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On that our self - God's self yes, that is what I refer to as objective with the intraobjective identity as an experience

of absolute unitary being, perhaps we could say - or God's immanent presence, the One with the interobjective indeterminacy regarding that aspect of God that is wholly transcendent and calling for a robustly apophatic predication, the Indeterminate and the ego - ego being, of course, an intersubjective intimacy - not to deny a depth dimension, whether with other humans (imago Dei) or God that is unfathomable, the Many I guess the terms "unitary being" for our experience of reality's Oneness and "unitive relationship" for our experience of the Many is in play. And intrasubjective integrity, that self-ego relationship, which preoccupies most people, early on the journey pax, jb ______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ One of the examples I gave was a Self-Self connection that happens when just sitting and being present to someone who's ill, elderly, etc. That would seem to be an example of interobjectivity, no? It's self as "is" present to another who "is." Not much Ego-Ego going on.<<<<< ______________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ That would be inter-objectivity from a western, dualistic perspective. From an eastern nondualist perspective, there is only oneness, hence the intra-objective. Intra-objective represents a monist ontology. Inter-objective represents a dualist or even pluralist ontology. In some sense, then, all are One as created and uncreated energies interact. We cultivate an awareness of this absolute unitary being, the Tao, the Divine Matrix, advaita, boundarylessness. In another sense, though, we experience the Many as persons interact and cultivate the unitive, the robustly relational, the other. Integrally, a human be-ing, enjoys a "not two - not one" existence that is, in some sense, both bounded and unbounded, 1

hence quasi-autonomous. All of created reality participates in the dance between created and uncreated energies, but as biosemiotic realities emerge we witness ever-increasing degrees of autonomy, which reach a pinnacle in the human semiotic reality and is experienced as freedom, most authentically, as freedom to love. Humans are a sui generis type of bounded existent because they experience a type of autonomy that is radically discontinuous from that experienced by other types of creatures. But they otherwise also experience a pervasive continuity with all of creation and a remarkable degree of interactivity with uncreated energy, which I think we experience as primal reality's initial, boundary and limit conditions and telic dimensionality, what we might call "rules" that we can model but not explain. Sitting and being present to another would involve an ego-self present to another ego-self with the intra-objective moment enjoying a primacy while inter-subjectivity recedes, not unlike two spouses sleeping in the same bed. That moment may have been preceded by an intrasubjective moment of conscience examen followed by an intersubjective (via God) prayer before nodding off and intersubjective exchange of affection, a kiss goodnight. When I say inter-objective I am thinking of God's indeterminate essential nature and an absolute ontological discontinuity, which epistemically would, in principle, be permanently occulted and radically unknowable. Within intra-objective reality, there are bounded existents that present with varying degrees of quasi-autonomy within the Divine Matrix and which form organic relationships to comprise yet other bounded existents in an ontological hierarchy but these boundaries are dynamic and fluid and constrained temporally, not lending themselves to strict identity but only to what Hartshorne calls a nonstrict identity. A bounded existent has an asymmeteric temporal relationship to the rest of intraobjective reality such that it always enjoys a discrete history but not necessarily a definitive future, its continuity of existence recognizable in the past but any socalled future not an intrinsic character of its existence. Think of the sorite (sand) paradox, which arises from a conceptual confusion between a logical cause (naming a heap) and an efficient cause (adding grains of sand). There is no discrete point in time when the addition of one more grain of sand will produce the heap. An essentialism describes a heap as a clearly discrete reality. A nominalism denies the reality of a heap. A pragmatic semiotic approach confronts (evades as nonsensical) the confusion between logical and efficient causes, between essentialism and nominalism, and asks whether or not a value can be cashed out of the concept, like directing one to make a sandcastle out of sand from that heap and not from the otherwise loose surrounding sand, which hasn't been run through a sifter yet in order to get rid of debris. Nonstrict identity recognizes this semiotic realism 2

and doesn't see any given heap of sand as a future sandcastle but would recognize that any given sandcastle "used to be" this heap and not some other. The same is true for our concepts, intraobjective and intersubjective, self and ego; we ask what value we are cashing out when employing the distinction. When we interact in those moments where intraobjectivity or self enjoys primacy, we are realizing the truth, beauty and goodness of absolute unitary being, the vast, ineffable interconnectedness of all reality. It doesn't readily lend itself to conceptualization, however, when we retrospectively process it via discursive analysis. When we interact in those moments when intersubjectivity or ego enjoys primacy, we are realizing the value of unitive relationality. All of these valuerealizations have both intrinsic and extrinsic aspects. Our problem-solving mindset is not involved in those contemplative intersubjective moments, wherein we rest in another's presence, devotionally and unitively, each aware of the other. Neither is it involved in an intraobjective experience of unitary being, self to self. What might the experience of interobjective reality entail? Maybe that is what Otto called the mysterium tremendum et fascinans? a wholly other reality to which we might successfully refer but not describe in its utter indeterminacy, a radical ontological discontinuity that is dread yet alluring? The experience of intrasubjective integrity is one of selfreflective awareness of one's ongoing journey to authenticity as we progress in the now, awareness and truth in intellectual, affective, moral, sociopolitical and religious dimensions of experience. Perhaps we could say that the self is a person's locus of interconnection within unitary reality (the One), an interconnectivity that can be experienced both aware (discursively and nondiscursively) and unawares, while the ego is a person's locus of interrelatedness with unitive realities (the Many), an interrelatedness that can be experienced both discursively and nondiscursively. At least, that's how I've been conceiving the concepts. It may be that they just don't map perfectly, one over the other. pax, jb I thought of a graphic illustration/metaphor to explain my distinctions. Think of a huge fishing net. Each hole in the net is surrounded by four intersections of rope. 3

Imagine, at each such intersection of rope on the entire fishing net, that another piece of rope was attached, tentacle-like. Imagine each tentacle as capable of growing longer, so not all tentacles on the net are the same length. Each tentacle, then, would represent a person. The proximal end of the tentacle that attaches to the fishing net would comprise the self. The distal end of the tentacle would comprise the ego. The length of each tentacle would indicate a growth in authenticty and one characteristic of same would be increased freedom, intra-subjectively. The fishing net would represent the One, a Divine Matrix of interconnectivity, the dance between created and uncreated energies and is experienced by the self as unitary, intraobjectively. The distal ends of the tentacles, the holes in the net, the net, itself, and so one, would represent the Many. The distal ends can also inter-relate with the One and the Many, and will experience what we call the unitive, intersubjectively. An ego might treat another person as an object, but that is either an epistemic mistake or a moral failing. Where the self is concerned, we can distinguish between it's ontological status, which, on one hand, would be as a polar reality in being the proximal end of each tentacle, on the other, as a nodal intersection on the fishing net, and its epistemic-axiological experience, which is primarily an intraobjectivity, an interconnection of unitary being. One could imagine allowing the net to fold back in such a way that two selves would come in contact and I understand how etymologically we might call that, then, an inter-objective reality, ontologically, but my labels are not ontological but, rather, phenomenological and speak of experience, epistemically and axiologically (value-wise), such that any experience of self with any aspect of the fishing net will be that of undifferentiated unitary being. The interobjectivity that I refer to would include, for example, God's indeterminate self-subsisting esse or essential nature, or another uni-verse, that is wholly autonomous and distinct from our own, epistemically unavailable, permanently occulted, in principle. I suppose we must also talk of how the ego interacts with other creatures, who are not otherwise subjects, the world, so to speak, in a subjective-objective mode. It would seem that 4

the most optimal subject-object interaction would derive from such a tentacle as has robustly experienced both unitary being and unitive relationship, both enlightenment and unitive glimpses. later, jb