I wanna journal more!
Its late… i’ve been getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night.
I’m taking 20th century continental philosophy. Pretty sure my professor is a lil crazy… or genius. I haven’t figured out which one.
We’re studying ‘reversals’. Thats right. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone at first… then you begin reading excerpts from Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, Nietzsche, Levinaas, and a lil glimmer of this ‘reversal’ makes sense. just a lil.
Why do I say he’s crazy? Well… I could type out his anecdotes about driving down rural roads… glancing at barns… seeing tiered roofs… and having epiphanies where he realizes that he is not… only that he is…. which leads to the world glowing, or illuminating, so to speak, with new depth. We are not objects, we are processes. These words do no accurately describe this phase. That is what we are studying.
alright… so that doesn’t make much sense. I know. But in class tuesday he had purple mother of pearl nail paint on. That’s right. I could barely pay attention to the lecture.
So anyway… what we’re discussing in class is this ‘reversal’ that occurs when we try approaching the essence of ‘things’. Not just by words, which are tainted by inherited meaning and this whole subject-object relationship. The question: “what is a thing?” is central to our discussion. He tried illustrating this reversal by introducing the story of Copernicus. Prior to his theory, man was the center of everything. In many ways, we still think we are. Its so natural. There is us, then there is a world which revolves around us. Makes sense to think that the planets and sun revolve around us. But Copernicus introduced the idea that we revolve around the sun. Now that was unheard of… totally out of everything in our reality of the time… it took a massive ‘reversal’, a violent overturning of hierarchal meanings, in order to come up with such a theory.
That was one example. We are exploring this ‘phase’ that occurs when the ‘reversal’ takes place… when we crawl out of our conscious and subconscious framework that we employ to make sense of the world. We are trapped by it… and only when we throw it away, and totally ‘reverse’ the nature of these things, can we explore ‘things’ and their essence or nature, if thats what you can call it. See… even when I say essence or nature I create a fabricated metaphor used to replace the real meaning of what I’m trying to convey. I cannot possible know the audiences understanding of essence or metaphor, and if I did, it would still be constrained to their experiences with the words.
We use words to describe other words. Language is inadequate at getting to the bottom of what a ‘thing’ is because it never grasps a thing. It only introduces more words with more meanings in order to clarify the ‘thing’.
Anyway… this is along the lines of what I’ve gathered so far. It took like 4 classes before I had a clue what the hell we were talking about. Mostly because when I asked what we were trying to get at, he would say ‘nothing’. And I was like… oh. He said… “what is ‘nothing’? When we say there is a ‘thing’, and there is ‘nothing’, what do mean by ‘nothing’? You cannot make progress at understanding ‘nothing’. There is no where to get to.”
anyway… that’s along the lines… I don’t speak as eloquently… or rhetorically as Dr. David Wood does… but oh well. I’ll share my commentary on these new ideas as they come to me… or as time permits.
so late. night.