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The Prior Conditions of the Meeting Between Man and God Part: 4 © By: Zadok Krouz

מאת: krouz zadokיהדות04/03/20111220 צפיות שתף בטוויטר |   שתף בפייסבוק

 

 The Imperative as Expression of Love

 

            Embedded in the commandment to love is a paradox: “ Can one be commanded to love?” Rosenzweig asks this question, trying to understand “the call of the lover ‘love me’…with no preparation… and also with no prior thought” (Star 209). The quintessence of the command is parallel in fact to its true essence—the spontaneous and voluntary nature of the act. And now man is commanded to do it? Is this not astonishing? Can on love “on order”? Certainly, one cannot. “ A third party cannot command it and force it…a third party, no; but the One can” (Star  208,209). The commandment to love can come from the mouth of the lover alone. Only the lover can, and has the right, to demand “love me.” In the mouth of the lover, this imperative is not foreign , coming from without, but is the voice of love itself: “In his mouth the commandment to love is not a strange commandment; it is none other than the voice of love itself” (Star 209) .

 

            Moreover, the lover has no means, no other word to express his love, other than the request of this commandment. And only through this love of God for man comes God’s commandment to man: “So too the I of the speaker, the root-word of the entire dialogue of revelation, is the seal which , stamped upon each word, makes the individual commandment as a command to love.” ( Star 210). This command is the fruit of the moment of love. The lover does not worry about the future. “ The imperative of the command has no expectation for the future.” (Star 209): “The imperative of the commandment makes no provision for the future…” (Star 209).

 

            All true love is renewed from moment to moment and grows in the moment. Only the command results in the complete and significant expression of love: “the commandment must renew itself in each and every moment and be the fruit of the instant” (Naharayim  88).

 

The Subjective Aspect of the Commandment to Love

 

 

            The commandment “you will love “ refers to a specific subject: man. “Wherever it is, this is a midpoint and wherever it opens its mouth, there is a beginning” (Star  218). “If I am here, everything is here,” in the words of Hillel. The second part of the commandment to love is based on that which man himself sees and experiences. Man listens to what is in his heart through “unity of consciousness”. (Star 209), using the yardstick of what is in his heart together with his subjective inclinations.

 

For it demands a midpoint in the world for the midpoint, a beginning for the beginning of its own experience…as long as it ( the soul) lingered in the past…it still could harbor doubts…whether it acknowledges its sinfulness as present sinfulness, not as ‘sin committed in the past, it is certain of the answer…it perceives it in its interior. It is not God that need cleanse it of its sin. Rather, it cleanses itself in the presence of his love…It no longer needs this formal absolution…It is freed of its burden at the very moment of daring to assume all of it on its shoulders….no longer (needs) to acknowledge the love-void of the past…rather...I know myself loved…This certainty comes to it, not from God’s mouth, but from its own (Star 212, 218).

 

            Because the soul in its inner self, the irrational, decides in conformity with its subjective inclination to take charge of its fate, to experience all its experiences through its “I,” by means of the personal entreaty to the depths of its being, it needs no proofs or testimony external to it: “ Only an ‘I,’ not a ‘he,’ can pronounce the imperative of love…” (Star 210). Rather, it requires “splendorous light,” “a vision burst into flame,” the subjective inner aspect of the love of God which cleanses itself.

 

            In the subjective process, feeling has a significant and powerful place. When there is a relationship based on man’s self-feeling and his personal, private, entreaty, man does not require an explicit forgiveness from God, for his subjectivity has already said to him that God loves him, which subjectivity is sufficient for it.

 

            The more one deviates from the borders of its subjectivity and brings external proofs, the more the certainty given by the subjective will be damaged. For there is only one source of realize the commandment, and it is “its mouth” (Star 212). This is the subjective truth, the most basic result of the personal knowledge of man – the entirety of the knowledge, evaluations and conceptions that are personal to man. If he is certain of the verity of his subjectivity, that is the singular truth, there is no other, there cannot be another. Its verity is the superpower of the universe, there is nothing stronger, nor can there be. And just as he is promised that morning will follow night, so, too, is he promised his verification forever and ever, because “Man believes in himself for than 100 men.”

 

            As shown above, man is subject, a fact, which is integral to the existence of the commandment to love. Man, in his subjective individuality, is the basis of Rosenzweig’s philosophical method ( Star  218). Rosenzweig speaks of the concept of capability ( Naharayim ?89-90) alongside the subjective individuality as one body; but the concept of reality ( Naharayim 238) is a synonym for subjectivity in its individuality. It is the relationship of man to himself, the relationship to the possibility of adaptation, for the nature of man is in his ability to be himself, for the complete fulfillment of the commandment to love. We learn this in Heidegger from the concept “ Dasein,” which means being itself in the knowledge of existence: “being here,” and it is made concrete in the concept “projection” (“Geworfenheit”). Man is thrown into his real existence such that he cannot find himself until he is already there. (Being, 42-43). This capability is not a characteristic of a thing, for since he is a man, “capability” and not desire, he can select himself and perceive himself as one of his details. Or on the opposite, losing himself and understanding himself in an errant way as partiality only. As Heidegger defines it, being that is not like its being “ ( uneigentliches Dasein”) (Being, 84).

 

            The point of departure of the perception of the existing commandment of Rosenzweig is the point of departure of the critical philosophy of the new time, the word, the subject rooted in the commandment, the “I” in its individuality ( Naharayim 18-37). The subject of the commandment is here similar to the transcendental subject of traditional philosophy, the general consciousness, which contains the a priori forms of cognition which lend objectively to the cognition of the Individual “I,” and not the pure consciousness of examining the phenomena by experience. The general consciousness, as individual consciousness detached by the phenomenological reduction from actual man in whom the consciousness resides, is made pure in this sense that there is nothing but the subject of “unity of consciousness” (Star 209).

 

            According to Rosenzweig, the subject of the commandment “you will love” is man in his complete and concrete reality, in whom there is no separation between the realities of body and soul , and reality is in this world and not beyond it. Therefore, the man who loves as subject understand himself in an original manner, from the aspect of the reality of his “I,” and from the aspect of his self in its relationship to the world of things in which he was the midpoint and the beginning.

 

            To the being of man belongs  a priori understanding of the being of things, and the philosophy must prove this understanding with explicit and methodical expression. The unity of consciousness attributes to object, in its first perceptions, an independent reality, a reality which is part of the independent world to which man belongs. The subject of the consciousness is a real man who belongs in the real world.

 

            One can relate dynamically to the commandment to love, given as object of the consciousness ( by its being objectively received by the irrational), within the subjective consciousness. What is external to man is the object, which is form and beyond the object with which man is no longer involved. Therefore, the existential understanding of the commandment to love understands man’s consciousness as “pure love: in the sense of understanding the relationship to the object of love in its purity. The same original consciousness relates to the object and provides man with the love of God and the world. The love of man is a condition necessary to the entire existential relationship to the world and to God, since it is the condition to the basic fact that he is in the world for himself and therefore “demands a midpoint in the world” (Star 218).

 

 

Summary

 

This article begins with a description of the soul of man as the unconscious or the irrational, an element of our being which is records and remembers every moment of every detail of our lives at all points in time. But the irrational (soul) is not to be thought of like computer just saving information, but rather as a dynamic and active force in our life, being active at all times. The soul is the decided part in our understanding of the last part of the Commandment to love.  The second part of this section deals with how the commandment comes to the soul. According to Rosenzweig, when a thought reaches the irrational or the soul, it becomes “reality,” for example, when joy reaches the irrational we are indeed feeling joy. Therefore, according to Rosenzweig, you cannot make a conscious intelligence based decision to follow the command ment, it has to be a reflex action taken on by the irrational or the soul. It has to be achieved while at total rest. We cannot force ourselves, through the use of our will, often considered the most powerful force in the world, The more we try to apply our will to following the commandment, the more we will fail. You have to let it come naturally, you cannot attempt to hasten the process, or it will result in ultimate failure.  The next sections centers on the concept of the command ment to love being in the imperative present. One must focus only on the present moment and not the “sin of the past” or the possibility of tomorrow, for the commandment was given in the present tense “today.” The present becomes an ever renewing moment, the commandment renewing itself from moment to moment and growing. The last section centers on the subjectivity of the commandment.  The irrational is the subject, the “I”, or man kind. The more one tries to bring in external proofs the more one will fail in understanding the commandment to love... When put together, the commandment is a given imperative, given to man in his entirety, his body and his soul, the rational and the irrational, living within his own reality in the present and in this world only not in some other world beyond.

 

 

LIST OF SOURCE MATERIAL ABBREVIATIONS

 

Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper, 1962.

Being

Kreitler, Hans. Deliberations of Cognitive Physicology. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv U., 1977.

Deliberations

Naharayim

Rosenzweig, Franz. Naharayim [Selected Writings of Franz Rosenzweig]. Trans. Yehoshua Amir. Jerusalem: Bialik Inst., 1977.

Ohr HaShem

Crescas, Chasdai. Ohr HaShem [Light of God]. Ferrara, Italy: n.p., 1956-57.

Star

Rosenzweig, Franz. The Star of Redemption. 2d ed. Trans. William W. Hallo. New York: U of Notre Dame P, 1985.

 

 





 
     
     
     
   
 
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