Thursday, May 31, 2007
John D. Caputo on Being and the rose without why.
Heidegger's life without why is the renunciation of concepts and representations, of propositions and ratiocinations about Being; it lets Being be Being. Both the soul and Dasein are "admitted" (einlassen) into a realm which lies outside the sphere of influence of Leibniz's principle, where rationales and justifications have no place. In this realm things are because they are. They are resplendent--self-resplendent--with their own grounds. Here no questions are asked because things rise up from out of themselves; they are their own "because." Here there is no giving or demanding of reasons. For reasons belong to the realm of the "why?"--the realm of "time" for Eckhart, and of beings and the sciences for Heidegger.

Living without why, Dasein is appropriated by Being as Being's own; it is claimed by Being as the place of the preservation of its truth; it is claimed by the "Region" (Ver-gegnis). Living without why, Dasein admits Being into the "thing," allows Being to "condition" (be-dingen) the thing, so that the thing becomes transparent in its Being and the playing together of the four can be seen within it. Thus when Dasein is, like the rose, without why, Dasein is appropriated by the region and the thing is "conditioned" as a thing. Being, thing, and Dasein are all released into their "own" (eigen); all three attain their ownmost essential being (Wesen). All three--Being, thing, and Dasein--are, to use Meister Eckhart's expression, "ver-wesentlicht", which means "radicalized in their essence," "brought into their essential being." And Silesius's rose is the model of this three-fold process. "the rose is without why"--this means, all in one: Being emerges of itself and appropriates man and thing: a "thing"--this rose--becomes resplendent in its Being and rests on its own ground, allowing the "four" to intersect within it; and finally Dasein, dwelling among things, in the openness of Being, "first truly is, in the most hidden ground of its essence".

Pp. 191-192
That's a very interesting book and the bit about Silisius is quite interesting. I think it ultimately fails towards the end when he tries to make the case for mysticism. Partially, interestingly enough, because I think Heidegger just doesn't meet the mystic ideal for Caputo despite some structural similarities. Put an other way, would a true mystic have acted towards his Jewish friends the way Heidegger did? (Assuming the ideal mystics hold of mystics)

If Heidegger is merely a philosopher rather than a mystic this question doesn't really become such a problem.
I can understand confusing him with a mystic, but to me he's an example of that rare type, the gnomic futurist--e.g. with his "Only a god can save us" and so on--in the classical Greek sense, and not the common garden variety.
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