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Heidegger and the Buddhist Monk

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Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Heidegger and the Buddhist Monk

Post by Spectrum » May 8th, 2018, 3:04 am

Here is an interesting piece of conversation abstracted from,
  • Martin Heidegger, "Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten," Der Spiegel 30 (Mai, 1976): 193-219. Trans. by W. Richardson as "Only a God Can Save Us" in Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker (1981), ed. T. Sheehan, pp. 45-67
regarding Heidegger coversation with a Buddhist monk [not sure which one?]
SPIEGEL: About two years ago in an exchange with a Buddhist monk, you spoke of "a completely new method of thinking" and said that this new method of thinking is, "at first, possible for but few men to achieve." Did you mean to say by this that only very few people can have the insights that in your opinion are possible and necessary?

Heidegger: [Yes, if you take] "have" in the completely original sense that they are able in a certain way to give utterance to [these insights].

SPIEGEL: Fine but the transmission [of these insights] into actualization you did not make apparent even in this dialogue with the Buddhist.

Heidegger: And I cannot make it apparent. I know nothing about how this thought has an "effect." It may be, too, that the way of thought today may lead one to remain silent in order to protect this thought from becoming cheapened within a year. It may also be that it needs 300 years in order to have an "effect."

SPIEGEL: We understand very well. However, since we do not live 300 years hence but here and now, silence is denied us. The rest of us -- politicians, half-politicians, citizens, journalists, etc. -- must constantly make decisions. We must adapt ourselves to the system in which we live, must seek to change it, must scout out the narrow openings that may lead to reform, and the still narrower openings that may lead to revolution. We expect help from philosophers, even if only indirect help -- help in roundabout ways. And now we hear only: I cannot help you.

Heidegger: Well, I can't.

SPIEGEL: That must discourage the nonphilosopher.
Heidegger: I cannot [help you], because the questions are so difficult that it would run counter to the sense of this task of thinking to suddenly step out in public in order to preach and dispense moral censures. Perhaps we may venture to put it this way: to the mystery of the planetary domination of the un-thought essence of technicity corresponds the tentative, unassuming character of thought that strives to ponder this unthought [essence].

SPIEGEL: You do not count yourself among those who, if they would only be heard, could point out a way?

Heidegger: No! I know of no way to change the present state of the world immediately, [even] assuming that such a thing be at all humanly possible. But it seems to me that the thinking that I attempt might be able to awaken, clarify, and confirm [a] readiness [for the appearance of' a god] that I have mentioned already.

SPIEGEL: A clear answer! But can -- and may -- a thinker say: [214] just wait -- we will think of something within 300 years?

Heidegger: It is not simply a matter of just waiting until something occurs to man within 300 years, but rather to think forward without prophetic claims into the coming time in terms of the fundamental thrust of our present age that has hardly been thought through [at all]. Thinking is not inactivity, but is itself by its very nature an engagement that stands in dialogue with the epochal moment of the world. It seems to me that the distinction between theory and practice comes from metaphysics, and the conception of a transmission between these two blocks the way to insight into what I understand by thinking. Perhaps I may refer to my lectures under the title, "What is Called Thinking?" that appeared in 1954.33 Maybe this, too, is a sign of our time, that of all my publications, this is the least read.
Apparently Heidegger is not very optimistic of his own philosophy?

It seem there is something in Buddhism that can give humanity some hope, like within the next 300 years?

Anyone has any comments on the above.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Posts: 5160
Joined: December 21st, 2010, 1:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Eclectic -Various

Re: Heidegger and the Buddhist Monk

Post by Spectrum » May 8th, 2018, 3:52 am

While there are lots of good points from BT and other of Heidegger's work, from what I have read so far, it seem Heidegger did not reach a definitive answer for what is 'being' as stated by Thomas Sheehan in his Making Sense of Heidegger, A Paradigm Shift, pg 5
There is, in fact, considerable confusion at the heart of the Heideggerian
enterprise, and it may not be the fault of Heidegger scholars. Heidegger himself
said that “it remains unclear what we are supposed to think under the
name ‘being.’”12 In the partly fictitious “Dialogue on Language,” based on
a 1953–1954 conversation, Heidegger’s interlocutor, Professor Tomio Tezuka
of the Imperial University of Tokyo, lays most of the blame for the muddle at
Heidegger’s own doorstep.
  • Tezuka: [The problem is due] mainly to the confusion that was created by your ambiguous use of the word “Sein.”

    Heidegger: You are right. [Nonetheless, my thinking] knows clearly the distinction between “Sein” as the “Sein des Seienden” and “Sein” as “Sein” with regard to its own proper sense, which is dis-closedness (clearing).

    Tezuka: Then why didn’t you immediately and decisively hand back the word “Sein” exclusively to the language of metaphysics? Why didn’t you immediately give your own name to what you were seeking as the “meaning of Sein” on your path through the essence of time?

    Heidegger: How can I give a name to what I’m still searching for? Finding it would depend on assigning to it the word that would name it.

    Tezuka: Then we have to endure the confusion that has arisen.13
And indeed, for some eighty years Heidegger’s readers have had to endure an
avalanche of confusion (needless confusion, as I hope to show) in trying to
sort out exactly what Heidegger meant by Sein and its cognates.
Consider the number of German terms that Heidegger himself gathers around the term “being.” [see below]
How are we to distinguish (if we are to distinguish) one from the other?

[The various use and meaning of 'sein' from his collected works of 102 volumes]
“das Seiend” when it is equivalent to “das Sein”15
“Seiend und seiend ist nicht ohne weiteres dasselbe.”16
das Seiende17
das Seyende18
das Nichtseiende19
das Seiendere21
“Seienderes” in scare quotes in the phrase “es gibt ‘Seienderes’”22
das Seiendste23
“Wassein als das Seiendste”24
“Das Seyn ist das Seiendste”25
“Gott ist . . . das Seiendste”26
das Seiend-seiende27
das seiende Sein28
das seiend-Sein29
das Seiendsein30
das Seiend-sein31
die Seiendheit
“Seiendheit ist das Sein”32
das Sein (four different meanings)33
das Sein des Seienden
das Sein selbst
das Sein als solches
“Sein” in the line-up “Sein, Wahrheit, Sein, Ereignis”34
“Sein” in scare quotes in the phrase “‘das Sein’ (Austrag)”35
“Sein” without scare quotes in the phrase “Sein disappears in Ereignis”36
“Sein” in scare quotes in the phrase “‘Sein’ disappears in Wahrheit”37
“Sein” in scare quotes in the phrase “‘Sein’ als Wahrheit des Seins”38
das Sein39
“Sein” in the phrase “Das Sein ‘ist’—(nicht hat Sein)”40
“Sein” and “ist” when written as: “Sein | ist”41
“Seinen” as a verbal noun42
das Seyn43
das Seyn as das Seyende44
das Seyn as “das Seyende” in scare quotes45
“sey” and “sei,” both in the subjunctive46
“Seyn—: Seiendes als Seiendes”47
das Seyn selbst48
das Seyn des Seyns49
“Seyn—ein Vorname seiner selbst”50
“Sein (Seyn) als Ereignis”51
“Seyn” in the phrase “Das Seyn des Da—aber transitiv!”52
das Seyn53
das Wesen des Seyns54
“Seyn ist . . . das Ereignis”55
“Seyn qua Ereignis”56
“Sein ist Seyn”57
Sein ≠ Seyn58
“‘Sein’ als ‘Seyn’” with both nouns in scare quotes59
“Seyn als Seyn”60 both without scare quotes
“Seyn qua Seyn”61
“Seyn ist nicht Seyn”62
“Seyn und Sein”63
“das Seyn als die Wahrheit des Seyns”64
“das Seyn” in the phrase “die Wesung der Wahrheit des Seyns”65
“das Seyn” in the phrase “die Wahrheit der Wesung des Seyns”66
“Das Was-sein ist das Daß-sein”67
erseyn in italics in the phrase “Das Da—erseyn”69
das Isten70
Any comments on the above?
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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