V’ahavta

Some entities cannot be comprehended, only known-toward. This is a kind of knowing, but it only appears such if we allow knowing to be more than the conceptual grasping of objective comprehension.

This doesn’t mean that objective comprehension is a bad thing, especially when we realize the importance of objectively comprehending the fact that objective comprehension is only one of myriad ways to know, and that it is an inappropriate form of knowing when it comes to those entities that ought to be known-toward.

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Knowing-toward is the intellectual stance we take toward transcendent realities. We comprehend things about them. We comprehend in various ways, to varying degrees of adequacy, the experiences we have of these realities, but these experiences are only phenomenal radiance from incomprehensible sources who transcend us.

I like to think of transcendence in three directions or dimensions, that of time, space and awareness. Each dimension extends as far as I can conceive everything in principle, and tapers off into the blindness of inconceivable realities whose existence is mysterious but impossible to doubt. We know toward these directions. We can sort of imagine particularities within them, but we are never right. We imagine people we might meet, but we cannot imagine the exact beloved personality who will change what life means to us. We imagine the future, but only as we can know it as we are now, not as we might learn to know later when the most important and unimaginable events befall us. And try as we might (and we should), we cannot know life as our ancestors knew it. We think about things, but not the impact the things that will matter most to us, including, and not at all limited to our own malfunctioning bodies. We think about places, but whatever we imagine will not be the place we see as we face our last dimming moments of life. Reality streams off into nothingness in every direction, and we will know it better if we know it as streaming, and allow it to be what it is.

I like to think of transcendence in three directions or dimensions, not because these three dimensions exist in some absolute, unchanging, eternally true manner that transcends my thought, but because when I discipline my thinking to interpret experience in this manner, I can maintain myself as a finite being embedded in an infinite reality as a participant. I am able to remind myself to use my objective comprehension to think- and be-toward reality what I am not. With this framework, I can stop trying to conquer reality, to strip it of everything but its essential truth and imprisoning the essential truth inside my own head, which is a philosopher’s vice I must battle constantly. The only truths that one can stuff in a cranium are objective ones, and that’s why objectivity is so popular. We want to own our knowledge, not use it to relate to unpossessable realities. I want to own the world if not the universe, but I console myself by giving myself little maps, compasses, trinkets, and pictures which indulge my need to own things.

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“God”, Heaven and Afterlife are the artifacts of comprehending objectivity what/who can only be known-toward.

People reduced to types, or roles, or uses, or categories — people reduced to objects — are the artifacts of comprehending objectivity what/who can only be known-toward.

The most important elements of our existence are precisely what we are most tempted to stuff into our heads and make our own property.

What is most important in our experience? What we love. Love reduced to comprehension annihilates love in mere lust.

Love is being-toward, being-toward with our whole being: being-toward all our hearts, being-toward all our souls, being-toward with all our strength.

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