Intro: The radically, perfectly transcendent must make itself radically, perfectly immanent--the invisible must, by nature, incarnate itself because of love, and as a result this incarnate, material world must point towards and somehow allow us access to the invisible, also through love.
How do Martin Buber and Edith Stein frame this argument (as well as the relationship between love of neighbor and love of God)?
Buber--God is wholly other but he is also the wholly same. “One does not find God if one remains in the world; one does not find God if one leaves the world” (I and Thou p. 127): One must find God both as flesh and as invisibility; one cannot find God by looking either to the Heavens or to one’s neighbor exclusively.
“Without It a human being cannot live. But whoever lives only with that is not human” (85)--One must use objects to get to subjects, even though the subject should always be the goal.
Stein--“if the ego intellectually adopts the point of view of a spectator in order to look upon its own self, it nonetheless remains inseparably tied to itself, notwithstanding its transposed standpoint…has abandoned the natural locus of its being, its actual center of gravity, that it has deviated from the primordial direction of ‘its life’ and is thus not in possession of its full, unbroken, undivided vital power” (Finite and Eternal Being pp. 433-434)--the self can only become transformed into itself by looking more to itself, and not by tying to pretend that it is a purely external being
p. 459--“The body owes its being to the soul and, on the other hand, it pertains to the being of the soul to form itself into the body or to inform the body” The body as inherent to the manifestation of the divine should not be seen as an object.
Buber’s argument makes it seem as if it is impossible to love perfectly because we must always use objects to obtain or achieve this love. Stein seems to focus too exclusively on knowledge of self and love of God, though she acknowledges the oneness of humanity and God (510). In Marion we may see more clearly how flesh becomes a manifestation of the divine as saturated phenomena in that it is paradoxically immanent.
The event/saturated phenomena: Heidegger defines phenomena as what shows itself in itself and starting from itself: “..that which-is-shown-in-its-self” (In Excess 30). Horner: “Saturated phenomena (paradoxes) are phenomena where intuition always submerges the expectation of the intention, and where ‘givenness not only entirely envelops manifestation but, surpassing it, modifies its common characteristics’” (A Theo-logical Introduction 123)
1. The event as distinct from object--an object is “exhaustive and repeatable” (In Excess 33)
--The event shows itself to the extent that it first gives itself, so that it is not merely shown as an object (30-31)
--The event’s origin is unknown or unforeseeable and thus cannot be reproduced (31)
--the past, present, and future of the event are uncontrollable and unforeseeable, so that it can incomprehensibly precede us and then give itself to us, “show itself, from itself, starting from itself,” and then go on endlessly (32-33)
--my flesh is the “means of all perception” and allows things in the world for me to be phenomenalized and spiritualized (89).
--my flesh gives me to myself (99)
--my flesh, in giving me myself, absolves me of all relation, in that it can only refer back to itself (100)
3. The necessity of invisibility/unnamability
--“God remains God only on condition that this ignorance be established and admitted definitively” (150)
--the purpose of ‘naming’ God is to inscribe ourselves in his horizon and recognize our own unnamability (157)
--metaphysics defeats the Name by reducing it to presence instead of silencing it (158)
1. subject vs. object: Love is only possible between subjects.
--An object is something that I appropriate into myself as a lived experience of my consciousness (Prolegomena to Charity 74-75), and thus my beloved must always remain invisible to me (80-83).
--Intentionality fails at love (78-80)
--To open myself up to love, I must offer myself to the wholly other who transcends me and allow myself to be stripped bare of my ego, becoming myself under his/her gaze (82-85)
2. The injunction
--love is seated in the command to respond to the other who transcends by giving myself to him/her (85-86)
--the source of the injunction is the radically transcendent invisible that goes beyond even myself and the other
--This command is necessary in that without it my love would fail, being a response to my own conscious experiences and objectifications
3. Enjoining myself to the invisible other in a love that surpasses universality
--to surpass universality, love must recognize an other just as such who nonetheless remains invisible to me, though unique (95ff)
--love is, “the act of a gaze that renders itself back to another gaze in a common unsubstitutability” (100): Lover and beloved offer themselves perfectly to one another in a way that allows them to remain mutually invisible
--such an act of love reduces the other to the same as me, since we both go back to the I, though also completely outside of me (97)
God and distance: God, as perfect love, must remain infinitely distant in order to remain perfectly invisible
1. God as the source of the injunction, or the injunction itself
--the injunction must come from outside ourselves in order for love to occur
--God is the radically, perfectly transcendent
2. Distance allowing proximity (The Idol and Distance 103)
--the opposite of distance is appropriation of our lived experiences into ourselves, which constitutes objects that are lifeless and in a sense no different from ourselves
--in order to realize ourselves as who we truly are and not based on our experiences we must receive ourselves in the relationship of love with the other and with God
3. God as perfect subject
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