“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Martin Heidegger Corner

On standing in front of a tree and wondering about it. Thanks to Enowning:

What is the use of such questions concerning a state of affairs which everybody will in fairness admit immediately, since it is clear as day to all the world that we are standing on the earth and, in our example, face-to-face with a tree? But let us not slip too hastily into this admission, let us not accept and take this "clear as day" too lightly. For we shall forfeit everything before we know it, once the sciences of physics, physiology, and psychology, not to forget scientific philosophy, display the panoply of their documents and proofs, to explain to us that what we see and accept is properly not a tree but in reality a void, thinly sprinkled with electric charges here and there that race hither and yon at enormous speeds. It will not do to admit, just for the scientifically unguarded moments, so to speak, that, naturally, we are standing face to face with a tree in bloom, only to affirm the very next moment as equally obvious that this view, naturally, typifies only the naïve, because pre-scientific, comprehension of things. For with that affirmation we have conceded something whose consequences we have hardly considered, and that is: that those sciences do in fact decide what of the tree in bloom may or may not be considered valid reality.

1 comment:

Atomic Geography said...

"I heard a story about Trungpa Rinpoche sitting in the graden with HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. People were standing around at a distance, close enough to hear but far enough away to give them privacy and space. It was a beautiful day. Thes two gentlemen had been sitting in the garden for a longtime, just sitting there not saying anything. Time went on, and they just sat in the garen not saying anything and seeming to enjoy it very much. Then Trungpa Rinpoche broke th silence andd began to laugh. He said to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, pointing across th lawn, "They call that a tree." Whereupon Khyentse Rinpoche started to laugh too."

Pema Chodron "Start Where You Are"