Finally Ahab confronts Moby Dick. Don’t be offended: I know you are not a whale. You are to me: I have been looking for you for years. Trying to be where I am now; sitting, in front of you, with your celebrated, rustic table between us. Aren’t you a whale? Aren’t you Moby Dick? If you were, you shouldn’t be offended. Do you know what Moby Dick is? Do you care to know? It’s a brilliant doorstop of a book by a writer from that country, the one you hate: the one of commercialism, the one that’s completely forgotten Being and transformed the world into business. But that novel, believe me, is a peak of thinking. I’ll dare go further: Moby Dick, that ineffable white whale, well might express one of the modalities of Being. Or, while restrict ourselves to Being itself. I know how to think, Master. I can deduce what’s loose in my premises, of any that I might establish. If you were my Moby Dick, if I have spent years seeking you, questioning myself with your questions, obsessed enough to penetrate into the most secret folds. If I have spent years meditating on the question I will pose to you when – like now – I can. If all my life was fed on the desire to nail that harpoon, that question, in you. If you are the origins of my acts, the sense of my questions, the final objective of all my searches, you are, to me, Moby Dick. You, Master Heidegger, are, to me, the Being. All your philosophy is based on the art of questioning. The question of Being, the question modern man has forgotten, the question Descartes wiped out on making man the subjectum, the question that techno capitalism, thrown into conquering and manipulating beings, has hidden, hiding, in turn, the Earth, that question is philosophy’s project. I’m not here to ask myself about Being. I regret disillusioning you. And, perhaps worse, I regret bothering you, seriously bothering you. My goal, Master, is not the question of Being. Being is there, at hand, in sight. The Being is you. My opportunity is unique and won’t be wasted. My purpose, no doubt insolent, is to ask the Being. Not to question him. I would never dare. I come before you in an open state. I only bring two things. That Luger pistol I’ve placed on your work table. That pistol that you’ve looked at strangely, or with annoyance. Not with a hint of fear. And the question. I am the Dasein that incurs the absolute heresy of not asking about Being, but instead of interrogating you, of laying on you a single, unique question. The following, Professor Heidegger:
What do you think you will do?
I suppose your answer, in case you deign to speak to me (so far an unlikely event), would be:
About what, young Müller? Your question includes two verbs that are, I would say, excessive: thinking and doing. Do you know, I ask myself, what you are asking? Do you know, young Müller?
You say to me young Müller. I hear that, I like it. I am, for sure, young Müller. I am, for sure, the son of old Müller, whom you so warmly remember.
I remember your father, of course, you told me leaving a class, an effective professor.
And then you said something that, if you hadn’t said it, you wouldn’t be who you are:
But a minor philosopher.
You did not say mediocre, and I thanked you. In the end, for you, even Husserl and Jaspers were minor philosophers, above all Jaspers.
Labels: The Shadow of Heidegger