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4. The proximity to beings, as this is claimed for the second stage, has Still another Characteristic result: ὁ πρὁς μᾶλλον ὄντα τετραμμένος. ‘Whoever [like the former prisoner] is turned towards more beingful beings [towards what is more beingful than something else, thus to more genuine beings] sees more correctly.’ Thus ὀρθός, ὀρθότης, ‘correctness’ [Richtigkeit] crops up, and indeed in the comparative, in an intensification: there are gradations. The correctness of seeing and viewing things, and thus of definition and assertion, is grounded in the particular manner of orientation and proximity to beings, i.e. in the way in which beings are in each case unhidden. Truth as correctness is grounded in truth as unhiddenness. We now see for the first time, albeit only roughly, a connection between the two forms of essence (concepts of truth), which at the beginning we only considered separately and stood alongside one another. Truth as correctness of assertion is quite impossible without truth as the unhiddenness of beings. For that to which the assertion must direct itself, in order to be correct, must already be unhidden. So if one takes the essence of truth exclusively as correctness of assertion, one betrays a complete lack of understanding. Not only does one stand before a derivative concept of truth, but, because one does not see the origin of this derivative concept, one calls upon a half-measure, which does not become full by everyone going along with it. On the other hand, one will only be able to grasp the essence and specific necessity of this derivative form of truth, truth as correctness, if truth qua unhiddenness is explained and its necessity grounded; that is, if one can clarify both the origin and the derivation. This is indicated by Plato’s clear and simple statement: whoever is turned towards the more beingful beings, sees and talks more correctly’. This is a decisive step towards solving the problem of the relationship between the two concepts of truth.

-Heidegger (the Essence of Truth, p. 29-30)

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8. Removal of the shackles is thus not genuine emancipation, for it remains external and fails to penetrate to man in his ownmost self. The circumstances of the prisoner change, but his inner condition, his willing [WolIen], does not. The released prisoner does indeed will, but he wills to return to his shackles. Thus willing, he wills not-willing: he does not want to be involved himself. He avoids and shrinks back from the demand to fully give up his previous situation. He is also a long way from understanding that man truly is only in so far as he demands this of himself.

The second stage ends with this thwarted emancipation. The emancipation fails because the one to be freed does not understand it.

Liberation is only genuine when he who is liberated thereby becomes free for himself, i.e. comes to stand in the ground of his essence.

-Heidegger (The Essence of Truth: Plato’s Cave Allegory and Theaetetus, p. 31-32)

The disillusioning effect of the encounter with one’s own shadow, the unconscious negative part of the personality, is always to be found in cases where the ego has lived in identification with the persona and the collective values of the period. That is why this encounter is, as a rule, particularly severe and difficult for the extravert, since by nature he has less insight into his subjectivity than the introvert. The naive self- illusion of the ego, which has more or less identified itself with everything good and fine, receives a severe shock, and the undermining of this position forms the essential content of the first phase of the analysis.

-Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a new Ethic, p.78)

 

Responsibility for the group presupposes a personality which has become conscious of its shadow problem, and which has come to grips with this problem with all the forces at its disposal. The individual must work through his own basic moral problem before he is in a position to play a responsible part in the collective. The realisation of one’s own imperfection which is involved in the acceptance of the shadow is a hard task in which the individual is required to free himself from the absolutism of his pleromatic fixation as well as from his identification with collective values.

-Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, p.93-4)

 

 

“Making good”, as understood by the old ethic, with the attendant repression of evil and obedience to convention, is often enough no more than an easy way out, which shirks peril and clings to established security. Yet “where peril lies, grows the remedy too”, and the voice of the new ethic, or so it seems, is determined to accept both peril and remedy at the same time- since the one is not to be had without the other.

This in itself makes it perfectly clear that the way of the new ethic is anything rather than a “way of making one’s own life easier”. Quite the contrary. To surrender the moral certainty about good and evil provided by the old ethic, stamped as it was with the approval of the collective, and to accept the ambiguity of the inner experience is always a difficult undertaking for the individual, since in every case it involves a venture into the unknown, with all the danger which the acceptance of evil brings with it for every responsible ego.

-Erich Neumann (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, p. 108)

Scientist: …I hardly know anymore who and where I am.
Teacher: None of us knows that, as soon as we stop fooling ourselves.
Scholar: And yet we still have our path?
Teacher: To be sure. But by forgetting it too quickly we give up thinking.

 

– Heidegger (Discourse on Thinking, pg. 62)

…If, then, a retrieval of ethical and metaphysical values is what is needed, it can hardly be said that we are on the right road at present. The sense of human responsibility, seemingly strengthened by the exhortations of heroism, has been uprooted from the soil of the individual conscience and mobilised in favour of any collectivity which desires to impose its will and to elevate its limited insight to a canon of weal, thus greatly increasing the danger of absolutely irresponsible mass action. With the growing worthlessness of the spoken or printed word consequent upon its ever greater distribution which the progress of civilization has made possible, the indifference to truth increases in direct proportion. With the spread of the irrationalist attitude the margin of misunderstanding in every field is steadily expanding. The immediate publicity engendered by commercial interests and the craving for sensation inflates simple differences of opinion into national hallucinations. The ideas of the day demand immediate results, whereas the great ideas have always penetrated very slowly. Like smoke and petrol fumes over the cities, there hangs over the world a haze of empty words.

-Johan Huizinga (In the Shadow of Tomorrow, p. 208-9)

Katharsis: thus the Greeks called the state of mind produced by the spectacle of the tragedy, the stillness of heart in which compassion and fear have been dissolved, the purification of the soul which springs from having grasped a deeper meaning in things; which creates a grave and new preparedness for acts of duty and the acceptance of fate; which breaks the hybris: as it was seen to be broken in the tragedy; which liberates from the violent passions of life and leads the soul to peace.

For the spiritual clarification which our time needs, a new askesis: will be necessary. The bearers of a purified culture will have to be like those waking in an early dawn. They will have to shake off evil dreams. The dream of their soul which grew up out of the mud and would sink back into it. The dream of their brain which was but steel wire and their heart of glass. The dream of their hands growing into claws and the tusks between their lips. They will have to remind themselves that man can will himself not to be an animal.

The new askesis: will not be one of renunciation of the world for heavenly bliss; it will be one of self-domination and tempered appraisal of power and pleasure. The exaltation of life will have to be toned down a little. One will have to remember how Plato already described the occupation of the wise man as a preparation for death. A steady orientation of the life-consciousness on death heightens the proper use of life itself.

The new askesis: will have to be a surrender, a surrender to all that can be conceived as the highest. That can no more be nation or class than the individual existence of self. Happy those for whom that principle can only bear the name of Him who spoke: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

-Johan Huizinga (In the Shadow of Tomorrow, p.234-5)

50. Perhaps there is a thinking which is more sober-minded than the incessant frenzy of rationalization and the intoxicating quality of cybernetics. One might aver that it is precisely this intoxication that is extremely irrational. Perhaps there is a thinking outside of the distinction of rational and irrational, more sober-minded still than scientific technology, more sober-minded and hence removed, without effect, yet having its own necessity. When we ask about the task of this thinking, then not only this thinking but also the question concerning it is first made questionable. In view of the whole philosophical tradition this means:  

51. We all still need an education in thinking, and first of all, before that, knowledge of what being educated and uneducated in thinking means. In this respect Aristotle gives us a hint in Book IV of his Metaphysics (1006a if.): . . – “For it is uneducated not to have an eye for when it is necessary to look for a proof and when this is not necessary.”This sentence demands careful reflection. For it is not yet decided in what way that which needs no proof in order to become accessible to thinking is to be experienced. Is it dialectical mediation or originarily giving intuition or neither of the two? Only the peculiar quality of what demands of us above all else to be admitted can decide about that. But how is this to make the decision possible for us when we have not yet admitted it? In what circle are we moving here, indeed, inevitably?

52. Is it the eukukleos Aletheia, well-rounded unconcealment itself, thought as the opening?
Does the title for the task of thinking then read instead of Being and Time: Opening and Presence?
But where does the opening come from and how is it given? What speaks in the “There is / It gives”?
The task of thinking would then be the surrender of previous thinking to the determination of the matter for thinking.

– Heidegger (The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking)

Can that which is immeasurable be found by you and me? Can that which is not of time be searched out by that thing which is fashioned of time? Can a diligently practised discipline lead us to the unknown? Is there a means to that which has no beginning and no end? Can that reality be caught in the net of our desires? What we can capture is the projection of the known; but the unknown cannot be captured by the known. That which is named is not the unnameable, and by naming we only awaken the conditioned responses. These responses, however noble and pleasant, are not of the real. We respond to stimulants, but reality offers no stimulant: it is.

– Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living, p.34)

The great archetypal activities of human society are all permeated with play from the start. Take language, for instance that first and supreme instrument which man shapes in order to communicate, to teach, to command. Language allows him to distinguish, to establish, to state things; in short, to name them and by naming them to raise them into the domain of the spirit.
In the making of speech and language the spirit is continually “sparking” between matter and mind, as it were, playing with this wondrous nominative faculty. Behind every abstract expression there lie the boldest of metaphors, and every metaphor is a play upon words. Thus in giving expression to life man creates a second, poetic world alongside the world of nature.

Or take myth. This, too, is a transformation or an “imagination” of the outer world, only here the process is more elaborate and ornate than is the case with individual words. In myth, primitive man seeks to account for the world of phenomena by grounding it in the Divine. In all the wild imaginings of mythology a fanciful spirit is playing on the border-line between jest and earnest. Or finally, let us take ritual. Primitive society performs its sacred rites, its sacrifices, consecrations and mysteries, all of which serve to guarantee the well-being of the world, in a spirit of pure play truly understood.
Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin : law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primaeval soil of play.

– Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens, man-the-player, p. 4-5)