An Essay Featured In (Re)constructing “A is A” by O.G. Rose


O.G. Rose
22 min readMar 29, 2021

A Paper that Doesn’t Say Anything

Photo by Gabriel Sollmann

1. Reading is an act of trust.

a. We can’t check all the author’s sources.¹

b. We can’t check to make sure the author didn’t steal ideas.²

c. We can’t ask the author whether a fictional character is being sarcastic or ironic.³

1.1 If we pick up a book on Vietnam by a reporter “who was there,” we must trust that the reporter actually tells us about things he or she really saw.

a. The reporter might be lying.

b. The reporter might have a bad memory.

1.2 If an authority says, “This reporter is telling the truth,” we must trust in the authority and its legitimacy.

a. The authority might be corrupt.

b. The authority might make a mistake.

2. Reading seems to imply identity, for what/who a person trusts says something about who the person “is.”

2.1 What a person writes, what a person reads, what a person says — all imply something about what/who a person trusts.

2.2 A book is like a heart.

(Identity and trust are connected.)

2.3 Which books a person reads says a lot about that person.

a. The way a reader interprets a text says a lot about that reader.

2.4 Which words a person uses to signify things says a lot about that person.

a. A “cat” could be called anything, and the fact a person calls it a “cat” says a lot about that person. For one, the use of the term “points to” the “network of deferring terms” (Derrida’s “différance”) the individual is situated within.

b. No word “is” the phenomenon it signifies: everything is ineffable. The fact a person uses “cat” to refer to a certain ineffable thing “points to” the network of deferring terms the ineffable is hidden behind/within and yet unveiled through (“(un)veiled”), relative to that person.

3. Without intention, there would be no books to read, and so no books to trust, and so no books to imply something about identity.

a. Without authors, there would be no books, even if books cannot be reduced to intention.

b. Authors matter.

4. If an author’s intention doesn’t matter, neither does a reader’s interpretation; if “the author is dead,” the reader is also.⁴ If the definition and/or nature of a subject cannot be determined, it cannot be determined if a given interpretation is of that subject or of something unrelated. The line between what constitutes an “interpretation” and an “unrelated thought” cannot be drawn with any certainty.

a. If I say “it’s black” but it cannot be determined what I’m talking about, the statement cannot be said to be true or false, sensible or nonsensical, related or random, and so on. However, if I’m clearly talking about sunglasses on the nearby table, it’s clear I mean “The sunglasses are black.” Likewise, if it cannot be determined “Who is Hamlet?” then it cannot be determined if my interpretation of him as a “repressed Protestant under Catholicism” is valid, unrelated, or even random. Since Hamlet is a creation of Shakespeare, the identity of Hamlet and the intent of Shakespeare are at least somewhat indivisible (though that’s not to say that Hamlet’s identity is merely Shakespeare’s intention). Therefore, if “the author is dead,” the difference between someone who has read Hamlet, someone who has only skimmed Hamlet, someone who is only acting like he or she has read Hamlet — is indeterminable. As a result, there is no meaningful difference between “the reader” and “the nonreader”: “the reader is dead.”

b. If we kill the author, you must fill the space.⁵ Though one can never “be” the author (and so never know in full the author’s intentions) this doesn’t mean the author is irrelevant, as a person isn’t irrelevant just because their consciousness cannot be completely inhabited by someone else.

4.1 What an author intends seems to me to matter equally with a reader’s interpretation: to sacrifice one is to sacrifice the other.

a. An interpretation is always an encounter with an intention.

b. Interpretation without intention is indefinable from non-interpretation.

4.2 An author is the context of his or her book, the “text” of his or her text.⁶

4.3 In the act of reading, the reader is the subject of the text he or she reads while the author is the subject of the reader.

a. The reader is defined against/in the context of the author’s intention.

b. The author is defined against/in the context of the reader’s interpretation.

c. The reader and the author share a symbiotic relationship. Without the reader, an author is indefinable from a non-author, as without an author, a reader is indefinable from a nonreader. A hierarchy should not be erected between the two (though the author perhaps deserves special credit for overcoming the obstacles to generate a text).

4.4 The meaning is “the holding together of the reader and the author” (which is perhaps indivisible from the act of reading itself).

a. Without an author, a book lacks a center.

b. Without (a) reader(s) a given book lacks (a) ‘thing(s) [to keep from falling] apart.’⁷

4.5 Intention matters: it’s just not the whole story.

a. Gödel’s “Incompleteness Theorem” matters.

4.6 An author is not just a person, but also ‘a mode of discourse.’⁸

a. An author is the foundation of a text.

b. The reader is what the foundation supports.

c. The author is “a mode of being.”

5. A book shouldn’t be limited by its author, as a context shouldn’t limit someone from experiencing the subject within that context. However, though an author or reader shouldn’t limit a book as a book shouldn’t limit an author or reader, a book’s author shouldn’t be forgotten.

6. If the author is absent, deciphering a text is incompletable.⁹

a. For in this case there is no “(con)text.”

6.1 And the author is always absent.

a. Even if sitting beside the reader, the author’s mind doesn’t replace the reader’s.

6.2 And yet the author cannot be forgotten, for without an author, every interpretation :falls apart.”

6.3 And if the author is absent, the reader cannot be defined from the nonreader, so “the reader dies” as does the author.

6.4 Must we interpret in denial?¹⁰

7. Trust makes the difference.¹¹

a. “The case” determines (the) diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce.¹²

8. Together, the symbiotic relationship between the reader and the author forms a “text” that serves as a “(con)text” to another subject: “the other.”

a. When we encounter an-“other,” we bring with us all the books, experiences, and thoughts that we have ever undergone. During such an encounter, we “frame” the (identity of the) “other” within a “(con)text” (of ourself).¹³

b. For a person to read is for a person to expand (as a self and “(con)text”).¹⁴

c. No person is a “subject” who hasn’t encountered an-“other,” for a subject requires a “(con)text.” As a reader and an author require one another for definition, so the self and the “other” likewise require one another.

d. The self and “other” share a symbiotic relationship.

8.1 A self is a subject and “(con)text” of an-“other” (self).

a. Every phenomenon is a subject/“(con)text.”¹⁵

9. To read is to decipher.

9.1 A reader is his or her decipherer, done through an-“other.”

a. A self is his or her craftsmen, done through an-“other.”

9.2 Books and people are mirrors.

a. A mirror is not meaningfully “a mirror” until a subject reflects on it.

b. (On reading books closely to know the author’s intent): No matter how closely you look in the mirror, you will only see yourself.¹⁶

c. (On reading many books): No matter how many mirrors you look in, you’ll always see the same person.

d. (On reading): It’s a waste of time to look in a mirror if you don’t know for whom you’re looking.¹⁷

e. Everything and everyone is a mirror to everything and everyone.

f. Everything and everyone is a book…

10. Nothing repeats.

10.1 I speak a sentence no one says.

a. Every writer writes a sentence no one says.

b. Every speaker speaks a sentence no one writes.

c. Every sentence is a once-in-a-mankind event.¹⁸

d. Every word is a “once” (in-a-mankind-event).¹⁹

10.2 To read out-loud “cat” from the word “cat” is to leave something unsaid (mainly, the word on the page).

a. To speak is to leave something unsaid.

10.3 Every occurrence is a “once-ever” occurrence.²⁰

a. Every word is “one” insomuch as it is a “once.”

b. Every word is (a) “on(c)e.”

c. Every sentence is (a) “on(c)e.”

d. Every phenomenon is (a) “on(c)e.”

10.4 Every phenomenon is “universal” in being “particular” (in being (a) “on(c)e”).

a. Being is “universal/particular,” (a) “on(c)e-ness.”

10.5 The continual happening(s) of “once-ever” occurrences structure being (or “subject/‘(con)text’ ”-ness).

a. “Continual happening” is like “repetition” but distinct (since “nothing repeats”).

10.6 (A) being is (a) “on(c)e.”²¹

11. To be is to “differ” (while “reading” through on(c)e-ness).

a. Différance, a concept from Derrida, refers to how a word endless “defers” its meaning to other terms. If I ask, “What does ‘cat’ mean?” I may answer, “a feline,” which will probe the question “What does ‘feline’ mean?” and so on. Every word “defers” its meaning endlessly to other terms, never having a meaning in and of itself (but this doesn’t necessarily mean meaning doesn’t exist).²²

b. Like words, authority also “defers” to other authorities. The person with a Noble Prize has authority that “defers” to the authority of the Prize, which has authority that “defers” to the authority of the judges, who have authority that “defers” to the great writers who have claimed the Prize, who have authority that “defers” to the authority of the other great writers who claimed they were great writers, and so on. Authority différs. However, if we trust the authority, we escape the eternal regression of authority, but if we trust the authority, we might be deceived. If we don’t trust the authority, we’ll struggle to know what to read, what to believe in, etc. (and consequently might eternally regress, realizing nothing is stable, causing paralyzing uncertainty), but if we don’t trust, we won’t be deceived.

11.1 “Différance” is homophonous.

a. If I say the word “différance,” it sounds like “difference” (at least in French): only by reading “différance” and seeing the difference can we know the difference between “difference” and “différance.” Our capacity to make the distinction demands that they read “différance” rather than hear “différance.”

b. When we hear “cat,” we do not experience “a network of deferring terms,” we experience “(insert meaning of term as hearer understands it).” “Cat-meaning-(insert meaning of term as hearer understands it)” is homophonous with “cat-as-network-of-deferring-terms,” and this is why language works. Otherwise, to speak would be to eternally regress: people would never understand one another. But since the terms are homophonous, people have the option to trust (in) “cat”; if the terms weren’t, people wouldn’t have the option to trust: it would just be a fact that the terms meant nothing. The “homophonous uncertainty,” per se, makes possible the trust.

c. Writing “différance” down is like saying “cat” without asking for its meaning (and rather simply “experiencing it”): once we ask, “What does ‘cat’ mean?” we are the like the person who hears “différance” without the ability to see the term written down: we’re stuck in an inability to know what was meant. The act of asking, “What does that mean?” results in the word “cat,” previously striking the consciousness as (insert meaning of term as hearer understands it), being “thrown” into “a network of deferring terms.”

d. When we hears “différance,” we experiences both “difference” and “différance” simultaneously (though we don’t, and perhaps can’t, realize it) (“A/B” versus “A/A,” as will be expanded on elsewhere).

e. Whenever we hear “difference,” we hear both “difference” and “différance,” though ‘différance’ wasn’t intended. Therefore, we actually only hear “difference,” and yet (seems to) hear both (and so, in one sense, does hear both).

f. If I don’t have the ability to read “différance” or be told that “différance” was said versus “difference” (or vice-versa), the difference between “difference” and “différance” becomes indeterminable.²³ Likewise, if the author is absent, the difference between “reader” and “nonreader,” “author” and “non-author,” becomes indeterminable. Yet the author is absent, so is the difference lost? No, but the difference cannot be realized (“presently”).

g. A world in which “the author is dead” (which “seems” to be the world we live in) is a world in which we “hear difference” yet cannot realize such.²⁴ Yet since books don’t write themselves, to read must rather be to “hear différance” (though we cannot tell the difference), and from this fact we can deduce (“negatively,” from absence) that there must be a difference, even though that difference is indeterminable. Therefore, to read, as with encountering “others” (since bodies don’t walk themselves), is to undergo “différance.”

h. ‘[Différance] is all.’²⁵

11.2 “Consciousness” is homophonous.

a. “Différance” occurs when a subject encounters an-“other” in the “space between” them.

b. Since we cannot occupy the consciousness of an-“other,” the “différance” that occurs in the “space between” two people seems to be just “difference.”²⁶ Likewise, when we read, it seems like “the author is dead.” And the author is and the author isn’t, as when we “hear différance” we do and don’t “hear difference.”

c. The consciousness of the self is a mode of experience (like “hearing difference”), while the consciousness of an-“other” is another experience (like “hearing différance”). To inhabit the consciousness of an-“other” or to be inhabited would be to “read différance,” per se, and so to know that “différance” is being underwent (despite experience). However, since that is impossible, a person can only trust such is occurring from the very fact that the “other” is conscious and alive.

11.3 The homophonous — différance — “continually happens.”

a. Différance occurs whenever any subject encounters an-“other” (subject) or whenever two subjects encounter an-“other” together.²⁷

b. To be is to differ.

12. All experience (of on(c)e-ness) is (a) (trusting) “reading” (“out of” différance).

a. Whenever a person encounters some(thing/one), the person “reads” (it/(the person)).

a. Everyone is always “reading.”

b. Everyone is “a reader.”

c. Everything and everyone is a “book,” per se, and everything and everyone is (a) “read(er).”

12.1 When we read “ink on a white page,” we experience “soldier saves girl.”

a. “Ink on white page” is meaningless and yet meaningful when read into “soldier saves a girl.”

12.2 When we “read” “atomic structure(s),” we derives “cup.”

a. A given “atomic structure” is meaningless and yet meaningful when “read” into “cup.”

12.3 When we “read” “human body,” we derive “Dan.”

a. A given “human body” is meaningless and yet meaningful when “read” into “Dan.”

12.4 Every phenomenon is “meaningless/meaningful” ((a) diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce(s)).²⁸

a. Everything around a given subject (or “reader”) is structured “out of” atoms, quarks, strings, etc., and a given subject “reads” “wall,” “cup,” “computer,” “lover,” etc.

b. If we were an atom, we would “read” “out of” quarks, strings, etc.

c. If we were a sun, we would “read” “out of” cities, planets, oceans, etc.

d. To “read” “chair” “out of” atoms is to “unveil” atoms to be a “chair” and yet to simultaneously “conceal” those atoms with “chair.”

e. To unveil is to conceal.

12.5 Being is “meaningless/meaningful.”

a. Being is (in all) diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce(s) (for to experience “différance” that can only be heard is to experience “difference” and “différance”).²⁹

12.6 Being différs.

a. To a given subject, being differs; in sum, différs.

b. As words and authority fall within a “network of deference,” so does ontology. A being endless “defers” its ontology to another being: if I ask, “What is a cat?” I may answer “a collection of atoms,” which will probe the question “What are atoms?” and so on. Every being “defers” its ontology endlessly to other beings, never having (a) being in and of itself (but this doesn’t necessarily mean being doesn’t exist).

c. Once you ask, “What is a cat?” we are the like the person who hears “différance” without the ability to see the term written down: we’re stuck in an inability to know what was meant. The act of wondering “What is a cat?” results in the being, previously striking the consciousness as “a being,” being “thrown” into a “network of deferring beings.” The Heideggerian act of asking “What is (a) Being/being?” is the act which conceals it (yet it is the same act with makes it apparent).

d. Ontology différs. Hence, there seems to be no being; the world seems to be one where “ontology is dead.” Yet since things don’t exist without existing, to “be” must be to “hear différance” (though we cannot tell the difference), per se, and from this fact we can deduce that there must be being, even though that being is indeterminable. Therefore, to “be,” as with encountering “others” (since bodies don’t walk themselves), is to undergo being.

e. If we erase being, we have to fill the space. Though we can never “be” being (and so never know in “full being”) this doesn’t mean being is irrelevant, as a person isn’t irrelevant just because their consciousness cannot be inhabited by someone else.

f. Ontology différs. However, if we trust the authority of our senses, we escape the eternal regression of ontology, but if we trust the authority, we might be deceived. If we don’t trust the authority, we’ll struggle to know “what is” and might eternally regress (realizing nothing is stable, causing paralyzing uncertainty), but if we don’t trust, we won’t be deceived.

g. Trust keeps (a) being “pulled out from” the “network of deferring beings,” but trust suggests a lack of certainty.

12.7 Being is “homophonous,” per se.

a. When we encounter a being (such as a cat), we do not experience “a network of deferring beings” (or “cat-as-atoms-as-part-of-universe-as-made-up-of-stars-as-etc.”); rather, we experience “a being” (“a cat”). “A being” is “homophonous,” per se, with “being-as-a-network-of-deferring-beings,” and this is why we can experience being. Otherwise, “to be” would be to eternally regress: being would never be (only move away).

12.8 What has been said about “being” can be said about the “self.”

a. Self différs. If I ask, “Who am I?” perhaps I would answer, “A man living on a farm,” which would probe the question “What is a man?” and/or “What makes me unlike other men living on farms?” which may be answered “Because I have unique experiences,” which may inspire the question “What are those experiences?” and so on. Every mark of identification “defers” itself to another mark of identification and/or explanation of a given identification. Self endlessly defers itself (to characteristics of self: for example, all the books, experiences, and thoughts which that person has ever experienced), never having (a) self in and of itself (but this doesn’t necessarily mean self doesn’t exist).³⁰

b. The “I” seems to vanish when we ask, “Who am I?”³¹

c. To encounter a self is to encounter “the self as the self ‘strikes’ us” and “the self as the self considers itself (which eternally regresses).” Since these two selves are homophonous, per se, we can know others (assuming we trust).³²

13. An author doesn’t “unlock” a book, but a book lacks s “con(text)” without an author. Being, likewise, doesn’t “unlock” (a) being, but a being lacks “con(text)” otherwise.

a. Its “network of deference” (différance) is the “con(text)” of “a cat,” as the author (and his or her intention) is the “con(text)” of his or her book.

b. A book that’s intention cannot be known is “homophonous” with a book that’s intention can be known.

13.1 Without “(con)text” (like people), a subject is not a subject (like people). Being, likewise, without (a) being is not.

a. Without a reader, a book is not a book.

b. Without (a) being, (a) being is not (a) being.

13.2 But there is no “(con)text,” for a subject cannot inhabit (the being of) an-“other.” And the author is absent, and so books do lack “con(text).” Being, likewise, is absent, and so (a) being is not.

a. Subjects are not subjects…

b. People are not people…

c. Books are not books: they’re mysteries.

d. Being(s) are/is not being(s): being(s) eternally regress(es).

13.3 And so, as we must interpret in denial, we must live (and “be”) in denial.

a. In denial that our “chair” isn’t (just) atoms…

b. In denial that our “chair” is more real than (just) atoms…

c. In denial that language and ontology do not eternally regress

13.4 As the author is always absent, atoms are always absent. Being, likewise, is always absent.

a. Even if sitting on them, the atoms don’t replace the “chair.”

b. Even if physically next to me as I read his or her work, the author doesn’t replace the book.³³

c. Even if (a) being, (a) being doesn’t replace the eternal regression.

13.5 And yet the atoms cannot be forgotten, for without atoms, every “chair” “falls apart.” Being, likewise, cannot be forgotten.

a. And so we must sit in denial.³⁴

b. And so we must “be” even if eternally regressing.

14. Yet rather than live in denial, we should trust — “live.”³⁵

a. As we should interpret trusting, “living” (“as if” certain of what we cannot be certain). Trust keeps the interpretation “pulled out from” the “network of deferring interpretations.”

b. We should “be” trusting, “living.” Trust keeps the being “pulled out from” the “network of deferring beings” (correctly or incorrectly). However, if we trust, though we escape eternal regression, we might be deceived. But if we don’t take this risk, we can’t avoid eternal regression. That said, in line with the thought of Karl Popper, until this trust is violated, it can be “reasonably” believed in (as a law of nature can be believed in until falsified, despite Hume).

c. Since “(a) being as (a) being” and “(a) being as (an) eternal regression” (différance) are homophonous, people have the option to trust (in) (a) being. And the fact we have the option to trust is evidence that “being is,” even though it’s absent from us, on the other side of an eternal regression we cannot cross.

14.1 Reading/“reading” is an act of trust, of “living,” as being is an act of trust, of “living.”

a. What a person trusts (in) says something about who/what a person “is,” for what a person can trust (in) is relative to that person’s being.³⁶

14.2 The limits of a text are the limits of a reader’s “living.”

a. The same can be said of people, being, God — anything.

b. The limits of a subject are the limits of a “reader’s”/being’s “living.”

14.3 Being/diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce(s) is defined by “living.”

a. Stuck in “homophonous uncertainty,” people must trust that they are experiencing “différance” and not just “difference,” even though they can’t tell for sure (though people have (“negative”) reason to believe such is the case).

b. As expanded on in “On A is A,” this means we experience “A/B” as “A/A,” but despite our experience, must “trust” in the presence of A/B (to function). Embedded in its “structure,” living is living “as if” A/A is ultimately so (we must paradoxically think against how we “get by”).

14.4 Being(s) “live.”

a. The being who doesn’t trust is the being who eternally regresses.

b. What we trust (in) says something about what/who we are.

c. How we “live” is tied to what/who we are.

15. (A) being is “(a) read(er).”

a. To be is to “read” “(a) being” out of “a network of deferring being(s)” — “(a) being” kept “pulled out” through trust, “living.”

b. Since ontology “differs” like language, it is fitting that being is like reading a book.³⁷

16. “Reading” is “living.”³⁸





¹Only the ones we list.

²From friends, neighbors, etc.

³The author probably wouldn’t tell us anyways.

⁴Allusion to “The Death of the Author” by Roland Barthes.

⁵Allusion to “What is an Author?” by Michel Foucault. This same logic also applies to God.

⁶Allusion to Jacques Derrida.

⁷Allusion to The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats.

⁸Allusion to “What is an Author?” by Michel Foucault.

⁹Same with nature.

¹⁰While denying that we do the contradictory…?

10.1 …unaware that we are denying anything, denying that we deny…

¹¹Trust might be the difference between Foucault and Barthes.

¹²Derrida might ironically link Foucault and Barthes.

¹³When “selves” encounter, they “frame” or “define” each-“other” within a “frame” of spacetime, “defining” it.

¹⁴Encountering an-“other” is like reading a book, and so also expands a self/“(con)text” while simultaneously creating a new “(con)text” of this self and this “other” in which to “frame” another “other,” etc.

¹⁵Inanimate objects hold together indeterminable moments or “frames” of spacetime. The intention or “toward-ness” of an inanimate object is one with its nature.

¹⁶You will also see through yourself.

16.1 Through your perspective, behind you.

¹⁷We are more than what is reflected back to us.

¹⁸The sentence I say now isn’t the sentence I say in a moment, even if the two sentences consist of the same sequences of words.

¹⁹As is everything.

²⁰Things are similar, but diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce(s) is our winged prison.

²¹To think about the “one”-ness and “once”-ness of (a) “on(c)e” is to divide it into abstraction(s) (for “one”-ness and “once”-ness are never separate). Likewise, to think about being is to render being into what it “isn’t.”

21.1 To allude to “On Thinking and Perceiving”, being “as thought” “isn’t,” but being “as perceived” “is.” Being is unthinkable as being is perceivable. Ironically, being is the foundation of philosophy and thinking.

“I perceive, therefore I am.”

“I think, therefore I am not.”

“I think and perceive, therefore, from moment to moment, I am not and I am.”

²²A word can never fully represent what it signifies, as the word “cat” can never “be” the phenomenon cat; rather, a word simply refers to other words, which refer to other words, all which try to fully “summon forth” the phenomenon but never succeed. Every word, like every phenomenon, eternally regresses — fails.

²³Yet that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference, only that the difference may be meaningless (insomuch as the meaning cannot be defined).

²⁴Being is “hearing différance” versus “hearing difference,” per se, in a situation in which “différance” can never be read.

²⁵Allusion to King Lear.

²⁶Books can help us realize this and so boost empathy. An author not only tells us that he or she “sees a cup,” per se, but also how he or she feels about that cup: the author not only makes readers aware that people have experiences different from theirs, but also that what we experience (even when of an identical subject) is different. A cup that to us is just “a cup” to an author could be “Mom’s cup,” etc. Yet if the author never told us this, we would have no reason to believe that the author underwent anything more than a “difference” (versus a “différance”). Through a book, the author reveals all.

26.1 A book is a testament to the existence of différance in a world that can only “hear difference(/différance),” per se.

26.2 Books also prove that others possess consciousness and function as evidence against solipsism.

²⁷When two people “hear différance,” one can “hear difference,” while the other imagines “différance was intended.” Likewise, when two people experience “green,” one can experience “light green”; the other, “normal green.” Though we cannot know if others experience green like we do (say, as “light green”), we can still know that people experience “green (as they experience it).” Likewise, when we “hear différance,” we cannot know that someone else “hears difference” (for even if others claim they do, they could be lying), but we can know others “hear difference (like différance) (which is like we hear it).”

27.1 Though we cannot access to the subjective experiences of others, the fact others have minds to conceal (and so the capacity to lie) is evidence against solipsism (and perhaps why the idea of solipsism started in the first place). If people didn’t have consciousness and subjective experience separate from one’s own, people wouldn’t have anything to hide.

27.2 To digress: if we all had the same experience of a given cup, then it would be more feasible that the cup wasn’t there — that a computer program (to allude to The Matrix) was making us all perceive the same computer code. However, the fact we all have subjective experiences of the cup suggests we’re all “coders,” per se, rather than reading code set by an overarching coder. Of course, that all powerful coder could have equipped us all with the capacity to be coders ourselves, but (to calm Descartes) at least it can be said that it is doubtful an overarching coder would do such a thing if that coder wanted to maliciously deceive or rule us. Making us all read the same code would be a more effective way to control us (as would not giving us the capacity to read code at all). Furthermore, by giving us the capacity to code, there isn’t a thing for that overarching coder to deceive us from discovering. We create what is observed, so there isn’t anything to hide from us other than what we hide from ourselves. If anyone is a malicious coder, it is us: we are our deceivers.

²⁸When I read, I experience both “difference” and “différance” simultaneously: the difference between me, the book, and the author, and the différance between me, “the book,” and the author.

28.1 Being is both what a subject is (a being) and the “(con)text” of that subject (being), so being is a subject/“(con)text,” (a) diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce(s).

²⁹Diff(é/e)r(a/e)nce is the phenomenology of “ ‘A/(A-isn’t-A)’ is ‘A/(A-isn’t-A)’ (without B)” (ontology) (as expounded in “A is A” by O.G. Rose). Since we experience “différance” as homophonous with “difference,” per se, we do not self-deconstruct. Why do we experience things as such? Why do we experience “ ‘A/(A-isn’t-A)’ is ‘A/(A-isn’t-A)’ (without B)” as ‘A is A?”) Because we’re human. Because that’s how our brains work (to allude to Kant). Why do they work that way? Because they do — the answer might be axiomatic.

³⁰To use the language of “A is A” by O.G. Rose, a given “A” (a term which signifies “A/(A-isn’t-A)” is “A/(A-isn’t-A)”) ultimately defers its identity to its (relative) “without B,” per se. For example, a person who believes in God is ultimately defined by God, and God is that which reality is currently “without” (B). Likewise, a person who wants to be an author is ultimately defined by that passion, a passion which is defined by the person’s current state which is “without” the goal. In these examples, both God and the passion are “relative nothings,” meaning that an individual is yet to experience and/or realize either one of them as real. They are not truly nothings (for there is no such thing as nothing, by definition), but they are “relative/conditional nothings” to those who are yet to experience them. Additionally, the consciousness of another person is also a “relative nothing,” for someone else cannot inhabit it (“a thing unto itself” is also a “relative nothing,” to use a Kantian example). Humans are surrounded by “relative nothings,” and human identity ultimately “defers” its self-identity against and unto these “without B(s).” This is because everything a given “A” is “with” eternally regresses, and so to have something “stable,” the given “A” must “point to” that which it isn’t “with” — that which it cannot eternally regress (in itself). These points will be elaborated on throughout “On A is A” by O.G. Rose.

30.1 The self (“A”) is an emergent result of a process of deference (différance) “toward”/into a relative (and willed) Nothing/Being (“(without) B”).

30.2 Our “without B” could perhaps be associated with what Paul Tillich called “ultimate concern.”

³¹Self-knowledge is knowledge of différance: “I am a walking différance,” a “white hole,” per se.

³²To again use the language of “A is A” by O.G. Rose, the self (like language and being) strikes the consciousness as an “A is A,” not an “A is A is A is A…” (and/or “A, A, A, A…”) (“a network of deferring A(s)”). As a result, we can know others and ourselves, and yet ironically the act of thinking about others and ourselves is what can deconstruct “A is A” into an eternally regression. Self-knowledge can be self-loss.

³³I cannot read an author’s book by reading an author’s face.

³⁴Denying that we sit upon what we don’t sit upon, that we commit the contradictory…

34.1 …unaware that we are denying anything, denying that we deny.

³⁵The difference between “trust as trust” and “trust as ‘living’ ” can be found in “On Trust” by O.G. Rose.

35.1 Trust is similar to denial, as life is similar to death. Yet trust opposes denial, as life opposes death (opposites can join beneath the surface).

³⁶Only a person who can read can trust (in) what a book says: only a person who can see can trust (in) the appearance of a tree.

³⁷Perhaps when we define a thing, we move (randomly), without realizing it, between the différance of language and the différance of ontology, making definition all the harder? Perhaps these différances are impossible to separate? If so, we can’t define something without saying something about ourselves and our ontology.

37.1 If to speak is to “summon forth being,” Heidegger never spoke of Being, perhaps just another of those Western philosophers, different only in his awareness.

³⁸Furthermore, reading fiction is important because it teaches people how to do well what they do all the time.




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O.G. Rose

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