The weak power of sharing, or, On the singularity and multiplicity of perspective

The weak power of sharing, or, On the singularity and multiplicity of perspective.  Do we share a perspective, or do we share perspectives?  Although it is most important that we share, since it seems to be our only escape from a solipsism unfaithful to the world or a relativism that either nonchalantly or in despair admits defeat, we still must consider this question of the singularity or not of perspective.  There is something suspicious about oneness, especially as it applies to perspective, because perspective always seems to be A perspective from, and A perspective of or towards, that is, in the midst of and encountering, warring against or fusing with other perspectives or other interpretations.  Perhaps sharing is the only concept, or better, the only mode with which to preserve, at one and the same time, both singularity and multiplicity, or both monism and pluralism.  The monism of being in the world TOGETHER, of there being a sort of tapestry, tightly knitted or not, where there is the meeting or the jointure of what seemed before to be condemned to separateness and mutual isolation.  Monism means then that there is A world to contend with in all of our wanderings, no matter what diversity of avenues we come to in our sojourn on this earth or elsewhere.  The pluralism of admitting that there are voices and stances OTHER than my own, or even our own, that I or we are made, as it were, by the borders we have with others, other lives, other interpretations, other worlds.  So pluralism is the fracture, the indelible fracture, even in the most encompassing of layouts or maps with portions ascribed for this or that islet of meaning, this or that territory of significance, of the world, where world is at the same time WORLDS.

            As four teams may play two different games on a playing field, but nevertheless share the same playing field and the same turf for their practices, so may we share without occupying or being yoked by a strict oneness of experience, of language, of meaning, of aspiration or anything else, for instance the mere view of things, how they show themselves to our eyes, or the sound of things, how they ring in our ears–or not.  Sharing does not compel commensurability.  Sharing allows for utter difference among the participants in the sharing, since in any case what is most identical, what involves no difference at all, has no need for sharing, no need for the COMING TOGETHER of elements, no opportunity to be challenged by what is near and what is far, or the tendency to grasp things from near or far, or to place them there, at a distance, or here, close by and within reach.  World is a sharing and is always a sharing, yes, but it is always too a sharing by degrees and a sharing of degrees, degrees of intensity or degrees of force.  There is a scale ever-present in perspective, the scale that makes one thing near and one thing far, one thing dreadful and one thing inspirational, one thing obvious and another closed off, one mighty and other meager.  We are given to experience the world by degrees and to face one another by degrees, to take one another’s temperature, as it were, when we come to the meeting-place of our respective horizons.  To share in perspective, then, as we must if we are to live–perhaps even when we are dead, we must–is to share not in something static and given all at once but, necessarily and always, something in fluctuation.  It is a bitter dream that rids itself of time or duration because of the persuasive at-oneness of a moment or the blink-of-an-eye.  What comes to us more certainly than a perspective giving way to another perspective, or altering because of the encounter with another perspective, or changing over time!  Precisely over time!  This plurality, among the many schisms present in the world, we will be the last to get rid of, we will be the first to admit!

            Any tale that proclaims At the start there was one single, unified perspective, until it was forced, by some desire or some inner flame, or some compulsion from without–though where would it be, this place outside oneness?–to splinter into a variety of perspectives or interpretations, now we are forced to give into the ideal of unity with all of our might and all of our hearts–this story ignores that any perspective, even of the ONE itself, is always already splintered, that any perspective always already contains, for lack of a better word, multiplicity or multiple perspectives.  All perspectives together, if they were somehow fused into one perspective, would still lack, and lack decisively, the perspective of those things that are not All Things Together, either of the parts of this unified thing or of other things entirely.  In other words and thankfully, there is no self-defeating perspective, or no perspective that eliminates perspective and its inherent diversity, no perspective that shuns itself so witlessly.  For we have already seen that there is no perspective without–perspective, and whether it was a primordial duality that gave birth to all other perspectives or perhaps a triad of interpretations from which the manifold interpretations other than them sprang, it is tactless and beside the point to go about such questions.  What we need to recognize is that already, always, in the one there is more than one.  Precisely dividuals, Nietzsche claimed of us, and we may claim of all things: everything is capable of division; divisibility is one of the pronounced talents, as it were, of all things, of every perspective no less and to get to the point.

            But this does not mean that we fail to share.  Sharing is there, sharing is manifest, even when we, we players, are not playing the same game, WHEN WE ARE NOT PLAYING BY THE SAME RULES.  Even precisely then there is sharing.  As we saw above, sharing does not compel commensurability, either of rules or of anything else.  Sharing does not compel, we might say, does not compel at all or in the slightest.  Sharing is more of that weak power, that kenosis, which shares by means of emptying itself, as we always, we porous ones, where things flow in and out, empty ourselves into the world, into what is not us, empty ourselves and, against all possible hope, hope to share with all things.  

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