God and Other

Since, as humans, we are composed of atoms and star dust it may be that we have a bare hunch, a non-specific intuition, about the limit of time and space, the end of reason, perhaps as Heidegger might suggest, death as the possibility of the absolute impossibility of me. The notion of me as limited gives way to a kind of feeling of existential suspension, of an ‘other’ to me, to mine, to all. Let’s suppose that this feeling or vague awareness provides a sort of blank field for humans, a tabula rasa, that calls for content, a projection onto nothingness. For some that content could be God. For others it could simply be natural end. For others it could be angst. In any case, this field lends itself to a kind of volitional creation, Desire for the eternal, filling the gap, personal responsibility for one’s ultimate meaning. Faith, as thought by the religious person, might be the positive projection in this void that wishes to hope in their notion of absolute meaning as eternal life, the Good, perfection, love, etc. In any case, the ability to project without any basis, any logic, and any rationality certainly opens the way for error and the inability to be able to understand, to know with absolute certainty, to know that we do not know; yet, to live in this projection as if it is. This is a hypothetical that gathers up more than just logic or truth propositions but essential meaning. However, another aspect of this personal dynamic is how it works for communities, how we are as together with others. A fundamental transformation from the personal to the communal takes place that displaces the personal projection into this active nothingness. A kind of attributed certainty that is not felt in the strict personal Desire acquires a kind of momentum of its own that displaces the bare standing before one’s end. This certainty with others is a kind of diversion from the bare me, the recognition of the not-me…the other. The feeling of the question of essential meaning gets filled in with an answer, a Logic. Even if the Logic addresses existential Desire, it can lose the impact that is rooted in my inability to be able to finally ground me, to identify apodictically with absolute certainty. This homelessness cannot be overcome with Logic but always remains a gap. In this gap the face of the other is brought back once more without my certainties, my schemes, my logic. For Emmanuel Levinas this is what opens up, each time, the possibility for Ethics.

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