Saturday, November 10, 2007

A theory of being is a theory of language; a theory of language is a theory of being

Gregory Desilet Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:08 pm
In the posts of Bonnie, Edward, and myself I get a sense that we are circling or converging around the problematic of how to discuss or put into words (or refine in words) what Derrida (and Heidegger) refer to as “the being of Being.”
Getting a handle on this, as Wilber and many others have intuited, is crucial to the formation of viable spirituality. I sense that we all find important clues or guides in the work of particular Buddhist theorists such as Nagarjuna and Western philosophers such as Derrida. I would like to add thoughts from a commentator on Deleuze, Todd May. I’ve been reading him recently and I think much of what Deleuze says (via May) adds to and may help to clarify some of the similarities in what each of us has been saying. I think it also helps to clarify the position of language in all of this. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I think it will be worth the time....
To use Heidegger’s phrase, language as “the house of being,” as it is brought to reflect being, can (ultimately) do nothing other than reflect the core of being, however problematic or paradoxical that core may be. In this sense language, life, and world are of a piece and theorists such as Wilber, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. are right to believe that what we may believe about one necessarily involves us in a web that structures what we come to believe about the others. A theory of being is a theory of language; a theory of language is a theory of being. And a theory of language is also a theory of life...
Deleuze’s “nonsense” is probably another notion that parallels Derrida’s understanding of khora and Buddhist uses of the notion of “emptiness.” With Deleuze’s explanation it becomes possible to understand why language ought not to be regarded as inadequate or deficient any more so than we ought to regard being or the world as inadequate or deficient. It is part of the nature of “what is.” And if “what is” is essentially lacking in something–that would be compared to what? This suggests approaching language as a joy and an opportunity for creation/discovery–much like music. So while we may all wrestle with language in the effort to see and communicate the world, I believe the more we understand and appreciate how it works (or seems to fail to work) the closer we get to understanding being as well as our own human nature.

1 comment:

  1. There3fore, egoity, or the suffered drama of the presumed separate "I" and its separate "other", is a disease, even an imaginary diseaes, since it is self-caused, unnecessary, and self-contained.

    The fascinating "I", separate, independent of any "other" and the process of relationship, is the ultimate psychological and philsophical illusion.
    There IS no separate "I".