Monday, February 6, 2017

Slumber in the Why, as what Claims "without further ado" (or the nature of death, as life's knowing of the Eternal, as "continuance through" [being what already is what arouses the Why])

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We continue in our study of the Eleventh Hour of the lecture series on Leibniz's principle, or Law of Thought:

Near the beginning of the lecture course, and then more frequently, we spoke of the exacting claim of the principle of reason and of the fact that we follow the claim without further ado; for we are those who are claimed. It is only as the ones so claimed that we are capable of assuming, that is, of receiving what proffers itself to us. We are the ones bestowed by and with the clearing and lighting of being in the Geschick of being. However, apropos of being such beings we are also the same ones that being touches in and by its withdrawal, the same ones to whom being, as such a Geschick, refuses the clearing and lighting of its essential provenance.

The Why seems broader than the mere “claim” of the “principle”. Since the principle leads one to address a certain kind of Serious aim, to seek Seriousness after a certain fashion and authority, and to shun a manner of what is foolish and unworthy.


Why is all thinking not a philosophy, in the specific sense: something that aims at knowing, nothing other than a science of what always is.? Therefore: thinking as much as bare phenomenology with Husserl, and the Value Science of Max Scheler, et al., is this seeking, though concealed. It is not wholly contrasted with Revelation, if Revelation is, too, a positive reception, a knowing of what exists: a law.

Time: it is the sun, a “progress”.

Eternity: What is “continuance through”.

In the book linked to Plato, or his school, called ὅροι, which means something like limits or markers, we get definitions that are put forward in a way that draw us towards thought. Eternity is not said to involve the future. The future, is a supposition. Is, there, in the understanding of these definitions, something that is neither phenomenological nor reflective? And, neither is it “common sense”. Common sense is always a problem, because it changes, but does it improve? Large parts of the population can always become possessed of a new understanding about the basic ground of life, but, in such a way as to understand what is not unchangeable. Many trivial examples come to mind, but also more serious ones. The overturning of Darwin as over and against Lamarck, or the belief in some medical matter, such as the denial that the common cold has to do with cold weather. The vicissitudes of “intellectual culture”. But these point to a larger horizon of change, which is not progress, or, not a building up of dwarves, modest men, or some animals called scientists.

What is the “progress” of the sun? If we reflect it is a ‘revolution’, a circling. But, if we do not reflect, but say what we understand it to be? The progress of the sun is simply the passing of the day. But, what is the day? Is it not our lives slipping away? This “progress” is like what Heidegger calls the “time it takes to smoke a pipe”, and yet, it isn’t. The “progress” of the sun. Hegel says one must write the time down. Then Truth, in the logical manner, comes in. Is the thing written down True now, in this hour, at this time? But the “progress” of the sun, doesn’t it speak as much of the course as it rises as with the downgoing? Where is the “progress”? What is this thing that is defined, according to it? One thinks, too, of Tolstoy:

There is an Eastern fable, told long ago, of a traveller overtaken on a plain by an enraged beast. Escaping from the beast he gets into a dry well, but sees at the bottom of the well a dragon that has opened its jaws to swallow him. And the unfortunate man, not daring to climb out lest he should be destroyed by the enraged beast, and not daring to leap to the bottom of the well lest he should be eaten by the dragon, seizes a twig growing in a crack in the well and clings to it. His hands are growing weaker and he feels he will soon have to resign himself to the destruction that awaits him above or below, but still he clings on. Then he sees that two mice, a black one and a white one, go regularly round and round the stem of the twig to which he is clinging and gnaw at it.

How does it stand if all this is regarded, not as some tragedy, indeed, but as a subject of the Why? Is not one always looking to see about this, but not always going to what is most basic, but instead running aside to some distant outpost, some future aspiration or especially joyful possibility? According to Heidegger, the circling is the thing that hides time. In fact, time is not this “progress” of the sun at all. Here we come to a place were philisophic competence, the ability to sense what is at stake in the neat distinctions, comes to bother us. We must be able to see the way metaphor stands in the “progress”. We must see that against what the “eyes of the soul” take time to be. We must, again, find the distinct sense in which what stands there, as the sun, is yet a being apart from the “progress”.

The eyes-of-the-soul don’t see motion because something moves, or because it comes to rest. But, rather, motion is one of the things that the soul essentially is what it is through. Yet, is motion, simply Time? The metaphor of Tolstoy, lets the meaning, that of daily life, show its inner law. Yet, this displaying of meaning is not something that brings one closer to the Why. It was, in fact, only because the Why responds to the exposure to the “progress” of the sun that it seeks the metaphor. But, as such, why does the Why do so? In asking that way we would go into a circle, or something worse, a involution and a peregrination that leads nowhere but always goes on.

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