7.2. Inventarisation

The ‘Second Past’ is the (theoretical) reconstruction, which aims at an objective interpretation of communication elements and put them together to something real. The major mental act is the introduction of the division as a tool to limit the horizon. Any type of division can fulfill these requirements. The two-division (or binary) is probably the most familiar form, but not necessary the most suitable one. The linear or hierarchical development in the application of division thinking is just an arbitrary start.

Other (higher) divisions can be imagined (in time and space), and the interpretation of a contact can be placed in a cyclic environment to transcend all hierarchies. Cyclicity also introduces a sense of infinity. Communication is an eternal move along a line without beginning and end. This is the type of movement, which opens the gates to an intuitive understanding, and offers a view to the universe.

The act of reconstruction – as a Second Quadrant activity – ought to be an inventarisation and organization (dispositio) of the available elements in a communication. The full width of the communication (cycle) must be understood at this point, derived from the given (chosen) division environment. The principle of the interaction – and the way a value is established – has to be in tune in order to grasp the nature of visibility. The elevatio (the act of recovery and storage in a shrine) means that one has to pass through every stage of the communication process at least once. The ‘language’ of a communication (in the quadralectic sense of a creative interaction between various quadrants) must be understood before any sensible word can be spoken.

The principle of reconstruction gained fresh acclaim in the systematic study of language in the beginning of the twentieth century, as initiated by Ferdinand de Saussure (Course in General Linguistics, 1916). Language (in a literary sense) was seen as an empirical entity and its constituents (the words) were interpreted as linguistic signs. These (visible) signs had an arbitrary meaning and could only gain significance in a (binary) system. Text became an object (of study). Structuralism, the name given to this ‘Third Quadrant’ approach (in the Second Quadrant!) gave literary criticism the status of a science of language.

The interpretation of texts may generally be called hermeneutics. The term also designates a critical approach of the reading process rather than the text as object. The reader (observer) and the text (the observed) are both involved in the recovery of a meaning. The position (of action) has now shifted to a ‘Fourth Quadrant’ approach, but still in the (theoretical) environment of the Second Quadrant. All the rigors of ‘meta-thinking’ can now be unleashed on an intellectual level, leading to the phenomenological endeavors of Edmund HUSSERL (1999), the post-structuralism (or deconstruction) of Jacques DERRIDA (1978/1989) and the self-regulating (autopoietic) notions of Humberto MATURANA (1988). All these visions are already present in the reconstruction phase, but will reach their glory in the final stage of exceptio.

The elevatio is as the unveiling of a divine secret. The actual relict is taken out of its original place in order to be transported to a place of worship. The veneration of relics is a primitive instinct, which is associated with many other religious systems besides that of Christianity. The classical Greek worshiped the supposed remains of Oedipus and Theseus and the present relic worship among Buddhists is well known. The Catholic Church regulated the veneration of relics and the sacred use of images in a decree of the Council of Trent, trying to avoid the misuse and abuse of the relicts. The Church did not encourage the belief in a magical virtue or physical curative efficacy in the relic itself.

The relic is – in the view of the Catholic Church – a material support for the belief in God. Alternatively, translated in quadralectic terms, a Third Quadrant entity pointing to the First Quadrant. The ‘primitive’ qualities (of a relict) have to be understood as a regressive creativity, leading to the ultimate Unity. However, it would be naive to think that such a (dualistic) direction could be prescribed by force, in particular in an environment of wider division thinking.

It is, in historical hindsight, no surprise that the finding of more and more ‘Nails of the Cross’, and bodies of martyrs took predominantly place in the first ages of the Christian era, now identified as the First Quadrant of the European cultural history (see p. 178/179, fig. 65). The trade of objects of devotion and its economic spin off marked a progressive creativity in which relics were used as means to reach deeper into the unity of the Third Quadrant (by creating material wealth). This road was open because the width of thinking made it possible to go back and forwards at the same time. The basic principles of materialism and capitalism were well-known in the invisible ‘Dark Ages’ of the European history.

The elevatio corporis was the introduction to the translation (translatio) of the relict, or the actual start of the removal (from its original place). The boundary between the two events is not always sharp, because the elevatio (raising and storage) has an element of movement. These actions, however, are confined to the place of discovery.

This difference (in position) is of major importance in the philosophical interpretation of the handling of the relic (or of any other powerful discovery, for that matter). The first (visible) visibility discloses the width of a communication, but only to the one who makes the finding. Someone has to take a decision in a comparison between communication partners (in a particular division environment). The elevatio (or reconstruction) is, in essence, the act of taking that particular decision.

The act of finding something (as a discovery, I), putting it in a division environment (II), give it a valuation (as a visible entity, III) and act accordingly (IV) are the very stages in a quadralectic reconstruction. The finding and limitation of the Smallest Part (or Minor) and the subsequent determination of the width of the communication trajectory (CT) are the major activities in the Second Quadrant.

These (four) processes, however, are repeated in the subdivisions of the other quadrants. Reconstruction (or elevatio) is not only confined to the Second Quadrant. It consists of a continuous action (of comparison). Its ‘return’ in the second part of the Fourth Quadrant (IV, 2) – in the form of ‘memories’ – adds a great deal to a communication.


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