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The Heidegger Question

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  • Gary C Moore
    PTOLEMY XI ALEXANDER II These sorts of things I love to handle. For one thing, considering the whole context from the beginning, they bring revelations to me.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2001
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      PTOLEMY XI ALEXANDER II

      These sorts of things I love to handle. For one thing, considering the whole context from the beginning, they bring revelations to me. I usually pay little attention to the first sentence of a work because I expect it to be mere introduction to what follows in much greater detail. But in "Letter on Humanism" the first sentence is a blockbuster: "We are still far from pondering the essence of action decisively enough." My first reaction is, This is a response . . . but to what? Hell, if I know. Maybe if my head were clearer, (now, you know we Macedonians drink what you all call so piteously “wine” which would either knock you on your ass or simply kill you and makes your ‘whisky’ less than horse piss) or Serapis sent Hermes down to be with a divine message . . .for, after all, I too, am Pharaoh, a god, so why shouldn't he? Maybe He's mad at me because I just murdered my new wife, who happens to be my step-mother, after nineteen days of marriage. Maybe I was hasty. But Heidegger goes on, i.e., saying action causes effect, effect is valued by its utility. (Strange words from Heidegger which serve as warning signs) "But the essence of action is accomplishment. To accomplish means to unfold something into the fullness of its essence, to lead it forth into its fullness -- producere. THEREFORE ONLY WHAT ALREADY IS CAN REALLY BE ACCOMPLISHED. (Richard to Jud, "I think Gary has really gone all the way around the bend. Should we notify somebody?) But wait a minute before you put me in a straight-jacket.

       

      Heidegger has just precisely said what I have being saying all along about the nature of the present 'tense'. For one thing 'tense' is a VERY poor word to describe ”the present.” This is not a grammar lesson in English class. THE PRESENT IS THE WHOLENESS, THE “ONE”, THE ALL-INCLUSIVE ACTUALITY OF WHAT WE CALL REALITY INCLUDING PAST AND FUTURE AS THE FANTASIES THAT JUSTIFY OUR LIVES WHERE "ONLY WHAT ALREADY IS CAN REALLY BE ACCOMPLISHED." God resides only in the future and is completely harmless there. Immortality is the future and lives as a dream only there. God created the heavens and the earth in the, if you think about it in terms of actual experience, immeasurable past and therefore awes us with something that, again quite literally, we KNOW nothing about, I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing about. Pericles made his stirring, noble speech over the Athenian plague dead that Thucydides, of course, 'accurately’ wrote down ("Beware Greeks bearing gifts" though). But the fact almost no one wants to face is that NONE of these things ever exist  present-at-hand. Our minds are stuffed to overflowing with these things we have "faith" in to such an extent that even the most skeptical atheist, if pushed to the edge, would have to say we have to 'believe' in something (actually, in lots of ‘somethings’), so that everything fits into meaningful context, a plan by which these fantasies are and therefore ‘real’, a fate and destiny that, though not understood, we know is guided, aimed, directed – because it is a plan that we no longer dare say WE imagined. The reason for this is simple. We know we do not control things. But to know that NOTHING WHATSOEVER is controlling them is debilitating. "Therefore only what is already is can really be accomplished" amplifies the saying, "A bird in the hand is better than a golden palace sitting in the clouds." You might even say this is a variation of Hegel's "What is, is rational." Yes, it is an obvious statement, it is trivial, but has that not exactly what I have been saying about the "present" AS IT ACTUALLY IS HERE AND NOW? That it is trivial, and that NO human being can abide that for long. The present cannot have any value or meaning as it stands by itself despite the fact it gives the ground to all our fantasies of meaning, hope, purpose, sorrow, regret, anger, etc., etc.

       

      (Richard: But what the hell does this have to do with what I requested?) The next sentence is, "But what 'is' above all is Being." Now this makes me think twice since you put me in a bind. I usually consider such statements buzz words and go to something more substantial. Yet, being consistent with what I just said, this meaningless, dead, de trop, superfluous reality of the present is "what 'is' ", and is ALSO "above all," that word so very many people want to make into "God", that is, "Being", I then become Satan, Beelzebub, and Mephistophiles in one quick breath. For I think Heidegger has made it excruciatingly plain that "Being" is nothing much, nothing much at all. In fact it is Nothing at all, and he has said this numerous times from the beginning to the end of his philosophical life. Now, what immediately happens in our minds is – THE COMPULSION TO NECESSARILY CREATE AN OPPOSITE! Because how can there be a nothing, in, of, and all by itself? HOW CAN IT BE COMPREHENDED WITHOUT COMPARISON? There has to be then, common sense says, a SOMETHING! "Go ye, and gather all of your gold, and pour it into the smelting pot, and we shall make ourselves a Golden Calf, a God we can see!" But Heidegger NEVER considers this opposition of the visible and the invisible.  Why? "Only what already is can be accomplished." And so guess what the next sentence is? "Thinking accomplishes the relation of Being to the essence of man." Abstruse? No. Terrifying? Yes. But ‘terrifying more like a dream every night of unending, Sisyphusian drudgery. This is the present-at-hand. Any past relating to it is ridiculous fantasy so far. And I tell my cowardly self the same applies to the future. But this is where one is irrevocably trapped like a wild and frightened animal in this present, right this moment, this moment that can have no relief, no distraction, and no escape. This is the meaning of "originary time", this is fundamental ontology.

       

      Richard:
      If there are any Heideggerians out there (Gary?), perhaps they can decipher the following abstruse passage from the great man’s LETTER ON HUMANISM:

       

      PTOLEMY V EPIPHANES:

      I know you meant no disrespect, but please do not imply I am a Heideggerian.”

      QUOTE:HEIDEGGER
      Thinking accomplishes the relation of Being to the essence of man. It does not make or cause the relation. Thinking brings this relation to Being solely as something handed over to it from Being. Such offering consists in the fact that in thinking Being comes to language.
       

       

      PTOLEMY I SOTER (LAGUS):

      Now, in an earlier letter you said if we got rid of abstractions, would we not also get rid of language and words? But abstractions merely serve as couplings between train cars. In a sense, they are an inferior version of mathematical formulas. But a mathematical formula without external input or use for a purpose is the most utterly meaningless and useless of things. In other words, abstractions and mathematical formulas are merely intellectual devices, tools like the screwdriver and pliers hanging on your tool shelf. And yet we have made these abysmal trivialities the meaning and goal of our lives. I think that is sufficient in itself to prove irrefutably that the dog and the dolphin and the sperm whale are the only intelligent forms of life on earth. But Heidegger wants to at least make man a kindly servant to such superior beings. To him, the word contains everything that is and ever has been human. It has a multifarious history, a complex and contradictory context, and lives in a world where it, means different things to EACH different person. It is by words that human beings as human beings live.

      Let me put it another way. Let me try to put it in a way that is graphically literal which is very difficult precisely because I am in side the beating heart of abstractions, the life’s blood of nations and religions. The primary existence of a word is that it is spoken, not that it is understood. Like the word “Fire!” shouted in the crowded auditorium, its existence has nothing to do with the conveyance of information from one point to another. Its existence is a thrust, a call to attention, a revelation, a confrontation, a drama. As an abstraction fitting into Aristotle’s or Kant’s categories, it may tell you that such-and-such is happening, thereupon you are to make decisions about what to do with the information. But as an existential, a structure of “the essence of action” with which Heidegger begins the “Letter on Humanism,” it is an attempt at “pondering the essence of action decisively enough.” In abstraction, in a sense Heidegger goes on to say, “We view action only as causing an effect. The actuality of the effect is valued according to its utility,” that is, we stand back in detachment and we study the situation. But did I not say this was an unusual way for Heidegger to write? Because one does not “stand back in detachment” when one shouts “Fire!” For Heidegger goes on, “But the essence of action is accomplishment. To accomplish means to unfold something into the fullness of its essence, to lead forth into this fullness . . . “ He is not being abstract, he is not delivering categorical knowledge, he is trying to say what it means when we shout “Fire!” – “Therefore only what already is can really be accomplished.” That is why he considers poetry a superior mode of thought to philosophy - and nothing else really seriously comes into consideration. In poetry, the words are “the essence of action.” In philosophy, you stand back in detachment.

      "In thinking Being comes to language", then, relates to the very first sentence of the "Letter": "the essence of action" which "we are still far from pondering." This is coming close to "poetic" thinking. This is referring to a thinking poet about real actions between human beings, stripped of the covers that hide the nudity of our real emotions LIMITED ONLY BY THE HARSHNESS OF THE LAW. That restriction does not apply to absolute monarchs except by other monarchs. When Agamemnon is trapped in the net, Klytemnestra swings the ax down again and again, and all the populace can do is fear her as the manifestation of the divine. There is no sweetness and light fields of asphodels here. 

      Now, to your quote at long last, "Thinking brings this relation to Being solely as something handed over to it from Being." Double talk? Is he simply saying something hands something to itself? Yes, that is EXACTLY what he is saying. How much more of a meaningless statement could one make? But the answer as already been announced: "Therefore only what already is can be accomplished. But what 'is' above all is Being." Now, from the point of view of a practical and action-effective adult (but remember, "We are far from pondering the essence of action decisively enough.") Tom does not hand himself a screwdriver and say, "Well, Tom, here is the screwdriver you wanted." If you actually heard AN ADULT seriously say that to themselves, what would you do? But if a child does it, you say, "How sweet! He is playing with himself as if he were his own imaginary playmate!" and you wouldn't think twice about it. But considering just this one point, and maybe this is really the only point ever to consider at all, what changed in this abysmal space between child and adult? "Why, that's simple! The adult HAS to be responsible, of course! The child does not!" Now the child is held, contained, made to be responsible to the adult, the parent. This is a relationship between one person and another. But the adult is required to do this also to themselves AS  relationship to their selves. We just saw, though, the child IS having a relationship to themselves. BUT IT IS NOT A SELF-RELATIONSHIP OF BONDAGE AND SLAVERY! "We are still far from pondering the essence of action decisively enough." And then, as would normally be expected, Heidegger goes on to talk of "causing an effect" and valuing "the effect . . . according to its utility." Now, those last two phrases are exceedingly obvious and commonplace are they not? Yet is this the normal way he speaks, is this the usual mode of Heidegger's words as saying the "obvious" and "the commonplace"? ESPECIALLY when he just said, "We are still far from pondering the essence of action decisively enough"? Have we not fallen into his deliberately laid trap so that when we read your quote, that you yourself say is out of context, it sounds like the worst kind of pseudo-mystical gobbledegook? Yet then I said, "But if a child does it, you say, 'How sweet! He is playing with himself as if he were his own imaginary playmate!'" WHAT GAME IS IT THE CHILD IS PLAYING?

      Your Heidegger quote goes on: "Such offering consists in the fact that in thinking Being comes to language." First, let us state the obvious here. Now, this is not a reproach. I have ALWAYS missed this myself. But, nonetheless, it is still embarrassingly obvious. "Thinking" and "language" are NOT the same thing. THEY ARE INFINITELY FAR FROM BEING THE SAME THING! Now I am one of those sentimental, soft-souled, bleeding heart animal lovers. I would not hesitate one second to blow the shit of a whaler out of the water and then joyfully machine-gun the survivors as they thrashed desperately around in the water knowing they had no escape. (Richard: "Jud, I REALLY think he has gone around the bend!")Now, in Heidegger's lectures on ARISTOTLE'S METAPHYSICS Theta 1-3, he says:

      The basic form of αίσθησις (aesthesis), the relation to the surroundings as such, is αφή (aphe), touching, feeling, grasping (and likewise the other forms up to όψις (okhis)). ¶ Plants and animals are therefore besouled, έμΨυχα (emkhyxa). The ζωον (zoon) even has the possibility of taking what presents itself in the surroundings; it has το κριτικόν (to kritikon): the possibility of the separating out and bringing out of something, for example, to stalk prey, to lie in wait, to notice, to know their dwelling places, to protect itself against attackers, and so on. Therefore, exploring is proper to the animal. Is the animal then μετα λόγου? Surely not, for it is the distinguishing definition of the human over against the animal that it is ζων λόγoν έχον (zoon ) – that animal which has conversance at its disposal. According to this, then, the animal is ζωον άλογον, but as ζωον nevertheless έμψυχον (besouled), therefore not άψυχον(without soul). And so the division between άψυχον/έμψυχον does not coincide with άλογον/λόγον έχον. Therefore there is also within the έμψυχα the besouled forms of life, άλογα (plants, animals). ¶ If ψυχή (soul) is there, this does not mean λόγος is there. This is in accord with what Aristotle says in the Nicomachian Ethics, Z 2, 1139a4: “There are two parts to the soul, one defined as discourse directed, and one that is without discourse” . . . We now see that λόγον έχον is in fact necessarily an έμψυχον, but not every έμψυχον is necessarily a λόγον έχον. But here the difficulty arises again that we have already touched upon. Αίσθησις (the κριτικόν) belongs to the essence of being an animal (animality) . Is this not already a kind of λόγος, conversance? So in the end the animal is not indeed ζωον λόγον έχον? But over against this stands the fact that this determination is precisely the essential definition of the human. This shows that the question of whether the animal does not also have λόγος, on the basis of αίσθησις, can emerge only if we comprehend λόγος as conversance, instead of relying on the well-known and reductive conception and translation of λόγος as reason. If we do this, then everything becomes clear in one fell swoop. The animal may well indeed have a certain kind of exploring and perceiving, but nevertheless it remains without reason . . . We must above all adhere to what Aristotle presents as fact: that indeed the animal is αισθητικόν, κριτικόν – in the manner of bringing out. And just as little are we allowed to shove aside the developed meaning of λόγος in the sense of conversance. For the matter surely demands that we do not deny λόγος to the animal as it now stands – or else leave the question open. (pp. 105-107)

      The point being made is that the overwhelming importance of the word lies not in abstraction, but in relation and in opening, i.e., “in the manner of bringing out,” which if the reasonless animal can do, then it is certain that we are NOT dealing with ANY kind of mysticism here, but rather “pondering the essence of action decisively enough.” The word is an act like making a fist.

       

      HEIDEGGER:

      Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells. Those who think and those who create with worlds are the guardians of this home. Their guardianship accomplishes the manifestation of Being insofar as they bring the manifestation to language and maintain it in language through their speech. Thinking does not become action only because some effect issues from it or because it is applied. Thinking acts insofar as it thinks. END QUOTE

      To me, though granted, the passage is out of context, this could be the
      ramblings of a deranged mind. The house metaphor is especially curious -
      makes little sense.

      Any comments?

       

      CLEOPATRA SELENE:

      If language is an act like making a fist, and conversance is relating desire and confrontation with others in drama, then, quite literally, one is making “a house of Being” in which one dwells with others. I have used these poor Ptolemies to emphasize one does not have to like one’s home-mates at all in the slightest, but we are all in this together. Liken it maybe – but literally – to a spider’s web. The touch is real, the metaphor is not. One might call it a poem, but that would really be wholly inadequate, for what we must combine here all at once in one “pondering the essence of action decisively enough” is the whole of emotion from start to finish, as filled with love as hate, as much lying as truth. It is a drama, whether tragedy or comedy. There is no way to unwind the web once woven without total destruction. That is what a life is, and not just human life. When Heidegger says, “Their guardianship accomplishes the manifestation of Being insofar as they bring the manifestation to language and maintain it in language  through their speech,” is ‘intoned’, I admit, as if by a priest in benediction. Well, forget that. It is better found at the bloody end of Hamlet or the family bosom incest and butchery of the Ptolemies. You end your quote with, “Thinking does not become action only because some effect issues from it or because it is applied.” We are definitely not dealing with train car couplings here. “”Thinking acts insofar as it thinks.” Yes, as it stands by itself, it sounds totally idiotic. BUT! Heidegger continues with, “Such action is presumably the simplest and at the same time the highest, because it concerns the relation of Being to man. But all working or effecting lies in Being and is directed toward beings . . . Thinking is not merely l’engagement dans l’action for and by beings, in the sense of the actuality of the present situation. Thinking is l’engagement by and for the truth of Being. The history of Being is never past but stands ever before; it sustains and defines every condition et situation humaine.” “Thinking” as Heidegger uses the term, is in no way abstract but means commitment, emotional binding to a desired engagement. Or it can mean its exact opposite in this case, its rejection and hatred. Le condition et situation humaine.

       

      At one point in “Letter on Humanism”, Heidegger says, “Thinking does not overcome metaphysics by climbing still higher, surmounting it, transcending it somehow or other,; thinking overcomes metaphysics by climbing back down into the nearness of the nearest. The descent, particularly where man has strayed into subjectivity, is more arduous and more dangerous than the ascent. The decent leads to the poverty of the ek-sistence of homo humanus. In ek-sistence the region of homo animalis, of metaphysics, is abandoned.” Considering what I quoted from his Aristotle lectures, this is obviously NOY a rejection of human animality but just the opposite, their perfect identity. Remember also when he said, “Thinking acts insofar as it thinks,” it was followed by “Such action is presumably the simplest and at the same time the highest . . . “ What Heidegger is trying to say here, without being accused of mere emotional subjectivity, is that thinking is passion. NOT “a” passion, but IS passion.

       

      Above I asked, WHAT GAME IS IT THE CHILD IS PLAYING? In The Principle of Reason, Heidegger says,

      What does Heraclitus say about αιών (aion)? Fragment 52 runs: αιών παις εστι παιζων, πεσσεύων παιδος η βασιληίη (aion pais esti paizon, pesseuon paidos e basileie). The Gesschick of being, a child that plays, shifting the pawns: the royalty of a child – that means, the αρχή (arche, beginning), that which governs by instituting grounds, the being of beings. The Geschick of being: a child that plays. (pg. 113)

      He means this literally. And an excellent definition for “Geschick” has already been stated; “The history of Being is never past but stands ever before; it sustains and defines every condition et situation humaine

       

       

      I am having difficulty in expressing exactly what I want to say. But your prodding's keep me advancing at the question and away from self-pity at the moment. Somehow I must make a plain statement about what reality is. Now, this is not a straightforward statement in the slightest, as I am coming to realize, at all. Logic only operates by abstractions, like mathematics. This is clear enough. Abstractions, then, are the ONLY tools by which to find things, define things, make new things, understand how things work, and even by which to try to make the direction our lives are going our own instead of simply being pulled by a current in a river. But the tool-user is utterly beyond being anything at all like a tool. And yet is this not exactly what ALL organizations of people, politics, religion, sociology, psychology, medicine, etc., etc., do? That is, make human beings either into tools or the raw material, Heidegger's "standing reserve", upon which these tools are used? "We are still far from pondering the essence of action decisively enough." If it were not for YOU, I would NEVER have understood the tremendous importance of this sentence at the beginning of "Letter on Humanism." "The essence of action." Not what the tool does because the tool 'does' nothing. It never does anything. One could say that all it is, is that it is there waiting to be used, or is in the process of being used. But a tool does not ACT.

      Now, in an earlier letter you said if we got rid of abstractions, would we not also get rid of language and words? But abstractions merely serve like the couplings between train cars. In a sense, they are an inferior version of mathematical formulas. But a mathematical formula without external input or put to use for a purpose is the most utterly meaningless and useless of things. In other words, abstractions and mathematical formulas are merely intellectual devices, tools like the screwdriver and pliers lying on your tool shelf. And yet we have made these abysmal trivialities the meaning and goal of our lives.

      Richard:
      Gary, me thinks you shoot thyself in thy own foot. Using language to disparage language is fruitless -- perhaps even a bit daffy. You cannot have it both ways -- praising the abject abstractions of Heidegger on the one hand, and disallowing other abstractions (ones you find repugnant) on the other. A more convincing display by one who thoroughly eschews the abstract (mathematics or language) would be silence. 

       

      PTOLEMY IX SOTER II (Lathyrus):

      You are perfectly right. If you use language, you necessarily use abstractions. But there is a catch. If they are tools as I stated, then they become tools "for the sake of", to ou eneka of Aristotle. As long as we are speaking in terms of action without regarding the final cause, yes, I am certainly shooting myself in my own foot. My sister/wives would thoroughly enjoy seeing me do that. But in proposing your crux of "using language to disparage language" you make me take on something quite formidable. For obviously, if I follow my line of thought - and I also think it is Heidegger's also - language at some point must not only be to ou eneka, but absolutely and inescapably be SEEN as agathon, kalos, and telos, and most of all theoria. Now, yes, I am being thoroughly pretentious in pretending to know Attic Greek, which I don't, just Macedonian street slang. BUT it is precisely because these terms, even in the most everyday and sophmoric philosophical usage have a divine implication. They are the WHY of to ou eneka. And they are utterly useless. And, yes, as once again you hit the nail straight on the head - SILENCE. As the inventor of the calculating machine said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread," (201[206]) which is immediately followed in my edition by, "Be comforted; it is not from yourself that you must expect it, but on the contrary you must expect it by expecting nothing from yourself" (202[517]), and both of these are preceded by something I know you recognize, "Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows none of this. Thus all our dignity consists in thought. It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time, which we could never fill. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principle of morality" (200[347]). Nietzsche could not agree more.

       

      And in this context, being comforted by expecting "nothing" from yourself takes on exactly the opposite meaning most people would assume because only such a person as can expect "nothing" from himself can HEAR "the eternal silence of these infinite spaces." ONLY because you wrote what you wrote did I dig out my Blaise Pascal that I have not read in - my god - forty years? The point comes down to this then, WHAT EXACTLY IS HEIDEGGER DOING WITH ABSTRACTIONS IF FUNDAMENTALLY HE THINKS THEY ARE JUST TOOLS?  Towards the end of the "Letter on Humanism" Heidegger says:

       

      But now in what relation does the thinking of Being stand to theoretical and practical behavior? It exceeds all contemplation because it cares for the light in which a seeing, as theoria, can first live and move. Thinking attends to the clearing of Being in that it puts its saying of Being into language as the home of ek-sistence. Thus thinking is a deed. But a deed that also surpasses all praxis. Thinking towers above action and production, not through the grandure of its achievement and not as a consequence of its effect, but through the humbleness of its inconsequential accomplishment. For thinking in its saying merely brings the unspoken word of Being to language. (262)

       

      Now, taken abstractly, that is, taken metaphorically, this is total nonsense. But if one is actually "pondering the essence of action decisively enough," if one is passionately concerned with really DOING something no matter how "humble" or "inconsequential" JUST SO LONG AS ONE HAS ACTUALLY DONE SOMETHING! That one has crossed the line of pretense and make believe and fantasy and prestige and pride and status and academic degrees and assertion of authority to simply plant a real seed in the risk, the chance that maybe a real rose might grow from it, then one has pondered "the essence of action decisively enough." What exactly am I blathering? Actually, I - and Heidegger - are speaking in such a simple minded, retarded way that maybe, in this modern and sophisticated world, we need to be put in a safe place and be cared for - like Hitler did for the retarded and the insane. When Heidegger says, "cares for the light" he means "cares for the light." That's it. That's all. That's what ALL the furor is about. "The thinking of Being . . . cares for the light." This is something you would expect your illiterate gardener to say who has to walk to his work because he does not have the 'intelligence' to drive a car. "Cares for the light in which . . . seeing . . . can first live and move." It is at times like this I really wish I knew German, because the English here, in THIS context sounds far too pretentious and abstract. THEORIA is NOT something attained by getting a doctorate and going through post-doctoral studies under a magnanimous guru. It is, "I know I am superior to the universe BECAUSE I know I am dying." This is theoria. This is why it exceeds forever and always ALL PRAXIS. Old, blind Goethe, unable to walk, sitting in his chair, reaches out into empty space with one hand, says, "Light! More light!" and dies. THIS is THEORIA! "The thinking of Being . . . it cares for the light." "Thinking attends to the clearing of Being" like a gardener attends to the rose. There is no abstraction here. "It puts its saying of Being into language as the home of existence" -- "Light! More light!" - "Thus thinking is a deed."

       

      FAUST:

      'Tis written: "In the beginning was the Word!"

      Here now I'm balked! Who'll put me in accord?

      It is impossible, the Word so high to prize,

      I must translate it otherwise

      If I am rightly by the Spirit taught.

      'Tis written: In the beginning was the Thought!

      Consider well that line, the first you see,

      That your pen may not write too hastily!

      Is it then Thought that works, creative, hour by hour?

      Thus should it stand: In the beginning was the Power!

      Yet even while I write this word, I falter,

      For something warns me, this too I shall alter.

      The Spirit's helping me! I see now what I need

      And write assured: In the beginning was the Deed!

       

      So when Heidegger says, "For thinking in its saying merely brings the unspoken word of Being to language," he is not only being perfectly literal, but he is echoing Pascal's, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread."

       

      RICHARD:

      If your metaphor for abstractions serving MERELY as couplings between train cars is a good one, then continuing the metaphor leads to the fact that there is no TRAIN sans such couplings.

       

      CLEOPATRA SELENE:

      Precisely. The whole meaning and purpose of a train is its couplings.  A train that pulls nothing is perfectly useless. An abstraction that stands by itself outside of a sentence, or implied context of a sentence, is perfectly useless. There must be something intended! There must be purpose! There must be emotion.

       

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