7.3. Substantiality

The ‘present’ is the most physical experience of a human being in time and place. Reality is a practical construction, using the given consequences (of a particular division setting) as an application. The reconstruction becomes a construction. This act is bound to meet with resistance and opposition, regardless of the choice of division. The present narrows things down to the essentials of visibility, with no further proof. The Chilean biologist Humberto MATURANA (1995), in his article on ‘The Nature of Time’, described the living (in the present) as follows:

‘Living takes place in the now, in the moment in which it is taking place. Living is a dynamics that disappears as it takes place. Living takes place in no time, without past or future. Past, present and future are notions that we human beings, we observers, invent as we explain our occurrence in the now. We invent past as a source of the now or present, and we invent future as a dimension that arises as an extrapolation of the features of our living now, in the present. As past, present and future, are invented to explain our living now, time is invented as a background in which past, present and future can take place. But life, living, takes place as now, as a flow of changing processes. To say this, of course, is a manner of explaining the experience being now in which we find ourselves as we ask for the explanation of our living, of time…’

The present-as-construction is a temporary halt, a sudden consciousness of limitation, in a dynamic process of living. Its (theoretical) place can be pinpointed in a quadralectic communication at the departure of the Pivotal Point (PP) – or the beginning of the third part of the Third Quadrant (III, 3). There, at that very point, the dynamics of interaction seem to be frozen in order to experience the maximum of self-existence. The ‘Golden Age of Being’ is found in the formal notion of limitation, boundary and finity.

Jos de MUL (1993), in his perspicacious book on the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey (1833 – 1911), dealt with this very subject of limitation. Any formative way of interpretation (or hermeneutics) has to face its boundaries at some stage. Dilthey’s book ‘Kritik der historischen Vernunft’ was written in answer to Kant’s ‘Kritik des reinen Vernunft’ (Critique of PureReason, 1781) and tried to extend his lines of thought. Kant’s book was, as a whole, a reflection on the subjectivity of external observation and an effort to delimit that subjectivity.

The titles of Kant’s major works, like ‘Kritik der reinen Vernunft’ (1781), ‘Kritik der praktischen Vernunft’ (1787) and ‘Kritik der Urteilskraft’ (1790), present the various positions on the road to limitation. They can, in a quadralectic evaluation, be identified as respectively a Second, Third and Fourth Quadrant stance. The ‘missing’ First Quadrant might be found in Kant’s thoughts about an a priori-synthesis. De Mul hinted that the distinct subjectivity of the ‘anthropologia transcentalis’, as broached in Kant’s ‘Logik’ (1800), could be the fourth and final member in the line of ‘Kritiks’.

The philosopher Edmund HUSSERL (1859 – 1938) defined an ‘original present’ in his lectures on the internal time-consciousness, given in the 1920’s. The present is never merely present, but always include past and still to come. The ‘now’ appears an unstable and ever-changing entity ‘running off’ into the past. Most important of all, in Husserl’s view, is the dominance of intuition as a driving force in the creation of concepts. He rated it higher than experience and expressed this opinion, in his not-to-easy to follow style, as follows:

‘The true method is therefore this: that not in experience, but in the pure essential interconnection, that not in empirical psychology, but in rational phenomenology, the entire work of differentiating essences and of conceptual apprehension of essences is performed, and that then in experiential science the mere application of the pheno-menological results takes place.’ (HUSSERL, 1971/1980).

These thoughts were further elaborated in his posthumously published book ‘Erfahrung und Urteil’ (Experience and Judgement, 1964/1973). If we want to return to the origin of truth, it is necessary to contact the world that lies behind our judgements and the categories they embody. Husserl reformed the transcendence into intentionality (a word cast by Brentano).

Husserl believed that the origin of truth was to be found in the intuition of something absolute. He saw, as a result, a structure as ‘a new reality which emerges from the special form in which a number of necessarily interdependent parts or elements combine’ (Husserl, Third Investigation, ‘The Logic of Parts and Wholes’; EDIE, 1981).

The phenomenology, which was described by Husserl as a ‘science of consciousness’ (Inaugural Lecture at Freiburg im Breisgau, 1917). It is – in a quadralectic outlook – a ‘Third Quadrant’ construction, which offers a view onto the succeeding deconstruction (in the ‘Fourth Quadrant’). The outlook shifts from the ‘objective’ (III) to the ‘subjective’ (IV) setting. It casts from here an even wider vista towards the intuition of the First Quadrant (I).

The introduction of dynamism in an ‘objective’ thought is a typical feature for higher (four)-division thinking and marks the departure of oppositional thinking. The act of construction (of a thought) could be interpreted, in the ‘objective’ side of the ‘Third Quadrant’, as a static affair, limited to distinct and premeditated boundaries (of a plan). However, construction carries also, on the ‘subjective’ side of the ‘Third Quadrant’, the dynamism of multiplicity in its meaning when it is placed in the third part of the Second (II, 3) or Fourth Quadrant (IV, 3).

The same can be said for the translatio (or transportation) of the relict (or any other matter of ‘holy’ importance) (fig. 92). The action of movement from A to B comes alive when the relict – as a visible ‘Third Quadrant’ entity – is compared with similar positions in other quadrants (II, 3 and/or IV, 3). The latter stages – named respectively the muun and the whole (see the ‘Tao of quadralectic thinking’, p. 82, fig. 24 and p. 113, fig. 47) – bring the empirical visibility to a higher level. The insight that a (holy) feature, which is static and dynamic at the same time, can be placed in a larger frame of reference, is an enormous breakthrough. It might be its very ‘holiness’ which opens the view to wider horizons.


Fig. 92 – The Sant’Andrea Church in the Via Flaminia in Rome was commissioned by Pope Julius III and designed by Giacomo Vignola (1550/1554). The small church was built as a celebration of the triumphant transportation (translatio) of the head of the apostle Andreas to Rome (BUSSAGLI, 1999). The history of Saint Andrew’s relics is interesting. He was crucified on a crux decussata (X-shaped cross) in Patras (Greece) in 60/70 AD. His remains were moved around 357 to Constantinople by the Roman Emperor Constantius II. The Byzantine ruler Thomas Palaeologus donated the head of Saint Andrew to Pope Pius II in 1461. The remains were stored in one of the four central piers of the Saint Peter in Rome. Pope Paul VI sent the relics back to Patras in 1964. Other parts had been kept (since 1208) in Amalfi (Italy). Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. The Boundary Cross (barrier) on the flag of Scotland has a symbolic meaning. The oval dome and the square lay-out of the Sant’Andrea in Via Flamina mark a step in the development of central building (HUERTA, 2007).


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