The desire to escape from enslavement to traditional transcendental schemas of conceptuality, to be free from the domination of transcendence and of onto-theology, to make the leap into pure immanence, explains why some of us were initially attracted by the pretentions of OOO to embody a non-traditional or non-standard philosophy, and why we were fairly rapidly disappointed. There is in OOO a promise of such a leap out of the old transcendental structures and into immanence, out of onto-theology and into a negative theology, in the strong intensive sense of “negative” which would take it outside theology and into a non-theology and a non-philosophy, take it outside of the mind and its stratified concepts into the plurality and the flux of immanence. Feyerabend already went much further than OOO in getting us to “regard any clear and definite arrangement with suspicion” (letter-preface to AGAINST METHOD). This suspicion is like the “non-” of non-philosophy, it does not negate the clear and definite structures and schemas, nor does it become the basis of a new negative philosophy: “It is very important not to let this suspicion deteriorate into a truth, or a theory, for example into a theory with the principle: things are never what they seem to be. Reality, or Being, or God, or whatever it is that sustains us cannot be captured that easily”.
My critique of OOO is not so much that it is negative theology, but that it is bad negative theology, a new impoverishment and imprisonment, and won’t admit it. Feyerabend admits to his theological inspiration in his notion of the Real. He says explicitly “I myself have started from what Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita said about the names of God” (CONQUEST OF ABUNDANCE, 195). He also calls his point of view a form of “mysticism with arguments” (“a mysticism that uses examples, arguments, tightly reasoned passages of text, scientific theories and experiments to raise itself into consciousness”). So for me a liberation from the conceptual schemas of philosophy is possible if, as Paul Feyerabend invites us, we think and act outside stable frameworks (“There are many ways and we are using them all the time though often believing that they are part of a stable framework which encompasses everything”) and fixed paths (“Is argument without a purpose? No, it is not; it accompanies us on our journey without tying it to a fixed road”). This is what I have been calling “diachronic ontology”. It is the exact opposite of the path that OOO has chosen, where we find increasingly no mysticism and no arguments. It is interesting to note from a Laruellian perspective that Feyerabend several times refers to gnosticism as not so much a doctrine to believe in but a useful device for criticising the apparently stable structures of our world.