Lecture Notes


Lecture Notes

Mired in cyclical rumination
I reach for my pen and jot down
the only truth that resonates:

we are addressed as a possibility—
something real
which has been broken open

Heidegger says
to be a human being is to understand
our placement and the reason why we are (at all)

Tossed into [the Nothing] without a rudder
we root ourselves in presence:

Dasein
(dah-sane):
a kind of being-there
self awareness and conscious placement in
the Nothing

We ask one question in order to access all others
(because the questioner questions everything)
and we are questioned by the question itself

We begin with:

What is the Nothing?
the pure essence
from which all beings and things emerge

Chairs are shifting and
I feel less alone with my discomfort
less embarrassed by my inability to comprehend
or to retain

How does the Nothing reveal itself?
through the mood or condition of anxiety

What is the Nothing not?
the absence of anything

Hands are thrashing about the room now
logging incoherent fragments of notes
that on their own
say nothing of the Nothing
Until:

What does the Nothing do?
removes the facade of one’s previous identity
and makes one authentic again

In our pursuit of the Nothing’s parameters
we discover that our mood has a towering
influence
Which brings us to:

Angst: our confrontation with death creates a sense of urgency and causes us to assign
value to our existence

I recognize the word and the feeling associated with it but that is all
and then:

Death becomes the key to our lives
causing us to question why we exist at all
We extract meaning from the joy of angst
find solace in limited time
take comfort in the fact
that what we are at this present moment
pales in comparison to what we are becoming
—out of Nothing—

Are you following?

Eigentlichkeit
(eye-gent-list-kite):
you set the standard for your own authenticity
every time you make a decision, you are creating yourself

A chink of light
is shed on concepts nearly beyond my grasp
causing me to write:

out of nothing we have become something
because we choose being-there
because we are time
(time which is not linear but cyclical)
—not in it—
but we are it
we become a nothing
through which the world is created
pushed back and forced to find meaning
we break, and in breaking
we become something

I twirl my pen in the back of the classroom
satisfied with my heap of notes on the nothing
yet when asked to state what I recall
I say only that:

we are addressed as a possibility—
something real which has been
broken open

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