1  Nature is all there is.

  1.1  There can be no theory of nature
  1.2  The term "nature" is more generic than the term "being," precisely because the term "being" admits its opposite term "nonbeing."
  1.3  There is no supernatural realm.
  1.4  Nature is the availability of orders but is not an order in itself.
  1.5  Any given order is connected to at least one other order in the world.
  1.6  Any given order is disconnected from at least one other order in the world.

2  Nature is not a system of internal or external relations.

  2.1  Nature is constituted by innumerable subaltern worlds, each of which has limited scope.
  2.2  Systems and non-systems obtain in innumerable ways.
  2.3  There are natural continua in the world, but no continuum of all continua.
  2.4  Each order in nature has limited scope and efficacy.
  2.5  Field phenomena are also limited in scope and efficacy.
  2.6  Non-relevance is not a relation, external or internal.

3  The fundamental divide within nature is that between natura naturans and natura naturata.

  3.1  There is no analogical bridge from the world of creation (natura naturata) to the unconscious of nature (natura naturans).
  3.2  The dimension of nature known as nature naturing has neither possibilities nor actualities, but is constituted by potencies.
  3.3  The dimension of nature known as nature natured is constituted by orders that manifest possibilities and actualities, but is not constituted by potencies.
  3.4  Potencies are presemiotic, pretemporal, and prespatial.
  3.5  The world of nature natured has neither internal nor external relations with the dimension of nature naturing.
  3.6  Traces of the ejective ground of nature naturing exist, however, within the innumerable orders of the world.

4  Nature in itself is not sacred.

  4.1  The sacred is an eject from nature naturing.
  4.2  Sacred orders are located within the orders of nature natured.
  4.3  Sacred orders contain traces of their origin in nature naturing.
  4.4  None of the traditional divine predicates apply to sacred orders, e.g., omniscience, omnipotence, or omnipresence.
  4.5  The sacred is distinct from the more ubiquitous non-sacred.
  4.6  The sacred is encountered by the human process in the guise of the numinous.

5  The sacred is manifest in four ways with innumerable subaltern configurations in the first two modes.

  5.1  The sacred is manifest as: sacred folds, sacred intervals, providingness, and the unruly ground.
  5.2  Each manifestation has unique features not shared by the other manifestations.
  5.3  There is no set of internal or external relations linking all four forms, nor the manifestations among the constituents of the first two forms (folds and intervals).
  5.4  Sacred forms in the first two manifestations (folds and intervals) convey archetypal potencies and powers.
  5.5  The sacred in all of its modes is eclipsed in power by the non-sacred.
  5.6  No one mode of the sacred is more real than another.

6  The first mode of the sacred is that of the sacred fold.

  6.1  Sacred folds represent a dramatic increase in semiotic density and scope for an order within the world.
  6.2  Sacred folds function much like an astronomical stellar body, radiating great  power into surrounding non-sacred orders.
  6.3  Sacred folds occur in innumerable guises in inorganic nature, organic nature, the self, histories, and mythic structures.
  6.4  Sacred folds have natural, not supernatural, histories.
  6.5  Sacred folds exist independently of human projections.
  6.6  There is no ultimate sacred fold.

7  The second mode of the sacred is that of the sacred interval.

  7.1  Sacred intervals always occur in conjunction with specific sacred folds.
  7.2  Sacred intervals represent a dramatic dampening of semiotic power, partially analogous to an astronomical black hole that takes away the radiating power of  near stellar objects.
  7.3  Sacred intervals occur in numerous, but extremely subtle, guises within the orders of the world.
  7.4  Sacred folds have natural, not supernatural, histories that limit the life-histories of their corresponding sacred folds.
  7.5  Sacred intervals exist independently of human projections.
  7.6  There is no ultimate sacred interval.

8  The third mode of the sacred is that of providingness.

  8.1  Providingness has no divine plan, it is the sheer providingness of what does obtain.
  8.2  Providingness is beyond good and evil.
  8.3  There is no location within nature natured where providingness is absent, hence this form of the sacred represents an exception to the limitations stipulated in 4.4 concerning omnipresence.
  8.4  Providingness is not a predicate analogous to other predicates.
  8.5  Providingness is not omnipotence, that is, it is not in a power relationship with the innumerable orders of the world.
  8.6  Providingness bestows natural grace.

9  The fourth mode of the sacred is that of the unruly ground.

  9.1  The unruly ground is the non-located source for the world of orders.
  9.2  The unruly ground is without logos or meaning.
  9.3  The unruly ground is not related to the world through the principle of sufficient reason, that is, there is no ontological antecedent to consequent relation between this ground and what obtains.
  9.4  The unruly ground leaves presemiotic traces within the orders of the world.
  9.5  The sacred is rooted in the unruly ground of which it is an eject.
  9.6  The unruly ground is encountered through the human unconscious.

10  The sacred is entropic and anti-entropic but in different respects.

  10.1  Sacred folds admit entropy into their contour.
  10.2  Sacred intervals admit entropy into their contour.
  10.3  Providingness is neither entropic nor anti-entropic.
  10.4  The unruly ground is anti-entropic insofar as it is manifest in traces within the orders of nature natured.
  10.5  A sacred interval serves entropically as it encounters the order of a sacred fold.
  10.6  A sacred fold functions anti-entropically from the standpoint of the human process, but not in the infinite long run.

11  The human process co-constitutes the first two modes of the sacred but the sacred is not reducible to these forms of co-constitution.

  11.1  To be human is to be the locus of internal unconscious complexes.
  11.2  All complexes are subject to projection onto sacred folds and intervals.
  11.3  There is a transference field connecting projections to their objects.
  11.4  There is a sacred countertransference but it does not come from a conscious agent.
  11.5  The sacred countertransference is encountered as a resistance to projection.
  11.6  The sacred countertransference is not a human product.

12  There is no sacred history or history of being.

  12.1  Histories obtain but no History.
  12.2  There can be sacred histories.
  12.3  Histories are subaltern configurations within nature.
  12.4  The 'sum' of histories over time is neither cumulative nor uni-directional.
  12.5  The human process occupies several histories simultaneously.
  12.6  Part of the moral life consists in the ongoing adjustment of histories.

13  There is nothing analogous to will or intellect in the sacred per se.

  13.1  The sacred per se has no traits analogous to those of the human process.
  13.2  There is no divine omniscience.
  13.3  The sacred is irreducibly plural and can be in conflict with itself.
  13.4  There is nothing analogous to a sacred conscious plan for nature.
  13.5  The sacred does not `want' anything from the human process.
  13.6  The sacred is non-selective.

14  Nothing comes from nothing (nihil ex nihilo), hence there is no divine act of creatio ex nihilo.

  14.1  The concept of "creation" is a finite concept with a specific provenance within  nature.
  14.2  Creation and destruction co-constitute each other within the innumerable orders of the world.
  14.3  There is no point in time when a totalizing creation can occur as the potencies are themselves prior to the creation of space and time.
  14.4  The Big Bang theory in physical cosmology represents only one species of the genus, and does not shed light on the prehistory of the potencies.
  14.5  Ecstatic naturalism does not entail any specific physical cosmology.
  14.6  Ecstatic naturalism does not contradict any specific physical cosmology.

15  The spirit exists independently of the four forms of the sacred.

  15.1  The spirit is ontologically unique.
  15.2  The spirit is fragmented into finite but expanding and contracting spirits within the world.
  15.3  The spirit is not a body of interpretations.
  15.4  The spirit is not a conscious agent or a person.
  15.5  The spirit is a lesser infinite, that is, it is not like other orders, but is not as ubiquitous as nature `itself.'
  15.6  The spirit interacts with sacred folds and intervals, but merely augments providingness by providing its own form of grace.

16  The spirit-interpreter enters into human communities of interpretation.

  16.1  The spirit interpreter is that dimension of the spirit(s) that works between and among selves.
  16.2  Natural communities are human collectives that merely reiterate common signs, hence they are bereft of the spirit-interpreter.
  16.3  Interpretive communities enhance and ramify signs held in common, hence the spirit interpreter has a locus in facilitating this hermeneutic process.
  16.4  The spirit-interpreter is not a body of signs, but makes open-ended semiosis possible for finite sign-users.
  16.5  The spirit-interpreter appears to be clothed in signs, but this is a delusion of the human process.
  16.6  The spirit-interpreter makes it possible for discrete semiotic worlds to converge.

17  There are only finite meanings within nature, that is, there is no meaning for nature as a totality.

  17.1  Since nature, in either of its two fundamental dimensions (nature naturing and nature natured), is not an order, it follows that there is no `it' that could have meaning.
  17.2  Unlike histories, meanings can be cumulative, but only within specific orders and in certain respects.
  17.3  The human process, as an order within nature, has no ultimate meaning, but only meanings in certain orders and in certain respects.
  17.4  Meanings are tied to the structures of signification.
  17.5  Meanings have a natural life history.
  17.6  Any given meaning can always be ramified in some respect.

18  The origin of religious meaning lies in melancholy.

  18.1  Melancholy is not directed toward a finite object within the orders of the world.
  18.2  Melancholy is directed toward the "lost object" which has ties to nature naturing.
  18.3  The lost object is infinite in certain respects.
  18.4  The lost object lies in the "whence" or the "no longer."
  18.5  Melancholy is a totalizing mood of attunement which cannot be `satisfied' by finite means.
  18.6  Religious self-consciousness is a unique structure in finite selves.

19  The telos of religious meaning lies in ecstasy.

  19.1  Ecstasy occurs only after melancholy has opened the self to its "whence" in a  totalizing way.
  19.2  Ecstasy is directed toward the "not yet" that is not, per se, a finite object.
  19.3  Insofar as the "not yet" is finite, it becomes demonic.
  19.4  Insofar as the "not yet" is infinite, it remains holy.
  19.5  Ultimately ecstasy and melancholy remain in dialectical tension with each other.
  19.6  The "no longer" is transformed when it is gathered up in the "not yet."

20  The world is constituted by signs and non-signs.

  20.1  Anything that can be pointed to in any respect is a sign.
  20.2  Not all signs are actually discriminated by sign-users.
  20.3  Virtual signs exist.
  20.4  Non-signs exist on the edges of signification.
  20.5  Many non-signs can never become signs.
  20.6  Non-signs obtain as enabling conditions for signs.

April 1999