home page buttonappropriating----------- On a way of being

        with being
---------------March 2016
        gary e. davis


Continuing from there: So, Heidegger-in-English says “...δóξα θεον [“doxa theon”] in the New Testament = the glory of God. But what is decisive,” he continues, “is this meaning of δóξα: looking a certain way, standing in visibility and respectability,” which may seem to have nothing to do with the first part of my discussion, which was about concealment of being in Christianity.

That first part was my sense of the thing, rather spontaneously—the “thing” which is a phrase in English about the meaning of a Greek phrase relative to the New Testament. But Heidegger is in the middle of another kind of explication. This makes starkly clear how the New Testament point is an aside. He associates briefly to that aside—to an audience deeply sensitive to Christian allusions in an interminably Greek-centered discourse—in already discussing visible standing in senses of exemplarity, to which he returns.

Prior to the New Testament point, he associates δóξα with “I come forth; that which comes forth, that is, strikes others as such and such, that which shows itself; the look, the appearance of something, the respect in which something—an achievement, a person—stands; also fame.”

Presuming that the translators (and transcribers at the lecture) have captured the spoken spirit of the moment (a transcript that Heidgger carefully approved), we see that it’s grammatically dynamic, not propositionally strict. We should not need to tidy up his presenting, but the more well-formed text would begin “I come forth as that which comes forth.” Yet, seen, there is simply “that which comes forth.” In other words, Heidegger is in his normal (I will argue, eventually) resonance of Mitsein, literally With-being, though we would grammatically say “being with” (or being-with): presenting in being seen to present. But this is not just a happenstantial fact of the lecture, as all presentation is to others there. It’s thematic: This is about the dyadity of acting as being seen to act. It’s not a recording session in private that anticipates an audience. It’s not merely a presentation to an audience. It’s a thematization of there being “with”ness in coming forth. One steps into the scene with a striking effect, “that is, strikes others as such and such.” But once again, he’s in the resonance: not just doing (“strikes others...”); also, being received, being phenomenal (perhaps dramatically phenomenal, yet at least apparent): “...that which shows itself,” like having style: “the look,” like anything: “...the appearance of something.”

But now in that passage, we cross into a new kind of resonance (in English, at least): at once perspectival and valuative: from a place, yet also to a degree: “...the respect in which something—an achievement, a person—stands; also fame. δóξα θεον in the New Testament = the glory of God.....” Just like that: From notes on being phenomenal to an aside on the phenomenality of there being ultimate gloriousness. Then gone away.

Prior to that—prior to his dynamic display about δóξα as “I come forth...,” etc.—which is not about him—Heidegger is making an example of Homer’s Odysseus. All his talk about—well, about a mirrorplay of presence in withness—is part of “an example from Homer.”

My friend’s passage begins there, here: “An example from Homer,...” with no preface, as if, for him, the passage stands alone validly, “from Homer, Odyssey VIII, 93, where Odysseus says...” So, let’s let the beginning stand on its own: Homer’s character says—Homer in the standing of Odysseus says “I have remained concealed...”—no, the Heidegger quote is “he remained concealed before all the others.” Homer remains concealed in the standing of Odysseus who “remained concealed before all the others as one who was shedding tears.”

The man of the sea is crying: Homer alone, displaced as the standing of Odysseus—the author (Homer) in his authorship that is Odysseus coming forth (authorship as showing, as coming forth, by he who shows the showing) in his story, as the story that he is.

“A person, then, remains in a certain concealment,” says Heidegger. “We do not say: he remained concealed to all others. We say: he shed tears without any of the others noticing.” He is alone, yet “with” others. He is concealed by the other; the other conceals. “We speak beginning with the other who is perceiving” as he may, as he can bear to let on, like strangers at a funeral who don’t know what to say, so they “write” a fiction of there being no tears at all.

Listen: This is about what is between “us”: “There are quite clear proofs,” says Heidegger, “of the tremendous power that αληθεια [“aletheia”] had in the Greek experience...” of withness, “...of Dasein,” of Da-sein: of there being withness, of being there with others.

So, there is Heidegger, “standing in visibility and respectibility” talking about a man of tears who is not perceived to be a man of tears.

So, others “perceive.” They have their view, which is at once what they see and the perspective from which they “see.” So what else is new?: People have their views.

You would think that that can’t be news. But Heidegger has an audience that has not heard the news: that what goes unsaid is very, very old (way back before a group of writers created Christianity).

The Greek sense of δóξα is both about what’s potentially glorious and what becomes vapid fact, secondly shown “when we translate δóξα as view. A picture postcard or vista postcard.... But we also use the word ‘view’ in this sense: My view is... So there is a double sense: (a) as a characteristic of the thing, look; [and] (b) in the sense of believing, thinking such and such. This double character always resonates among the Greeks from the start; it is based on what the word [δóξα] means.” But notice: This duplicity of belief and view (belief in view? belief of view? view of belief?) is as posed in its superficiality. The real dyadity is between that level or mode of phenomenality and higher, dramatic phenomenality (with implicature of seas and ultimates, glorious life, speechless suffering). In his narrative path, the passage, Heidegger has moved attention from high meaning to low meaning, as if high phenomenality is becoming concealed by low phenomenality: perspectival believing of that which may also intimate high potential?—proximality that portends the primordial that it conceals?—vapidity toward that which may be enthralling, but is deeply lost?

So, what was the example from Homer an example of ? It was an example of how a Greek presumption of resonance is also implicit to German, but goes unperceived. The entire discussion of—in short—a Greek term for high presence that may be dimly perceived (potentially glorious perspective missed)—“considering what the Greeks think of with the word δóξα”—is an example to Germans about legacy of self-concealing understanding of resonance: “δóξα [in] its original content...‘I show myself to others, I also show myself to myself’...” (Being and Truth, 188, the page before my friend’s passage, which covers most all of p. 189). “...[S]till better,” says Heidegger, the German idiom that in English reads “I feel a certain way” (i.e., what is heard with this meaning in ordinary German) is literally in German what we would literally translate as “I come forth to myself.” And other German examples are provided by Heidegger that relate to Greek resonance of salience, δóξα. What is missed, what is forgotten—oneself concealing itself, self-concealing presence—carries the legacy of what was thought, what there is to realize, to think.

I’m reminded that Heidegger in his late years gives great drama to the German phrase for “there is”: “Es gibt,” literally: “It gives.” “It gives time,” he will say, insisting to the German ear that It gives. “It gives being.

Who is in a good position to find what was implicit for the lost? What’s implicit here (in a passage from a course on “The Essence of Truth”), for both Greek and German is the resonance within the language of being with (in a differentiated way) and being oneself (in a differentiated way).

As Odysseus sheds tears that aren’t perceived, so he faces the difference between being himself and being seen, in the difference of (a) being with others with (b) others being with oneself—being oneself with others (they seeing “me” merely be-ing, there-to-them), thus being with oneself alone “with” others, being with oneself for others who cannot let oneself truly be with them at all.

Surviving nazism” links to this page, so this link provides a reader a link back to that project. But that’s not the intended next title for this project which is implicitly about two-foldness of capability and representation in “way” mirroring two-foldness of being and being, played also in a sense of ‘language’ as verb (like deverbal ‘climb’) in the Heidegger book title On The Way To Language. A vista possibly available after a great climb may be boundless—surely for Heidegger, maybe for others.

Be fair. © 2015, g. e. davis.