things change, people change...

Brad wrote:

"John Caputo (in his presentation at the 1989 Applied Heidegger
Symposium) said that all that is required of us is to make the best of the
situation we happen (facticity!) to find ourselves in. For thinking that
rigorously thinks our task is to be open to *whatever* presents itself, "the
fourfold" is a certain contingent constellation of the <whatever>. The
fourfold is therefore *inessential* in the sense that our orientation should
be (<--somebody will probably jump on me for that phrase...), primarily, to
cultivate our being clearing where <whatever> can be what it is, while the
<whatever> should take second place"

--- I'm intrigued by the "whatever". It think the Heideggerian system
(sheez!) is based on this orientation, and I also think that it is just
that: an orientation, one of many. If one goes through much of the work of
Heidegger, one encounters world or worlds which is depicted in this way: a
world in which things basically "are whatever they are", and are busy
referring to one another, with this reference being co-constituted by my in-
order-to's, the end of which is death. We can most easily clarify this
structure when the "things" around us (whatever they are) are stable in
their being. For example, a hammer. But also, a hero or a god. The issue
here is that in this movement and orientation, we just have to deal with
"whatever it is". We can then bring our being into clarity precisely by
understanding that we can let go of things by generalizing out of them into
essentiality via things like "-ity" suffixes and general-substantive terms
like "equipment" (there isn't "an" equipment; it's essentially general).
The fourfold represents the "final" opening of this progression. As "end",
of course it doesn't "finish", but plays (mirror play, etc.) So long as
"things" can thing (whatever these things are, hammers or "the highest
thing" of Ekhart (sp), namely, God) then they can play. Play is leway.
Gadamer notes the seriousness of play. Not playing seriously, dropping out
of the game, ruins the game. When a "thing" disrupts its own being in the
game (that's not quite a hammer, O.J. Simpson is not so much the fallan
black football hero as he is something else, whose being we may not quite
know) it doesn't take the game seriously. Bad thing! Children get mentioned
in your discussion. It is very interesting: children are in states of
becoming. They keep on changing. They may stabilize for a while, but then
there they go again. What's going on? Growth. We don't *know* where the
child is going to go. The world is disrupted in this way. Adults also can
change, though they don't do it as much and as dramatically as children. The
changing that Heidegger favors the depiction of is the millenial change, the
change of the configuration of the fourfold. He likes to be in that high
space. He is naive in that he likes it as the truth of being, not as a
possible orientation. The kind of change I refer here is the change of
"world withdrawl" and I guess some kind of advent/emergence of the new.
These operate at the "highest level". At the "lower level" there are things
like peasant shoes and bad stuff like technology which, doggoneit, keeps on
changing and dazzling us into curious bedazzlement. To which we may add a
whole host of other things: in particular, I'm thinking political change,
social change, for the better, for the worse, etc.

>From this standpoint, we can do some interesting things: we can quesiton
which examples are brought into play in order to facilitate this
development/clarification of experience, we can ask what has to be put out
of the play for not participating "seriously" in the great football game of
Being, we can ask about whether and how this orientation of Heidegger
disabled Heidegger from opening up routes to better dealing with National
Socialism. We might as, vis a vis women, how women fit in something like the
Heideggerian discourse. My agenda might be clear enough, and actually its
somewhat moderate taken from a fundamental position: just, as I said, that
one *can* develop a Heideggerian experience, but it's not necessary the
truth of Being. One could develop a Heideggerian thought that has more space
for the leeway of the putting out of play the thing that things world into
the mystery and contamination of becoming/change, or one could in fact found
their philosophy on something more dynamic from the start. Or one could "do
straight Heidegger".I've tried it, but since I and the things around me
weren't finished or regular enough, it was extremely difficult!


"It is only after one ceases to reduce public affairs to the business of
dominion that the original data in the realm of human affairs will appear, or,
rather, reappear, in their authentic diversity." -- Hannah Arendt

Tom Blancato
[email protected]

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