Becoming All The Way

The world of difference taught by Jacques Derrida is everywhere. Everything is evolving and is in the mode of what Buddha called change. Can difference have a destiny? Can it lead us to a final point of closure? It keeps everything in the process of becoming/ coming to be. It is an endless translatability/transformability. The psychoanalytical analogy of substitutability may open us to this side of difference. Deconstruction is simply proving to us that all that we have is play of difference. Difference is subversive. It holds everything into dynamic becoming never allowing the luxury and stability of being. It is manifesting to us that being is becoming. This indicates that Being as becoming stays open and not closed. Therefore being as becoming is undecidable. This is why what Heidegger called forgetting of being is also a call to the death of being thought in ontotheological mode. It is the death of being thought in a logocentric mode. Does this mean we have to think being in an apophatic mode? Are we think being in the nirguna brahman way? 

We are challenged to enter a post-metaphysics where being is dynamic and is becoming and never reaching closer to stability. Heidegger was right in identifying the metaphysical ladenness of our language. He dreamt of a new language free from metaphysics. Derrida seems to have opened us a way of putting our language under erasure to let manifest the play of difference. Thus, the post-metaphysics that we are talking about is a kind of return to Buddhist metaphysics and calls us to adopt an epistemology of humility that is open to mystery. This means we are taking off an a/being that is always on the way, never reaching home. Such post-metaphysics may be termed as a/metaphysics. Being as becoming does not have stable positions. It is becoming all the way.

We may need what Soren Kierkegaard called armed neutrality to face the death of metaphysics. Armed neutrality is antagonistic to all forms of ontotheological and logocentric thinking. It puts all these shades of metaphysics under erasure. It is taking us to the limits of language through which we do our metaphysics. Differance does not allow any word to settle down into its closed comfort. It keeps words into play. Difference does demonstrate to us that we are trapped in a chain of signifiers. This does not mean that we cannot communicate. It only tells us that all our communication happens under erasure and therefore, stays open for dialogue and contestation. This means we are let into the zone of a/metaphysics where becoming of being is transcending our language and cannot be captured and enframed by it. 

This does not mean that we are set into a tower of babel. It only means that we are actually made open and humble to other views, other possibilities. This means our openness to the play of difference makes us dialogical in the true sense. It lets us stay open and inductive and not be closed and deductive. It appears that God may be on the side of such a play of difference and is dialogical to the core. a/metaphysics that we are proposing is not divesting or squeezing of all positive ascriptions/ features of God as apophatic theology or thinking in the mode of nirguna brahman does. We accept all positive features of God but add dynamism to them and therefore in humility bow down to the mystery of becoming God. a/ metaphysics, therefore, opens us to a/ theology. We stay open to the diving of the divine and goding of God. God in this sense is a verb and not a static noun. 

Openness to the play of difference is salutary and free from violence of several shades. Apophatic theology is a hyperousiology and hence is trapped within ontotheological as well logocentric thinking. It thinks of God beyond words/ language but is still enframed and closes God within a hyper-essence that is not caught by words. In some way like cataphatic theology, apophatic theology is also playing God by deciding what God is. Putting all these claims and counterclaims under erasure may open us to understand the limits of our language as well as models of thought that we employ to apprehend God. A/theology enables us to talk of God with trembling and fear and await with love for God to be open to us. Thus, being is not locked into the prison house of language, we can still do metaphysics and theology. The ethics of such metaphysics draws us to be radically open to the demands of the other. It takes us on the path of love that has no conditions. It opens us to love with an undivided heart. It puts all of us humans on the common ground and enables mutuality of love that can only be uplifting. Difference, therefore, does open the boundaries that may have theological, ideological or legal legitimacies and sets the person free to reach out to the other in need. The other is divine and therefore by loving the other we love God. 

The other who summons us through language stands beyond language. Thus, recognition of the play of difference opens us to the other, to the ultimate wholly other, our God. It enkindles a hypersensitivity to the other. By putting language under erasure, we actually open ourselves to everything that the play of signification hides and excludes. It takes us to the mystery that stays beyond the linguistic reduction of reality. We cannot fully remove the veil of language that dresses reality, hence we adopt a humble epistemology that stays open to the play of difference and becomes dialogically open to the other without breaking the bridge that language provides. This means openness to the play of difference opens us to think both the nirguna and saguna brahman together or both the cataphatic and amphipathic theologies together. This thinking is Advaita or non-dual and is close to the one adopted by the great Shankara in our country.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao