Jun 282011


Master Eckhart’s comments on seeing angels as devils when you die comes to mind when reading the conclusions Heidegger comes to. Even if his metaphysics and epistemology are correct, does the dread and anxiety necessarily follow? The following conclusions are taken up by postmodern nihilists, but are also very reminiscent of Eastern Buddhist thinking, which does not cast about in such a negative mood about it. Similarly, there is a long line of religious mysticism that might agree with much of this, without seeing any connection to the negative moodiness that Heidegger and his followers adhere to.

1. Conflict and contradiction are the deepest truths of reality;

2. Reason is subjective and impotent to reach truths about reality;

3. Reason’s elements—words and concepts—are obstacles that must be un-crusted, subjected to Destruktion, or otherwise unmasked;

4. Logical contradiction is neither a sign of failure nor of anything particularly significant at all;

5. Feelings, especially morbid feelings of anxiety and dread, are a deeper guide than reason;

6. The entire Western tradition of philosophy—whether Platonic, Aristotelian, Lockean, or Cartesian—based as it is on the law of non-contradiction and the subject/object distinction, is the enemy to be overcome.

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