Humanities Homecoming

I love Heidegger’s idea on coming home to Being, of remembering Being.  Although, his thoughts on using the most correct language as a path to rediscovering Being just create another obstacle along the way.  All languages are within Being.  Being is deeper than language.  How many times in our life do we experience not being able to express ourselves through mere words?  We use various ways to externalize parts of our being that we want to share outside of ourselves.  These methods of expression, from painting to singing, all serve to demonstrate aspects of Being.  The language that all humans speak is unspoken.  In Heidegger’s final works, he declares that Truth must be “silence about silence.”  I am going to bring up Yogananda again, because his words are always coming to my mind.  In one of his books he says something like this- when two people, who know God, get together, there is silence.  Not that greetings are not exchanged, just that there is no need for words between them; the communication of spirit, soul, and energy can be enjoyed in quiet delight.  Language often applies perception, and perception alienates parts of the totality of Being.

The microcosm and macrocosm are represented in Heidegger’s insight about Dasein (his term for human existence).  He recognized that Dasein has a world while also being in the world.  A deer lives its life according to the laws of nature, instinct ruling.  Humans have inner worlds of dreams, needs, desires, and endless spectrums of emotion and feelings that entice us to pursue certain paths in the outside world.  Our inner and outer worlds constantly seduce and antagonize each other, until we find the harmony in all.

It is as though Heidegger is describing the God that so many of us pray to in his writings on the authentic human self.  He claimed that one of the main characteristics of human existence is the care we have for the world.  This “care” includes all beings, the natural world, human world, and Being itself.  A childhood memory just came to me of an old paining of Santa Claus.  He was wearing a long robe, children were peeking out from underneath it, scared and appearing to be orphans.  Santa was guarding and protecting abandoned children on the cold, dark, and snowy night.  Jesus is often portrayed in a similar way.  My son, who is three, thinks Jesus is Santa, and Santa is Jesus; reminding me of how much they represent the same spirit.  The authentic self that Heidegger speaks of is one whom cares for all.  We often hope something larger than us is looking out for, protecting, and guiding us; especially, if we do not naturally feel this connection.  This authentic self sounds a lot like the term Higher Self, which many use today; representing an aspect of Self we are always connected to, but must realize.

I often find my yogi tea-bag reminding me to:  remember that the other person is you.   Is this why the golden rule tells us to love everyone the way we love ourselves?  When I read Jean-Paul Sartre’s statement, “Hell, is other people” it makes sense that one would feel this way when caught up in their own seemingly separateness.  If we are meant to be focused upon our “oneness” then viewing humanity as “others” (ones who are so different from the individual self we hold so dear) other people would feel like hell.  When we look into the eyes of another we see familiarity.  We recognize looks that we have felt ourselves, we connect with someone who understands our emotions, and we hurt when we lack understanding with others.  We may think we have everything figured out, and in one instant someone else can show us how cloudy our vision is.  If everything we put out is reflected back to us, then we would only see what we are able to see of ourselves in others; teaching us lessons we may be avoiding on our own.  Like Hegel has taught us, we must live freely within ourselves, and see others as free, to be free.

Being is without individual identity since Being is everything.  Pure Being is at the bottom of all that exists.  Through stripping ourselves of all that we identify with, all that is not eternal, we expand into something greater.  There is an identity crisis that can occur with this; so often we go through life collecting things that we believe are a part of our identity.  Feeling like we need these things to feel good about who we are, to know who we are, to show the world who we are.  We dread the agony of death, and struggle through life, often due to all of the objects of identity that we tend to live in fear of losing.  All because we forget that we are something greater.  Hans Urs Van Balthasar catches my deepest attention with his following wisdom:  “Indeed, it is perhaps precisely through this window that opens in non-identity that we glimpse something of the immense richness of the divine identity.”  By removing the limitations of physical identity we open up to a more divine identity.  It is a common theme to see humans describing themselves as trapped in the body as they look out through the windows of the eyes.  People speak of the various lenses that are used to perceive reality.  What is reality like if we stop looking through lenses?

Immense richness is a satisfying way to speak of divinity.  Something rich has many layers, is complex, deep, inviting, intoxicating, and strong.  By releasing our ties to the physical, and focusing on the mind’s eye while in a state of pure awareness we cease using lenses and a window long forgotten becomes visible again.  The non-identity that opens the window to divine identity is a concept that humanity needs to be collectively remembering to return home to Being.


girl bending back


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