A materialism of bare substance and objects interlocking and composing larger objects or decomposing into smaller ones seems irrefutable when contrasted with a spiritual substance which acts as a primary force ‘moving matter from within’, or guiding the matter formally to an end. But the spirit – matter opposition sets us off on a dialectical course that can only lead us to a dead end. In terms of movement and animation of matter and the various forms that it takes or disintegrates from, the transcendental idea/notion is the result of the inability to observe the variety of organizational forms that persist but also fall apart and organize again another way.
This other world of transcendence (God, Heaven, Forms) is an imaginary world like so many others dreamed up in human cultures in folklore and literature but is obviously unique in its ability to put up a stop to and satisfy a demanding questioner. A source, a final reason for why people ask the question; that a direction is better than another, that some methods lead to destruction, that a certain pattern has stabilized rather than another – these juxtapositions give one a sense that the flow it is caught up in is not the only or necessary way but preferable and valuable. The method has worked and gotten us this far (this far for sure but also *at least* this far) and it will continue to be used as a tradition. The question as a potential danger to that tradition, but it is also the most generalized form of an adaptability to surprising and alien conditions that arise unexpectedly: environmental change. It is the most general because it is language’s way of deviating off course. It is sometimes justified for tried (and true) methods to reject radical questions and regard them as dangers, but it is also a way to adapt to shifts in conditions that could not be predicted by previous methods of thought and practice. In a globe changing rapidly, and a culture of symbols, images, etc. that mirror this rapidly shifting globe in its ability to reorient itself to cater to our desires and even create new ones, this ability to question and remain in a state of doubt without an answer (or pre-paved path) is crucial if we are to get off of this catastrophic cycle moving way too fast.
Back to Spirit vs. Matter and Dualisms in general: It would seem (again) like an empirical world or an emphasis on material objects should be the obvious focus of attention to turn to from the stand point of a virtual assemblage of imaginary objects that are used to attract and distract the attention of the measured masses with a painful scientific precision. The number of worlds, fantasies, and symbols have skyrocketed in the past 100 years or so and trapped us not in a single world of make-believe but in a giant landscape of many worlds to chose from, intensifying the ambiguity of the one world thinkers put much of their efforts into achieving in various philosophical and scientific discourses. Yet the true world – illusory world distinction itself is one born of the languages bearing abstract symbols that for all their accuracy become more complex and esoteric the closer they approach the boundary. (Reality). A great sigh of relief can be found in knowing a gap between worlds exists (and that worlds are many) and that going from truth to illusion is an impossible task as a final destination. However the work is far from done, a simple rejection leads to a new set of problems while the opposition one vs. many (worlds, things, forces, perspectives) remains a metaphysical *one* which can separate the knowledge, patterns, regularities, and consistencies uncovered in repeatable experiments and other human practices (including art) with the *one* mater-energy stuff – just in many different worlds, discourses, spheres, etc…
The best I’ve got for now is inhabiting the diverse worlds that abound and coming to grips with their logic and structure bearing in mind that they are not real nor ever can they be. Even those that lay claim to the logic of the UNIverse or the structure of existence like physics and maybe mathematics contain the strangest of symbols and variables, infinities and paradoxes, chaos’s and dissymmetries. Science Fiction and its worlds are perhaps more real than scientific ones by self-reflecting their fantastic quality and using this negative understanding to inspire wonder instead of arriving at the one. Going farther and farther into the imagination leaving the real world behind mimicks material reality in its fractal expansion, doing a better job than competing theories of reality because they don’t insist on their one-way bridge from their mirroring language to Nature. This all the while with the self-understanding that the bridge is uncrossable: Science Fiction is a paradoxical title to begin with if one takes the quest of science to be that one true world “over their”.
Fantasy worlds and their own logic bypass this tendency (which I am tempted to call a “natural tendency”) by respecting other worlds for their creativity but using a different standard for judging their merit: the problems, issues, blockages, in the well-worn path (questions) they provoke. Can this be said to be reflected in the material world? After all, Sci Fi internalized its falseness, so does this imply that what is real is affirmed yet untouched, unsensed? Surely the separation cannot be complete, and the fingers-typing, brain-firing of the author-body moves along with the imaginary worlds conjured.
The assertion of one’s fictional activity is then an inward folding condensation rather than a two-way speeding back-and-forth trap of dualisms. The movement in one direction then has a reverse direction that stretches it out and abolishes the point that was supposedly started from. A trajectory loses its origin because the line goes the opposite way as well. Imagine its bafflement when it tries to reach the point of the other (real world) and finds that the other point has vanished as well! The line needs not a point to reach, a place to settle, but can continue along indefinitely in both directions: Aion (for you Deleuzians out there). The distinction has then shifted fundamentally from two points and the movement inbetween (cathode – anode) to a stretching expansion of the line in both directions (past/future) vs. a condensing, intensifying gathering (present).
How can one still say that a pluralistic, fantastic assemblage of worlds is relfected or resonant with the “real” world of material existence? Must this put the one world at the center or on the thither side of the many worlded engagement? The single – plural opposition does in fact have value for it sets the “one” on an open path rather than a fixed choice between ‘there’ and back again, but a duality it remains. Within language we remain, within discourse we make sense. But we should not have to choose between the mirroring activity of Natural Philosophy (aka Physics) and the wondering activity of fiction/literature. Philosophy intensifies along with fiction (condensing) as well as fiction extends behind itself as it pushes forward into the false (expansion), the requirement is only that one choose the proper words to invoke the opportune movement: Selection.
We are stuck with Dualities to make sense, but multiplying the possibilities can be an effect of Philosophy and Natural Philosophy with Pluralsim (vs. the One). Fiction, Literature, and Myth fit into a dual scheme as well but not without breaking the points into a constellation and extending in at least two ways at once.