“The fantastic, far from designating a simple logic of the phantasm or an intrusion of the phantasm into the real, characterizes precisely the real of the phantasm. Ontological difference, the convertibility between the two (ex)changes, the new ontological gift, and the new exchangeability are not pure abstractions. They constitute our real, the way the real registers the impact of its deconstruction and change: it renders itself visible in a different way. The fantastic is another dimension, that of the real image of thingness.”
Enframing is the essence of technology, as such it can be nothing technological, but a mode of revealing. But essence here in no way indicates what is generic to the technological, but the structure in which technology holds sway. In this change the basic question of essence, on one side of the line the question of the essence of truth, the question of the reality of the actual, becomes the question of the truth of essence, of the reality of the imaginary, the fantastic real. This crossing is not simply a historical change but constitutes reality as such, reality as change, change as transgressing the line between the actual and the imaginary. Insofar as we have an ontological sense, the ontological difference is this line, thus the ontological, and being itself, are on the side of the imaginary, yet no less real. The crossing of the actual into the imaginary is the act itself of the actual, presencing. The truth of the essence of technology thus in itself turns-in. In to what? Into the technological thing itself, which bears the imprint of the fantastic, as a real imaginary actualized, as having crossed the line into actuality. Yet this crossing is not unique to the technological, but in the technological it presences as such, as imaginary, as the fantastic, and thus the real of the imaginary shows itself. Technology is a mode of revealing, it reveals precisely by inscribing the ontological, being as the crossing of the line between the imaginary and the actual, on the actual itself.
Although the technological thing reveals itself as ontological, and thus the truth of enframing as the essence of technology comes to pass, presences and passes, is initially presented in the technological thing itself and its mode, in which it allows that essence, and its truth to presence, to stand-in and stand-for it, yet the mutability of the actual and the ontological retains the distinction between phusis, that which is converted from the actual and crosses into the imagination, and techne, that which crosses from the imagination into the actual. The full truth of technology’s revealing thus has not yet come to pass, has not yet presenced purely as mutability. The point of mutability itself, the line as such, must itself become visible, the line at which the thing is both imaginary and actual, the point at which the actual real and the imaginary real turn. It is towards that that technology develops, progresses. That teleology itself turns-in as technology because the goal makes no sense, it defeats teleology as what makes sense of things in that it is presences as something senseless, that defeats every attempt to make sense of it, that is, to ascribe a teleology to the goal of the teleological as such. That man is as driven by technology as drives is without question. Technology is always “out of control”, and for that reason technology progresses, is in fact the origin and ground of the notion of progress itself. While it projects itself as infinite, in the actualization of the goal nothing happens, and precisely for that reason everything changes. Nothing happens, because the line isn’t crossed, because a thing “sticks” in the crossing itself, and the crossing is inscribed in it, as simultaneously actual and imaginary, and real in both senses. The full truth of the Janus-headed essence of technology must be the actualization of a thing that remains simultaneously “merely” imaginary, the realization of a pure virtuality as actual.
At the core of the mythology of metaphysics lies the god as currency. Hegel never abandoned his initial goal, the deal struck up with Schelling and Holderlin: to create a new mythology. That mythology can only appear, in the end of metaphysics, as part and parcel of the first form of Gestell, Gestell as enframing, framework, systeme. System as what fixates, as what endures within the flux of exchange. that mythology can only appear as its opposite. In the end of teleology as the realization of the goal, the passing of the last god is simultaneously the metamorphosis of the last god into the first god, whose gift is pure exchange. System, enframing itself, becomes that which is always transformed, metamorphosing constantly.
This transformation occurs in technology itself, the mythology lies in the explanation of what technology reveals, in a general sense, modern science. In its purest form, physics. Thus the absolute is in Hegel the turning-in of horizon, the schema of horizon itself as the line of actualization. That schema must in itself become visible as a thing that is incontrovertibly obvious, incomprehensibly obvious, the infinite horizon cannot be the “bad infinity”, the sempiternal, but the infinity horizon itself turning-in, of transformation-into.
In the new mythology the schematism of exchange becomes standing-reserve, resource, or put most purely, availability. As such it is a schematism of exchange itself rather than merely its difference, of transformation and displacement, of motion as change of mode and place, of accounting-for as physics and not simply accounting.
As a mode of revealing, enframing is an “unveiling, which is to say a mode of advent, of ‘eventness’ in whose midst ‘is shown what is.’ ” This eventness shows what is against a horizon itself transforming, turning-in. In this turning eventness becomes event, Ereignis, which is both the horizon of that turning and the turning-in of that horizon.
“This mode indeed ‘unveils the real as a fund,’ a reserve (or ‘standing reserve’—Bestand) of available and masterable energy.” Why energy? Since enframing holds sway as our reality, as world, it draws everything into its schema. If everything from uranium to human beings is part of the standing-reserve, why the focus on energy? This is mirrored in the actualization of the Hegelian mythology as physics, where the ‘study of motion’ becomes more and more focused on energy, as the gift which enables metamorphosis, transformation and displacement, and is only known in itself by that gift. Gods are always known by their gifts, the last god, Janus as the double face of currency, is transformed into a new schematism of the god he was the transformation of, the first god, whose gift is exchange as such, pure mutability, the god of the sublime, Kaos. The “night where all cows are black” is hidden by an ‘event-horizon’.
But as a gift exchange must be given, not priced, and exchange requires energy. The development of the imagination in the higher animals coincides with the need for sleep. The exchange of the actual and the imaginary, which is to say the real, is tiring.
When we sleep we are purely in the imaginary, the crossing of the line is temporarily suspended. The need for rest from ontological exchange via sleep is the reason we can’t simply rest physically. The availability of actuality must be suspended. The line is not merely porous, it itself is changed in each exchange, without sleep it becomes so changed that we begin to fail to recognize it, we lose our ability to keep the line distinct.
Thus the ‘thing’ in which the line itself is revealed, through the simultaneity of its constant actualization with its remaining imaginary – its pure virtuality – simultaneously must reveal energy itself as gift, as a thing, rather than simply the transformations, metamorphoses and displacements that require it. The economy of ontological crossing as mythology is represented both by Einstein’s famous equation and by complementarity. To stay in the crossing means to render both faces of the contradiction, the complementary, as the ‘=’ itself. The transformation requires and releases energy in the thinging of the gift, which is always itself transformed.