Is there a piece of heart left for me?
You ate mine fast – and I’m hungry.
Is there some blood to pour on it?
Flavorful sauce makes it tender.

Pass me some of that bloody heart –
But don’t serve it cold or crispy –
That yummy flesh might nourish me
Of lovely things I never see.

What is loneliness?


All this talk about entanglement and symbiotic relationships to the world expressed in Heidegger’s corpus makes us forget the phenomenon of loneliness. (1) What is loneliness? Already we make the interesting move of calling it a phenomenon. (2) It shows itself as a given toward us because we consider it as an outer given. It’s “us + lonely”. It happens to us, and by extension comes from outer consciousness, and is felt as a weight put on our shoulders – a “sinking feeling” settling in the trunk of our body. It blinds us of the transcendental relationship subject-object. Case in point: we can feel lonely in the presence of others – which is a subjugation of the objected world for a focus oriented onto ourselves. (3) But if a transcendental dependence on the “everything” that warps any conscious experience is validated, what is loneliness then? Is it a mere impression? An attunement for Heidegger? Is it a psychological state of apprehending the world? To be lonely there must be an awareness of presence. For me to be declared lonely at home it means I must recognize something showing up. However there is nothing here: there is just me sitting at my desk. What about lack? Lack means void. It is a “missingly” in my experience – an absence-ing. I live missingly the presence of what is required to feel whole – the opposite of lonely. We avoid making a reverse analysis of feeling whole – by analyzing the opposite of wholeness – since there are too many knots to untie when it comes to decorticating the entanglement with the world. Lonely, I feel missing what makes me whole – just as well loneliness makes me see a contrast. Loneliness opens up on the anxiety of existing: we die lonely! We are ultimately alone in various ways: by my uniform thinking, my physical entity, etc. But didn’t we agree – and even presuppose – with the notion of intersubjectivity in being? How can we be alone in the “realist” sense we described if we assume to be ontologically intersubjects? (4) Loneliness is intersubjective in some way as well. In missing that which makes us whole we still rely on it to be lonely – its absence mirrors its phenomena – and when we are whole we get on the other side of loneliness by experiencing the opposite that births its being. This is not a straightforward dichotomy. Loneliness manifests the intersubjective nature of experienced-consciousness by relying on an unconditioned characteristic proper to what it means to be living. Feeling whole is when you have nothing else to ask for so much that feeling whole doesn’t even show itself – it is concealed by the experience of living in the moment. That which makes us whole shares characteristics with livingness – such as time as being full of time and never filled with nothingness in it. Loneliness expresses the intersubject by showing a void emerging in the middle – between subject and object – a projecting of subject out of itself meanwhile an abstracting of object becomes given or thrown at the subject – here abstracting doesn’t necessarily mean complete physical unsubstantiation. This requires change – and change means time! Loneliness is temporal – it is never always. This is due to Husserlian intentionality or Heideggerian care, but also to a strive of grasping that which gives rise to the void that shows itself – which is the world because we are lonely in the world. What is this strive? It’s nothing ethical and yet it’s everything ontological. It must be what hides us as intersubjects. We feel disconnected. We are individualized beings. You wouldn’t believe right away that you have no mind and all the world at once. The strive is the funnel that represents Kantian objective deduction (5) – it’s the alliance of biological constitution with our temporal structure to see things the way we do. Like an ontological imperative, it is the coming back to seeing things normally after I’ve pressed my finger gently onto my eye to disturb my vision.

(1) We are referencing here his notion of being-in-the-world and Husserl’s transcendental subjectivity.

(2) Because phenomena is a thing presencing and showing itself to us, whereas experience refers to an ensemble of presencings involving our seeing of a phenomena. Phenomena is presupposed to be outside of us whereas experience involves us – involves the working of consciousness interacting with the phenomena. But experience can also be taken up as a phenomena as a whole!

(3) We put ourselves as objects when we shift our seeing toward ourselves – and thus consider ourselves as a phenomena.

(4) By allying mind and world together, what is there to be lonely about? How can we make a realist description of a self – having a single body, a stream of thought disparate from others, etc. – if we presuppose that Cartesian dualism is invalid?

(5) Specifically Kant’s objective deduction from the B edition of Critique of Pure Reason.

A sadness came at my window –
It was the loss of memory
When I had love long time ago.

A solitude sat on my forehead
And my balance behind it fell –
And to this day it never came.

But that’s okay – I knew it swell.

She smelled American. It was a perfume not made of fruity things, but it wasn’t too bitter either. She had a large American flag in her dorm room and a wall covered in pictures of friends, family, and places from her hometown in New-Jersey. This is the kind of woman who spoke with her body more than her mouth – and it was true even in bed. It did not take much to understand that her timidity arose out of her newness in the city. She was a first year undergraduate here while I was still a high school senior when we met. Her physical shyness quickly faded with time and left place to a regrettable verbal confidence. To me, it was always a wonderful sight to see her body act comfortably both in motion through passersby in plain daylight and during full intimacy at night. She had a mix of ease and grace swinging through crowds. She was more careful at choosing her words with me than stepping on icy sidewalks.

Two years after the facts – and our acquaintance expired – I found an old postcard she sent me when she was away for winter holidays in some town near New-York. On the back of it she wrote that she could not stop thinking about me because the Christmas market would have been a nice place to take a walk together. After rereading this card a few times, I finally understood that she liked me, and that I had the power to birth a romance out of us if I had wanted to. Little by little the memories came back to me lined up like a series of clues. I stood still with the postcard delicately held between my fingers, facing something I overlooked two years ago.

We had many walks in the city. Once in the fall, we walked up the hill in Westmount, talking of fetishes and life ambitions. We arrived on Summit Circle street to a wide sight of downtown Montreal. We leaned on the fence and examined the view. I put my arm around her waist and told her there was a piece of the Berlin wall in one of those towers. Then we faced each other and went for a kiss. She must have been impressed and passionate about the scene of us two kissing on a hill in front of a panoramic view of Canadian skyscrapers – because at least I was.

Every time we were finished having sex we would lay on her bed for a while. We would have been savages, ruthless fuckers thirty to sixty seconds ago, and I would face up toward her ceiling afterward hoping to face the fatality of the moment. She always wanted to cuddle afterward. She would be holding on to me with an arm across my chest and one leg across mine. Sometimes I would look at her American flag and joke about how it was the most nationalist thing I ever saw: “a flag in a dorm room.” I would try my most redneck accent while saying “’Murica, fuck yeah!” and she would burst a laugh. She also laughed when I teased her about her father being the most American dad who plays golf on Sundays and puts up a barbecue with fireworks every Fourth of July. Most of our romantic physics would happen while the Red Hot Chili Peppers played on her phone.

She saw many sides of me. The confident and smart overachiever I am in her dorm at night; the clumsy stressed idiot who spilled an entire cup of coffee on the first date; and the creep, the mentally deficient who called her every day of the month when things were about to take a Southern turn. I saw her grow too. She was the boring, shy, sexually unsatisfied girl who became the confident, superficial bitch of a lady you can find in American college stadiums. She had a likeness for beautiful, dark colored scarves, but she would make fun of the amount of layers I would wear in the winter. She was the kind of person keen to making hot chocolate with water instead of milk. And that perfume, I don’t know what it’s called. She would put it abundantly on her before we met at night, and I could smell it on every bit of her skin. It brings back memories of her physical imprint on me. She would press here and I would press there, and it all smelled the same. Even her skin was not Canadian and felt different to my foreigner touch. My voice would speak to her ears and they would answer with the same pleasing smell. Through her physical grace she taught me that skin can have not only scent, but also taste and sounds – of a pounding heartbeat when facing an American flag. But this is all in the past, and I digress.

I was sitting at my desk in the library recently, and this redhead has walked by me a few times already. I instantly recognized Jessica’s perfume. As she was leaving her seat for the last time, putting on her winter coat and bracing herself for the cold outside, I thought of the multiple possibilities that could happen. I thought of catching up to her before she reached for the door:

“Excuse me, this is weird, but your perfume reminds me of someone I used to know. Can you tell me what it is?”
“Oh, sure, it’s …”
“Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.”
“No problem!” She smiled, and left.

But I did not do any of this. I want to think of Jessica every time this scent comes up to my nose, not of its name or the luxury company manufacturing it. I want her to have invented this perfume. If, for instance, I ever sit next to a woman in the bus with the same scent, I want my thought to be “she smells like her” instead “Jessica smelled like that.” I want this perfume to be the immediate opening of a memory recalling my first encounter with America. It’s The Jessica, and nothing else.

“There’s something I have to tell you” she said with an aggravated tone. “I think crepes are undercover pancakes.” At first I was confused by her dramatic confession, but then I was so relieved it was just that. She could have told me she was married, that she murdered someone or, even worse, that she did not like me. We had only been dating for three days and it clearly did not feel as if we knew each other since forever. We had been dating for three days: Had sex on the first date, admitted to her I was in love on the next one, and on the third date she confessed to being skeptical about crepes. She confessed her fear as we were having coffee in a coffee shop on Sherbrooke Street.

“So what do you think about waffles?” I replied sarcastically.

“Oh don’t get me started on waffles.” She said menacingly, forcing her big blue eyes in a way that made it hard to take her seriousness at face value.

I was looking for patterns in order to habituate myself to this girl. Being able to say “this is so Elise” would make me feel comfortable in the realm of unknown she was about to unveil as our relationship evolved. I was ready since day one to kill the tempo of our mutual romantic discovery in order to vivify my confidence. She takes light things seriously and laughs when we’re into serious matters. She smiled when I told her my grandmother was sick on the first night we hung out. She cried when she watched Seinfeld on stage a few years ago. Moments later in the conversation her eyes lit up and she exclaimed:

“Maybe you should do that: a phenomenology of pancakes!”

On the first day we met I was quick to tell her what my passion was: Phenomenology. I told her I was doing some research on phenomenology of love. I was mostly interested in knowing whether or not love is a contingent experience in human life and I wanted to compare it to death, a necessary experience, in order to see the differences between the two. She, on the other hand, was an English major, and it took me some time to explain her why I believed the poetic descriptions of Leonard Cohen and William Blake were not enough to satisfy my curiosity about romantic love.

“Indeed maybe I should do that. Would you be part of the peer review process?” I answered jokingly.

Indeed, maybe I should do a phenomenology of the pancake. Maybe I should question why people choose one side of the pancake over another, whether or not the amount of maple syrup (or butter) they use correlates with their existential experience of being. After pages written on how Kantian a priori intuition of time is a conditional necessity of the experience of tasting the pancake, plugging the Husserlian phenomenological reduction here and the Heideggerian being-in-the-kitchen there, the world would see this corpus of work as an ultimate satire of academic philosophy and realize it is time for a change in this field – as well as in our plates.

It was Saturday evening – the fourth day of our relationship. I had finally convinced her to go see the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at the museum with me. It was my delight to see Elise contemplate the paintings. We held hands and shared a moment of grace in this museum. Then later in the evening we went back to my place in the Mile-End for the first time. The first thing she noticed was the row of pictures I had on a shelf in my hallway. There was one picture in particular that caught her eye: It was a big plan on me as a baby, dressed like an Oxford student with a tie and a sweater over a white shirt, and my hair brushed à la mid-fifties.

“How come you lost all that class!” She said to tease me.

I base most of my judgement about myself on the pictures I have of me. Sometimes I sit at my desk and go through all of my portraits to see how I look, and I attempt to objectively perceive what I exude. Some of them I like, others I don’t. I have never been satisfied with myself and I often wonder if I will ever be. I recently told Elise that I believe society cultivates human nourishment the same way we used to be fed from cartoon characters when we were younger. Nowadays the Internet has become a psychological torture insofar as it connects altogether people who will never have the chance to meet face to face. The Instagram profiles and Facebook pen pals we make along the way suggest us to think they exist for real, and we ultimately fall in love with an incomplete version of them. Society took the expression “a picture worth a thousand words” too literally, and now a Tinder profile with only three pictures is enough to make me say “Of course, that’s so Elise.” If it does not work out with her I will just go back to the thousand words captured by 35mm cameras, displayed on 3.5 centimeter screens. These people I see, they share my likenesses, my tastes, and my values. But they are “there” and I am “here” as Emily Dickinson would say. “Here” is where I am – anxiously apprehending the unknown hiding behind every Tinder profile.

Later that night we got to talking about our love history. Elise, true to herself, could not help but laugh at my chaotic misadventures.

“I can’t believe you said ‘fuck’ to so many people thinking you were saying ‘hi’ to them in Polish! I don’t know if this girl was either making fun of you or really embarrassed.” She exclaimed.

That was when I realized I have never been loved. I have been swept off my feet more than I have swept off other women. Later that night when we were in bed, Elise sleeping with her arm across my chest and me scrutinizing my ceiling for a glimpse of an existential angst, I finally found a guiding thread for my research on love. It is scarier to wonder whether or not we will be loved than to think about death. This is because death comes only once meanwhile a heartbreak is a repeated tragedy. The few women I was romantically involved with prior to meeting Elise were but an experience worse than death. All I ever met were ticking bombs of disappointment. They exploded onto me, ripping my mind and my heart, using “killing” in every sense of the term except literally. And now I wonder if Elise even saw something delightful in me at the museum. But I’d do it all over again if I could. Perhaps it will be different with her. Perhaps I should do this “phenomenology of pancakes.” “There is so much to life that we become dull as we philosophize on it” – this will be put in the acknowledgement section of my hypothetical book “Being and Pancakeness.” I don’t know whether or not love is necessary, but I’d love again just to make myself less afraid of death.

This is what Trauma feels like: entering the now as if it were hell, wishing for the world to be real again. What is this hell? It is “living-missingly” or “living-troubled.” Not being tuned correctly – harmoniously – with the real as much as with ourselves, thinking (believing? No – knowing) it is not right. It has changed. It has all changed somehow. The frames are not right, the chairs more crooked than before – all of this despite all the science and rationality available. The now is not experienced as it had to be. (1) Everything is unforgiving: our mind, other people, time, and life in general. What’s more unforgiving is forgiving itself: it has lost its initial meaning. Forgiving oneself for what happened does not reset the clock no matter what. It happened: The bomb detonated – she died – he was in the crowd when the bodies fell on the ground. (2) Trauma is permanent and the only thing for which reassurance and support has a limit. It is a mental tattoo. No amount of emotional distance will make us go back in time and prevent the unforgiving. It’s mental rape. Though we may find comfort over time and attempt to re-serialize our memories (3) to tune ourselves harmoniously back with time and space, the off-putting feeling evinced by what is real remains continuously. The French have the word “fatalité” to beautifully describe the unforgiving characteristic of time, but Trauma knows no language. It knows nothing but to rape us of our intellectual and physical capabilities. It can be everywhere and inside everything, and for this reason it does not even know itself. I am not the hero of my own self for staying a-live and resisting against my struggles. I am the observing participant astonished by the powerful ways of life. We all lose at staying a-live because we will die no matter what. Only those traumatized seem to lose faster than others. It is impossible to win against the sinking feeling that succeeds the acknowledgement that “it won’t be as before – it won’t be as before – it won’t be as before – it won’t be as before – it won’t be” and repeat ad infinitum. It will be different: A new sun, a new face, a new voice with new thoughts. A new house and a new gun. A new car and a new mother. It’s another birth: an illegitimate mental birth resulting from the rape. How will you do? That is coping. Coping is beyond Heideggerian ontology and traditional metaphysics. It is way further than easy existentialism. You are born in a fearful world now. You enter hell as you left what you now think was heaven, and the saddest truth remaining is that only you can grant your wish to make the real real again.

1. Notice how we cannot even say “as it should be” or “as it should have been.” All understanding of objectivity gets lost in Trauma. Real justice becomes subjective, which is why the now had to be experienced this way – but it did not.

2. Reference to the Paris Terrorist Attack at the Bataclan on November 13th 2015.

3. In Hussel’s way: See his Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins (Lectures on Phenomenology of Time-Consciousness) and The Time of Trauma: Husserl’s Phenomenology and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Mary Jeanne Larrabee.

Speaking About Death

PDF available here.

Do we live to die? Asking this question supposes that the limitations of an experience (life and the ending of it) define its purpose. In this case, the purpose of life is to be over, or so many nihilists would say. It can’t be right for the reason alone that life’s determination is not fixed. I could die anytime, and because I did not die now means that my life did not have the purpose to be over right now. My life’s purpose is always pushed further, defeating the meaning of the now – of the complete experience up to now. It seems the lack of a definite timeline set for the end of my life contributes endlessly to the contradiction of its purpose. I have lived until now and yet I am not dead: What can I make of this fact in terms of sense and meaning? Moreover, death is never yet. How could I give purpose to something fictional that is never real in the now? I should then put death in the category of all the unsubstantiated things in terms of time: things that can be conceptualized but whose concepts cannot relate directly to their substantiality as of now. What is the purpose of things that don’t exist in the now yet? It seems that their only purpose, in relation to their current ontological status, is to become be-ing (1) , to manifest themselves from a now moment to another one. The purpose of death is to be, but it vanishes every time it brings itself into being. Death tries infinitely to engage in the now but it can’t do so, and this is because the act of living fills the entirety of time. As Merleau-Ponty said, time is full of being. (2) Death is ungraspable because it has no possibility to give perspective. We represent death as an “other side” because it is so unrelated and impossible to locate within life. Living is perspectival. Our understanding of objectivity and subjectivity requires spatiality because we think of perspective through space. One needs to be aware of a separation between a here and an out there to compose the difference between their eyes and someone else’s. In this sense, objectivity requires subjectivity in order to be known, and vice-versa, for without one we could not know the other. Apperception, which is thinking in its most essential form, is what allows Kant to say that there is a perspective other than his own, and apperception in itself is a perspective; it’s a funnel directed towards one thing, or one thought, and moves from one to another. (3) Death can be neither objective nor subjective because it is devoid of spatiality, of time, and of tools for perception – including the possibility of perspective itself. We cannot perceive death because it does not provide anything to perceive, and death provides nothing to perceive because it has no access to being through time. To see a corpse being active and responding to stimuli, and suddenly it stops being as such and drops numb on the ground: this is probably the biggest problem that gave rise to thinking – or at least to thinking of time. We witness the unknown without itself. It’s as if we were in a box seeing the sides being pushed concavely from outside. Death pushes on-to Being to get inside of it, but this is to no avail. However, this analogy doesn’t quite grasp the reality of death because it rests on the notion of space – of which death doesn’t have any. In fact there is no reality for death. Our reality is that sometimes, unpredictably, animals and humans stop moving for as long as we have yet to live, and I say “yet” because we can’t say forever: who knows if my deceased grandfather will walk again when I’m dead? A dead body has absolutely nothing. What do you mean “he’s dead”? He’s gone. But where? He’s gone nowhere. He’s gone nowhere because the notion of perspective is only unique to being a-live. Without space, and thus without perspective, there is nowhere else to go. As Bergson explained so well in Matter and Memory, the soul cannot go anywhere else because if it did then we would be attributing it a spatial meaning, resulting in equating the soul to be a body – even though the entire mind-body problem considers the mind as non-corporeal object. (4) What is death then? It’s the shocking call of a boundary that has yet to be now. It’s a limit unannounced. It escapes us as much, if not more, as the thought of our own nonexistence. I cannot dissociate the “I think” of Kant from my representations: hence imagining a life of others with me being dead is actually still including me in it and this imaginative act would be inaccurate. Language itself can’t even grasp what death is because death is not “out” of life since it has no spatial feature. What about time? Yes, death is a boundary in time that does not exist as of now. The ending of my time is not even death itself. Death is the absence of my time, but the presence of my causation for others. Leaving an object unattended for someone else, posing a ticking bomb in a supermarket in the Middle-East, or the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 as an act of protest that’s left to others to understand: these are manifestations of causes that supersede our living, and somehow other people see us through these. (5) As Bergson demonstrated in Time and Free Will, moments in time last through a process of durée, and somehow they stretch from a now to another, always by-passing other nows. We might then consider the real death to be the one that never existed in the first place. Those who are not remembered and whose keepsakes and effects upon the world have been lost forever, so much that we can even say they were never born in the first place: those are the real dead. But again, this is the sort of death that is manifested from the inside of a reality. What I can see, and what I can speculate about, is only from within my own time. I cannot know what comes after I’ve opened my eyes for the last time.

However, we need to keep Hegel in mind: “Seeing the limit as limit means it has already been surpassed.” (6) Death, therefore, cannot be surpassed. The absence of time, for me, is unthinkable because it is the presence of time for others, one would argue. We then fall back into our problem of perspective: death is beyond subjectivity and objectivity. We only encounter a body being numb and heavy on the floor, and the deceased person remains forever in memory: his or her voice cannot be heard in a way that is given and forced upon us as it was in everyday life. This will never happen again. They no longer force themselves into my life, my consciousness, and now I have to willfully recall how they sounded like in order to “hear” them again: What should I make of this factual difference in time? In times of grief we may ask: Where are they? I would be lying if I said they were in time, because time has no spatiality, and I am also forced to say they are not somewhere else. Furthermore, there has never been a case of a patient for which all the health settings were fine and yet they died anyway. Likewise for the opposite case: when something fails in the body, it will always stop being alive. If I could walk without a heart and if my grandfather could speak without a brain, our attachment to time, which is translated through our understanding of what is given to us, whether we are conscious of it or not, would be very different. Witnessing that he or she has no future in the realm of what is given to me is another traumatic shock caused from the strength and hardness of time itself. This is, in my opinion, where thinking originates: a progression of an increasing number of differences in time appeared to us, we somehow began to notice and to become aware of these differing appearances in time, and thoughts started to emerge as a result of this slow progressive act of differentiating between the now and then.

How shall we speak of death, then, if it is not accessible through our perspectival apparatus of thinking? I would argue that we are simply left with a wonder that is unsolvable for the sake of other wonders. The one thing of which we cannot think about and speak about is what allows us to speak and think of everything else. (7) Death, as being a moment of unperceivable limiting absence, shock, and wonder, becomes the intellectual starting-point for thinking and for the Platonist use of λόγος (logos). Heidegger’s opening to ontology: “Why are there beings rather than nothing?” (8) Camus’ worry about suicide, whether we should jump ship now instead of later, and, of course, Socrates’ dramatic departure for the unspeakable of, leaving us the unsolvable mystery of why he did so. These instances all show nothing more than the human attitude in its original form. (9) Bodies falling on the ground and parents who never wake up anymore: They remind us that we are perspectival beings and that every practice of philosophical thinking is in one way or another related to this reminder. Why is it easier to say “I know I will die” rather than “I think I will die”? What is Kierkegaard getting at when he notices that we do not instinctively think about our own death? These questions inevitably lead us to noticing that death escapes λόγος by nature – if only death had a nature! Death is not perspectival; death cannot be tied to the ground as Plato intended the act of λόγος to do. (10) I must conclude, for now, that to speak of death it should be necessary to know how to not address this “it” to which it is impossible to refer. If anything, perhaps we must die, when the moment is appropriate, as it has been shown that as definite and limited beings as we can be, we too can be full of perspective and that, perhaps, there is a limit to what objectivity and subjectivity permit. We will see the loved ones and the extras lying down in a coffin and we will turn their bodies into ashes or make them “one” with the earth by burying them. However, we must keep in mind that the meanings we give them as soon as they can no longer respond to pain and to us are nothing but a misattribution. We cannot speak of death properly, and we cannot give it meaning as a result of this. We must simply give ourselves to time itself.

(1) “De l’étant” in French

(2) Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phénoménologie de la perception. p.471 : « Si le monde objectif est incapable de porter le temps, ce n’est pas qu’il soit en quelque sorte trop étroit, que nous ayons à y ajouter un pan de passé et un pan d’avenir. Le passé et l’avenir n’existent que trop dans le monde, ils existent au présent, et ce qui manque à l’être lui-même pour être temporel, c’est le non-être de l’ailleurs, de l’autrefois et du demains. Le monde objectif est trop plein pour qu’il y ait du temps. Le passé et l’avenir, d’eux-mêmes, se retirent de l’être et passent du côté de la subjectivité pour y chercher, non pas quelque support réel, mais, au contraire, une possibilité de non-être qui s’accorde avec leur nature. Si l’on détache le monde objectif des perspectives finies qui ouvrent sur lui et qu’on le pose en soi, on ne peut y trouver de toutes parts que des « maintenants ».

(3) We see here Husserl’s starting point for the notion of intentionality.

(4) Bergson, Henri. Matière et mémoire. Sections « Introduction » and « De la sélection des images pour la représentation. Le rôle du corps. »

(5) I am referring here to the matter of people feeling the presence of someone who died when they find objects that belonged to them. PTSD is another example of causation superseding an event.

(6) Luft, Sebastian. “Husserl’s Phenomenological Discovery of the Natural Attitude.” Published in Subjectivity and Lifeworld in Transcendental Phenomenology. p. 38

(7) For all we know there could be other things impossible to talk about, such as death, as absence of time, before birth. What language cannot define, it allows it to define other things.

(8) First question Heidegger addresses in a lecture given in 1935, published in Introduction to Metaphysics (Yale University Press)

(9) And perhaps this is the difference between humans and animals.

(10) See Plato’s Meno. Meno suggests logos (λόγος) as an act of “tying down” a thought or a truth to the ground so that it would not escape the soul of whoever talks about it. To give account of something is to attach this “something” to a ground so that we don’t search forever what it means or what it is.

I’d like someone to be somewhere waiting for me,
Someone with something somewhere to see,
All white flakes dropping so aimlessly,
It’s all for me – it’s all for me.

Someone somewhere someday to be,
A laughing-stock, a staking-jock,
A dearly mate in times of loss,
A greater hate for when we cross.

It’s all for me, it’s all to be,
Someone someday somewhere to see
Me being poor and on all four,
It’s all for me – someone lovely.

To Ms. Emily Dickinson

Stage-struck – The eyes are opened, and they fill this room with a glow that brings a weal on its own. The mouth leans forward to let the lips make a few vertical majestic moves coupled with some gracious gesticulations from the other limbs. I’m standing here, staying still as a stone, on a stage filled with cracking noises coming from the wooden planks getting older through invisible time. I inhale, and then I start to deliver a thread of words supposedly coming from my heart. My tongue is shaking through the sounds of order, the bursts of revolutions and the sumptuous compliments I give to the ladies in the first row. One motion after the other, I walk across the stage at different speeds like Don Juan. From stage left to right, I become what I’ve never been. I lose all knowledge of my identity above the curtains and under the acute surveillance of a hundred faces stricken by my presence. They know who I am. They can tell what I’m like even though I don’t have the means to do it anymore. A single step forward is enough to get rid of every notion of soul and meaning. Next, another shout mimicked with my hand goes on to lose itself in the middle of some theatrical fight, and forgets itself amidst the ruins of an existential collapse. My body stands here, as my mind becomes subjugated by that of another. I learn how to live through becoming this other. I take on the ownership of his words and his spontaneous diction, so much it becomes a metaphysical surgery. And now I’m sitting down on the edge of the stand as a man enjoying the last breath of his youth. I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the souls in the audience to capsize on their seats all the way to the back of the theater. I’m waiting for a rain of emotions to flood their faces one after the other in between the triggering silences of the play. Only when the end gets closer in time do I take hold of myself again. My physical exhaustion makes me happier about the real world. Time slows down and I suddenly perceive more easily this other stage on which I keep living all the time. It only took me a few hours of adopting a seemingly fictional life to find back some adoration for my own. To act is nothing but the action of enjoying one’s the body and the versatility of their soul.

This is a translation of the original French text Sur les planches.

The Popular Illness – So many men knocked on my door moaning over the pains they used to have. “I was ill, one of them said, I remember it very well! O how sick I used to be! Sick of this and that, of everything and nothing! Have I been struck by life’s ordinariness? It doesn’t matter, for I was ill and I remember it.” Today still, I cannot help but watch humanity soak itself into the sufferings long gone and the pains that it has yet to discover. Here I am, living in the Occidental world, the land on which one needs to suffer in order to exist. My blood boils when the words “rights” and “progress” get echoed from the young blokes’ lips. These are no more of a cure, but a new way of celebrating each and every symptom of the next societal plague instead. Rather than being doctors, the philosophers have become mere paramedics of morality. All around me, my brethren and my peers have replaced the words with groans and screams. Agonizing does not emerge from human nature anymore. It is instantaneously created as soon as a glimpse of guilt appears on each and every street corner. And when this scourge, tortured itself by the screams of its victims, begins to vanish from the surface of the Earth, no one else is pained by its disappearance. One may believe that happiness and peace only come back on Mankind’s doorstep in silence, despite our voices so loud and powerful.

About The Supremacy of Love – What are the oppressors doing to the dearest ideas of ours? They hammer these marble blocs, strive themselves like vultures toward the modern values, all of which will go down sooner or later in the history books. We ended here, in the middle of these utopic constructions subdued by a foolproof fear, with no kiss to alleviate ourselves and no words to hear each other. I feel you feverish and shaking in front of these newly improvised martyrs who scream at the top of their lungs, all of this despite your beaming look and gleeful stance. The sky sprinkled with grey clouds oversees the dancing of my eyes all over your hands, your face, and your smile so young, yet bleeding from the surreal atrocities of the world. “Absurd” is the word you slipped into my ear as you echoed your disgust in front of this sadistic delirium. So I remove myself from the sternness of this place and I grab my cynical coat hoping it would save you from your humanitarian revulsion and welcome you inside my arms, and among my fictional comfort. Hand in hand, we dodge the seriousness of every face and the astonishment of these living corpses in order to run away on this road made of clay towards this marble column – the only one that keeps resisting against the gunshots, hammers, and sickles. Each body’s love betrays the ideals of the world and reminds us the uselessness of each and every kind of belief. We are both stricken by deadly philosophical bullets as well as by traumatic and distanced dreads. Even though you think differently than me, I love you, and I couldn’t say why.

“Tell me, O wisest Bear of them all,
Hast thou found back the honey that was lost at once?
Did the yellow-stripped creatures crown you
With a better offering from this forest?”

And the hairy beast answered:

“None of this is what reconciliates me with the seasons.
I may dream of Australian lands and hide from the coldest winds,
But truth is, I simply took hold of my eyes,
And came back on the paved road where I left it.

I once met a magician of the soul,
Who could make virtues appear in her eyes,
Like dancing sea waves.

She would smile at the rain,
And have a laugh when in vain,
Nature does once too much pain.

She then left my world as she entered it,
In a profound silence between the flicking of books
and the scratching of pens on pages.

Never had I recovered from this devastating loss,
Until she reappeared before me,
With the cure to my dystopian dreams.

I look at the trees today and thank them,
For the shadows they provided me,
When I was blinded by her tricks and charms.

I walk on this earth today,
Knowing fate’s absurd being,
Is no more than a mere child’s play.