Givenness of Phenomenality: The Givenness of the Beingness of Being to the Beingness of Beings
Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D., Author, Patricia F. Long, RDT, LCSW-C, Editor
The beingness of being manifests itself as each being and as an infinite number of beings. This manifestation reveals itself within each individual being as being itself. This beingness of being is always offering itself to all beings—indeed, to the ever-unfolding, infinite number of beings.
Givenness and manifestation are different views of the same exquisite experience of becomingness. The beingness of being, in giving itself to a being, gives itself immanently within the being, and also gives itself as the world from which the being is manifesting. One is always surrounded, both within and without, by the givenness of the beingness of being. All phenomena, both external and internal, are the manifestation of the beingness of being.
And even as beings give themselves to the experience of the world and give themselves to the experience of other beings, the beingness of being gives itself through them and also to them. There isthis profound “inter-givenness”. Beings both give and receive the beingness of being through other beings. The very manifestation of the beingness in other beings is both a form and a vehicle whereby being gives itself to us as we encounter those beings. In the deepest sense, THE BEINGNESS OF BEING GIVES ITSELF TO ITS OWN SELF THROUGH ITS OWN MANIFESTATIONS—THROUGH ITS INFINITE MANIFESTATIONS. How does the beingness of being do this? THROUGH THE RADIANCE OF TRANSMISSION.
THE WORLD IS INTER-GIVENNESS
To let phenomena appear to us as they are requires us to not impose a frame on them. In choosing to not impose a frame on phenomena—the appearance of phenomena, as well as the apparitions of phenomena—we are consequently free to experience that phenomena gives itself to us. And, in the very givenness of any and all phenomena, the beingness of being actually gives itself to us as the phenomena. All phenomena exist as the manifestation of the being-ness of being. The appearance and the apparition of phenomena “becomes” in the givenness of the moment. When phenomena are experienced within the givenness of the beingness of being, that givenness is purely given.
The being-ness of being exists beyond the polarities of pleasure and “unpleasure”, goodness and badness, goodness and evilness, purity and impurity, right and wrong, truth and falsity, better and best, happiness and terror, comfort and fear, sweetness and violence. Thus, all phenomena and all experience are the manifestation of the being-ness of being.
By way of the vehicle of the “unconcealment” of the concealment of form, we can see and know—through forms of experience and forms of apparition—the being-ness of being manifesting as experience itself. And so, being belongs to giving and giving belongs to being. The beingness of beingmanifests through givenness. The gift of the beingness of being is the profound gift. As a gift, beingness is completely present in giving, even if it is concealed. Presence is a gift of being giving itself as being. As beings experience this presence, being itself is always given in its givenness. Beingbelongs to givenness and all givenness is the manifestation of the beingness of being.
Of course, in order to experience the beingness of being in its givenness, one must go beyond representational thinking and beyond the language which “identifies” a thing. One must go beyond the view of things merely being things—contained entities—a world of boxes. In becoming aware of awareness, one can experience the beingness of being.
The Phenomenality of givenness also clearly suggests and supports the understanding that phenomena appear not simply as the function of another’s constitution of them. This understanding is also suggested by Kant, the early work of Husserl, and within certain forms of Buddhism and Vedantism. These traditions and philosophies suggest a vision of the world that is not simply a function of subjectivity, specifically an omnipotent subjectivity—in other words, not simply a function of the mind alone. Heidegger’s perspective is that a phenomenon shows itself in itself and from itself. A phenomenon brings itself forth into otherness. As we embrace this framework, what remains for us is to take the step of understanding the Self—the inner self which alone allows a phenomenon to show itself. The phenomenology of givenness opens the way of access to the self itself. Phenomena show themselves in- as-much as they unfold within the fold of givenness. Phenomena appear and manifest and show themselves only as they give themselves. The beingness of being gives itself to beings and shows itself to beings as it gives itself to them both vertically and horizontally.
Experientially, we must go beyond grasping at phenomena or constituting phenomena, in favor of simply receiving—receiving the gift of the beingness of being, which is manifesting in us and in all others.
This phenomenology of givenness goes beyond the classic doctrines of phenomenology. It follows the paradigm of the unconditional given, which is saturated with intuition and is therefore un-objectifiable. This particular phenomenology does justice to the “un-constitutional” and indeed to what passes beyond it.
There are precise “sites” within givenness. The phenomenology of givenness finishes radically the subject, not destroying it or suppressing it. Yet it is not the constituting “I”. It is instead a recipient within the experience that what gives itself, shows itself. Indeed, it discloses itself given to and as a pole of givenness, where all the givens come forward incessantly. At the center of this incessant unfolding stands a place where the one who is being gifted can receive what is immeasurably given to him and where he simply receives what he receives.
When subjects constitute objects as “other”, they can only objectify the other. By contrast, the one who is gifted receives, and receives himself from the given. In this pure experience, there is no obstacle between this givenness and the gifted. The gifted one himself belongs within the phenomenality of givenness and therefore gives himself, too. Like all phenomena, the gifted one arises from the given, and in his response to givenness, he gives and he shows himself. And simultaneously, the given shows itself in the mode of the gifted. There is no non-communicability of consciousness. This opens our understanding of how a being shows himself by giving himself to the gifted. The gifted one shows himself and gives himself to another gifted one, according to several levels of the one and only givenness. The concern is not inter-subjectivity or inter-objectivity, but inter-givenness. This experience is a completion of phenomenality.
THE BEING-NESS OF BEING IS PERPETUALLY MANIFESTING ITSELF TO A BEING, WHO HIMSELF EXISTS THROUGH THE BEINGNESS OF BEING AS A BEING.
The beingness of being gives itself to a being both from within and from without. The beingness of being immanently gives itself to that being from within that being and also gives itself to that being through other beings, who are themselves the gifts of the beingness of being. In this unfolding, there is complete oneness of inter-givenness.
There is a pure immanence of givenness. The one who is gifted responds to the pure immanence of givenness. Givenness remains intrinsic. What gives itself is giving itself on the plane of immanence, under the heading of response. This radical immanence means that there is no light before giftedness. What gives itself shows itself. Responding precedes seeing and receiving precedes responding. Receiving is co-emergent within givenness.
The gifted one receives and therefore receives himself. Without receiving the given, no “gifted”, no subject comes. From where does the receiver arise? In the journey from gift to manifestation, from givenness to manifestation, how does one receive oneself from what is given? The receiver brings it about by this receiving happening to him. The givenness and the receiving are co-emergent.
The receiver not only receives what gives itself. The receiver allows the given to show itself insofar as it receives itself by being experienced. Phenomenality is not grasped. It is received. There is the feeling of the receiver and it is hidden from the gaze, which reconstitutes it according to order and measure.
For the receiver, to receive means nothing less than to accomplish givenness by transforming it into manifestation. This transformation takes place as that which gives itself shows itself on its own basis.
The receiver transforms givenness into manifestation in and through the receptivity of feeling. More exactly, the receiver lets that which gives itself through intuition show itself. In receiving that which gives itself, the receiver in turn allows that which gives itself to show itself—he gives it form, its first form. Reception—the act of receiving—gives form to that which gives itself, that which has previously been unseen. The receiver puts forward a prism or filter which brings about visibility.
Experience is the manifestation of the beingness of being. This beingness of being manifests as presence, as a being. The unfolding of the beingness of being within a being is karma. The unfolding of life is the manifestation of the beingness of being becoming a being. As a being is manifesting in a world and that world is manifesting to and within that being, this manifestation is karma. Karma is the unfolding of the manifestation of the awareness field. If one is in awareness of awareness, then this field is experienced not only within oneself, but also beyond the body and the mind. This field of awareness holds a given situation and actually unfolds the situation, along with the holder of the situation. To experience everything as the unfolding of the awareness field, to experience everything as the unfolding of the beingness of being is liberation. “Liberation by view” is experiencing the beingness of being in all beings and in all events of the manifestation of beingness. You are a place—a place where beingness is manifestation. Beingness manifests as presence, as life, as events, both within and without.
This view cannot be won by goodness or lost by badness. This perspective exists beyond the polarities of right and wrong, good and evil. Karma is the unfolding map of liberation. Events themselves can liberate you just as you are. This experience can be called natural liberation. For some, karma can be experienced as a sweet monastery—for others it may be like a war zone. This is liberation by view.
This liberation by view does not utilize the simplistic and unrealistic “ping pong” view or “apple” view of Newton, which is ultimately Aristotelian. The arising of karma is ineffable.
Besides liberation by view, there is liberation by conduct. Conduct is your action in a given situation. As you act in the situation, your karma is your dharma. Dharma is the moment of karma. Karma is the action of gnosis in the present. This dharmic conduct is not a function of the mind alone. It is also a manifestation of pure awareness, which is bodichitta—pure love or compassion in the immediacy of the moment. This love is not of the sentiment of lovingkindness, but of the compassion of vast spaciousness. And so, this compassion takes one beyond prejudice and beyond superego, or the “law”. As we embrace this compassion, we become true readers of the situation. In this way, conduct and view come into complete oneness—oneness of place and oneness of action. And thus, knowledge is action and action is knowledge.