Sentences and Objects
April 10, 2016
In English grammar every sentence has to have a subject and an object; otherwise it is not a sentence. A sentence is the smallest unit of cogent communication in a language. When a string of words is less than a sentence; its sense is incomplete and so unintelligible. It is a line of words in a muddle.
Intelligibility, meaning and cogency concerning human actions carry a parallel interpretation to that of grammar and sentences of words in language. A human life, a subject, or a human society, a subject, for it to carry meaning and cogency, and for it to be able to be interpreted clearly needs to have an object.
Many of us, as subjects, would say that our lives, our societies have objects; and we would cite our own ambitions, goals, desires, hopes, for ourselves as being our personal and subjective objects; and maybe for our societies we would cite ideas like the general good, and continued cohesion, and harmonic interactions, and continued prosperity, as being our in-common considered objectives which collectively we strive for?
We live here in the UK and in the USA in liberal democracies; under constitutions which advocate ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’; everyone under the law is their own master to exercise his or her freedom and choice by their own volition. And thus our objects for ourselves and for our lives as individuals are able to be personally selected and pursued. Hence a plurality of objects exists which is the aggregate sum of all the disparate and variegated objects individuals choose to be their objects and at which they aim. Most of us like it this way.
Often these disparate arrays of object which individuals individually aim at in their lives are the direct causes of perturbations and dissents and fractures within their larger societies, and they are often responsible for knocking off course and awry the objects most of us desire to be our general social goals and meanings.
Competition, being at the very heart of our political economies, is one such obvious item which an individual would value as an object of choice but which our societies collectively find to be dissipative of their cohesion. Especially this is so when such an object of choice accompanies another, almost corollary, object of choice for individuals, that is, when there is a broad freedom to generate personal wealth. What we end up with are fights over money. We fight one another in every lawful way available so as to amass personal wealth through competition. Thus an unwelcome object arises as being necessary to support the other two objects; this fighting; which becomes an individual and also a socially active object; a destructive adjunct to our personal and collective objectives. It is destructive of personal and social relationships, often of trust and goodwill, of compassion and consideration.
To go back to the grammatical ‘object’: it is the focal point to which a subject in a sentence refers, depends upon, and relates. It is absolute within its context; having no transience and having no change. Its presence in a sentence might give rise to implications already mentioned or to be considered later maybe; but never to corollary objects of equal status which sit within its particular sentence.
It is the master governor of its sentence; to which the verb and the subject and conjunctions etc all point and refer. It is the end referential point. It might be a place, a material thing; a time of day; an abstract idea. Its presence welds the meaning to be conveyed into cogency.
Two objects set beside one another in a sentence usually allow confusions about its meaning to begin to arise. Other sentences will need to be generated to try to clear this up. Eventually words are being written for the sake of them being written; as is the case with much philosophy, theology and academic studies in general. Words begin to subsist so as only to criticise other critical words ad infinitum - it often feels like it - before one might just get back to anything which might pass and being a viable object.
This paradigm of waste production and wasted effort; of scholars chasing in circles - as a situation is a figure of speech applicable to liberal democratic lifestyles operating under laissez faire means of exchange and production.
Another figure of speech is ‘the cloud’. Just as virtual entities exist nebulously ‘within the cloud’; shape-shifting and migrating here there anywhere where there subsists accommodation; so this is the model of our social ‘progress’ our ‘advance’ and our goals and their objects. This is the case personally for individuals as it is also for social entities.
The educated person looks down from a great height of knowing better at the low class persons who befriend one another on social media according to their wandering paths of need for sympathy or expression of anger or derision; so that one day they are friends with x until x offends and they go to y until y offends they then go back to x and desert y and so on. But this is our political science in all the progress and operation of UK and US foreign policy; it is the convention upon which all business is done; likewise social change occurs in this way; a sheer drift and rummage and general free-for-all of influences, agitations, events and happenstance.
There is no great object to any of it. It is all a dog’s dinner; and it’s anybody’s guess where we might be in three, six, nine months down the line. The world is wholly ‘in the cloud’ and is as predictable and as changeable as the weather. Several billion individuals forming clubs, societies, alliances and pressing conflicts or ceding to or merging with or splitting from each other; or else putting pressure on or receiving pressure from one another. This is our lives.
There is no progress. There are new inventions and discoveries; changes in marriage laws and in acceptance of gender relations, and in employment prospects and so on; yet there are lost to oblivion very many things in the course of this time and chance occurring – things laudable and beneficial, irreplaceable and even vital to our welfare; these die and go into the dark as a random selection and deselection chunters onwards – a driving force without a driver or a navigator nor having any set direction ahead.
We may as well be unselfconscious brute animals; since it is our captivity to and captivation by our pet wayward passions and persuasions which carries us along in the cloud on a drift into greater and greater entropy and disintegration.
Why is this? It is because we have no in-common agreed upon object in and for our hopes, aspirations, aims, goals, choices. Most of us do have an object on which these things rest and centre: it is an object lower down the scale of value than are our goals and aspirations etc themselves – it is the self. Our personal objects and goals are not higher up the scale than our selves and our self- interests are; but tragically, for most of us, everyone elses goals and objects are.
A higher value object than our hopes and aspirations is the one thing needful which we are lacking. This higher value object has to be agreeable to and agreed on buy us all; it has to be universally beneficial; it has to be capable of being sufficient and necessary so as to be able to bring the chaotic cloud melange which the world spins in, and to bring our liberal democracies and their enslaving haywire of laissez faire politics, social relations, educations and means of production, bring all this mayhem into shape and harmony; under reason and under properly, appropriately, self-directed feeling and goodwill.
In short – it has to be an object which is the truth; the truth which corresponds with a actual reality; and which is not a series of subjects dressed to look like objects; which is what hapens in the world we live and live in now. How can this higher object of truth be the truth? We are not prepared to recognise such a concept. But it is because we do not recognise it that we condemn ourselves to the active denial of it; and so of denial of its benign effects and orderly harmonies; and of its power to create a passionately benign realisation of and shaping-up for our lives. We are thus condemned by our own gullible incredulities to try to see a way forward; yet are remaining ever in the cloud; condemened to try to avoid showers and storms in life and yet trapped in the cloud; condemned to predict and to steer when yet we do not see or know where we might be heading in our wilderness in the cloud.
We are mighty certain of ourselves that nothing, no truth, fits the bill for such a higher object – for being such a one thing needful – that there is no universal object which is the truth. And thus we are serving a sentence written out and unreadable, incomprehensible, without meaning – a nonsense – a grammatical faux pass – or as the song goes, we have ‘no direction home’.
Again: what might be truth? And what does this question remotely echo somewhere in one’s consciousness? Truth; the truth – is certainly not in balance sheets and in an acquisition of materials and power; truth is not striving ever to keep one’s head above water in a pool of conflicting and conflicted humanity. Truth is not a sorry melange and galimauphery of uncontrollable indecipherable inscrutable and unintelligible random mess.
Truth – the truth - we might be surprised to try it and learn that it is so – is not empirical, nor is it a cogitation – truth – the truth is simple. It is a passion; it is affective; it is generous – it is unlimited; it is without scarcity; without money value; without material support; without power; without intrigue; without command or rule; without pointless suffering and is wholly without resentments and regrets.
Resting one’s trust, hope, and human feeling wholly and solely upon it, lays a foundation for one’s reason and one's choices and decisions and actions to have good assurance of success - in the shape of being contributary to an in-common benefit, welfare and goodwill. It is the object worthy of the name; capable of sustaining the load of human hopes and fears; pains and sorrow; our gladness, freedom, and trajectory of and for aspiration.
It is evidenced as being the truth by it showing itself to be the single way in which what is desired for the general good by us is capable of being transacted successfully and utterly, as we would wished for. No nearness of caution or interest need intervene nor interfere with outcomes – a person adopting it becomes truly free – liberated from themselves and from their own tyrannical natures; as seen and felt in our abject wanton scattergun grasping at desires and vested interests.
Roles become reversed. We know nothing of what we shall be called to perform; only that we trust and hold it true that outcomes will be proper, good and right. Our letting go - of a vain attempt to control our individual lives - letting go of our selves and our aggrandisements, our ravenous appetites and insatiable desires, and going instead where we are directed and led in our benign hearts; relinquishing all control and will to power and for common success in the world; this is the liberator, in the act of surrender is one’s being set free; and being made anew and able to do singly and collectively a purposive and ubiquitously benign life of service in the world as it really truly is.
This higher object exists – its aims and gifts, successes and in-common and to-superfluity bounties are real - are reality. What is it the song says? O, taste and see!