01 March 2009


We must immediately clarify the manner in which we are speaking of some forms as prior and others as derivative. We stated previously, for instance, that time is prior to space, and that furthermore space owes its existence to time (at least in a qualified manner). However, we did not specifically analyze the manner in which this derivation takes place, and what it entails. We will now try to look at this briefly.

Derivation is participation. Plato makes this clear throughout his writings. However, the manner in which this participation takes place is what is typically not thought through with any manner of care. I believe that most, when they attempt to think through participation, have an overly mathematical construct in front of them. Participation is not the subset relationship; that is to say, the whole essence of a form that is participating in a derivative manner in another form is not necessarily contained in this form from which it is being derived.

To apply this to our previous example -- even though space relies wholly on time for all its original essential characteristics, this is not to say that the true essence of space is contained in time. To understand how this operates, we must come to a proper understanding of privation. Privation has traditionally been viewed as something strictly negative. Our immediate physical experience often confirms this. However, we must endeavour to understand the manner in which a thing may be reduced and in this reduction expanded.

Space has its origin in time. Since space is not time, space must either have properties that time does not have, or lack properties which time does have, or both. Time is the medium in which change is experienced. It is not, however, simply a condition of experience, but is in its core the condition for the possibility of any experience at all. Because of this, it is impossible to seize on time as something which we can control or even fix at a given point. Space is the crystallization of time. As such, it is inherently a privation when viewed from the standpoint of time, since it lacks the capacity for flow which is the defining characteristic of time. Thus from an originary standpoint space is a privation of time. Conversely, however, from the standpoint of space it reveals itself to be the truth of time, in that it is that towards which time always tended from the beginning. Furthermore, precisely because it is less than time from the standpoint of time, space has certain essential capacities that time lacks. The very statis that defines space allows us to hold onto it in a manner that is positive. Thus its very privation leads to wholly new possibilites that were not contained in its origin.

More to follow.

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