Sunday, November 27, 2016
Counter currents on the clearing of beyng.
The German philosopher Heidegger describes our experience of being alive (“being” or “sein” in German) with a metaphor. It is as if each of us exists in a clearing ( of a forest) – Die Lichtung des Seins. The idea to be conveyed with the metaphor is that what any person knows is “inside their clearing” but, beyond the edge of the clearing, “the forest” is an area of darkness or, more accurately, of unknowing. The idea of unknowing here does not carry any moral or ethical connotations – it is not necessarily a personal or group failing – though it might be. After all there is no way in which each of us can know about everything. While one can create a “bigger clearing to live in” – by research, study, learning – as well as more generally by being open minded – there will always be a limit to what one can get to know in a lifetime.
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