There are many kinds of beings, divine, human, natural, artificial, material, without forgetting the beings of reason and language, the ideal, symbolic and modal beings, etc.. From this multiplicity of types of beings, one can conjecture the existence of a rich assortment of possible ontologies. In the crowd of all these beings, man may have a special role. He does not know who he really is, and he knows that he does not; he also knows that he is not only what he knows he is. So there is still a lot of room for research. He becomes more what he is in particular when the question of being in general within him is revealed. He begins to understand his own nature when he understands that it is entirely within this questioning, that of its origin and that of its end.
How does he know all this? Considering the opaque mystery from which he emerges, and the even darker abyss into which death projects him, he draws inductions, builds hypotheses, formulates theories.
This is why it is said that man is a metaphysical animal, more apt than the sea urchin, the fly, the monkey or the angel, to ask himself the question of his specific being, and thus to attack without respite the question of being in general, the ontological question.
It was no small intuition to come to think of the passage from the particular to the general, that is to say, to conceive the abstraction of being, as emanating from the innumerable cohorts of concrete beings.
This intuition establishes a community of essence between all that « is », without setting aside a radical variation between the « levels of being » of the various beings. Some of them bathe in the super-luminous consciousness of their Self, others grope in twilight limbo, and still others crawl endlessly in the night of dead dreams.
Man is a being placed in a world that is also a being, and in the midst of other, different kinds of beings. These different kinds of beings manifest themselves in one way or another, but without ever revealing themselves completely. It is difficult, if not impossible, for man to penetrate the mystery of being in others beings than himself, since he already fails to penetrate this mystery in himself.
His consciousness manifests itself to him, too, and never ceases to reveal itself, always again, without ever being exhausted, by his questioning, except, of course, in death. And there, can we presume that the questions that the consciousness asks finally find an answer, final, complete, terminal? Doesn’t death lead either to a nothingness with no room for questions or answers, or is it only a passage towards a state where the Self continues, in other forms, to ask itself still other questions?
There is in the being of man a mixture of infinity (in potency) and finitude (in act). Forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards, and on all other sides, man is objectively surrounded by the finite, he is ‘confined’. His perspectives are quickly crushed. His ‘self’ is only a point, without dimension, and the unlimited that surrounds it in theory is only a conjecture, a phantasm, a representation without explicit content.
This point, this limit point, is a self without dictable content, but it is the basis of all metaphysics, the most laconic or the most talkative. Without this point, this raft of the being, everything dissolves quickly into a dreamless nothingness. But with it, we can begin to found, paradoxically, an ontology of unveiling. On this point, this single point, can we build worlds, chasms, firmaments, empyreas? We don’t really know, it is the human spirit that works, that weaves on its loom canvases and veils.
Why is the mind inclined to always weave? Because the point of consciousness is essentially naked. It needs linen, wool and words to dress its nudity, which is also solitude.
When man thinks that he is finished, that he is alone, he also thinks that he might not be, in theory.
When he believes in reality, dense and low, he also believes in mirages, ethereal, elevated, which the crowd and its time propagate.
Man is an infinitely finite and ultimately infinite being.
Penetrated by a finitude and solitude that surrounds him on all sides, man turns towards transcendence as a way out. But this does not give him any guarantee, any certainty. It is necessary to continue without assurance the search, a source of anguish, a fountain of worry. Afflictions of not knowing where one is going.
Anxiety is perhaps too strong a word, too dramatic. Faced with nothingness, the strong soul is not moved: if the great hole is an empty place, what does she have to fear, the soul that finds without a blow the blackness and the unconscious in which she has slept in non-existence, before appearing briefly on the scene of a world without meaning.
The alternative is much more stimulating naturally. This is why for thousands and thousands of generations man has continued to ask himself the metaphysical question without worrying about the laziness of the materialists, the sneers of the strong minds.
Anxiety is also called transcendental curiosity.
What can be the nature of a world whose meaning is neither given nor said?
It is the act of looking nothingness in the face that is the first victory of the mind. It is laid bare by its very question. And if he does not hasten to dress his metaphysical nakedness with some hasty veil, if he does not hurry to put an end to this skinning, then he can seize himself as such, naked, skinned, raw, between life and death, without knowing what will prevail.
This non-knowledge, this ignorance, this suffering, one may want to put an end to it. Religions such as Vedic, Buddhist, but also Jewish and Christian, theorize in their own way how to escape from it.
Religions don’t do metaphysics. They propose coded answers, forged over millennia. But every man is newly born: in a completely new way, he in turn asks himself very old questions.
He may adopt the lesson of the ancient masters, but he may also notice their metaphysical vanity, noting that their answers are based on unfounded assertions.
All things considered, a well-born man is worthy of a prophet or a sage of old, if he has intuitions of comparable strength or even visions superior to this or that ancient one.
For all these past geniuses also had to walk a narrow path. They all had to feel the precariousness, the fragility of their certainties.
Their faith has always been in a state of wavering.
Doubt founds man and gives him his irrefutable nobility.
It is this doubt that gives man’s time its eternal varnish. Because its truth is not in what it shows, but in what it hides. Behind the veil of time probably lies the great mystery of all times, – but perhaps there is nothing but the sneers of the disheveled matter.
Ontology of the doubt, ontology of the bet, ontology of the die and the Rubicon, royal and prophetic, which the well-born soul adopts as its only homeland, its only religion, its only metaphysics.
If time is the only real wealth, eminently limited, why do we spend our time wasting it, in nothingness?
It is only if it is not the only wealth, the only reality, that it is reasonable to waste time thinking about it, this time that veils the future, and everything that is above it, or after it.
It is there, in thought, that the well-born man, and reborn, pierces the wall of the presence to oneself. The horizon of time, so low, so blurred, so close, he rolls it up like a canvas, and sets out on his way to the stars.
For the being (of man) is not made of time. Once the tent is taken down, he migrates out of time. He opens, and discovers what is no longer time, what is above and outside of time, a timeless, a meta-time.
There is no more time. Does everything stop then?
No, the flow continues. Other dimensions are emerging. The world with three dimensions of space and one of time is replaced by a world with 17 or 256 dimensions of space and as much time.
The time is no longer temporal, but… gustatory or tactile.
Time is a strong and hollow intuition. It is constantly occupying the mind, and it is an empty form.
And man seeks the full, not the empty.
He has the intuition that only emptiness can come out of emptiness. There is no future in sight in the void. The man full of himself cannot imagine living his own emptiness. He continues to search for more fullness, which fills all the emptiness he experiences.
But does man have a full intuition? One can think so. Fetuses and lovers experience a relative fullness, which leaves unforgettable marks, working tirelessly in the unconscious, and giving hope for other plenitudes to come, less relative, more absolute perhaps.
Reason is of little use in the face of this mystery; it is incapable of discerning any path. It is too embarrassed by its weight of rules and logic.
Intuition here is more flexible, to guess the future and the potency not yet revealed. Less formal, but more founded, – in a sense.
Where does intuition come from? If it has the slightest validity, even if it is only that of a mustard seed, intuition comes from elsewhere, from the beyond and the unthinkable. It is a kind of antenna sensitive to all the noises, all the rumors that reason does not hear.
Of two things one.
Either intuition is actually in contact, in some unspeakable way, with the after-world, the beyond, the universe of the possible, the spheres of the unthinkable, and then the precious drops of meta-temporal elixir that it captures and exudes are more valuable than all the riches of the world.
Either intuition is not in contact with any of this, and then what is it worth? Not even the fabric from which dreams are made, aborted before they fly. And then, decidedly, man is a beast seized with torpor.
We must imagine a world where thought takes the form of pure intuition. Their immediacy, their sharpness is unparalleled. Time is suddenly abolished before the force of these intuitions. A fountain of understanding flows in great waves, it drowns the dazed mind, covers it with revelations, opens new paths, unveils worlds. Far behind intuition, the spirit takes flight, heavily but surely.
The mind is heavy, clayey. Intuition is burning, cherubic. Its light warms the distant ones, that thought, for its part, cools and freezes.
Not that thinking is not useful. It has its utility, at the back, in support, with the train. But not in the front, looking forward.
Above all, intuition has this generous, gushing, crackling character. Source or flare. Each drop, each spark, is the promise of an infinity to come, of which they are the humble and brilliant messengers.
It is a strange phenomenon that intuition, from the moment we see it, is not only for what it suggests, but what it implies. Its « beyond » signs the end of the narrow. It reveals doors opening onto myriads. It unveils worlds where the thin is loaded with thickness. The pollen announces the forest, the smell makes the forgotten Orients shimmer, the grain promises the premises.
Intuition is not a phenomenon. On the contrary, it is more real than the real.
Human knowledge comes from two sources: the ability to receive impressions, and the ability to represent forms. It is by associating these impressions (coming from the world) and these forms (coming from the mind) that the faculty of ‘knowing’ can blossom.
What are these forms that come from the mind, these concepts pre-positioned to interpret impressions?
They do not result from the activity of thought, but from the fullness of intuition. Intuition already inhabits the gaze of the newborn child, and sows its virgin brain.
Intuition reigns supreme in the most crucial, sublime, transcendental moments.
Intuition reveals in a tenuous and tenacious way what we are not yet conscious of being.
By a sparkle of intuition, man, being finite, surrounded on all sides, without vision, without perspective, suddendly discovers that he is infinitely more than he had ever imagined.