Understanding Heidegger I - Fritz the Cat

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Understanding Heidegger: first hypotheses Part 1

Heidegger evolved out of the German idealistic philosophy extending from Kant, whose main point in the Critique of Pure Reason  (i.e. knowledge untainted by experience) was " Here to for, it has been assumed that all knowledge must conform to its object. But all attempts to establish something about them a priori by means of concepts and thus to enlarge our knowledge,   have on this supposition come to nothing. We should therefore attempt to tackle the task of metaphysics more successfully by assuming the object must conform to our knowledge".  The subject of Kant's argument is the gap between consciousness and the thing in itself, between subject and object, and is bridged by the idea. "

A little background on the subject – object controversy as I see it. Prior to Socrates, it doesn't seem to have been a topic. Perhaps its roots lie with the Greek traders to the Black Sea who brought back reports of Siberian shamans who could send their spirits out of their bodies on such tasks as search for lost objects, communicating with the dead, searching out causes and cures of illnesses or perceived curses, etc. Thus the notion of the mind-body dualism that led eventually to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Furthermore, following Nietzsche, all knowledge grows by relating an imperfectly known phenomena metaphorically to a better known phenomena.  Thus by splitting the human body (the thing best known to early man and so font of numerous metaphors) into two parts, justification is found for splitting the newly found objective world into finer and finer gradations. Plato began this process of analysis, and so the Western philosophical tradition begins with him, just as the Western scientific tradition begins with Aristotle, the great categorizer of nature.

In the same vein, it was the soothing belief in an afterlife that aided the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman empire, and Christianity's monotheistic belief in the indivisibility of the spirit that gave it, in contrast to the pagan milieu, the coherence and "oneness" (in spite of, or because, of its many, often bloody, heretical disputes) to exist long enough to grow from cult to church to culture. Thus Western civilization could reasonably be said to be the development growing out of the subject – object division of reality.

This division was given secular reinforcement during the Enlightenment (skeptical) era with Descartes's "I think, therefore I am." Though one might doubt God, one could not doubt that "I think" (presumably subject) and therefore "I am" (presumably object). It therefore would seem to reestablish the God – world, mind – body split, but by assuming it, not by proving it.

"Assuming that which is to be proved" is the bad, metaphysical apple that Heidegger would root out of the philosophical barrel, just as science had rooted out so many metaphysical bad apples from its barrel. Science had recently moved from steam power to the internal combustion engine to the electric dynamo, improvements in the material quality of life that seemingly left philosophy, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the sciences" choking in the dust at the side of the road. Moreover, humanistic interlopers such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc., were starting to claim the scientific mantle as their own, shrinking philosophy's horizon of Being.

With this "horizon of Being" we dip our toes into Heidegger's philosophy, or perhaps Heidegger's jargon. It is most likely that Heidegger's jargon and his philosophy are inseparable, the yin and yang of his worldview, though he denied it was a worldview. For Heidegger believed, as many philosophers believe, that the world is seen through a glass darkly, that words are only approximate representations of objects, and indeed Heidegger believed that the representational theory of knowledge is fundamentally flawed and needs to be replaced by his more "primordial" vision. For Heidegger assumed (he would say proved) that our assumptions are responsible for more of our knowledge that are our facts. So thus the most primordial, or earliest, answer to the "question of being" would be the truest, best answer.

But is this not "nostalgia for the ancient?" Why should one answer, just because it is old, gain automatic precedence over its more recent progeny? Heidegger would answer that millennia of careless handling have worn words smooth beyond recognition and that every new philosopher piles his own assumptions onto the question at issue, ensuring the clouded  view of all modern answers. His critics respond that that itself is an assumption, and that Heidegger's neo-logisms   are often based on highly dubious entomological derivation from ancient Greek words which are themselves only fragments of the ancient Greek philosophers that Heidegger reveres, and that Heidegger is throwing a lot of stones around from within the glass house of his invention. But, of course, that is what philosophers do.

Or, according to Heidegger, philosophers from Socrates to Nietzsche have done. One of Heidegger's bones of contention with Socrates was the latter's insistence that he had a genius (today's conscience?) that, while not pointing out the right path, always warned him when he was going down the wrong path. This would seem to imply a constant human nature, or a natural law, as understood by the scholastics or some of today's conservative philosophers. This conflicts with the "time" part of "being and time", the proposed part of that book that was never completed, now resting in lecture notes and rough drafts only recently published or perhaps other Heidegger books I own but have found too dense to penetrate. Nevertheless, the main idea is that "Being" changes with "time" in the manner of the historian William Dilthey, specifically cited by Heidegger but given a Heideggerian spin far from Dilthey’s speculation.

First, to focus on being. Being most assuredly is not a "thing", it is not an entity. Entities are of this world and are divided into two classes, natural things and things with man's stamp on them, crudely, a tree and a board. The things with man stamp on them are in turn divided into two categories: 1.presence-at-hand, which is theoretical knowledge or "knowing that", and 2. Readiness-at-hand which constitutes our practical understanding of dealing with equipment, "knowing how". Being is never to be thought of as an entity, but neither is it to be conceived as other – worldly, as some secularized Holy Spirit. But, one critic has opined that theologians found Heidegger's work so congenial because they merely re-sacralized Heidegger into the holy writ they were comfortable with, just as Heidegger had earlier secularize the holy writ into a system that philosophers and academics were not embarrassed discussing. Of course Heidegger vehemently denied this. One could hardly found a world on a world already founded.  I must admit that on my initial exposure to "being", I was reminded greatly of some God, not necessarily the Hebrew one. But on further perusal I decided to give Heidegger's denial provisional acceptance, given that being and God, while they shared (apparently) some traits, seem to be separated in other aspects (maybe). One aspect they share is unknowability. Both are described with hints, allusions, and metaphors.  Both are described by what they are not. But that hardly implies identity.

On the question of "time", I suspect that Heidegger was just unable to conceptualize an alternative to the standard time narrative to fill the remaining third of the projected Being and Time opus. Time is a much trickier subject than is being. As St. Aquinas noted, "Before you asked I knew perfectly well what time is. Trying to answer I realize I don't." Heidegger did give a couple of negative definitions. You can't say that time "is", i.e. it is not an entity; and it is not an infinite stream of "nows" extending into the past and future, as envisioned in the Western philosophical tradition. Neither is it the Kantian  "experience of  inner life", just as Kantian space isn't the "experience of the outer life", such conceptualization implying the Cartesian subject – objects split that Heidegger was at pains to deny. He did describe time is coming more as blotches of time rather than points of time, but so did Bergson at about the same time.

As mentioned earlier, Heidegger had divided the world into two classes, those of nature and those that bore man's stamp. In addition there is a class of being that man alone possesses, which Heidegger called Dasein.  Entomologically from the German:  "Da" is "there" and "sein" is "being".   Dasein is the standard German word for existence. Heidegger insisted that man is set apart from every other being simply by the fact that only man is self-interpreting. He uses the Greek word for interpret, hermeneutics, to describe his method.

In the Western, Judeo-Christian culture, man was seen as being created in the image of God. Where man obviously did not resemble God, explanations were revealed to man through God's holy word in the Bible, as evil was explained by Adam and Eve’s Fall in paradise. Heidegger's project was to replace this biblical interpretation of the created world and a created man within it, with his vision of man and earth co-creating each other. He called this Dasein’s being-in-the-world. Heidegger saw man's habile relation to the world mainly as a result of man's growing up with and alongside the world, interpreting his own place within the world, and interpreting entities into existence, entities that previously were only an undifferentiated part of nature. Dasein interprets itself into being, and interprets all other entities into being. Without being,  no man. Without man, no being. Dasein understands the world because he was always already within the world, growing up alongside entities he himself had created (interpreted) out of nature.

Heidegger's aim was to diminish the theory side of the theory – practice duality, a theory heavy conception of man's being that could arguably be traced back to Plato's famous parable of the cave, where the common man was fascinated by the shadow world of illusion that only the enlightened man, the philosopher, could break free of by leaving the cave and entering the true world and, presumably, Plato's Academy, there to live a semi-detached existence, for as the cave parable explained, to retreat into the cave with news of the true world above was to court incredulity at best from those chained in place with their gaze fixed on the shadow world. Thus a theory-based elite is formed, comfortable and complacent in their self-proclaimed intellectual superiority, which need not be tested against the cave dwellers reality, because they wouldn't understand anyway.

Connected to the virtual stranglehold theory had in the Western world's conception of being was the other of Heidegger's great nemesis, metaphysics. Recall that we met metaphysics earlier in Descartes' "assuming that which is to be proved", i.e. the mind-body, subject-object, god world conception of reality. If Heidegger was to completely re-found man's conception of himself, as was his aim, he would have to somehow cut the Gordian knot which the metaphysicians had used to tie the Western world to the subject – object duality that Heidegger saw as the base of so much confusion and, inevitably, ruin. The metaphysicians had placed themselves in the enviable position of not having to argue about their beliefs. Men of Plato's stature and charisma, including Moses, St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and later Descartes had managed to interpret the world with a plausible story, that had, for  millennia now, managed to keep the common man chained in place, staring at the shadows on the wall. They were able to do this because they were rich, powerful, highly intelligent, and dedicated. They could ignore, buy off, intimidate, or ultimately kill the opposition. One thinks of the Crusades, where far more Christians were killed the non-Christians, simply because they held a different interpretation of the experience of Christ than did the would be monolithic structure in Rome. The same Rome that had, under the Caesars, crucified thousands of nonbelievers in their system, one Jesus Christ among them.

The repression continued into Europe where heretical sects sprang up like mushrooms, led by the same type of people (rich, powerful, charismatic) who now had at least nominal control of the reins of power in Rome. Rome, from where the first recorded guideline in counterinsurgency warfare, now classic, was issued kill them all, God will know his own. With Rome's increasing power such drastic methods became less necessary, to the point where Galileo, gadfly on par with Socrates, was only placed under house arrest. Of course that was after having been shown the Inquisition`s instrument. While in house arrest, Galileo reportedly told one of his confidants, "nevertheless it (the earth) moves," a fact that the papacy would not officially admit until well into modern times. And recall Galileo's contemporary Bruno, who was burned at the stake for holding similar views. This at a time when Harvard University, who tried to recruit Galileo, was up and running. And recall also the thousand and thousands of nonconformist witches burned at the stake much closer to our own time. And some would say continuing under the guise of ideology to this very minute.

I feel that Heidegger came to appreciate Galileo’s position. Raised is a pious Catholic family in a Germany dominated by Protestant Prussia, led by Chancellor Bismarck, under Kaiser (derived, like Czar, from the Latin "Caesar") Wilhelm. Young Heidegger was recognized for his religiosity and great intelligence and studied briefly with the Jesuits for the priesthood before leaving on health grounds. He entered Freiburg University in 1909, studying theology, then briefly mathematics, then finally philosophy. He received his doctorate in philosophy in 1913 with a dissertation on "theory of judgment in psychologism." Psychologism is the theory that conceptual systems such as grammar and logic can be explained by the structure of the mind, which Heidegger opposed. He completed his habilitation dissertation on "the theory of categories and meaning in Duns Scotus" and began lecturing in Freeburg in the winter semester 1915 to 16.
(Cambridge Companion to Heidegger pg 79)

A profound turn in his thought took place around 1917 to 18 when the Heidegger drifted away from Catholicism and Neo- scholastic studies and fell under the influence of Edmund Husserl. Heidegger eventually changed Husserl’s phenomenology into a novel phenomenology of religion and phenomenological ontology. Husserl had hoped to change philosophy into a rigorous science that would not explain science as a theory so much as clarified its knowledge claims. Heidegger soon struck off on his own. In a 1919 lecture course for example, he argued that even Husserl’s insistence that philosophy abjure theoretical constructions and cleave to what is directly given by experience involves a distortion of the phenomena since "giveness" is already a theoretical construct. The giveness of meaning to consciousness – intentionality as the consciousness of objects, Heidegger now begins to call "Being". Before being a reflection on intentionality (Husserl’s view), phenomenology is to be an "understanding, a hermeneutic intuition", a self interpreting process in which "factic" life intuits  itself in its practical, pre-theoretical unfolding, (Blackwell Companion to Heidegger, page 51). Heidegger linked this new phenomenology with the Aristotlean idea of philosophy as a doctrine of categories, an ontology transformed for the first time by Husserl’s theory of categorical intuition and no doubt influenced by his work on Duns Scotus'  theory of categories.

On February 7, 1919, Heidegger began his first post-World War I lecture course, Germany and the German University would have to be reformed and just to get mature enough for that task would take a whole generation, he said. This would take a "return to the authentic origin of the spirit", and that meant not flights of rarefied theory, but a concrete immersion in the practical experience of real life in order to get to the core of what it means to be authentically human. "Man become essential!" He exclaimed, citing the German mystic Angeleno Celsius (1624 to 1677) and then quoting Nietzsche, "he who can grasp it, let him grasp it."  (Cambridge Companion pg 79)

Heidegger was attacking Husserl’s commitment to theory and Husserl’s slightly re-evaluated notion of Immanuel Kant's transcendental ego. Heidegger proposed what he called the "historical ego" or the "ego of the situation", and would later call Dasein. Heidegger said Husserl's ego sucked all the life out of the world of lived experience. Husserl’s intentionality Heidegger recasts as the art of experientially "living out unto something" which has "absolutely nothing to do with ego." The theoretical life drained all the texture out of real-life, replacing it with a series of posits and suppositions. Anything left over was labeled irrational.

Heidegger wished to replace Husserl’s transcendental ego with an "understanding intuition, a hermeneutic  intuition", from which theory is but a precipitate. Hermeneutic intuition always already understands the world prior to any theory. Theory only muddles the real experience of life. No conceptual theory, no matter how elaborate, can reach real-life. Only living an authentic existence can do that.  The part of Husserl that fascinated Heidegger was Husserl’s "Logical Investigation", published in 1901. There Husserl had advanced Franz Brentano’s notion of intentionality – the idea that all mental act are characterized by directedness to a meant object. Heidegger in turn went further by going back to what Aristotle had worked out as "disclosing" entities (Greek: aletheuein) and began probing pre-theoretical intentional acts of everyday lived experience such as work, talk, self-concern, and faith.

Husserl had already argued that intentionality reveals not only entities, but their essence, or being. Heidegger turned this being from the "whatness and thatness" of traditional metaphysics to a "knowness and hadness" of his new phenomenology. In addition, he recast the traditional notion of being as a static presence to a future oriented "being for" the purposes posited by self-exceeding human existence.

Moreover, Heidegger, claimed that Greek philosophy denied the existence of an unknowable thing in itself. Entities present themselves as accessible and intelligible, even if subject to historical change. The human co-disclosure had to be correlated with the entities self-disclosure for intelligibility to take place, and Heidegger claimed that he had already found that correlation named by Heraclitus as logos and physics, and by Parmenides as the "togetherness" (to auto) of thinking and being. This event of intelligibility became what philosophers had to interrogate, which Heidegger later came to call Ereignis. This togetherness, according to Heraclitus "prefers to hide" in the sense of its ultimate unfathomability.

By 1923, Husserl had come to see Heidegger as the great hope to extend his work and when approached as to Heidegger´s suitability for a teaching post at the University of Marburg, Husserl extended his enthusiastic support. Heidegger was soon teaching a class on phenomenology with a decidedly original view of Immanuel Kant, in Marburg, home of Orthodox neo-Kantian scholarship, enabled, he said,  by reading Immanuel Kant through Husserl’s lenses.

In 1925, a full professorship opened up in Marburg and Heidegger, with Husserl’s support, rushed Being and Time in print in order to qualify for the position. After reading the galley proofs, the minister of education deemed the book inadequate qualification, but after the book was published in Husserl’s Journal and positive reviews started coming in, the decision was reversed, and in the fall of 1927 Heidegger got the vacant chair. In the fall of 1928, Heidegger got the position he really craved, Husserl’s successor at the University of Frieberg.

Next came Heidegger's unforgivable support of Hitler's National Socialism. Heidegger had been voting the Nazi ticket at least since 1932. On May 1, 1933, Heidegger very ostentatiously joined the Nazi party. He became outspokenly anti-Semitic, vigorously supporting the cleansing laws at Frieberg University to the point where Husserl, born a Jew and converted to Protestantism, and now retired, was not permitted the use of the University's library. He denounced a teacher for his liberal views, and refused to direct the doctoral dissertation of Jewish students, some of his brightest and most enthusiastic supporters.

Shaped by his ultraconservative Bavarian upbringing, Heidegger was ready to support a party of strong nationalism, combined with an anti-Communist socialism, under the guidance of a charismatic leader. Was it just wishful thinking that led Heidegger to believe that Hitler would be not only of bulwark against communism, but also a bulwark against the onslaught of global technology? Heidegger never did support the complete Nazi program and his ardor cooled considerably after 1936, but he never openly admitted his great mistake, or unequivocally denounced the Nazis, even after the war, when Germany lay in ruin.

Is there something in the intellectually powerful that prevents them from admitting a mistake? Perhaps he rose too far, too fast? He must've been well acquainted of the classic Greek notion of hubris, the pride of the powerful. The gods greatly resented any mortal who approached their status too closely, especially if they bragged about it. Surely he knew of Nemesis, the Greek goddess of vengeance, who relentlessly pursued the prideful, and inevitably brought them down. After the war, Heidegger was declared a "fellow traveler" and prevented from teaching.  The Freiburg University came to his defense and he was allowed to teach again in 1951.

What should our judgment on the well-documented, utterly base behavior of this fellow traveler be? Above all, should we blame the philosophy for the acts of the philosopher? Heidegger himself says yes, that historicism in particular demanded the action. Some of his supporters say metaphysics made him do it. Are they serious? I feel that this extraordinary man could not clear the most ordinary hurdle, the lure of power. But as Heidegger himself said, authenticity is not like a suit you put on the morning. To be authentic, you must live authentically, day in and day out, year after year.

Understanding Heidegger:   First hypothesis  Part 2
Heidegger's project was to replace the subject – object characterization of reality that ruled  Western philosophical life since Plato. Since then, all philosophy has been a footnote to Plato. Descartes brought the concept into the modern era, replacing God/world with mind/body, leaving the structure intact. The German idealist philosophers fascinated Heidegger with the boldness and originality of their ideas, but there was still a subject and object, albeit a subject that constituted its object instead of reflecting on it. Husserl’s phenomenology also held Heidegger in its grip for a while. By bracketing the transcendental, given, a priori, setting it aside, so to speak, one could focus on the experienced world, which is what Heidegger was interested in.  But Husserl was heavy on theory, and retained a "given", which Heidegger saw as still theoretical, leading to an eventual break.

Heidegger's project was bold, audacious, and irreverent.   Replace 3000+ years of philosophy. Replace a God centered universe, not with a man centered world, as the modern humanists are attempting, but with the mutual co-creation of man and world, which Heidegger called worlding.
This was philosophy`s basic assumption, that Kierkegaard in his "philosophical fragments" called Socratism. To make this assumption is to believe that we have a built in affinity for truth, a built-in way of tracking it once we glimpse it, a built-in way of getting the right relation with a powerful other. For Kierkegaard the opposite of Socratism was Christianity, the claim that man is not complete, is not in the truth, but can attain the truth only by being re-created, by being made into a new being by grace. (Lost citation – I thought it was page 493 in the Dreyfus companion).

But from Heidegger's point of view, Plato, Descartes, Hegel and the positivists are just so many power plays. They are so many claims to have read the script of the drama will we are acting out, thus relieving us of the necessity of making up the drama as we go along. Every power-play is, for Heidegger as well as for Dewey, and expression of the hope that the truth may become evident, undeniable, clearly present to the mind. (Page 515 Blackwell companion to Heidegger).  Heidegger would like to recapture a sense of what time was like before it fell under the spell of eternity, what we were like before we became obsessed with the foreign over- arching context which would subsume and explain us – before we came to think of our relation to being in terms of power.

Being is what vocabularies are about. Being’s poem is a poem about being, not a poem that being writes. For being cannot move a finger unless Dasein does, even though there is nothing more to Dasein than being’s poem, (Page 518 Blackwell companion).  The point of which Heidegger repeatedly insists is that existential – ontological terminology must not be seen as ordinary objective descriptive categories, but as pointers or precisely  "indicators" of meaning which somehow has to be lived and enacted by Dasein, because when life is reflecting on itself it is seeking not to determine the meaning of some objective nature, but precisely itself as the source of meaning. (Page 366 Dreyfus companion).  There is, one could say, a kind of structural opacity built into the core of Being and Time, which has to do with its philosophical ambition, not simply to report philosophical findings as arguments, but rather to stage a movement and experience of thinking which has to be enacted by everyone in a unique way.

Looking at the world from a different point of view. Historicism is precisely not objectivism. If man objectifies the world around him, is he not tempted to objectify himself? Or more likely, objectify others as part of a process of enslaving them? Or perhaps objectify himself as part of a process of self-enslavement? Heidegger resists objectification by hiding himself in obscurity. Rather than be an object, even an object of worship (for even gods crumble to dust) Heidegger wants to be a movement, a living movement, with no definable objective,  for that is an object too.

Authenticity can most easily be described by its opposite counterpart, inauthenticity. A person is inauthentic if he lives his life simply by doing what other people do. If you do what everyone else does just by accident, then you are not inauthentic, but just undifferentiated. But if you consciously do what everyone else does in a given situation, (say in "polite" company) then you are inauthentic. To be authentic, you must make your own choices.

The three concepts – the theoretical attitude, objectivity, and inauthenticity – are related by Heidegger in their undesirability. They are all impediments to change, and Heidegger wanted change above all, his main objection being the onslaught of technology, which he saw growing on Western society like a cancer, ever since Plato. It is not an accident that his favorite works of art were of a leather pair of shoes that a peasant might wear, and a plain, clay jug. Or that his favorite place to be was his ski hut, isolated in the Bavarian mountains.

We saw earlier, in the lost citation, that Kierkegaard, the first existentialist, also wanted change. Kierkegaard, like Heidegger, was no friend of Socrates. Like Heidegger, Kierkegaard saw modern society as deteriorated from a Golden age just on the cusp of history. In Kierkegaard's case, the Golden age was the early days of Judaism and the early days of Christianity. His was a theological existentialism, while Heidegger's was an atheistic existentialism. Kierkegaard saw Plato's Socrates as resistant to change, with a built-in sense of right and wrong which, like Plato's idea, never changed.  Kierkegaard and Heidegger were united in their opposition to a society based solely on rationality. Kierkegaard's paradigmatic figure was Abraham, the first Jew (and the first Moslem), the father of faith, who was prepared to make a burnt offering of his only beloved son Isaac (paradigm for Jesus), because in his faith he knew another way could be found. An inauthentic Abraham would have sacrificed Isaac, as one did in the pagan society Abraham grew up in, and as was still done in the Greece of Homer´s time. But recall that as Abraham had the knife poised over Isaac's chest, a ram bleated, and Abraham chose to leave paganism behind, and start sacrificing animals instead of humans. The choice of an authentic man.

Man is in a state of thrown projection. Man is thrown into a world not of his making. He is also thrown in the sense of finding himself in a mood not of his own making. A mood which determines his possibilities; the possibilities from among which he may choose one to project onto the world. Project in the sense of throwing it against the walls to see if it sticks, or running it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. (Response to H385 Being and Time)

The dominant mood in the modern world is one of anxiety. Man is anxious. He is tense. There is an unknown something threatening. Perhaps unknowable. This anxiety sets up the counter mood of anticipation. Anticipation must be ready to counter the concrete threat which is the basis of this anxiety no matter where it comes from. Existential man must face squarely the possibility of the death of his being at any moment, at any moment of vision, in the moments of rapture, ecstasy, clearly is seen a better way of being, a more adequate response to the world. Being resolute means being firm in the resolve to shatter the inadequate being and sieze the new being and project it onto the world. This anticipatory resoluteness has faith in the moment of vision´s intuitive rightness.  The historicality of the world must be met with the historicality of Dasein.

The poet´s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, earth to heaven  
And, as imagination bodies forth
The form of things unknown, the poet´s pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitat, and a name.

A Midsummer´s Night Dream Act 5 Scene 1

When I first came across Heidegger´s "moment of vision" I was quite excited.  I knew he was interested in mysticism, and now, perhaps, the hoped for trail to the mystic experience, the moment of vision, would begin.  The moment of vision was described as an ecstatic state, or a timeless moment.  The word ecstatic is derived from the Greek ex stasis, standing outside.  First thinking of this many years ago, I pictured a primitive, pre-linguistic man getting his first experience of time in some kind of an image.  Standing somewhere, and getting an image of standing there before.  An image of time.  Standing outside himself.

I haven´t yet found a trail leading to a mystic state, but Heidegger did say that anxiety was a necessary precursor to the moment of vision.  Nothing more than that.  But as I recall, mystic states come unannounced.  The Spirit lists where it will.   Shakespeare’s "fine frenzy" sounds unannounced, but the poet knows what to do.  Heaven to earth,  the unknown image to the known thing.  Earth to heaven,  the known to the unknown.  Back and forth, forth and back, but for God´s sake don’t lose the image.  It never has been, and if you lose it, it never will be.  

Did Heidegger have a moment of vision of a "time" as yet unknown?  He talks of time in neo-logisms and strange constructions:  Futural, Having become.  

Heidegger says that Western thought will not leave its subject-object obsession behind as long as reason has a monopoly on being.  Only a moment of vision or a fine frenzy will allow that breakthrough.  Neitzsche was on the trail, too.  "To be the first to burst in upon that new sea."  One of Heidegger´s commentators opined:  Reason will never overthrow the subject-object construction, they grew up together.  They are like two tumors intertwined, grown together.  Only another facet of consciousness will find a different, better way to relate to the world.  A fine frenzy, a moment of vision.

We are bombarded by images.  A blooming, buzzing confusion.  Filtered into concepts by reason and filed away.  Anything not conceptualized also gets filed away, Where?  The unconscious?  The void? The nothing?  A place without an address?  But like the so called junk DNA, never destroyed.  Just waiting, for the fine frenzy, the moment of vision, which Heidegger called "pure beholding", to escape from its prison while reason is in abeyance, for imagination to fix the image as the photographic solution fixed the image to the paper.

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