Philosophy in Practice | Cape Town


(QA 48 revisited.) conception, in other words

(QA 48 revisited.) conception, in other words

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On June 1, 2014

Heidegger says you must be born again. No, that was Jesus. Even Heidegger, then. As philosophy will be born again from a thinking mother.

Philosophy’s first birth was attended by the son of a midwife. He himself practiced husbandry. A ranchero. Pedagod who knew which theoria should be brought to bear and which aborted. A miscarriage, God’s truth! Next time, we start with the troth: a pledge and a patience, a willingness to bear the whole world in our belly. Not a titan of strength this time, not forced to bear the heavens upon our back.

The old way will continue to complete itself. Our time is early, so early – not even dawn but the chill that rises from the dead of night. Our time is the wee hours. I wrap myself in a shawl and blanket, crone, chronicler, kairomone.

Philosophy before philosophy begins again, philosophy before its time, before it’s due, its due, before the dust has settled. While it is still unconceivable. That’s how early we are. Midwives to ova.

What is the task of our time? Emancipation, metanoia. To turn. In this field of philosophy, to refrain. To recover what was neglected. To think what it was unable to think, what has remained unthought. To think before philosophy, return to thought.

Which is what I mean by philosophical practice. With others, to understand the meaning of our struggles and desire, to attend to what is unbalanced, what has been obstructed or occluded. As if to tend the earth, to soften with water, loosen soil, break dry clods to dust in our hands. To open the way, vul’indlela. Philosophical practice as cultivation.



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