Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

My name... And now it's gone

'My name. I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone.'
-Joe Paterno

A few years ago I came up with this postulate: In the great state of the universe, this, means nothing. However, in the great state of the universe, this means everything. Now the 'this' in question is in reference to existence. What I was trying to do was to accurately both pare down the meaning of it all while also, in the same breath, trying to elevate life to an insurmountable level. It is easy to reduce existence into one of these two values. Very easy--existence is either a product of absolute truth or existence is terribly subjective and valueless outside of the self.

But understanding existence, or at least trying to make sense of it, should never be that easy. It can't come prepackaged in one straight maxim. For it to be one or the other would sell it short and make all of our lives impossible to keep living or at least keep sharing. Because of the ever changing expansiveness of the universe and our invaluable existences, the energy spent on trying to understand it should always be at least a tussle.

Now the reason these two theses can share a synthesized existence is that we ourselves share our existences. We as individuals derive truth, value, and direction from others. Now I'm not speaking of 'others' as in a supernatural metaphysical entity. Rather we, post each our own mirror-stage, are able to see ourselves as an individual in reference to others therefore seeing others as not ourselves. Yet, consequently, we can also see parts of ourselves in others. This shared image, this shared human essence, is what drives us towards a constant pursuit of truth. We see the actions of others and we define what is both right and wrong. We then decide what path, via choices, we will take due to the roads others have paved. All this is emphasized in highly educated social systems. 

Here in is where the importance of 'everything matters' comes into play. Because we are highly socialized and involved in systems that are dependent on socialization, we are very much dependent on interactions with those that are not ourselves. That's easy. This then creates what is called objectivity. The statement 'If everything is subjective than everything is relative,' cannot be accepted because it annoyingly and stupidly crumbles in on itself. This means there has to be some objectivity in order to sustain a level-set of understanding. 

To prove, or at least show what objectivity I am talking about, here's an example. If I was to sit face to face with someone and ask them to repeat this, "I am here. We are here. Repeat after me," the other person (barring any hearing handicap or irresolvable language barrier) would be able not only to hear me, but also recite back those words and those statements. Now, the tonal quality of my statement may not be able to be replicated exactly. And the meaning of what I said may not translate exactly as how I meant it to mean, but the noise, sound, and phonetic energy of what I said could be agreed on. Then it could be repeated in a cycle. Back and forth forever {))<>((}. This means that objectivity can exist and does exist in the limited shared space of this earth. It is an agreed and observed truth. However, this does not mean this experiment proves absolute truth or an absolute objectivity based on the aforementioned possible dispute in both tone and meaning. What is objective is that something happened and was shared and therein has to be agreed upon. The rest, the discretionary parts, have to be left up to interpretation.

Which then leads to the matters of the subjective. Intent and interpretation are subjective. Understanding is subjective. Value systems initially start in the subjective. Translating what we hear, interpreting what we see, which then inspires some sort of action (specifically, the moments leading up to a choice) are subjective. This is where the reduction of 'this means nothing' comes into play. The impermanence of the self is so short lived that every internal dialogue or thought that we have is easily reducible to an almost vapid nothingness. If from birth to death, we were to keep ourselves locked up alone and solitary, unaware of outside existence(s), there would be no internal decision that could lead to an action that could possibly be objective therein shared. There would be no space to share that could and would compromise another in whom we could, at least to some degree, see ourselves in and the antithesis thereof. Therefore any internalization of ourselves is initially purely subjective and until it is transformed into a shared mediative interaction with the world around us, it can be deemed worthless. Actions, if considered purely for the self without an active cooperation with any other, are just as vapid.

This is where the ballet of the balancing between the objective and the subjectives is delicate. If we take the decision making process, and lean towards one way stronger than the other, we are possibly compromising ourselves to a terrible error. Antithetically, we are also allowing ourselves the possibility of an unprecedented win. Many decisions we make are almost innately likened to an involuntary muscle movement. The synaptic energy needed to make that decision is almost instantaneous. Breathe. Walk. But when it comes to other deeper choices, as in where to walk or how will this walk affect someone else is where existence is not easily reducible. It is in this where no decision is absolutely right but some decisions are more wrong and selfish and others are less.

In the initial quote to this entry, the now tarnished JoePa stated he had worked towards one enterprise. He had worked hard, tirelessly, and had established an almost perfect American legacy. A father. A leader. A figurehead. However along the way, decisions had to be made. He had to choose to what degree some things were worth. What would he sacrifice for his legacy, or as he put it, his name, would he have to make? We now know what he considered easier to compromise versus what we know, as a society, is in no way to be compromised. 

What I'm saying is that it is delicate and it is not easy. But what I'm also saying is that to rely on some sort of pure absolute truth is wrong. And in the same key, to rely on total subjectivity is just ridiculous. There is a synthesis or conversation between the two that we have to entertain. It could be considered strangling to always have to entertain these two as we consider any damn possible enterprise, but that is not the goal. The goal is to keep this synthesis between two possibilities lodged somewhere in our neurosis that if we were to start to lean drastically in one way, say that of our own legacy at the cost of severe harm to others, there is no room for 'object'ifying that. Conversely, if we are to say that there is an absolute truth and that everyone be held to that standard we are have reduced each individual into an object for whom there is no potential. In either case one is absolutely meaningful and in the other everything is meaningless. And life, the kind that we live that is shared throughout so many channels of other persons cannot be one or the other. There's too much evidence otherwise.