."

Furthermore, Kantianism is "the archetype of theories seemingly divorced from all poetry": "its starting point or 'dogma' is reducible to a gratuitous reaction against all that lies beyond the reach of reason; it voices, therefore, a priori an instinctive revolt against truths which are rationally ungraspable and which are considered annoying on account of this very inaccessibility. All the rest is nothing but dialectical scaffolding, ingenious or 'brilliant' if one wishes, but contrary to truth."

Most anyone who is aware of Schuon considers him to be the most brilliant metaphysician of the 20th century, if not ever. But the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy makes a similar claim of Hartshorne. Looks like we have a rumble on our hands!

Let's highlight some passages from Insights & Oversights, and see if we can avoid the rumble and instead aim for a synthesis. Let's begin with the nature of the Absolute, of God. We can quickly reduce this to three possibilities: 1) God does not exist, 2) God exists as immutable reality, or 3) God both exists and is subject to a kind of change.

One of Hartshorne's central themes is that the Greek bias for divine immutability wormed its way into Christian theology and western metaphysics more generally, obscuring the irrationality and inconsistency of such a view. For example, "Aristotle's God" -- AKA the unmoved mover -- is "totally uninfluenced by the course of [historical/human] events, in solitary immutable splendor." Thus, "he influences the world that cannot influence him."

Just on the face of it -- forgetting what we have been told about God -- does this make sense? Of course, it doesn't have to make sense, but Hartshorne is seeking something deeper; that is, he is looking for statements about reality which could, could not, or must be true -- or which are contingent, impossible, or necessary. And he believes an immutable God cannot exist, while the mutable God must exist.

In his chapter on Plato, Hartshorne references a statement in Gorgias, that "he who is incapable of communication is also incapable of friendship." This is self-evident, and yet, if God is immutable, then he cannot be our "friend." But aren't there scriptural passages that explicitly reference friendship with Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

For Hartshorne, "the capacity to be moved by others is inherent in awareness as such." This is quintessentially true of the human world, which is an internally related world of irreducible intersubjectivity.

For me, this is the key to understanding the Trinity, which we might say is the very principle of intersubjectivity and exchange -- of a primordial connectedness to the other, through which "influence" is both conveyed and received. Neither love nor knowledge are possible in the absence of this mutual influence.

As such, it is strictly impossible to have an intersubjective relationship with someone who is incapable of being influenced by us. Rather, this would be analogous to having a relationship with a rock, or a comatose person. We register the rock, but the rock cannot register us. We may learn about Obama, but Obama is completely ignorant of us.

It again comes back to what we mean by "love" and by "creativity." The Greeks tried to conceive of something "superior" to love, in positing a divine reality that is wholly closed off to influence -- like the stoic philosopher writ large.

We will pick up this thread tomorrow....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Announcing My Cosmic Orientation

Well, I guess it's time to emerge from the closet and declare my Orientation: I am a process philosopher -- or as least would be if I were a philosopher. So I guess I'm a process blogger. Or in the process of becoming one, since in this view, most nouns are actually quite verblike. But in any event, it's no use trying to hide the truth from myself. I am what I am.

Some people will say: big deal. It's not as if we didn't already know you were "different." Why, when you were a little boy, you even enjoyed dressing up as Alfred North Whitehead. Honestly, who did you think you were fooling?

So it's not really a case of being converted from one orientation to another. Rather, it's more a case of being "reminded" of what I already think; or, of making explicit what is implicit. It is much more an exercise in recollection than in assimilating something new, and of trying to develop a completely consistent view of things.

Having said that, I cannot say I am a Whiteheadian, nor am I a Hartshornean. There are still many details that need to be worked out, in order to reconcile process and Tradition. As we are about to discuss, Hartshorne says many things that bang my interior gong. However, he often says them in a slightly irritating way. He can be way too dismissive of tradition, not to mention of scripture, revelation, miracles, and other elements of religion as concretely understood and practiced. He is not especially charitable toward people with whom he disagrees, and there is hardly a whiff of the sacred or holy in his writings.

Rather, even when Hartshorne is talking about theology, he sounds more philosophical. More generally, it is as if he wants to reduce all of theology to natural theology. His God can appear so diminished that he hardly seems worthy of worship. But I think that is an example of an area that can be tweaked into a more expansive perspective.

On the positive side, I think the process view is definitely the way to go if we want to reconcile religion and science -- and everything else, for that matter. It furnishes a paradigm in which everything can be understood as a necessary consequence of everything else.

For Hartshorne, a world without God is literally unthinkable. That suits religious people just fine. However, such people will generally be uncomfortable with the corollary -- that so too is God without a world unthinkable! This is because creativity is elevated to the transcendental of transcendentals. God must create, on pain of violating his own nature. Another way of saying it is that God is free, and freedom is the absence of determination that makes creation possible.

Speaking of universal paradigms, let's begin with a discussion of Hartshorne's view of metaphysics. The book I'm working on is part of a series on "systematic philosophy," defined as "any philosophical enterprise that functions with a perspective from which everything can be addressed" (emphasis mine).

In short, we want to understand everything in such a way that nothing important is left out, or explained away, or subjected to question-begging reductionism. Thus -- to cite one obvious example -- any form of materialism is ruled out at the start, since it simply cannot cope with mind.

And on a more subtle level, Hartshorne points out that materialism is entirely abstract. Superficially one might think of it as overly concrete, but it's the opposite: the notion of "pure matter" is unalloyed abstraction, untethered to any human experience (or even experienceable experience). Thus, "matter"

"is just a word for our ignorance," and "the main charge against materialism is not that it fails to explain mind, but rather that it fails to explain anything. It merely tells us to pay attention to the spatial properties of things" (Hartshorne).

It is also to confuse prediction with understanding, so the same critique applies to determinism. Any form of radical determinism -- whether natural or supernatural -- is pure nonsense. It is a human construct, certainly not a divine one.

And yet, it is a perennial seduction for man, whether in the form of "predestination," or Islamic occasionalism, or physical determinism. For example, I ran across this article at Scientific American about a physicist who rejects the idea that "God plays dice," and believes that the indeterminism of quantum physics is just an illusory superstructure over a deeper realm of classical, local determinacy.

It is amazing to see the contortions one must go through in order to consistently maintain such a view -- and here it doesn't matter if one is a physicist or theologian, for the attempt to deny the reality of freedom in the cosmos results in some ugly-ass pretzel logic. Professor ’t Hooft

"thinks the notorious randomness of quantum mechanics is just a front. Underneath, the world obeys perfectly sensible rules." Now, why does be believe this? No reason. Just because he does. The idea bangs his gong, just as process bangs mine. The only difference is, he's wasting his life. Which I mean literally, since he believes in a scientific (or scientistic) version of predestination called "superdeterminism," in which

"free will is an illusion. Worse, actually. Even regular determinism -- without the 'super' -- subverts our sense of free will. Through the laws of physics, you can trace every choice you make to the arrangement of matter at the dawn of time."

But "Superdeterminism adds a twist of the knife. Not only is everything you do preordained, the universe reaches into your brain and stops you from doing an experiment that would reveal its true nature. The universe is not just set up in advance. It is set up in advance to fool you."

Ironically, this reminds me of creationists who insist that dinosaur bones are just there to fool us.

Has it not occurred to the professor that if the cosmos is "set up in advance" to fool us, there is no special exemption for him?

This goes to a much deeper metaphysical issue surrounding the whole idea of necessity. For Hartshorne, there is no such thing as necessity in the absence of its "complementary ultimate," contingency. Necessity is another word for determinism, and is therefore just another purely human abstraction. In point of fact, nothing is necessary except for God. And even God's a priori necessity is an abstraction compared to his concrete actuality.

In other words -- and I guess this is an example of one of Hartshorne's controversial positions -- God surely must be. However, the precise manner in which he is is undetermined -- just as it is for any other person! Descartes could say "I think, therefore I am." But who or what is this "I" that supposedly is? Just because I exist, it hardly means that I exist as a kind of static entity. If we believe that, we have once again been seduced into the realm of human abstraction, which is not the same as transcendence per se.

It seems that this seduction is rooted in the Greek idea that complete immutability and independence is superior to change, dependence, and receptivity. To "receive" is to be passive, and to be passive is bad. But passivity is how we learn about the world. We do not, as do the leftists, actively superimpose some ideological superstructure on the world. That is indeed "active," but is it good? No, because it renders knowledge of reality impossible.

So there are good and bad forms of both independence and dependence. This resonates with me, because this is one of the measures of psychological growth, one of the vectors of maturity. A completely independent person would be a kind of monster, unmoved by human sympathy, incapable of love or knowledge. At the other extreme is an infantile or childish dependence that prevents individuation from the family, tribe, or culture. Rather, what we want to see is mature dependence, which has much in common with what we know of as grown-up love.

I take 'metaphysics' to be the central concern of philosophy, meaning by the term the search for 'universal and necessary truths of existence'.... An unconditionally necessary truth... is one whose denial does not make coherent sense...., [involving] conceptions so ultimate and general that anything conceivable is a special case of them. --Hartshorne

To be continued. After all, it's a process, not a thing.