Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Inspiration and Existence

I may as well just face it head on. Sometimes I lose track of my analogies, which leads to the pangrammatical equivalent of a contradiction. In the last post, I explained that "essence" is to knowledge what "existence" is to power. But I have elsewhere suggested that existence (Dasein) is to philosophy what inspiration (duende) is to poetry. Since philosophy is to knowledge what poetry is to power, I have, I think, put "existence" on both sides of the pangrammatical divide. This is not good.

I think I will be resolving this problem in favor of keeping existence in the domain of philosophy, with, perhaps, the important qualification that this moves a lot of Heidegger's "existentialism" into the domain of poetry. This will leave us with an understanding only of the being of things, their facticity, not the being of people, which is always an activity, and therefore never actually being, but always (virtually!) becoming. There's reason to think Heidegger wouldn't mind. But I'm sure the philosopher's vanity is stung by being confined to the merely "extant". The point is that the subjective component of being, upon which all beings depend for their "existence", is not being at all, and Heidegger was perhaps right, therefore, to suggest that philosophers are consigned to gesturing at the creative force of becoming with the less impressive, if somewhat ominous, name of Nothing.

At the level of experience, like I said in my last post, I want to maintain the idea that standing (L. stare) is to knowledge what breathing (L. spire) is to power. Hold your breath and stare at something. Imagine. Then you might see what I mean.

So the problem now to be solved is: what is to power and poetry as essence is to knowledge and philosophy? What (in the domain of poetry) is to inspiration as existence is to essence (in the domain of philosophy)? Essence is to being as ___________ is to becoming.

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