Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

Thursday, May 5, 2016 § 0

The Reading of Innovative Fiction from a Phenomenological Perspective

A Book Review by 
David Detrich                                                         

In a still life of wooden textures signifying the writing desk of the novelist with the abstract brush strokes of the grayish white laptop  computer critipositioned on a pedestal at the center of the circle composed of lightwaves descending from the glass transparency of the window frame into the deskspace of intelligibility, the elegant writing of Heidegger is heard through the symmetry of black cloth textured stereo speakers, while the discerning eye focuses on the small green light of inner being. The philosopher/poet reveals the capabilities of spontaneous thought to express the phenomenology of being, as the ontology of what exists to the self in the world of Da Sein, defined as a state of mind called being there, the words flow into... the thoughts become... the writing is... 

The still life olive green saucer above the circular form of the coffee cup is saturated with intense color, as multiple concentric circles are superimposed on the pottery mug, sensations which reaffirm our perceptual esthetic appreciation for the chocolate flavor structures warmed by the vigor of the heating element, which resembles a geometric maze of literary thought, while the rabbit below the pink window frame grazes on the natural green of edible plants. The nude figure returns from the bath to partake of the consciousness of self, what Kant considers a representation of the reality around us.

The "I" is a bare consciousness that accompanies all concepts. In the I, nothing more is represented than a transcendental subject of thoughts. "Consciousness in itself (is) not a representation ... , but a form of representation in general. " The "I think" is "the form of apperception that adheres to every experience and precedes it.?" 
                                                          Being and Time
                                                          Martin Heidegger

The bare consciousness, feeling naked from head to toe, relaxes in the bath tub with the candlelight creating an oscillating aura of light on the star mirror, where the circular lights create a stage effect. This I transcends the reality of unawareness to become the bare consciousness of what I am. I think therefore I am, you say. Or I am naked, therefore I am, the nude consciousness declares. The deep relaxation of the hot waters creates steam vapors in the golden glow of enlightenment which creates an awareness of the bodily self which is composed of the sensual warmth of the natural energies. This oneness with nature places the human form in the sensory fields of interaction with the environment in a still life scene of the bath that is reminiscent of the hot tubs of Esalen.

In terms of care the constancy of the self, as the supposed persistence of the subject, gets its clarification. The phenomenon of this authentic potentiality-of-being, however, also opens our eyes to the constancy of-being-a-self, that is, in the authenticity of the being of Da-sein as care. Existentially, selfhood is only to be found in the authentic potentiality of the self in the sense of its having gained a stand. 
                                                         Being and Time
                                                         Martin Heidegger 

The self is contending with an invasive presence that attempts to dominate with a distorted older man's expression which implies jealousy for the younger generation. This unresolved Oedipal complex is traced to the source where the constancy of self is jeopardized in the mirror image. Younger men are following this invasive adult, and distorting the facial image. The self is hoping to triumph over this invasive presence to achieve its being-as-self in the hereness of contemporary American society, because the self strives to transcend the negativity of hidden opponents.

A negative consciousness can lead to pedagogy in the university where a professor expresses invasive thoughts, or prejudice towards the otherness of the students. This became evident after the Napoleonic wars in Europe which disrupted the generation of Hegel, and during the Nazi rule of Germany which further disturbed the consciousness of Heidegger to create a sense of existential angst, where feelings of impending doom shadow the scholarly environment. This emotional concern is heightened now with the news of domestic and international terrorism, yet the heroic forces of reason hope to defeat the unfairness of negative lawmaking and totalitarianism. A pedagogue cannot be allowed tenure in the university, and the society of hate criminals should be encouraged to behave in a gentlemanly manner in speech with respect to the right to privacy.

The primordial ontological ground of the existentiality of Da-sein, however, is temporality. The articulated structural totality of the being of Da-sein as care first becomes existentially intelligible in terms of temporality. The interpretation of the meaning of being of Da-sein cannot stop with this fact. The existential-temporal analysis of this being needs concrete confirmation.
                                                         Being and Time
                                                         Martin Heidegger

Philosophy gives meaning to life by making the thoughts about being-a-self intelligible to the writer and to the reader, so that from the perspective of one who cares about the events of life good advice can be given to the younger generation. The idea of falling prey to others in a world of terrorism has become relevant now that militant groups are infiltrating the virtual infrastructure of society that puts the constancy of self in jeopardy. Heidegger thinks through the variants in logical argumentation which comprise his theory of ontology, defined as what exists in the world around you, that can be perceived by sensory interaction and through the pre-existing logic of thought.

Temporality is the structured sense of the passing of time which one realizes is approaching the end of a lifetime, and the writing of books creates an analysis of the duration of time on a plotline, so that the confirmation of financial well being can lead to the time necessary for writing. This confirmation is based on a mathematical formula which predicts the probability of trading stocks and currencies, and frees the author from the obligations of labor.

Philosophy is good for the mind because it expresses a series of constructive thoughts which add up to an enlightened totality of consciousness that is noticeable with the German philosophers, who show a fatherly caring for the younger generation which is developing a more sophisticated perspective by drawing upon the concepts of modern education. Being and Time represents the work of a poet/philosopher with Heidegger's use of poetic phrasing, so that the reader of innovative fiction will realize that a more eloquent use of language creates a truer understanding of philosophical issues with an awareness of the worldliness of your reading in time and space.

David Detrich lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he has just completed The Convergence of Two Narrative Lines Ascending, an ultramodern Surrealist novel written in minimal squares. He is working on Dream the Presence of the Circular Breast Starfish Topography, a monumental Surrealist novel written with innovative typographical design. His first novel Big Sur Marvels & Wondrous Delights (2001) is available from Amazon. He edits Innovative Fiction Magazine, and Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations.