Subjectivity as storage compulsion

Something of flow has memory; or, something in flow has the power of reproductive synthesis—the reproducing of passed presentations and tying them to the present ones BY WAY OF a continuum.

Why is it that the self—the transparency that resists passing—stores (or reproduces) in this way? Store for what? Does the storage of the past have …

Wait …

This just in …

If storing the past isn’t valuable, then life itself isn’t valuable. So something like cherishing or care is at work. Existence separates from and entraps passing as representation because … it loves it so much, it wants photos for being’s custom photo album.

If the stored stuff in the subject isn’t good, then the present also isn’t good—because the heart loves the past. The heart loves especially past loves, past times of being-in-love. The heart loves being a person wanted by another, just because that other wants your being present for it.

Persistence just is consciousness.

Or consider this tempting model: That there are two layers of persistence running in parallel—elemental and emergent—and the animal consciousness we are familiar with is the reflection of the former in the latter. The elemental layer is persistence-consciousness, and is the deepest interior of the physical. This is the ultimate basic stuff of the physical, which we know (in time) as the self-surpassing conatus or striving of substance laying at the core of the most fundamental particles—strings, say. The emergent layer is the reactive consciousness driven by the axiomatic drives animating the vast and complicated colony of negentropic symbiotes that make up the biological organism. One layer is fundamental—indeed, the most fundamental and interior stuff of all, Spinozan substance or God. The other is emergent—still persistent (since it contains the elemental persistence-consciousness) but inflected through the vegetative and sympathetic-nervous concerns of the evolved animal. Their partial separation/partial identity provides that interior relationality that is the hallmark of the human subject, a la Kierkegaard:

The self is a relation

Søren Kierkegaard (1849). The Sickness Unto Death , 13.

A human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation that relates itself to itself or is the relation's relating itself to itself in the relation; the self is not the relation but is the relation's relating itself to itself. A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short, a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two. Considered in this way a human being is still not a self.... In the relation between two, the relation is the third as a negative unity, and the two relate to the relation and in the relation to the relation; thus under the qualification of the psychical the relation between the psychical and the physical is a relation. If, however, the relation relates itself to itself, this relation is the positive third, and this is the self.

Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death, 13

This model is a natural fit with the well-known epistemic function of the “I” as a bare apperceptive unity that is both a spatiotemporal synthesis (inventing body and substance) and a conceptual synthesis (including the transcendence that the subject enjoys when it “subsumes” the object, or thinks it “under” the predicate). Containment, subsumption, unity, and the projection of these in the synthesized object (in time, as permanence) are just the effects we would expect from a Brahman-like infrastructure of elemental consciousness.

Think about this: the only permanence that we can access is the one we can schematize, which is the one that bottoms-out in our very own consciousness. Or: epistemic-negentropic consciousness could only receive unity if its interior stuff is itself an unconditioned unity.

The question, How permanent is (objective) physical substance? finds its answer in the answer to: How permanent is my schema of permanence? Elemental persistence-consciousness, the core of the feeling subject, and its emergent layer of negentropic intentionality which lingers as sensations arise and pass and whose synthesis of reproduction presents trans-temporal idenity epistemically, is the generator of (objective) physical permanence.

Experiment: Right now, reflect on how you schematize permanence. The best way to do this is to actually do it. Do what you do when you make sense (Sinn) for the concept. The meat and potatoes of the semantic content of ⟨permanence⟩—what is the act that generates this? What imaginary activity do you perform to present this content for yourself? Do you posit a (say) red triangle on a black background and then, a second later, say, “Oh, I mean that this is still itself” or “This now is the same thing (underneath) as it was just before”? Do you hold a static image while acknowledging the passing of time while affirming, “It’s still itself! And it’s still itself! And …”? You can do this and intend the triangle’s permanence but have you successfully conveyed the idea IN the imagination? No. Permanence is a counterforce to temporal passing. And the only way to present this force is through the presentation of motion. Overcoming passing depends on a power or force, and that can only be presentation through a dynamical act—an act that includes and presents motion.