21 September 2015

Meaningful presence

Tom and Mic bump into each other on the underground. Tom is roused from his deep pondering.

Tom: Would you like to know what Heidegger's thinking is all about?
Mic: Yeah, tell me.
Tom: Well,
basically it's all about meaningful presence.
Mic: You mean, when you strip it down to its fundamental, core message, that's what it's about?
Tom: Yep, that's what I'm saying.

Mic reflects for a moment.

Mic: Aren't you forgetting something?
Tom: Er, what?

Mic: Aren't you forgetting meaningless presence? 
Tom: ?!!

Tom thinks a while.

Tom: So you're telling me presence is not meaningful?
Mic: No, I'm saying you're telling only half the story.
Tom: Oh yeah? What's the other half?
Mic: M
eaningless presence
Tom: How do I get a handle on that?

Mic: You don't. You just take a step back.

Tom: And what do I see?
The two halves together: presence pure and simple.
Tom: Oh! But that's nothing at all.

Mic: Right, but look more closely.
Tom: I don't see anything.
Mic: You don't see that presence pure and simple includes two kinds of absence, past and future?
Tom: Yes, well sort of, but the point is that it's meaningful beings that are present or absent. Presence, including absence, is meaningful.
Mic: You've already said that, but meaningless presence pure and simple, too, impacts, affects us human beings.
Tom: How?
Mic: Take music, for instance. It is most purely and simply the arousing of an attunement.
Tom: But music is a language of its own with its own meaning.
Mic: That's what you say, but that's already a perversion of music, to graft language and meaning onto it.
Tom: But music has always been used to transport meaning and is an aesthetic language of the emotions.
Mic: Yeah, that's how music has been conceived traditionally. Maybe it's time to allow music to come into its meaningless, attuning own.

The underground train pulls into a station.

Tom: Here's where I have to get off. Bye.

Further reading: A Question of Time.

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