Thursday, January 02, 2020
Naming namelessness.
Both Heidegger and the kabbalists can be viewed as embracing a path of thought radically open to what is construed as the unthought, or in the language of Nicholas of Cusa, the concept of pure negativity, the negative self-refraction of the not-other that is consummately other. What Heidegger calls Seyn is marked semantically by kabbalists as Ein Sof, the name that names the name that is beyond all names, the name that is nameless. Here it is worth mentioning the passage from Heidegger's "Brief über den 'Humanismus,"' to the effect that one finds one's way into the nearness of being by learning "to exist in the nameless [Namenloson],"4 which Derrida already compared to the kabbalistic conception of the "unnameable possibility of the Name." And let us recall as well the comment attributed to the inquirer—a literary cipher that clearly represents Heidegger—in "Aus einem Gespräch von der Sprache," written in 1953—54 on the occasion of a visit by Tezuka Tomio of the Imperial University of Tokyo, as a rejoinder to why the terms hermeneutics and phenomenology were dropped from the philosophical lexicon: "'That was done, not—as is often thought—in order to deny the significance of phenomenology, but in order to abandon my own path of thinking [Denkweg] to namelessness [Namenloson]."7
4. Heidegger, Pathmarks (GA 9), p. 243; Wegmarken (GA 9) p. 319.
7. Heidegger, On the Way to Language, p. 29; Unterwegs zur Sprache (GA 12), p. 114. In Das Wesen der Sprache," in On the Way to Language, p. 79 (Unterwegs zur Sprache, p. 173), Heidegger elicits from the fact that the guest goes unnamed in Stefan George's "Das Neue Reich" the wisdom that the nameless (Ungenannt) remains the highest favor that comes to the poet.
From Elliot R. Wolfson's Heidegger and Kabbalah: Hidden Gnosis and the Path of Poiēsis.
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