File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_1998/heidegger.9811, message 25

Subject: More Meaning Again
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 09:41:21 -0500


Ok, follow me here for a minute. I would like to recap my impressions of
"Meaning" and perhaps you (or anyone) can comment.

We think of meaning in two ways: The first way is as an indicator that
points away from itself. When I see a stop sign, the sign indicates that I
stop. Of course this is too simple. It also indicates that I should step on
the break, and that I should adjust my focus, and that I should shift my
awareness to accomodate a change in speed, etc. and so on. So it doesn't
ONLY indicate one action. It points to a tapestry of other meanings that
point as well (and I would like to loose this view of pointing pretty soon).

The second way we think of meaning is in terms of "having" something. When I
see a movie that has great impact on me I say this movie carries great
meaning for me. But in this case, perhaps the meaning is still a pointing.
Here, the pointing is to a Befindlickheit. 

Where I am going with this is to find the sameness between these two ways of
thinking about meaning by pointing out that the two "modes" of thinking are
really the same. And at first, they appear to both be a pointing. At first,
this is how they look the both being a pointing toward
"something". In the first instance, there is a pointing to an action. in the
second instance, there is a pointing to a "thing" (perhaps a nominalization,
or verb used as a noun).

But then something doesn't quite fit, and that is the pointing thing in
general. I'm wondering if meaning can be thought of not as a thing that
points, but as a path or an action, or something like that.

I still reflecting upon the odd notion that finding the meaning can bring
about some sort of emotional resolution. When Edinger says that it isn't
suffering that is so bad, its meaningless suffering, what is the
relationship here between meaning and suffering?

Any thoughts?

Michael S.

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