Alterior expressions

A quick noting of a thought I had several weeks ago. It seems that the more an author writes in terms of present familiarities, alluding to fresh events of the moment that everyone understands and feels, the sooner the immediacy of the writing will expire. It is a tradeoff: the strategy of connecting ideas to the realities of present readers comes at a cost to connecting them to the realities of future readers, who will experience what was immediate as obscure allusions requiring footnotes and further study, or even as distracting errors if the allusions refer to beliefs requiring revisions (for instance, to discredited scientific notions or moral convictions). The most obscure writings of the present might become the most accessible writing to the future.

The reason this came to mind this morning is that it occurred to me that every form of immediacy might suffer from every kind of distance — temporal, temperamental, spacial, practical, etc..

Even our own immediate feelings can become incomprehensible over time as the fade into biography. This is a new way to see a thought I have been having now for over a decade. But it gives the idea a fresh new immediacy — today, anyway.

But also, our word-defying moods or insights — our sense of the poetic and religious — those might be the hardest immediacies to hold onto and remember, thus poems and prayers. We say them again, hear them again, beg them to return to us in their immediacy.

But thinking beyond the problems of our own private or communal recollections of past  immediacies, and factoring in the problems of communication with other people, these immediate experiences are difficult to convey and share with our most alterious alter-egos. Compounding the problem is the fact that the dread of beyondness clings to such alterior expressions adds daunting barriers to bridgeless gaps.

It might be that the most immediate realities cannot be spoken of in their own terms, but, if they are to be shared, must be refracted through and reflected off the myriad things of our sharable world. To be known at all, our subjectivities must run a circuit through the world we all intuit as one world, and present themselves as alternative objectivities belonging to a pluralistic world. But of course, the immediate reality of the world is that it is simply reality, and to view reality in a pluralistic light is to deny the most basic reality of this experience, so pluralism is not the innocent neutrality it seems to be to itself in its own immediacy.


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