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> A Few Final Words
> by Joe E. Dees
> Hello, I am a Being-in-the-World (Oh, Hell!), tied to it revocably.
> The hyphenated monstrosity is a term coined by the German
> existential philosopher Martin Heidegger (Hi, Heidegger! Heil!) to
> express the essenceless essence of the human condition. We are all, I
> suppose, tied to the world in much the same manner as we were tied to
> our progenitors: umbilically. That's what Heidegger meant by the
> hyphens, I guess. They're there for a reason (all symbols stand for
> something, you know). WE'RE not symbols, though; we stand (or fall)
> for no particular generality. We have reason, but not A reason, you
> see. And faith - O We Of Little Faith! Faith is by definition
> unjustified, or we would call it knowledge. Is it even justifiable?
> But I digress.
> I apologize. You see, I am suffering from a depression. It's
> called my navel. Only Adam and Eve, Judaic mythology tells us,
> lacked this little hole within our centers. Surprise! Navel veterans
> all! So why am I so alone? Do we all join hands only to find we're
> just links in a chain of alonenesses? It makes me mad - bilious, if
> you please. But at what? Question: how can nothing be mad at
> anything? Perhaps this is why Sartre became a Stoic.
> Stoicism is okay, I guess, but it's hard to get excited about it,
> especially since I'm worried about my liver. I only have one, and my
> bile rises when I contemplate it (I guess I should stick to navel
> contemplation, but the thought fills me with a sense of forbodhing).
> I get nauseated - is it a sickness unto death? And are Soren and
> Fyodor even compatible? Is my bile rising a symptom of a diseased
> liver condition? When it goes, you go. In that mortal sense, we are
> direly tied to our livers; first a liver, then a dier - living is
> fatal, you know. But this is not what I wanted to say. I'll try
> Eliot's Sacred Three (them's the facts when it comes to brass
> tacks) - the significant events in human existence, are Birth,
> Copulation and Death, the creation, conjunction and destruction of
> Beings-in-the-World. Is Freud right? Do our lives hinge upon the
> anal, the oral, the genital? Are these much-maligned orifices and
> protuberances the foci around which our consciousnesses blindly
> gyrate? Or is Heidegger closer? Is it our annihilation rather than
> our copulation which comprises the fulcrum upon which we leverage the
> unnoticed attention of our days? There is a third choice, a side
> alley leading away from these either-or dilemming horns, a choice of
> which I only recently became aware. I'll dare to share, if you care.
> It's not my idea; a man named Edgar F. borgatta worked it out
> in 1954. His thesis is that the source of our dreads, anxieties and
> assorted insecurities is - deumbilification. When we are cut off, we
> feel abandoned, vilified (a deumbilifi-vilifi-cation nation?). The
> primordial Nurturer is gone. We are lost - not through preoccupation
> with sex or anticipation of death, but from birth. The contingent
> survivors die a-borning (where do we go from here? where is here?).
> Our nave - the hub of our spidery twirlings - parts, dropping us into
> the abyss of life. Freud would fit well into this theory. Men would
> wish to reconnect themselves with the warmth of the womb in mindless
> security, and women wiuld wish the same. Ta-da! The handy-dandy
> genitalia, at your service! Heidegger would fit in, too; it's not the
> fall that hurts, but that sudden stop at the end - or do we just think
> it hurts?
> Two things seem to lessen the pain of beginning, of becoming
> life from not-life, they are LeBoyer water birth and breast feeding.
> In LeBoyer, the baby is born into water to ameliorate the shock. Born
> and Born-Again at the same time, an infant baptism, hmm. And the
> nip-p-p-les? With gut unwed, we feed the head. Merleau- Ponty stated
> that all our concepts are grounded in percepts, so maybe since we feel
> before we think, our guts are fed first - then our brains. In fact,
> Aristotle's Three Laws of Thought are themselves reduceable to
> perception. They are: 1) A Or Not-A (either it's there or it ain't),
> 2) Not Both A And Not-A (it can't be both there and not there in the
> same spatiotemporal perspective - a good Albertian viewpoint), and 3)
> If A Then A (if it's there, it's there).
> He missed one, I think: If Not-A, Then Not-A (if it ain't there, it
> there). But being there, how would we know?
> Being-there. Kosinski stole the term; it is the literal translation
> of Dasein, the Heideggerian term otherwise translated as Being-in-
> Kant stated that all concepts without percepts are empty, and
> all percepts without concepts are blind. If Merleau-Ponty is right
> and it all starts with percepts, then I guess that we are born blind,
> and only later on do we perceive our emptiness. Que sera, sera - from
> fetal to defeatal. What a world.
> Poor Giordano Bruno. He was burned at the stake by the
> enforcement arm of the soul-protective Catholic church. The
> Inquisitors ordered this - because Bruno dared to inquire. He
> inquired about our universe, and he came to the conclusion that it
> lacked an absolute center. Relativity theory - four hundred years
> before Einstein - and they killed him for it. Microcosm-macrocosm: a
> centerless mind adrift in centerless matter. Being-in-the-World.
> Thanks, Bruno, you're in good company. Say hi to Socrates for me
> (another soul slain for attempting to perpetrate self-knowledge).
> While you're at it, invite jesus over to your table, too; he was most
> probably as misinterpreted as the rest of you.
> The name of the Grand Inquisitor was Torquemada. The
> appelation was most probably derived from the latin torquere, to
> twist, and torques, collar. Tightening the screws to keep 'em
> collared, ay, Torquey? A torque is also a piece of twisted wire worn
> on one's person (but around the neck, not from the navel). However,
> torquing also causes torsion, a spinning around a center (turning in
> the widening gyre). Was Bruno burned on the heretic's pyre for
> disagreeing with you about the existence of such a center, Torquemada?
> I'm almost sure he didn't mean it personally.
> Anyway, we all lack a center. It was taken from us when we
> became us, and we'll never get it back, so long as we all shall live.
> That's the reason for this sharpened knife in my hand. Primal scream
> therapists say that one's scream is not authentic until the knotting
> of the glottis is loosened. Coincidentally (or is it?), this knot is
> located in the center of the stomach, directly behind the navel. The
> Indian shot me, mama!
> The Japanese don't call it hari-kiri; that's an americanization, like
> chop suey. They call it tsubutu. I like the phonetics of that word:
> tsu-bu-tu. As if you're talking to yourself to yourself listening in
> maddening creschEND-O! That damned knot has been there as long as I
> can remember and I'm fucking tired of it; I'm committed to the idea of
> autocaesarean section.
> I'll do it with all the dignity I can muster - no chop suey-side;
> nope, straight through the ol' chow mein. But I'll allow myself the
> pleasure of screaming.
> You'll find me here beside this letter. A last theory of will
> beside its consummation in final action - and Guess What? I'll
> finally have a Center- a gleaming, silver center.
> Well, cheerio! Time to plug the hole!
> I hope I miss my liver.
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