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December 12, 2012

Snippet: Dasein as Mit-Dasein

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 10:16 pm


MATTHEW: Remember back when we were 21 and trippin’ on Heidegger

ME: Oh yeah. For a while I’ve thought I needed to get back to that place. Like, maybe I see the world differently now than I did then because I’ve gotten complacent. But it’s like we were on drugs, really.

MATTHEW: YEAH. Well, actually, I was on drugs…Literally. I was taking acid like twice a week.

ME: I still like being in that state sometimes, though. It’s why I like falling in love. Because it feels like Heidegger Reading Group felt. Studying that kind of philosophy together felt as if we were falling in love with being. And now we’ve been in a longeterm relationship with being for a while, we’re kinda comfortable with it, we’re sitting around at home with being watching TV and occasionally bickering about grocery shopping. But there’s this deep foundation of passion and commitment there. And still those occasional moments of, “Oh fuck, yeah, I’m totally in love here.”


ME: And, y’know, you think back on those acid trips you had as a kid, where you had these incredibly profound experiences and it felt like everything you were experiencing was way more real than real life. And, in this certain way, it was. In this certain way, you WERE tapping into something ultimate and profound that has an undeniable long-term impact on your life. But, in this other way, you were just trippin’.

This stuff we went through in college, this howling manic existential hurricane, this total immersion into a universe of pure abstract idea and meaning…like, it really had a fundamental REAL impact on who we are. But, also, we were just trippin’. And we don’t need to discount or devalue the significance of that to accept that we’ve also grown out of it and that “growing out of it” is also valuable. For the first time I’m in a place where…I get that my choices have meaning, but I also get that I don’t need to totally understand what all of that meaning is completely immediately. That I can just chill for maybe a couple of years and collect data and see how things play out.

And it may have been that exposure to those particular ideas in that context at that time in our lives didn’t make us “better” or “worse” people. It just set us on a path that’s distinct from kids who didn’t have those experiences. There’s ways in which that path is superior and other ways in which it’s inferior. I partly buy into this idea that there’s something really superior about cognitive simplicity — and you and I will never have access to that kind of simplicity because we see too many existential possibilities when we look at the world. But whatever it was, that experience, it marked us indelibly in a way that others who had the same experience can recognize.

And this is true for all kinds of experiences. I have this experience with other people who used to cut themselves, too. Yeah, we can argue about whether or not that was “good for me” for whatever reason, but I’m connected in a particular way to other people who did it. Maybe it’s just like a tribal thing. It marks you as part of a certain tribe. And THAT’s valuable.

. . .

If, as a child, you ever considered suicide because life seemed meaningless but chose not to do it because you fell in love (with anyone or anything, with any moment in time, with yourself or with the experience of being yourself); if you’ve ever contemplated self-annihilation on the basis of something as trivial as semantics but stayed your hand because that sunset was just so beautiful; then you are my brother, my sister, my lover, and you should come stay in my house and we will cook together, and we won’t say much and the things we do say will be mostly silly, but we will smile shyly at each other over the bread we’ve learned to bake together and we will sleep in each others’ arms. And, in the morning, or late the following afternoon, we will probably kiss each other and then go blow some shit up.


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