The immaterial

Material being has a logico-ontological sense of what is more or less designated on the Porphyrian tree and an epistemological sense of what is directly or indirectly sensible, and so immaterial being is an existent that we cannot locate on a Porphyrian tree and which is not a direct or indirect object of sensation or mathematization.

As non-Porphyrian, the immaterial is described only with analogous terms. Substance, accident, time, motion, place, act of a body, activity, life, thing, being, etc are all used of it in senses which, being non-Porphyrian, can’t be located in a remote genus. We are not allowed the vaguest knowledge of what precisely spirit is or how it functions, nor can we model its activity or understand it by mathematical or algebraic laws. As extensive as our knowledge can get of the immaterial, it can only establish that certain things exist and that they have certain functions. The point where science usually starts, with the knowledge that something is true and with certain functions, and that we should turn to knowing how it does what it does and what exactly it is according to a precise definition, is where our knowledge of the immaterial ends. Over time one gets used to hitting the point in the conversation about the immaterial when one comes to the wall where further discourse becomes impossible. The wall is sometimes lovely in its own way. You can touch it knowing it’s what will fall at death.

But knowledge in any domain is infinite, and there is no end to propositions-known-that about the immaterial. Even the space within the walled garden is infinite.

 

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