CYCLE THREE

 

1. Let us now return to a less complex and paradoxical distinction between Nature and Civilization, conceiving of it in terms of rural and urban distinctions, or, rather, let us go beyond the scope of what came to light in this way in my previous text (Freedom and Determinism), when we were able to distinguish between the sensuality of the country and the sensibility of the city, the outer and the inner, deeming the one symptomatic of a sensual environmental absolutism and the other no-less symptomatic of a sensible environmental absolutism.

 

2. Had I made a like distinction lower down, with regard to the phenomenal realm of volume and mass, between village and town, one could have argued for a phenomenal parallel to the above in which sensual and sensible forms of environmental relativity were the respective natural and civilized norms.

 

3. But even then I would have been drawing a false dichotomy, because villages and towns are alike symptomatic of Civilization, if with different emphases, while country that is farmed is arguably no less civilized, if from a largely sensual standpoint, than the city itself. Therefore any dichotomy between Nature and Civilization that is conceived on an environmental basis has to take into account a distinction between that which exists naturally, as a product of Nature, and that which has been fashioned or modified by man, whether in sensual or sensible contexts.

 

4. For even in raw nature there exists a distinction between sensuality and sensibility on both noumenal and phenomenal, absolute and relative terms, with, say, wild open country significant of the sensual, or outer, form of an environmental absolutism and mountain caves significant of the sensible, or inner, form of such an absolutism, while, down below in the realm of phenomenal relativity, a like dichotomy could be drawn between, say, forest or woodland on the one hand and ponds or lakes on the other hand, which are arguably less symptomatic, in general terms, of space and time than of mass and volume.

 

5. Be that as it may, such a dichotomy between outer and inner forms of Nature is surely mirrored by Civilization, as a distinction arises between farmland and cities on the one hand, arguably that of sensual and sensible manifestations of a noumenal absolutism, and between villages and towns on the other hand, arguably that of such manifestations of a phenomenal relativity.

 

6. Therefore the distinction between Nature and Civilization cannot be contemporaneous or environmentally parallel but, rather, illustrative of a dichotomy between the naturally raw and the civilly fashioned, with the latter tending, wherever it obtains, to be superimposed upon the former and developed as both its civilized parallel and alternative.

 

7. Thus the distinction we are left with is either between the sensual and sensible forms of raw nature, in short of Nature, or the sensual and sensible forms of the man-made, in short of Civilization, which includes both absolutely rural and relatively rural manifestations of civilized sensuality on the one hand, and both relatively urban (suburban) and absolutely urban manifestations of civilized sensibility on the other hand.

 

8. Therefore Civilization, no less than Nature, is expressive of a dichotomy between sensual and sensible alternatives on both a noumenal and a phenomenal basis, and while we can draw parallel antitheses between one type of Civilization and another, we must exclude from such dichotomies a comparison with Nature, which is rather the primal backdrop to what has in effect become a man-made superimposition owing more to the supremacy of his civilized and civilizing influence than to the existence of natural primacy as such.

 

9. But, contrary to how I used to think, one might be forgiven for distinguishing both the sensual forms of Civilization, viz. farmland and village, from their sensible counterparts in city and town on the basis of either noumenal or phenomenal forms of organic supremacy vis--vis such forms of inorganic supremacy, since it does seem that as one develops sensibility, or in any context in which sensibility can develop, there has to be a skeletal-like structure which encases or enfolds it and encourages it to be, and precisely as a higher form of the organic.

 

10. Therefore, compared to farmland, the city would seem, when truly urban, to exemplify an inorganic antithesis to organic supremacy which permits of and encourages enhanced sensibility for those who live in it, while, lower down in the phenomenal relativity of mass and volume, it would equally seem that, compared to village life, the town, when truly suburban, tends to exemplify an inorganic antithesis to organic supremacy which likewise conduces towards enhanced sensibility, albeit on the necessarily relative terms, I shall argue, of knowledge and strength rather than in relation to the absolute terms of truth and beauty, their male and female noumenal counterparts.

 

11. And if we go behind Civilization to nature in the raw, to Nature as naturally constituted without man-made interference or conditioning, we shall find a like dichotomy between the organic primacy of wild country and the inorganic primacy of mountain caves on the one hand, that of space and time, and between the organic primacy of woodland and the inorganic primacy of lakes or ponds on the other hand, that of mass and volume, in both the sensible contexts of which, viz. caves and lakes, it is possible for a higher form of organic life to exist, as for example bats and fish.

 

12. Therefore the development of sensibility, of an inner organic antithesis to anything outer, is everywhere premised upon an inorganic alternative to organic sensuality, whether in relation to primacy or to supremacy, Nature or Civilization, on both phenomenal and noumenal terms. It is only by having a sort of inorganic skeleton around it that either power can develop a sensible alternative to those sensual preconditions which especially exemplify natural freedom and psychic determinism to the exclusion of psychic freedom and natural determinism - to the exclusion, in short, not only of all that, in male terms, is wise and holy, but also, as the necessary female corollary of this, good and unclear, as described in previous texts.