One Way Up through the Way Back into the Out of Ontotheology

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s lecture on the doyen of bad metaphysical poetry Martin H is entertaining and lucid

the concept of difference creeps in and since I got re-started on Deleuze’s DR (owing to the wonderful work by Benjamin Hagen) .. hearing sentences like “what makes being possible is the difference between …&… “ , makes me want to seek a link with DR…in which case then this difference rather than having a privileged ontological status, is more a sense making or signifying aid

As for that line of Heidegger which is stated by her to good effect at the start of the lecture, lets have a look at the passage from which its drawn:

“What does “existence” mean in Being and Time.?

The word designates a mode of Being; specifically, the Being of those beings who stand open for the openness of Being in which they stand, by standing it.

This “standing it,” this enduring, is experienced under the name of “care.” The ecstatic essence of being there is approached by way of care, and, conversely, care is experienced adequately only in its ecstatic essence.

“Standing it, experienced in this manner, is the essence of the ekstasis which must be grasped by thought.

The ecstatic essence of existence is therefore still understood inadequately as long as one thinks of it as merely “standing out,” while interpreting the “out” as meaning “away from” the inside of an immanence of consciousness and spirit. For in this manner, existence would still be understood in terms of “subjectivity” and “substance”; while, in fact, the “out” ought to be understood in terms of the openness of Being itself.

The stasis of the ecstatic consists, strange as it may sound, in standing in the “out” and “there” of unconcealedness in which Being itself is present.”


Can “existence” then, not be said of a tapeworm? Is it not “standing” in the openness of  Being? How can it not?

Use of the word “care” makes it  quite tricky, if it is a tendency or a capacity for alertness with respect to a set of stimuli then sure a tapeworm can be analyzed as such. Its ekstasis  may not be grasped by us. But its path through its Umwelt can be observed and even its standing in the “out” of unconcealedness. In  Adorno’s words (himself a jargonist) on the style and pretense of Martin H  “jargon overflows with the pretense of deep human emotion”

If the passage above really intends to say…

the essence of Being is an attitude of care towards the myriad unfoldings in the midst of which we discover ourselves & an open stance vis–à–vis the unconcealed 

… then great.

But mankind’s history has produced countless poetic reflections on this same process or phenomenon. Ah did I say process …that surely can invite a response like:

“…It is important to realize at the outset that for Heidegger being is not a substance or a process. Being, in early Heidegger, is “that on the basis of which beings are already understood.” One might say that the understanding of being is the style of life manifest in the way everyday practices are coordinated. A culture’s understanding of being allows people and things to show up as something — people show up as heroes in Greece and as Saints in the Middle Ages, for example, and things for the Homeric Greeks were flashing up to be admired, while for Christians they were creatures to be mastered and interpreted.” (Being and Power: Heidegger and Foucault ~ Hubert L. Dreyfus) 

Not a process, it is a style of life says Hubert Dreyfus… and a useless or rather fruitless style seems manifest in Martin H’s own writing and Being. It allows nothing to show up in a clear way.

And so an inadequate summary of a crappy sentence (such as “Being of those beings who stand open for the openness of Being in which they stand, by standing it.”) cannot transcend the banality of the original.

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