Unless you are a nominalist, in which case each thing is a unique fact expressing no principle. The problem with this point of view is that it renders thought impossible. On the plane of thought, everything depends upon seeing generalities and extracting principles and essences. Indeed, any word is a general category, otherwise we'd have to invent new words each time we spoke.
Speaking of which, I can't tell if this line of thought I've been pursuing is of general interest, or just a private preoccupation. It feels quite essential to me -- in other words, like we're drilling down to the essence of things -- but maybe it strikes you as peripheral. I don't know what to do about that. A little secret: the bus is more or less self-driving. Although I am technically behind the wheel, that's just in case of emergency. Otherwise, the bus goes where it wants to go.
The following strikes me as an ultimate pole of thought, beyond which it cannot go; it is a truth of which there can be no truer, except in an extra-cognitive mode such as mystical union:
Beyond-Being is absolute Necessity in itself, whereas Being is absolute Necessity in respect of the world, but not in respect of Beyond-Being. Beyond-Being... possesses the possible as an internal dimension and in virtue of its infinitude; at this level, the possible is precisely Being, or Relativity, Maya. We would say consequently that Being is not other than possibility; possibility necessary in itself, but contingent in its increasingly relative contents...
This formulation resolves a lot of issues I have with exoteric religion. For example, perhaps trinitarian thought is a way of thinking about the same reality -- a point of reference, as it were. In other words, you are always free to think about God as a kind of indistinct blob of absolutely transcendent omnipotence and omniscience.
Islam tends toward this view, i.e., There is no God but God, full stop. Judaism does too, except in the case of Kabbalah, which is like an interior map of divinity with all sorts of interesting points of reference -- including the Ein Sof corresponding to the absolute ground of Beyond-Being. It
is understood as God prior to his self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual realm.... Ein Sof may be translated as "unending", "(there is) no end", or infinity.... Of the Ein Sof, nothing ("Ein" ) can be grasped ("Sof" -- limitation).
This is one of the reasons why the bʘʘk begins the way it does, with the black page that is even prior to nothing: Beyond-Being is orthoparadoxically beyond nothing! (Or nothing is beyond it.)
For which I do have some venerable back-up, mainly in the person of Meister Eckhart, who made many similarly strange claims:
God the ineffable one has no name. The divine one is a negation of negations and a denial of denials. God is nothing. No thing. God is nothingness; and yet God is something. God is neither this thing nor that thing that we can express. God is a being beyond all being; God is a beingless being.
Hard to understand. Easy to misunderstand. Again, it comes down to making distinctions within God, but -- consistent with trinitarian thought -- not separations. And what is a distinct without separation but a complementarity?
Which is why I would suggest that Being is not like an emanation from Beyond-Being, but its complementary mode. Somewhat as in how the Father engenders the Son, each of whom is nevertheless eternal. Father and Son are quite complementary, in that you cannot have one without the other.
An alternative perspective would be to say that the Trinity as already a kind of crystallization out of Beyond-Being. Looked at this way, it reminds me of a stable pattern of currents that is a function of the entire ocean. Yes, we can make out the contours of the currents, but can never pretend they could exist separate from their oceanic matrix. Rather, they are the ocean.
Analogously, the human ego could never exist outside its unconscious matrix; or, local consciousness floats on a wider sea of consciousness-as-such. We all have a kind of trinitarian structure, in that each moment our thought is flowing out of an implicate order which is unknown to us.
Where does creativity come from? Who knows? All we know is that we will never run out of poems, melodies, paintings, gags. How can this be, unless we participate in Infinitude, AKA divine possibility?
Speaking of art, another key point: due to the nature of Possibility, it is possible for possibility to detach from its divine source, and thereby careen toward impossibility.
Again, Contingency must be grounded in Necessity, prolonging the latter in diverse ways, without veering into pure contingency. Pure contingency is none other than the tyranny of relativism, AKA the absurdity of postmodernity, which like nothing so much as a counterfeit nothingness, or bad nothing. There is the good nothing of total possibility, and the bad nothing of total absurdity.