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.”


Pascal Pensées
We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

Il n’est pas certain que tout soit incertain.
(Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)

Let each of us examine his thoughts; he will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future. We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light is throws on our plans for the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means, the future alone our end. Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.

 Le coeur a ses raisons que le raison ne connaît point.

When I consider the brief span of my life absorbed into the eternity which precedes and will succeed it—memoria hospitis unius diei praetereuntis (remembrance of a guest who tarried but a day)—the small space I occupy and which I see swallowed up in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me, I take fright and am amazed to see myself here rather than there: there is no reason for me to be here rather than there, now rather than then. Who put me here? By whose command and act were this place and time allotted to me?

Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it.

What a Chimera is man! What a novelty, a monster, a chaos, a contradiction, a prodigy! Judge of all things, an imbecile worm; depository of truth, and sewer of error and doubt; the glory and refuse of the universe.

If they [Plato and Aristotle] wrote about politics it was as if to lay down rules for a madhouse. And if they pretended to treat it as something really important it was because they knew that the madmen they were talking to believed themselves to be kings and emperors. They humored these beliefs in order to calm down their madness with as little harm as possible.

Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things.

What must I do? I see nothing but obscurities on every side.’
‘Shall I believe I am nothing? Shall I believe I am God?

All that is made perfect by progress perishes also by progress.

What then is to become of man? Will he be the equal of god or the beasts? What a terrifying distance! What then shall he be? Who cannot see from all this that man is lost, that he has fallen from his place, that he anxiously seeks it, and cannot find it again? And who then is to direct him there? The greatest men have failed.

reason can be bent in any direction.

If we do not know ourselves to be full of pride, ambition, lust, weakness, misery, and injustice, we are indeed blind. And if, knowing this, we do not desire deliverance, what can we say of a man…?

Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered in the sight of others those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition.

Trump’s evangelicals

“According to a new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll, 75 percent of white evangelicals said they held a favorable view of the president.”

– CHARLIE MAY, Salon, APRIL 19, 2018. White evangelicals: Donald Trump is still our man!

If ever there was a way to emphasize my disillusionment with evangelical Christianity it is the uncritical, fawning support evangelicals give to US President and serial liar, Donald Trump.

It is beyond belief: only a silence of disgust and disavowal can express my indignation toward those who profess Christ as their saviour – and continue to support this disgusting individual.

It reminds me of the way some sycophantic (‘respected’) evangelical pastors gave their wholehearted support to Apartheid – and to it’s corrupt leaders like Magnus Malan, and in the post-apartheid dispensation ingratiated themselves to the likes of Jacob Zuma.

God deliver us from such a morally bankrupt Christianity.


Trump’s Dehumanizing Language Is An Assault Against Our Christian Foundation

RHEMA BIBLE CHURCH: apathy acknowledged:

While largely influenced by the faith message of American preacher, Kenneth Hagin, McCauley
– a born-again Christian preacher – having initially emphasized the prosperity gospel of material
wellbeing, became sensitized to the socio-political realities of South Africa in the late eighties.
This exposure drastically changed the perspective of the movement on prophetic theology and the political dimension of the Gospel. Pastor McCauley’s intervention in the socio-political arena began after he experienced a turning point at the aforementioned Rustenburg
Conference. During this event, a large number of church leaders from various denominations
acknowledged that Apartheid was a sinful process, they confessed their guilt in relation to it, and pledged themselves to the struggle for justice and equity. Pastor McCauley acknowledged that he had been apathetic to the political situation in South Africa and only then began to
take an active role in shaping change in South Africa. As Anderson accounts:
Ray McCauley, representing the IFCC, confessed the shortcomings of white Charismatics who ‘hid behind their so-called spirituality while closing their eyes to the dark events of  the apartheid years. (Anderson 2005:73) [I really love this: like the Calvinists of the Dutch Reform Church, the theologians and ministers of the Charismatic movement misled the church then said a perfunctory “sorry” – throwing off their guilt like a mere inconvenience, while leaving a trail of spiritual chaos!]
He thus embarked on political interventions which included working with Dr Johan Heyns of the
Dutch Reformed Church and the Rev. Frank Chikane of the South African Council of Churches.
In addition, Pastor McCauley participated in the steering committee for the formation of the
National Peace Accord, an advocacy initiative working towards peace through negotiation. The newfound political engagement by the Rhema Movement called for the clarification of their views on issues such as: abortion, pornography, freedom of expression, gay rights,
interfaith dialogue, Christian political involvement and social transformation. These issues
were addressed through a publication called Power and Passion: Fulfilling God’s Destiny for
the Nation. The position of the Rhema Movement, amounted to a support structure for the
new government and the active promotion of democracy. While Balcomb amongst others
conclude that McCauley represented a category of pragmatists that simply responded to the
changing political landscape of South Africa, there was in fact a profound theological shift
taking place within the Rhema Movement, bringing about an acute moral awareness of the
socio-political and economic realities facing the nation. This has resulted in Rhema’s view
today which proposes that these realities, more so than any historic event, will shape the future of South Africa. strategic changes in the activitie