Monday, September 17, 2012

Being and Something or Other

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Sooner or later, you’ll ask yourself with conscious deliberation that waits for an answer the same question you pose reflexively every day, in waking and sleeping hours.

“Who—“ even more to the point “—what the fuck are you?”

You can’t fail to have noticed your curiosity or, for that matter, your stake in the answer.  Haven’t there been times when you’ve found yourself as it were, swimming out beyond the reach of shoreline as reference point?  Haven’t you on some occasion wondered what you were doing in a particular situation or that particular relationship? Weren’t there times when you found yourself the equivalent of a productive manufacturer of widgets, being suddenly directed by a CEO of an organization producing wadgets?

These and similar questions or rhetorical and existential natures have led you toward what you consider a major position in life, the position of acceptance.

You begin by accepting the circumstances, setting up the cosmic equivalent of a You-are-here sign.  Then you deconstruct the circumstances, careful to get the relevant ones in and the unnecessary ones out.  Steps one and two lead you toward step three, understanding, which is followed by step four, developing an agenda.  This formula, in itself not easily come by, has guided you through all manner of things, such as being a writer and dealing with those implications; having, then not having Stage III cancer; surviving loss, getting on with your agendas.  If there are things/circumstances/conditions you are not comfortable with accepting, you set forth on a course of change until you’ve effected the change or come to a negotiated settlement with acceptance.

All these approaches require some form of outside help and influence as well as an accelerated awareness and appreciation of self.  You’ve made some progress defining what self is, to the point where you sense yourself being comfortable enough with the picture you present of self in action to allow you to plod on toward the next plateau.  Not surprising to have come to the next level of questioning, is it?  This is so even to the point where, without deliberating on the matter, you referenced in the previous sentence.  “—you sense yourself being comfortable—“

Being.  Ah, yes.

The next plateau.

What is being?  Is there something beyond awareness of self?  Does the question as expressed here suggest a solipsistic regard for the essentials of existence?  Are you in some ways—in many ways—limiting your potential for understanding the nature of being by making you the armature about which reality is based?  Perhaps you assume you meant no such indulgence of suggesting the entire ocean depends for its awareness of existence—its being—by being recognized, validated, from the point of view of a mere drop of water?

Do you, in fact, need to know what the nature of being is in order to exist?

Couldn’t hurt, could it?  This is all the more so because you’re programmed to write about the phenomena of being in dramatic ways, breaking down concepts into the agendas, angst, desire, and hidden fears of characters as plausible clones of actual persons who were, are, and shall be.

What next for you?

A recommendation has been left in the suggestion box of your subconscious.  Sein und Zeit. Sounds like a law firm, but in actuality, it is the German language title of a quintessential work on the nature of being and existence, Being and Time, it’s author Martin Heidegger (1889—1976).

Because of his unapologetic attraction to certain aspects of the German National Socialist Party, you’ve maintained a distance from Heidegger and his conceptual visions, preferring in his stead a philosopher influenced by him, Jean-Paul Sartre. 

One of the many doors acceptance opens for you is the door of tolerating some distasteful drops of water in order to not only appreciate but swim in the larger ocean.

And so, for the moment, you end this exploration with the fait acompli of ordering a copy of Being and Time from Amazon, who has already assured you of the shipment of your order.  You may expect delivery in about a week.

Deliverance may take a while longer.

Meanwhile, being goes on its way, as being tends to do, undifferentiated, but willing to respond to friendly gestures.

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