Category Archives: Ontology

Theology of Leather (tongue firmly in cheek)

I came across a few posts mentioning ‘leather identity’ as who the author ‘is’ spiritually. Since my own journey of learning began in theology I thought I would investigate the theological implications of a spiritual leather identity.

As a theological term, spirit, like psyche and self has a specific meaning. All of these kinds of words (and we can add will, being, god, world, nature etc.) are difficult to define conceptually because they are themselves determining concepts, which as such are never themselves fully determined. Things can only be fully determined via these determining concepts.

Spirit is what determines the “who” of the psyche, our self-identity.  From spirit we always already know who we are such that we know when we are being “truly” ourselves and when we aren’t. As what determines from the beginning, spirit exists in the eternal past, i.e. the past that was always past, not the past that at one point was present. The psyche arises as a response to spirit. All the aspects or “existentials” of the psyche (such as understanding, interpretation, discourse, being-in, being-with, ambiguity) partially actualize that response. Authenticity consists in being true to spirit, which calls us out of inauthenticity in the wordless call of conscience. Although the call of conscience has no content, we always “know” what it means: that we are guilty of not actualizing a true response to our spirit.

God as a perfect being may only, as will, will good. Human beings on the other hand have the freedom to will its opposite. Since this freedom in itself cannot have originated in the living God, human self-will originated as spirit in the dark ground of God. This potential for evil in God’s ground, which although part of God, is unknown even to God himself as the living God, is the cause of God’s coming out of his ground as the living God.

If the identity of one’s spirit, then, is a leather identity, as determining who one truly is. Leather as a potentiality of being, as will-to-leather, must also have existed in the originary dark ground of God.

The living God, as the highest being and the source of all other being, contains all positive potentials of being in himself, so the human will-to-leather must have a corresponding divine will-to-leather.

As a result, someone with a leather identity, spiritually, would feel the call of conscience denoting them as guilty in any situation where they were being inauthentic, not responding appropriately to their leather spirit. They would feel guilty cavorting in the vanilla world, wearing cotton or polyester or rayon, against their true identity as the actualization of their leather spirit.

Concomitantly, the living God of the leather spirit would be the highest leather being, the source of all human leather being, the Absolute Leatherman.

Refusal Or … ?

Between my post on refusal and now I’ve had a very odd change in my manner of being.

I had what used to be called, in the conceptual world, a “divine revelation”.  Since I live in the post conceptual (post religious-metaphysical-scientific)  world it was no long divine in any sense.   However it was reflexive in a way that no epiphany could be.  It was a revelation of the nature of revelation itself.

The reflexivity made me suddenly understand Hegel’s Absolute Knowing, Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence of the Same, and Heidegger’s vom Ereignis (from Enowning) simultaneously as attempts to provoke the experience.  Not that they do, but they do at least prepare one for it in a similar way to mystic practice preparing one for divine revelation.  Understanding understanding, as it were, doesn’t give you an understanding of anything in particular.  It gives you a different sense of things where understanding precedes self-conscious interpretation.

More on this later …

Freedom, freedom and Waffling

I’ve been reading Master Obsidian’s House blog site some more and a paragraph in another post caught my eye as something I’ve also been concerned with. Part of the reason expressing oneself as a part of the M/s subculture is that our language betrays what we in fact do and how we structure meaning within the world. Speaking of a tendency within the community Master Obsidian makes the following observation on a common and becoming more common attitude:

freedom in its purest sense embraced is the freedom to do anything and to be anything at all. And if we truly are inclusive, if we truly are seekers of truth then we must conclude as often as possible that every man and every woman has the ability and the right to pursue what ever strikes their particular fancy. And perhaps even more importantly than that notion, is the notion that whatever a person comes up in their pursuit of getting their particular fancy struck as it were – is great and wonderful and not to be denied.

Freedom, for me, comes in two flavors. There is the a priori freedom that every human being possesses no matter what their life circumstances. Without this freedom we would be unable to comport ourselves towards anything whatsoever. It is a necessity of being-in-the-world itself. This is properly called ‘ontological freedom’, which can be explained as the freedom of being itself. The other sense of freedom is the practical freedom that one possesses within-the-world. This is a matter of circumstances, and is also a matter of degrees. The proper term for this is ‘ontic freedom’, which can be made clearer as the freedom to dispose of beings as one wishes.

Enhancing the ability, if the individual chooses, to exercise ontic freedom is a noble pursuit. The as-one-wishes is crucial though, as not everyone wishes to exercise every possible ontic freedom. As well, circumstances being what they are, no one can exercise every freedom they may wish. We are all constrained by law, by custom, by societal opinion, and by our own ethical sense.

Choosing to not exercise freedoms may be due to ethics or societal norms, or it may be a more personal choice in that an individual may simply not feel comfortable exercising a good number of freedoms. If this number is great enough they may choose to enter into a D/s or M/s relationship, depending on the degree of unfreedom they feel most comfortable with. In an M/s relationship, once the choice is made it is made in a permanent sense, unless one is willing to break one’s word in an important manner.

Whatever that person, who is now a slave where continued consent is not required, may suddenly feel the urge to express may now only be expressed accordng to the will of the Master . The slave has given up the freedom to “get their particular fancy struck” unless it happens to coincide with the Master’s particular fancy at that moment. That ontological freedom is still present cannot undermine ontical slavery.

Being and Time; and Place?

I am currently reading a book by the name of “Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World”. Why topology when Heidegger’s most famous book is “Being and Time”? Heidegger’s notion of Being and his notions on philosophy imply a certain situatedness and site, and he was certainly aware of Jasper’s work on the limit-situation, having been the first reviewer of “The Psychology of Worldviews”. I will post more on this topic and how it relates to the M/s situation as I assimilate the ideas therein with the work on the mathematical topology of Being by Alain Badiou.

A Slave’s Situation

I’ve had various thoughts today surrounding absolute enslavement as a limit-situation, something I’ve blogged on previously, and the idea of situation in general and how it relates to consensual slavery. Situation in general is my term for the human condition, a condition of possibilities proffered and decisions required. Even the most brutal poverty, for example, remains a situation, no matter how limted the possibilities or how painful the decisions. Whereas total destitution, were it possible (without termination of life) would no longer be a situation. In total or absolute destitution there are no longer any options and no decisions to be made, and this non-situation is essentially inhuman.

So an absolute enslavement viewed as an actuality, rather than a vector of possibility, would by the same token be inhuman. Not simply in some sense of inhumane, which would be to reposit a priori human rights and the rest of the metaphysical baggage, but inhuman in the sense that the human condition always contains possibilities and always requires decision.

So what then could absolute enslavement mean or look like? It means that the options put before the slave are those of his/her Master’s choosing, and the decisions made are made, to the highest degree attainable, as the decisions that his/her Master would take. This in its turn is made available to the slave through the shared world, or meaning-context, that the Master gives the slave. It looks almost like a normal relationship to the outside world, because the slave is seemingly free to make decisions and choose from given possibilities just as any other human being is. That the slave will in all probability choose the Master’s will is inherent, but not necessarily apparent.

A limit-situation is defined as a situation in which the absolute, in some way, irrupts into the world of finite beings, mortals, humans. Being mortal itself is the fundamental limit situation, because death is a limit that we can never outstrip or breach, and that we are always in some way, dimly, aware of. Absolute enslavement is a more specific and determined limit-situation where the limit is, quite literally, that of being human and in a situation at all. As an absolute enslavement relationship progresses along a vector that approaches the limit, the slave’s meaning-context becomes more and more aligned with that of the Master until the it approaches a probability of one that the slave will, in any specific situation, act as his/her Master would have them act. As a vector it never quite reaches a probability of one, because in remaining a human situation the slave never has 100% of the information required to be perfectly aligned, and thus is never perfectly sure that the Master’s wishes are in fact being carried out until after the decision is made and enacted. And in never reaching it the slave’s humanity is never lessened, nor his/her ethical responsibilities removed. The ethic involved here, a slave ethic, is the inherent rightness for the slave of doing what his/her Master would will, and it remains an ethical problem and not a moral imperative because what the Master wills cannot be predetermined in an always changing and new situation.

Ontology and Mathematics

It occurred to me lately (not much wonder since my background is in symbolic logic and philosophy) that mathematics is actually the true language of Ontology, the language that specifically speaks about non-objects, things that are not things, that don’t take part in being, because it is a topology of Being itself, which is never a being. While many things have followed on from that thought I am still working out the most basic of them – the poietic descriptions of Being have been followed by philosophy from Plato to Heidegger, and are therefore far more developed than conclusions that might be able to be drawn from mathematics, but the mathematical conclusions have a much better chance of being communicated to a population no longer in love with or trusting in poetic license.