Finally escaping from empirical materialism, for me, has been analogous to a psychedelic experience. The possibility that we might not be simply the billiard balls of existence reducible in our action to mere natural law. The only purpose of which is to be observed. Observation is a castigation. Liberation in regards to the immediate intellect, without depending on our unique capacity for it. This is the unique divergence of the Kantian revelation.
The first critique melts into the tongue as the a priori is comprehended, the head starts spinning as the universe is reset to it’s ideal point. Time and space extend themselves into consciousness as water extends to irrigate life, the canals of the mind spark with electricity in an optimistic enlightenment. I sink into my sheets as time extends itself before me. “different times are not simultaneous, but successive (just as different spaces are not successive, but simultaneous)”.1
An afternoon with the sun in unforeseen hues and an evening where it refuses to set. Kantian pupils grow evermore dilated, Schelling proclaims his indecipherable key to freedom and Hölderlin has to be physically gripped by Hegel as he is convinced he can fly. The Trinity of Tübingen? Or a Triad of cosmonauts?
Along with the transcendental intoxicant “the Ego” also dissolves. That which “merely accompanies all representations” is made as immodest as it should be.2 The Ego, the mere sight of empirical apes clutching for transcendental straws? Kant is horrifying, the critique brings an odd detached bliss, retribution and horror. “Virtually all subsequent Western philosophy” how can you possibly be a more badass philosopher? Thanks for the ‘virtually all subsequent sleepless nights’.3
How can anything be ‘ideal’ when we lose so much in translation? Or, perhaps, that is the point?
I am of the opinion that Immanuel Kant wasn’t a human being. Only an intellect of intergalactic imagination has the possibility of penning the first critique. Intergalactic imaginations. Isn’t that the point of philosophy? Should that not be the point of philosophy?
“Schreklich!” — The English sensationalist breathes his first breath of the day. Dried spittle clinging to his chin, last nights clothes still on his back.
Ach so! Ach so, ich verstehe!, he lies. Transcendental miserabilism — this is the Anglo-American business model. Perhaps we could have learnt something from these ‘leute’.
All that matters is the here and now. Just smile and think of England. This brings me to my most controversial opinion: German idealism is a rebranding of the original Euro-intoxicating martyr worship. This is not in the sense that the ideal is the same but in the respect that it reaches beyond, to the transcendental, in order to justify it’s sensational fallibilities. ‘Du kannst den Tod nicht betrügen’. You can’t cheat death. The refutation of this miserable German idealist religion.
This was a proseminar presentation for the Halkyon Academy German idealsm course.
Kant, I, 1998. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Paul Guyer & Allen W. Wood. Cambridge University Press. p.396.
Hegel, G. W. F., 1977. Faith and Knowledge. Translated by W. Cerf. State University of New York Press. p.77.
Wikipedia. Immanuel Kant. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant.