|My Housing Estate after a little Snow!|
The thought of our extinction focuses our mind, heart, soul or psyche - call it what you will here. When I grasp the essential point that I am mortal or a being-towards-death, then and only then do I fully assume the responsibility for living my life as well. In this sense, after sufficient contemplation of my mortality I accept who I am and choose to live out my life as authentically as I can. Levine contends that there is an essential affinity here between Winnicott's thought and that of Heidegger. "The worldly character of Dasein is akin to the transitional space of which Winnicott speaks. Just as authentic Dasein is in the world, so psychological life for Winnicott is carried out in the transitional space between self and other." (Levine, Poiesis, pp 36-37)
One cannot but agree with Levine's take on both Winnicott and Heidegger and it is his take, not mine, as I have only read theese latter two in secondary sources. Our author insists that Winnicott's distinction between the true and false self-systems is similar to Heidegger's distinction between authentic and inauthentic existence. Inauthentic existence is where I do not really know myself, or where much of me lies hidden from myself. Hence, it is only when I experience a personal breakdown (in which I am confronted with my sheer mortality and finitude, that I can somehow find my own truth. To be striving to please others, to do what society alone expects of me is to live according to what Heidegger calls "Das Man." To do so I choose not to be, to live a lie or a sort of half-life, or half-death indeed, in which I do not confront the terror or experience the joy of existence.
|Heidegger - Anti-semite Nazi, but good philosopher!!|
The most important thing for Heidegger is the act of speaking one's own authentic truth, and he calls this the very poetry of existence. In fact we all live a poetic existence when we are true to our real self. We find our home in the world only when we make it our own by the power of our imagination. Now this transformative activity he calls "poiesis" or "Dichtung." In the later Heidegger poiesis is the act by which truth is placed in a work.
To be continued