Quora answer: How does Heidegger overcome the problem of nihilism?

Jul 08 2011

Ah. at last a question we can really go somewhere with. Simple answer is he doesn’t but not because he did not try. And we can learn a lot from his attempts. Best book to define Nihilism is the one by Stanley Rosen. In that book he contrasts Heidegger and Wittgenstein’s philosophies as nihilistic opposites. While you read that book, I will go back and finish the answer to the other question.

. . . [time passes] . . .


Now why is this a good question?

This is a good question because it is one of Heidegger’s major concerns, and because Nihilism is the matter that is produced at the heart of the Western worldview. And because Heidegger attempted mightily to overcome nihilism but failed. And from his failure we can learn a lot about ourselves and perhaps even get a glimpse of what we need to do to overcome nihilism ourselves. Books such as that of Stanley Rosen have that shows that Wittgenstein and Heidegger have philosophies that are nihilistic opposites, and thus that is a beginning of an answer to the question because if it is true that Wittgenstein’s philosophy is the nihilistic opposite of Heidegger then it cannot be that Heidegger escaped nihilism.

Topicmarks summary: http://topicmarks.com/d/07LnboGt_sXc4avfK77mZ5QCp

So where do we start? Both Heidegger and Nietzsche discuss the inherent nihilism of Western culture. But it is Rosen who makes it clear what Nihilism is, which is when extreme opposite duals are recognized to be the same thing, so that one realizes that being caught up with the struggle between the duals previously is really meaningless. Nihilism is then that which sucks meaning out of our lives creating not just alienation bu also anomie (meaninglessness a term from Durkheim). A good example is how we get caught up in the our politics between Democrats and Republicans, but actually it is incumbents, from either party that rule with sovereignty (they pass laws for the rest of us that do not apply to themselves). The locus classicus of this is in the Iliad where Agamemnon takes Bresius from Achilles, and Achilles realizes that the Achaeans are no different from the Trojans who allowed Paris to steal Hellen. Achilles abjures combat and sulked until his “friend” Patroclus is killed wearing his armour, then Achilles goes into a berzerker rage, thus the reaction to the nihilism of the identity between Trojans and Achaean’s, is nihilistic going from the extremes of passivity to the extreme of Berzerker mode. He does not come out of this extreme state until Hector’s father comes to claim his body, and this reminds Achilles how he will never again see his own father. Achilles himself is given an extreme choice between living in obscurity a long life and living a short life of glory. Basically the Iliad and Odyssey (and the Mahabharata their Indian counterpart) are a lesson on how to live in and cope with the nihilism of our worldview. The ancients recognized the nature of our worldview better than we do.

Ok, so now we know from Rosen’s analysis what Nihilism really is, it is when meaning is sucked out of our existence by realizing that opposites we really believed in and one of which we identified with respect to their struggle are really the same. For instance Fascism and Communism. They are really the same thing even though they are so different. And after the defeat of Fascism then we had the duality between Capitalism and Communism for most of the Twentieth Century, and Baudrillard wrote the book The Mirror of Production to show that they had a similar fundamental assumption: that man was created to produce. Part of nihilism is how enemies come to resemble each other more and more as they struggle against each other. And the strangest thing about Nihilism is the fact that it is the stage setting for Emergence in our culture, i.e. the radical resetting of states of affairs that G.H. Mead describes in the Philosophy of the Future. Emergence and Nihilism are themselves nihilistic opposites, and understanding this duality and its dynamic takes us to the heart of our world view in ways I have described elsewhere.

However, let us return to the question at hand. How did Heidegger try to overcome Nihilism, and why did he fail and to what extent can he be said to have succeeded. We must note that Heidegger studied Nietzsche in great depth during the war because people took Nietzsche as the philosopher who’s works underwrote the Nazi movement. Heidegger wanted that title, and so he studied Nietzsche intensely to try to see how he could overcome Nietzsche’s claim to that title. Heidegger was associated with the Brown Shirts who were for continually revolution under Nazism, and when the coup happened in which the blackshirts assassinated the Brown Shirts then Heidegger lost power and interest within the movement which had foisted him into the limelight as Rector of his University. So the ultimate proof of the nihilism of Heidegger’s philosophy is his association and promotion of Nazism, which due to the holocaust has gained universal condemnation, even though Stalin actually killed more people than Hitler. But it is the fact that he constructed a Death Machine of the concentration camps that was uncovered and shocked the world upon liberation that Fascism is seen as worse than Communism in this respect. At any rate it is pretty amazing that the United States and its Allies managed to defeat both of these extreme opposite ideologies in of the Twentieth Century. One had the greatest army in the world, and the other had the most dedicated and single minded soldiers in the world, and the US managed to beat both of them mostly due to the vast resources of that we had in America. But the whole effort of defeating these two ideological foes completely transformed our country in myriad ways during the last century. Especially it is the way we dominated by the use of technology in warfare that is surprising. And to a certain sense brings us back to Heidegger’s point that all the combatants are being overcome more by technology than we are being overcome by each other by engaging in the struggle. The example of the Abomb is classic, we developed it because we thought the Nazi’s were developing it but then we used it on the Japanese instead due to the fact that we thought that they would fight to the end when we tried to take the Japanese mainland and we were losing about ten thousand men at a time due to the sinking of our troop ships with Kamikaze pilots. Thus began the Japanese fated encounter with Radiation, which has now tragically repeated itself due to the recent Tsunami. The fire bombing of Dresdan and other European cities was equally horrific but those were normal horrors we have grown used to in war. The dropping of the atomic bomb was an extraordinary episode that became the hallmark for the Cold War, because we knew what could happen if World War III ever broke out. The fact that we faced ultimate annihilation of each other each day during the Cold War is the ultimate face of the nihilism of the last century that came from this struggle to the death between ideologies and through that struggle with extreme opposite Ideologies solidified the ideology of capitalism that we see Deleuze and Guattari discussing in Anti-Oedipus. For them Capitalism is the last all engulfing stage of Ideology and its effect is the production of Schizophrenia. This in itself is an extreme and nihilistic statement but it is just one more example of how nihilistic opposites interact with each other such that Capitalist Ideology and Schizophrenia are seen to share some common attributes.

Now lets go into the attempts of Heidegger to overcome the Nihilism posited by Nietzsche in Will to Power as the ultimate core of the Western worldview. Heidegger interprets Will to Power as Will to Will. Will to Power is the fundamental impulse for the stronger to overcome the weaker, and to take charge of affairs in the world. What Nazism and Communism shared was their Will to Power. We can call this the “We will bury you” attitude that calls for hitting of shoes on podiums. Hitler merely said we will conquer you. But both lost out more due to their own internal weakness than anything we did, but still we repelled the enemy, and they recognized ultimately that we were a power to deal with, that we had our own Will to Power based in Democracy and the Concept of radical Freedom of the individualism that underwrites the power of the market within Capitalism. Our foes consider us weak, because our our hubris or our seeming decadence, but each has discovered that we are good rivals and that swearing allegiance to the constitution is a powerful incentive which ultimately is greater than swearing allegiance to any one tyrant. There have only been about five original democratic movements in the world, and the American Revolution was one of them, along with Athens and the Republic of Rome, and the Magna Carta. These civilizations founded on Democracies, but which eventually deteriorated back into Sovereignty after the initial flourishing. However, it is interesting how these rare political experiments had a such a disproportionate effect on history, or at least the history we are interested in, i.e. the history of Europe and the Middle East.

Heidegger placed himself at the center of this political Maelstrom of competing ideologies in the twentieth century, and chose the wrong side, from our rear view mirror look at history as the winners of that world wide conflict. But since the Nazism became seen as intellectually and morally bankrupt. Heidegger could not help but getting stained by this willing association. And the fact that he wanted to be recognized as THE philosopher of the Third Reich makes this all the worse for his reputation. And even though Heidegger’s supporters would like to forget this association, I think that he was actually the Philosopher of that Movement even though he was not recognized as such, because it is clear that Nietzsche’s philosophy was antithetical to Fascism and the association that was made between his philosophy and Nazism did an injustice to Nietzsche’s Philosophy.
Few I think are going to argue, that it is this association with Nazism and Fascism that did not stain the reputation of Heidegger, and the fact that he wanted to be the philosopher of the movement shows a certain bankruptcy. And part of that is the fact that he did not help Husserl, his teacher, who was born a Jew but converted to Christianity, and eventually ran afoul of the Nazi regime. All of these are damning criticisms. But it tells us something deep about our worldview that the greatest philosophy of the last century was inherently fascist. That contrasts strongly with the inherent superficiality of all the dogmatic attempts at Soviet philosophy. Dialectical Materialism ultimately became difficult to distinguish from religious dogma and eventually had only the substance of pure repetition. So it is ironic that Zizek sees himself as a Communist Philosopher, who when asked about the fall of Soviet Communism said “If you first do not succeed try try again.” It is ludicrous, and probably is a wry joke on his part. By fighting the Fascists America absorbed some of the essential features of fascism, like McCarthyism, the Black List, and the interment of Japanese Americans. By fighting the Communists America made a compromise with its unions in order to make sure that Communism could not gain a foothold here. It instituted collective bargaining and that produced a well to do working class less susceptible to communist ideology. Now that this threat is no longer on the horizons those union rights are now targeted to be rolled back, especially sense all the jobs have been shipped overseas by the multinational corporations. America today as the sole dominate player on the world stage and our empire (the proof of which are our bases throughout the world) has been directly shaped by the ideological battles fought and won in the last century.

An example of Capitalist Ideology is the idea that Markets are self-governing so we do not need any regulation, which led to the financial meltdown. An ideology is a single idea taken to an extreme that becomes the unifying factor for the whole set of ideas, they are fantasies like the communist fantasy of all working people being united in the pledge “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”. Unfortunately the crack in that system was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat which never faded away. With regard to Fascism it is the cult of the Volk (folk) that as a race has a manifest destiny to rule the world. This idea of the mystic union of a people with their Fatherland personified by the Fuhrer, was a central idea in Heideggarian romanticism. Equally it is a fantasy that the invisible hand will take care of everything in the market and we don’t have to have any checks and balances to avoid fraud. Ideology is where one unifying idea taken to extreme is used to organize all other ideas around it. For Heidegger this one idea is Being. For Foucault it was Power. But as Dreyfus points out the structure of Foucault’s theory is precisely the same as that of Heidegger if we just substitute Power for Being. And we can read that in the other direction, because Being can be taken as the ultimate ideology of the Indo-Europeans which Heidegger was taping into. It is a construct made of many fragments of the roots of other words, and so Being and Having are unique in their fragmentation within Indo-European languages and also have a unique meaning. For us what is taken to an extreme and becomes an ideology is the very idea of Being and Heidegger wanted to appropriate this to underwrite fascism as the basic ideology of the Indo-European Volk. One aspect of Fascism was reconnecting with the German Indo-European roots, which is a romantic idea.

Now for Heidegger overcoming the subject/object duality was his initial answer to nihilism that was apparent in Husserl’s phenomenology as an extension of Kantian Idealism. That Idealism had split from Materialism as Marx turned Hegel upside down we saw the split between Fascism which was basically romantic taking after Hegel through the critique of Nietzsche, splitting off from the Early Christian communal practices derived from the Jews and revived by the Antibaptists as well as Greek ideals of Communism that we see in Aristophanes and Plato. Thus the Semitic heritage on the one hand and the Greek equivalent of science fiction put on stage as comedies, were splitting from Indo-European strata discovered by a couple of centuries of Philology. It is interesting that Communism appears in Aristophanes as a joke and in Plato as his picture of Hell in the Republic. It is also interesting that if flourished also independently as part of Christianity several times. But German romanticism was wanting to split off from Christianity and return to the old Indo-European gods, to gods that were vital and did not instill a slave mentality. Communism wanted to take Aristophanes and Plato seriously and produce a “workers heaven” in which the state takes care of everyone, not realizing that by making the state the only employer and owner that this was really just an extreme form of Capitalism, as we see in Communist China today.

Heidegger thought that it was precisely the duality of subject and object that was the problem, and if we got to what was before that then we would uncover the primal strata that connected each of us to the ultimate ideological source which is Being, the purist Indo-European ideology. What Heidegger did not realize was that he was opening up Pandora’s box, and that instead of undermining nihilism he was in the process of intensifying it. It was when Heidegger discovered Being Crossed Out (Hyper Being, Differance) that he became genuinely afraid because he thought he had opened up an infinite regress of kinds of Being. As it turns out this is not true in practice even though it seems like it might be possible in theory. In practice there are only five meta-levels of Being (about the same number of levels as we can go in our meta-Theory-of-Mind ruminations). Heidegger realized that if there were infinite meta-levels of Being that this would be just as nihilistic as Being was as a homogeneous plenum, it in fact is the nihilistic dual of the traditional view of Being.

So Heidegger studied Nietzsche very carefully, and realized that there was an alternative to this which would allow us to get rid of the fundamental distinction of ontological difference between Being and beings. That would be possible if he posited a nonstriated counterpart to striated Being (Sein) which he called Beyng (Seyn). This is the old high German spelling used by Hegel, and if we distinguished Being from Beyng, its dual, and if we interpreted Hegel in those terms then we could see him talking about Beyng and Dasein (Spirit/Ghost/Mind). In Being and Time at a certain point Heidegger identifies Dasein with Geist the romantic ideal of the holy ghost, or the community spirit, which is still there when the leader has gone. This can be seen in the recently translated Contributions to Philosophy (from Ereignis) and in Mindfulness. This is an amazing book which turns Heideggarian scholarship upside down because it is another major book from Heidegger just as fundamental as Being and Time, and under which the interpretation of all of Heidegger changes, because it is a text he kept hidden, but which determined all of his late work. Now we are not going to be able to delve deeply into this very fascinating work here. But we can bring it to bear on the question at hand because it is the second great attempt of Heidegger to solve the problem of Nihilism seen as the theoretically possible infinite regress of kinds of Being. Beyng stands opposite the meta-levels of striated Being as Onefold, Strange, and Unique. While Being is lost in forgetfulness Beyng is lost in oblivion, while Being is receding from us Beyng is bearing down on us and enveloping us before we know it. Beyng is found when we jump over Ontological Difference without making that distinction that generates the kinds of Being.

For me Beyng can be seen as a solution to the age old problem of Meaning. It is a separate orthogonal source of meaning which is freed from its dependence on syntax. Thus I view the concept of Beyng as the dual of Being as a real breakthrough, and it is born out in my study of the Indo-European roots of Being. A new key word is found Ereignis which describes the happening (appropriation) of Beyng, and Dasein has a relation to Beyng as it does to Being but completely different. We might contrast this difference as that between the Last Man and the Umber Man in Nietzsche. Those who know Beyng are yet to come. The age of Metaphysics is the passing of the gods and we are awaiting the passing of the last god for the new era to dawn. Heidegger sees himself as the herald of the new post-metaphysical era, and Nietzsche as the last great metaphysician. By recognizing Beyng Heidegger thinks he has escaped the unfolding of the epochs of Being. But unfortunately this is not true because Being/Beyng has a dual which is Forgetfulness/Oblivion. This is just a deeper level of showing and hiding, presence and absence, identity and difference, truth and fiction, reality and illusion. Beyng is related to the quintessence which is both aspect and anti-aspect just as existence is neither aspect nor anti-aspect. In Being the aspects are separated but in Beyng they are fused. The quintessence of Beyng is like the Philosophers Stone, the ultimate catalyst that transforms everything. It is a possibility in the worldview even if it does not exist. In fact quintessence and existence are mutually exclusive. Quintessence is always virtual. We see it operating in many alchemical texts with their upside down theologies of the earth. Unfortunately giving the quintessence a separate kind of standing called Beyng does not solve the problem of nihilism but only really makes it worse because there is something like Teilhard Chardin’s Noosphere that is invisible but needs to be explained and grounded in philosophical speculation as well as in the tradition. This is not easy. And it is the opposite problem from the kinds of Being. For them we must explain how it can be that the kinds of Being are separated from each other. With Beyng we must explain why everything is collapsed together and fused like a Bose-Einstein condensate. Both are hard to explain, but necessary to understand the full implications of Being itself. Being has this nihilism within it and is not just a homogeneous plenum which is highest but most empty of concepts. It has structure and meaning but they are extreme difference and extreme identity, they are extreme illusion and extreme reality, they are extreme fiction and extreme truth, they are extreme absence and extreme presence all together at the same time in this strange, unique onefold.

So while ereignis of Dasein is suppose to offset its separation into existeniels, it merely produces an antimony to Being which helps elucidates its meaning but does not cast out the demon of nihilism that plagues us due to our denial of existence.

Essentially Beyng/Oblivion/Unstriated and Being/Forgetfulness/Striated are the deeper nihilistic opposites we need to worry about now, not merely those produced by the meta-levels of Being. I call this field of striated and unstriated opposites the Pleroma. The fact that Heidegger got down to the level of the Pleroma in his thought is quite amazing. It is the ultimate infrastructure or substrate of the worldview, the field out of which our Indo-European worldview arises. The Pleroma (Fullness) had a similar position in Gnostic thought, so by analogy I used this term, because there is no specific term for this level in metaphysics, but I do not mean by the term what the Gnostics meant. There is a certain sense in which the Taoist void appears full as the source from out of which everything comes, I mean it in that sense. It is something more fundamental that Fundamental Ontology, and that is what Heidegger meant all along in his later work, but which we only discover later as his unpublished works come to light. It was thought prior to the publication of Contributions to Philosophy that Heideggers ideas were somewhat quirky in his later period. But in the context of the well developed work Contributions it becomes clear that his thought was actually deeper than we realized, and it is us who need to catch up once again, as he again redefines the boundaries of Metaphysics. One thing to note is that Beyng is not the ONE. It is onefold like a knot or something intricately folded so it has a unique structure in spite of being continuous with itself, it embraces differences with itself, being Unique and Strange to us. It is a visitor from afar who is a stranger who bears down upon us to envelop us from a unique perspective that lies outside of Being, but is implicated in Being from the beginning. By taking the perspective of Beyng we are moving toward understand the other beginning than the one which metaphysics represents. We might say that this is a beginning in Repetition, in the sense that Deleuze uses the term to mean its opposite, i.e. that which cannot be repeated, the kind of repetition explored by Kierkegaard and Freud that Zizek things is their great achievement which is a way that they are similar to each other.

If we go back to Parmenides he describes three ways, Being, Non-Being (Existence) and Appearance. Seyn would be the way that these three proto-existentiels are the same Being despite being radically different. Being is in speech and thus related to talk which is for the most part chatter. Non-Being is related to Discoveredness (Befindlichkeit) because Existence is what is found, and what is found is normally boring to us, unless we project value on it. Appearance is related to understanding. Understanding is the combination of Reason and Experience in which they mutually support each other. Kant valorized Experience and warned about Reason being used independently because it leads to antimonies that cannot be resolved. However, this was a reaction against the valorization of Reason over Appearances/Opinions (Doxa) that was the previous imbalance in Western Philosophy promoted by Plato. So Understanding is the combination of our reasoning capability and what appears to us to be the case as a state of affairs in our experience. Understanding is the noesis that is connected to the noema of pure appearance in Husserl’s terms. Thus the three existentiels of Heidegger were there from the beginning in Parmenides routes. Parmenides selected just one way, that of Being (Sein) as the proper way, suppressing existence as Non-Being and Appearance/Opinion (Doxa). But in a way all of these are faces of Being as it is projected by us as Dasein. Dasein is the term for Existence and Ecstasy in German Philosophy, and note that they still think of it as a kind of Being that is there, i.e. imbued with reference. Even the Arabs realized that what they called Wajud was a part of what was meant by Being in Greek. So Non-Being is implied in Being as a substrate of otherness within itself. When you separate Being from Non-Being as Existence then what is left over is the Doxa (appearance/opinion) which is made Present, questioned as to its reality and truth, and which attempts to remain identical with itself through time in a monotonic way. So we note that all the ways of Parmenides that are related to the Existentiels of Heidegger are all parts of Being, but Parmenides attempts to restrict Being to Pure Presence, Pure Identity, Pure Truth, and Pure Reality, and eschews Absence, Difference, Fiction, and Illusion which are thrust into the nether world of existence, and appear to us in doxa because they resist a complete ban which would split Being. Heraclitus on the other hand champions Existence as the Fire of Change. But Seyn was there from the beginning as the strange, unique, onefold of all three ways that together comprise the split between Being and Existence and its result.

Notice that we have the difference between Being (talk=rede, language, unique linguistic feature), Anti-Being (appearance, opinion; Understanding=verstehen, Doxa differing from Ratio), and Non-Being (existence; discoveredness=befindlichkeit). This suggests the Greimas Square. And that square suggests that there is a combination of Non-X and Anti-X so we get the chiasm of Anti-non-X and Non-Anti-X. This kind of Chiasma (reversibility) is indicative of Wild Being but also non-duality because it is like a relativistic interval. Basically the difference between Existence and Pure Being (static, Parmedean, Initiation into the Greater Mysteries), is the difference between the Meta-system and the System. Heraclitian Flux is the same as Process Being (flux and flow, initiation into the lesser mysteries). Process Being is like the flux of continual change we see in existence, the principle of change that Parmenides denies and Zeno turns into Contradictions and Paradoxes. When we distinguish Process Being from Hyper Being (Plato’s third kind of Being), then we are beginning to see the difference between Process Being and Appearance/Opinion (Doxa) what is Doxa but a slippery mercurial residue or supplement to Being in both its major modalities (Stasis and Flow). When we go beyond Anti-Being the only way to do that is to combine the Anti-non-X and the Non-anti-X in a reversible chiasm of the type that is seen by Merleau-Ponty to be the hallmark of Wild Being, but which is also a movement toward non-duality, which we discover when we arrive at Existence having traveled though the other kinds of Being. It turns out that the Special systems are interleaved with the Meta-levels of Being and thus are part of the tacit knowledge and implicate order of Being itself. The hallmark of Existence is that it is interleaved and intertwined with Being. The nondual and the Duality between Monism/Dualism can be seen unfolding in this display of the emergence of Being itself. Being is not One, but is fragmented, both in terms of meta-levels, roots and Peircian Principles as well as by the special systems. But Pure Being attempts to produce the illusion of Oneness. (“One People, One Nation, One Leader”, as the Fuhrer wanted everyone to profess. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BChrer). But this striation that runs through Being is complemented by the unstriated appropriation of the dehiscence by Seyn, or Beyng. For Parmenides there is indecision as to what Heraclitian fire might be, either existence or mere appearances. For Heraclitus there is indecision as to what Static Being might be either mere illusions of stasis in a changing world, or Phenomenological appearances in which Husserl would see the things themselves without the bracketed assumptions that we project on them.

Essentially Seyn and Sein were intertwined from their origin and represented two different beginnings the Metaphysical one and the post-Metaphysical one. But unfortunately post-Metaphysical still contains the idea of Metaphysics merely transformed into its antimony. And it is because Sein and Seyn are antimonies that Heidegger failed to find an answer to Nihilism, and that is because he did not push all the way to nonduality, despite rumors of Asian influence on his thought (Parkes).

Now if one takes the point that Heidegger failed to overcome nihilism, and he is one of the latest of the greatest philosophers in our tradition, up there with Kant, Hegel, Husserl, but perhaps not reaching the level of Aristotle or Plato, then what is the hope of us ever solving this problem within our tradition?

This is a problem that I have attempted to address in my own work. If we can get past the duality of Analytical Philosophy and Continental (Synthetic) Philosophy, then perhaps we can see the real quandary we are in which is that we do not understand our own worldview and its structure that produces nihilism, but also emergence as well as nihilistic duals of each other. Nihilism is the artificially too dark background on which the too light emergent event (novum) can be seen and recognized. Without the continual production of Nihilism there would be no way to see Emergence when it occurs. The intertwining of emergence and nihilism gives us additional clues to the nature of the problem we face. In my own research I tried to understand Continental Philosophies “Kinds of Being” based on the Theory of Higher Logical Types (cf Russell via Copi), as the precondition for emergence within our tradition at all the various scopes: fact, theory, paradigm (Kuhn), episteme (Foucault), ontos (Heidegger), existence (Hegel’s Buddhist version of Nothing), absolutes (Kant’s transcendental framework of Subject/Object and God). I did this work for my first Ph.D. and thought I was done. But then in the midst of a career in Software and Systems Engineering, I continued my studies especially of myth, via Dumazil, and eventually discovered that in the oldest book we have, the Vedas, the difference between the castes of the Gods are precisely the same in their nature as the Kinds of Being discovered as meta-levels by Continental Philosophy. So suddenly it is not just a contemporary aberration, but a very very persistent structure so I came out of Academic retirement and wrote my first very long book called The Fragmentation of Being and the Path Beyond the Void, in which I study ontomythology of the Western worldview, i.e. the fact that when you look at Myth via the meta-levels of Being that it clarifies the meaning of myth. Greek Myth is a users manual for living in a worldview such as ours which generates nihilism which allows us to recognize Emergent events, in which transcendentals become immanent and immanences become transcendental within a new framework after the emergent event. This was just the first of quite a few long books where I explored the ramifications of this idea concerning the intertwining of Being and Existence within our tradition.

From all this research into the Western Tradition, plus various nondual traditions like Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, etc it became clear that the way to avoid nihilism was to make nondual non-nihilistic and therefore non-emergent distinctions. Deleuze refers to this as quasi-Causality, which is the kind of causality that occurs in what I call the Emergent Meta-system which has the dynamic of Leibniz’s monads. The Emergent Meta-system is composed of a normal emergent system conjuncted with the three Special Systems. The Special Systems are a model of Existence which is interleaved with the Kinds of Being. By making this distinction between nondual interpenetrating existence and the fragmented kinds of Being that have a unique, onefold and strange constellation only in Indo-European languages, then we can have at least some hints how go go beyond dualism to make nondual distinctions within Buddhist emptiness or the Taoist void, i.e. at the center of the cyclone of the Oblivion of Beyng and the Forgetfulness of Being at the level of the Pleroma, i.e. the structural field out of which the worldview arises. And the most amazing thing I discovered along the way is that the Western Worldview in spite of being Dualistic outwardly, has a nondual core which is unexplored. And thus we can take the homeward path into that nondual core rather than having to appeal to foreign ideas from various nondual traditions imported like exotic spices (in the form of ideas) from the former colonies. As Jung said, our worldview will not be deeply affected by something foreign to it. What we need is a Homeopathic solution, which is the only way to heal the miasma of nihilism that overwhelms us within our tradition.

We have seen that Seyn has been part of Being from the beginning of our Indo-European tradition as the peculiar pattern of discontinuities, i.e. emergences of the kinds of Being that are differences that make a difference (Bateson) within our tradition. Plato recognized at least three of these emergent levels, Pure Being, Process Being (becoming), and Hyper Being which appears in the Timaeus. So it is hard to deny that this knowledge was not part of our tradition at one time, but it seems it was forgotten only to be rediscovered by Heidegger (and Deleuze, with the connection to the Timaeus shown by Sallis in his book on the Chora). Seyn is not just the signature of discontinuities within Being, but also the haunting of Being by itself beyond its Univocality (cf Deleuze). But the haunting of Being by its lost oneness due to its fragmentation is merely the dual of Being itself, its sinister side that is embodied in the singularity at the level of existence of Ultra Being.

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