File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_2001/heidegger.0105, message 7

Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 17:13:45 +0200
Subject: Re: indifference

At 08:59 28-4-01 -0400, Gary C. Moore wrote:

>I was just planning to get thoroughly drunk today, but, at least for the
>moment, your letter has deflected me from this primary purpose of life. With
>your usual brilliant incisiveness, you cut right to the heart of several
>basic problems in Heidegger and several others.
>In later writings, Heidegger states that when a transition from metaphysical
>representation to the essence (Wesen) of metaphysics is at stake, we seem to
>fall into an abyss. (Identity and difference, German p.28)  This abyss is
>the one that in BT 'opens up' in authenticity.
>I wish I had thought of this. Maybe I would have. I might have being going
>in the right direction. But you got there. Heidegger in KANT AND THE PROBLEM
>OF METAPHYSICS states literally the Da-sein is metaphysics, therefore
>logically it can never be something you get away from or drop like an
>outworn intellectual fad. Metaphysics is Da-sein. And I think he made his
>point very well that Kant thought the same thing. In the second volume of
>NIETZSCHE, The Eternal Recurrence of the Same, he again makes this point in
>defining "the guiding question," but makes it clear that, except for the
>great philosophers like Hegel and Kant, philosophers get stuck in a trivial
>narcissism of playing with essentially pointless words without ever even
>realizing that what the metaphysics of 'the guiding question" was guiding
>toward was the utterly open, groundless, and 'eternally' unending "grounding
>question," the only question that does not presuppose its answer. The
>metaphysics is absolutely necessary, and stays necessary as it was used in
>Hegel and Kant in order to keep open "the grounding question" which is
>necessarily beyond metaphysics, but is only kept open by the metaphysics
>that is Da-sein (I am not at my best now, forgive me). That what
>'authenticity' is is this opening up states brilliantly in a few words that
>I blunderingly have been trying to say in thousands. And necessarily therein
>"the grounding question" ceases to have any metaphysical or linguistic
>structure at all, and becomes the primordial passion literally. I will get
>back to this.
>Heidegger later said, that BT necessarily takes its depart from metaphysics.
>Trying to catch being-in-the-world as a unity, leads to the abyss.
>Again brilliant, and makes me feel very foolish. But it explains so many
>things in Heidegger that merely seemed to verge on the mystical or even the
>pompous and fraudulent. "Trying to catch" is absolutely perfect. That is
>exactly what so many people try to make Heidegger do, and, to give them
>credit, he does seem to lead them down the garden path, or like the fox in
>the trap of Hannah Arendt's little story, tries to get them to join him in
>his trap.



The idea of the fox is, according to me, that after having been trapped
many times
 (catholicism, Husserl's school, 1933), Heidegger decides to
go sit in his own trap, and from then on everybody is coming to him.
But there is only room for one. One cannot join Heidegger. We can't agree,
or disagree on anything with him.  There is just no ground for it.
And Jemeinigkeit (BT), Vereinzelung (GA29/30),
Einsamkeit (Wisser-interview) are thorough. 

> But he does leave plenty of clues saying that what you catch is
>literally nothing. And you can do nothing with nothing.

Like in: Ex nihilo nihil fit? But that is the null-nothing of metaphysics
Heidegger sometimes seems to hint, that when
metaphysical schemas are really overcome, i.e. if we are overcome
ourselves as the animal rationale, that then metaphysics can tell
us still something  completely different. The modal change of 
"The principle of ground, the same in "Identity and Difference". 
Two principles, one of ground, the other of identity.  Two iron
metaphysical concepts,
maybe THE two, which are not explained by Heidegger, but placed.

>But, says H. ibidem: the abyss is not the empty nothing, nor dark chaos, but
>Er-Eignis. Whatever that may be, it is in any case in-different with regard
>to metaphysical difference. BT, German p.53: "Dasein exists always in one of
>these modes [authenticity, inauthenticity], resp. in the modal indifference
>toward them." So, indifference is not only in everydayness, but "is" also
>between everydayness and authenticity. Where or when is that? You stressed
>the identity of Dasein in both.
>I got the idea of a hinge that is in between.
>I have been trying to deal with indifference for some time now. I had just
>stumbled on the term "in-difference" a week ago, but have not at all
>developed it. I was going to approach it from the two aspects of "joy" - 1)
>the joy from taking on deliberately the certainty of death in B&T, and 2)
>the joy beyond comparison at the end of chapter 8 of the first volume of
>NIETZSCHE, The Will to Power as Art 

Near the end of "Der Feldweg" Heidegger speaks of an ultimate and
knowing  joy:  eine letzte, wissende  Heiterkeit. Nobody can acquire it,
who hasn't got it. 

"Die wissende Heiterkeit ist ein Tor zum Ewigen. Seine Tuer dreht sich
in den Angeln, die aus den Raetseln des Daseins bei einem kundigen Schmied 
einst geschmiedet worden."  (GA 13. Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, p. 90)

The knowing joy is a gate to the eternal. Its door swings in the hinges,
which, once, have been forged  by a handy (black?)smith out of the 
riddles of Dasein".

Heidegger had much more to say, but he held it back, with two or three
it was useless, because people couldn't read anymore, he said. That's why he
kept to interpretations of older philosophers

Now it is coming in the GA, for instance this Abendlaendische Gespraech.
It makes no sense talking about it, but I may let you know, that he speaks
in the beginning of "der holde Tod", meek death, and an inexplicable trust. 

- along with the technique of self-irony
>and self-trivialization of Kierkegaard which would reduce the hermeneutic
>circle to "idle chatter," and the "profound boredom" of FUNDAMENTAL
>CONCEPTS OF METAPHYSICS back in a 'circle' to Angst which is anxiety in the
>face of nothing, or in the realization of the fundamental uselessness and
>pointlessness of everything in the face of death - all of which in some way
>were going to reflect  the even more fundamental mood of indifference which
>is the passion  of the grounding question I mentioned above. That it is a
>passion I was going to show through the passage about the strange mood
>Heidegger mentions in B&T that should fit this quite well if done right with
>what Freud says about "indifference" in The Interpretation of Dreams
>specifically as observed in gorillas, i.e., that their "indifference" is
>actually a state of intense observation (of you the other observer) combined
>with an immediate readiness for aggressive display - alone with Camus'
>Mersault in The Stranger, which I disliked intensely when I first read it,
>but now I think I understand that the last page of the book literally
>explains his murderous indifference as precisely a latent but intense
>passion of searching for anything, anything at all, that could possibly be
>truly important, and only finding it on the day of his execution. His
>"indifference" acted with no intellectual or metaphysical structure
>whatsoever to do the same thing as the "guiding question" does for the
>"grounding question," and boils down philosophically to a triviality, that
>the 'answer' is the quest itself, but one finds as Mersualt did that that
>'answer' is your own particular life that has nothing to do with
>abstractions, and when put in a bind like that, is the most important thing
>in the universe. The concept of "indifference as the hinge" is possibly the
>most brilliant thing in your letter: it is the "hinge" that keeps Da-sein
>together that must always be inauthentic,yet whose "always already" call is
>ever present as the call to authenticity - which is merely a modification of
>inauthenticity. But you you understand clearly how both of these modes can
>be genuine and ungenuine? I can get bits and pieces, but you seem to have
>the answers. Please tell me.

I would if I could, but I think, Heidegger himself has no answers, that
don't lead to deeper
questions. In fact, he says so. Deeper into das Unvorausdenkbare, that
which cannot be thought 
beforehand, das Unbesetzbare, that which cannot be occupied, like
Grundstimmung, the Between, 
Gelassenheit and the like.
We are always on one side, let's call it the side of the 'subject'.
Heidegger discovers: 
but we are not, what we think we are, not grounded. Thus we have to get out
of the circle 
that is the subject. Ek-sistence. But whereto? Into the open. What is the
It isn't itself open, in the sense of representable. Mysticism is forbidden
here, so there is no way out.   
Only the subject can change. But the subject is geschichtlich and on a
road, that has begun
with the Greeks, and ended with the "victims" Hoelderlin, Schiller,
Kierkegaard, Van Gogh 
and Nietzsche  (GA45,  p. 216)

>In Contributions he says, that the Kehre, turning is between Entwurf and
>Geworfenheit. (This is not Heidegger's Kehre, but the Kehre in Being itself)
>Gelassenheit, German p.59: Entschlossenheit/authenticity is thought in BT as
>the own undertaken opening up FOR the open. (das EIGENS uebernommene
>Sichoeffnen FUER das Offene).
>> Eigens - Er-Eignis
>> Own - En-Owning
>> Not property, but getting back to where you always were, but without
>reaching it. An-denken: not taking into posession, con-cipere, but an-, near
>to it.
>Heraklitos' Anchibasie, in-die-Naehe gehen. (Gelassenheit, p. 69).
>Once again, "I knew that." No, "releasement" would be the perfect unifying
>concept for joy, triviality, boredom, anxiety, and murderousness. "Not
>property, but getting back to where you always were, but without reaching
>it, " is a beautiful summary of Heidegger. After all, when you accomplish
>your ownmost in the face of death, he says you then must give up everything,
>especially your "ownmost."

I talked about this with another Gary, last year. About the being able/liking
of death, den Tod vermoegen, and that it seems that even this ownmost,
lonely death isn't ours.  In: Building, dwelling, thinking, one of Heidegger's
own things.

I must say, Gary, that in spite of all the indifference, it makes a
when somebody engages with the little one has to say. 

But please, don't let this prevent you from getting drunk!



I consult now: E-D, D-E transalation. Makes it a lot easier. 

drs. René de Bakker
Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam
Afdeling Catalogisering 
tel. 020-5252368              

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