Life is a gift

“When I look back on my past and think how much time I wasted on nothing, how much time has been lost in futilities, errors, laziness, incapacity to live; how little I appreciated it, how many times I sinned against my heart and soul-then my heart bleeds. Life is a gift, life is happiness, every minute can be an eternity of happiness.”


Sensing ourselves in the world

Heidegger and Befindlichkeit

“Heidegger’s concept denotes how we sense ourselves in situations. Whereas feeling is usually thought of as something inward, Heidegger’s concept refers to something both inward and outward, but before a split between inside and outside has been made.

We are always situated, in situations, in the world, in a context, living in a certain way with others, trying to achieve this and avoid that.

“A mood is not just internal, it is this living in the world. We sense how we find ourselves, and we find ourselves in situations.

“A second difference from the usual conception of “feeling” lies in this: Befindlichkeit always already has its own understanding. (Here is Heidegger’s second basic parameter of human existence: “understanding.”) We may not know what the mood is about, we may not even be specifically aware of our mood, nevertheless there is an understanding of our living in that mood. It is no merely internal state or reaction, no mere coloring or accompaniment to what is happening. We have lived and acted in certain ways for certain purposes and strivings and all this is going well or badly, but certainly it is going in some intricate way. How we are faring in these intricacies is in our mood. We may not know that in a cognitive way at all; it is in the mood nevertheless, implicitly.

“This understanding is active; it is not merely a perception or reception of what is happening to us. We don’t come into situations as if they were mere facts, independent of us. We have had some part in getting ourselves into these situations, in making the efforts in response to which these are now the facts, the difficulties, the possibilities, and the mood has the implicit “understanding” of all that, because this understanding was inherent already in how we lived all that, in an active way.”

Befindlichkeit: Heidegger and the Philosophy of Psychology


Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry: Heidgger and Psychology
Vol. XVI, Nos. I, 2 & 3, 1978-79



ANALYSIS | DAILY MAVERICK |The Land Reform train builds strong momentum | By Stephen Grootes | 21 May 2018

“…the demand for real land reform is entirely legitimate.

“It is legitimate for those who have no land, and who want some land to live on and to work on now, because they will see their position in life as being a result of economic apartheid now and apartheid and colonialism in the past. It is legitimate because our economy appears to lock so many people out of it. While it is true that everyone has agency, and you should guard against blaming others for one’s position, it cannot be denied that the dice are loaded against so many people incredibly unfairly…

“As for the argument about restitution, while incredibly complicated, that demand is surely legitimate too. Yes, it is surely difficult to take something from someone who received it from their great-grandparents. But the demand from those who had something taken from their great-grandparents is immense. And considering that it is in many ways a major part of the basis of our racialised inequality, it is not a demand that can easily be argued against.

“The land reform will now have to happen. Both in the interests of the present, and in the interests of redress. But, importantly, this must be a carefully managed process that will attempt to be fair, and, above all things, legal. The politicians can only change the Constitution, and even then, only with the true support of the majority of society. Judges can still keep the process fair.

That way, and only that way, the process we as a country are about to embark on will yield results different from what happened to other countries.”