A Living and Unstable Synthesis

Written by Contributor Edward Phillips

Immanence could be described as continuous synthesis without a resting place, without a fixed standing above or apart. Immanence as a concept is impossible to nail down, and difficult to grasp, in part because it is the ground out of which concepts emerge.

It can, however, be grasped in the failures of transcendence. The efforts of transcendence and the desire to transcend are a part of a larger movement in immanence. The very impatience and grandiosity of transcendence is but the intimation of immanence, a limitlessness which one can begin to grasp within the experience of impatience with limits.  An individual’s ability to struggle with limits is the very condition for lived freedom and generosity of spirit.

The ideal of freedom begins as a generic idea. The sense of an immortality of the soul begins as a vague and generic idea in a struggle with the experiences of mortality, but it must be willing to sacrifice itself as a generic idea if it is to become a living truth. One must have enough faith to give oneself over to the “changingnness” of life.   That necessary faith, however, is formed and grows through a holding to a sense that one has an immortal soul.

To prematurely call the immortal soul an illusion, or to prematurely accept the supposed limits of reality as experienced by the ego, is to cutoff the potential realization of a greater immanence, a lived synthesis of the eternal and the temporal.