Unreal Nature

May 28, 2017

The Real Center of Gravity

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:56 am

… I really never believe completely that I am only that which I actually am here and now …

Continuing through the essay ‘Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity’ in Art and Answerability: Early Philosophical Essays by M.M. Bakhtin edited by Michael Holquist and Vadim Liapunov (1990):

… What is the basis of my inner confidence? What straightens my back, lifts my head, and directs my gaze forward? Is it really pure givenness — uncomplemented and unextended by what is desired and what is still to be accomplished? Once again, it is my being present to myself as someone yet-to-be — that is what supports my pride and self-satisfaction; once again, the axiological center of my self-determination is displaced into the future.

[line break added] It is not only that I want to appear to be more than I am in reality, but that I am really unable to see my own pure givenness — I really never believe completely that I am only that which I actually am here and now; I render myself complete out of what is yet-to-be, what ought to be, what is desired. That is, the real center of gravity of my own self-determination is located solely in the future. However fortuitous and naïve may be the form assumed by what is desired and what ought to be, the important thing is that it is not here, not in the past and present.

[line break added] And whatever I may be able to achieve in the future — even if it be everything I had anticipated — the center of gravity of my self-determination will continue to shift forward into the future, and I shall rely for support on myself as someone yet-to-be. Even my pride and self-satisfaction about the present are rendered complete at the expense of the future (let it but begin to express itself and it will immediately show its tendency to proceed forward, ahead of itself).

What constitutes the organizing principle of my life from within myself (in my relationship to me myself) is solely my consciousness of the fact that in respect to all that is most essential I do not exist yet. The form of my life-from-within is conditioned by my rightful folly or insanity of not coinciding — of not coinciding in principle — with me myself as a given. I do not accept my factually given being; I believe insanely and inexpressibly in my own noncoincidence with this inner givenness of myself. I cannot count and add up all of myself, saying: this is all of me — there is nothing more anywhere else or in anything else; I already exist in full.

… A temporally consummated life is a life without hope from the standpoint of the meaning that keeps it in motion. From within itself, such a life is hopeless; it is only from outside that a cherishing justification may be bestowed upon it — regardless of unattained meaning.

… This position of outsideness makes possible (not only physically, but also morally) what is impossible for me in myself, namely: the axiological affirmation and acceptance of the whole present-on-hand givenness of another’s interior being.

My most recent previous post from Bakhtin’s book is here.

-Julie

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