Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Forgetting the forgotten.
The forgotten is, in the experience of the Greeks, what has sunk away into concealedness, specifically in such a fashion that the sinking away, i.e., the concealing, remains concealed to the very one who has forgotten More precisely and more in the Greek vein, the forgetter is concealed to himself in his relation to what is happening here to that which we then call, on account of this happening, the forgotten. The forgetter not only forgets the forgotten, but along with that he forgets himself as the one for whom the forgotten has disappeared. A concealment takes place here that at once befalls the forgotten and the forgetter, without, however, obliterating them.

This concealment displays a special radiation. For the event of such concealment we have only the word "oblivion"-which actually names that into which the forgotten sinks-as the occurrence excluding man from the forgotten. In general we conceive forgetting in terms of the behavior of a "subject," as a not-retaining, and we then speak of "forgetfulness" as that by which something "escapes" us, when, because of one thing, we forget another. Here forgetfulness is poor attention. In addition, there is the forgetting explained as a consequence of "memory-disturbances." Psychopathology calls this "amnesia." But the word "forgetfulness" is too weak to name the forgetting that can befall man; for forgetfulness is only the inclination toward distraction. If it happens that we forget what is essential and do not pay heed to it, lose it and strike it from our minds, then we may no longer speak of "forgetfulness" but of "oblivion." The latter is a realm something may arrive at and come to and fall into, but oblivion also befalls us and we ourselves permit it in a certain way. A more appropriate name for the event of oblivion is the obsolete word "obliviation" [Vergessung]: something falls into oblivion. We are always in such a hurry that we can scarcely pause a moment to inquire into "oblivion." Is oblivion, into which "something" falls and sinks, only a consequence of the fact that a number of people no longer think of this "something"? Or is the latter, that people no longer think of something, already for its part only a consequence of the fact that people themselves are thrust into an oblivion and can therefore no longer know either what they possess or what they have lost? What then is oblivion? It is not just a human product and it is not simply human negligence.

Pp. 71-2
You know, this is a great blog. I should read it more often.
I don't think "obliviation" amounts to a dead end. But other than telling the story of the abandonment of beyng and listening to the visions of the poets, what remains?

For me, the wonder of things remains more vivid. After all MH's "figuring" of who we are, where we are, and how we got here, and how we can identify truth, he tells us that we are lost until we find a new way. My roughhouse interpretation is that can mean then we need to pay attention and put aside our "figuring" (an end to philosophy?) and develop our appreciation.

I have no fear that those who insist on figuring will continue to figure things out. And maybe, insofar as figuring is also something that artists do, we can find a way that resembles the enchantment prior to the dominance of technicity. There's no way we can go back, but we can go forward in a new, more holistic, way.
The ordering up of resources continues to accelerate - more figuring, objects are now little but their part in technicity. Some web sites (maybe Blogger) are running on computers packed into shipping containers along with the cooling apparatus. You can now order up so many CPUs and harddisk space, and they'll just plug in another container that's already parked next to the power station.
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