On Transcendance

The most perverse Absurdity underlying all human existence is man’s ceaseless yearning for transcendence; an insatiable appetite to escape the uncertainty and contingencies of Being through transfiguration. Such yearning, so indicative of human being’s restless place in the world, transforms human being on its own accord — giving birth to metaphysical man, and the elevation of  the eternal and infinite over the temporal and finite.

But such transcendence is possible only in non-being, where upon existence is delivered over into nothingness – and human being is reunited with the infinite void from which it came.

Because such transcendence takes place only beyond the horizon closed off by death, human being can never encounter its own transcendence; and accordingly, such encounters are only available as infinite possibility – but never fully belonging to existing human being. In other words, man’s existence is but a process by which he must come to terms with the impossibility of his experiencing his own transcendence.

The path towards the impossible is anticipatory preparation for our own inevitable fatality. By taking up its own concrete mortality, the self undergoes its own form of transfiguration by coming-to-terms with  the absolute and total nothingness of Being generally. Such transfiguration, while falling short of human being’s relentless metaphysical aspirations, nevertheless discloses a glimmer of the infinite by unraveling its own individual existence.

Such transfiguration in existence is primarily revelatory; bringing out into the fore the forgotten knowledge of the tragic – to wit, existence is not the antithesis of death, but rather, is enveloped within, and even dependent upon it. Death, then, reveals itself as  the temple of infinite nothingness, and accordingly, one is able only to comport oneself towards his own existence by re-appropriating his own individual nothingness. This is the closest the individual may come to transcendence — a mode of being that takes full account of its own mortality; essentially, becoming a corpse.


One comment

  1. Julien Haller

    Being a fellow existentialist, I feel compelled to offer a counterpoint. Consciousness, that immaterial experience of existence which arises from biological processing, can be utilized to expand beyond one’s self. Sure, its evolutionary origin lies in its competitive edge in the struggle for resources, but that does not mean it cannot expand beyond that role. In fact, by calling the function of some system its “evolutionary origin,” you are already implying that it will one day evolve past that role.

    Is that expansion beyond self really a negation of existence? Or is it maybe that your view of existence, limited to that of our objective form, i.e. our mortal body, is somewhat narrow in its extent? Perhaps existence is much larger than my 6’3, 185 lb frame, and it is by rejecting any inclination I have toward transcendence that I also reject the fullness of existence?

    Anywho, I loved your post, but I wrote a series of posts on existence a week or so ago, so I wanted to give another viewpoint. Either way, it’s always great to find other intelligent people here on WordPress.

    Julien Haller

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