In The Ontology of I-Thou I am exploring ways of thinking about the ontology of relationships. In other words, I am asking “what is a relationship?” As the primary data I am using a selection of intense memories from my own life. That’s what gives this book an autobiographical slant. If I provoke any thought on this topic I am successful.

I begin my reflections with a primary ontological assumption – specifically, that what we call matter and what we call mind are two aspects of the same thing – the same kind of “being.” Philosophically I think this is close to what Spinoza thought. But I do not follow him exactly. I do think that ultimately mind is the more primary. A plausible way of understanding how “mind” produces “matter” was suggested by the philosopher, Charles Pierce. His suggestion was that what we call matter is the primary substance of the universe as it has become fixed in its habits. As it becomes fixed in its habits, its interactions with other entities becomes more mechanical.

There are some interesting ramifications to the above primary assumption that merit exploration. One important ramification is that that what is true of “matter” is true of “mind.” If it is true that matter is neither created nor destroyed, we have to assume the same is true of mind. Another important ramification derives from the fact that with physical systems it is impossible to define a single entity all by itself. It is always defined by how it is related to other things. The relationship is primary. If the same is true of mind, we are the sum total of all our relationships.

If mind is neither created nor destroyed, and who we are is defined by our relationships, we must speculate that at least some of our relationships are eternal. Or at least they will last for the duration of this universe.

Whether we want to or not, we tend to absorb the materialism of our culture, and that becomes the lens through which we perceive reality. Contrary to this materialism, I am suggesting that in its most primary manifestation the stuff of realClick here to download a PDF of What Would Machiavelli Do?ity is more mind-like than thing-like. As a result, in our normal dealings with reality we are seeing the negative of a photograph and taking it for the print – for the way things really are.

These are simply intuitions. A truly clear and adequate statement of what I “intuit” always eludes me.

As of 6/6/21  I have a pdf version and an epub version available, both of which can be donloaded for free. Shortly I will have a hard copy  available from, under my pen name, Jay Edson.

Click here to preview and download a complete PDF of The Ontology of I-Thou.

Click here to preview and download a complete epub of The Ontology of I-Thou.


Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Download from, Joomla templates by a4joomla