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f

est:

A PhilosoEhical

Appraisal

Michael E.

March,

1982

Zimmerman

Introduction.

est:

A Philosop~ical Assessreent

 

The

purpose

of

this

report

is

to

provide

a

philosophical

assessment

of est

training.

I

first

took

the

training

in

New

Orleans

in

January,

1981,

and

reviewed

it

as

an

observer

in

Sacramento

in

February,

1982.

My analysi& of the

training

sophy

of

~artin Heidegger,

is

guided

existential

by my

understanding

and

psychotherapy,

of

Eastern

~he philo-

religions. The following app~Bisal arises not only fron my t~eoretica}

training

as

a

philosopher,

however,

but

also

from

my

own

personal

experience.

This

report

is

by

no

means

eXhaustive;

much

more

could

have

issues

expertise and personal interest, however, I chose to focus my attention

on those aspects of the training that bear on the topic of authenticity.

been

said

about

the

topics

covered

below.

Moreover,

many

more

could

have

been

dealt

with.

Because

of my own philosophical

I

hope

that

this

report will prove

to

be

of

some

help

in

resolving

whatever problems

remain

in what is

already

an

excellent

training.

 

I

would

like

to

thank

fernando

flares

for having

given

me

the

opportunity

to

prepare

this

report.

The

experience

has

been

important

for

me.

My

analysis

of

the

training

addresses

itself,

in

part,

to

four

questions

1)

posed

Can

the

by Jack

Mantas:

l' authentici ty"

of the

training

be

establishec)

more

directly

and

explicitly

at

the

start

of

the

training?

 

2)

How

can

one

speak

more

effectively

of the

Self

as

emptiness

or nothingness?

 

3)

How

is

one

to

understand

the

notion

of

i.e.,

the

notion

that

the

authentic

Self takes

a

stand

on

itself

as

the

context of contexts?

Is

4)

there

too

much

SUbjectivism

our own experience?

Answers

text,

to

these

questions

follows.

a

summary

of which

will

be

in

the

found

idea

that we

in

the

body

"create"

of

the

Summary of

Findings:

2

1)

The

"authenticity" of the

training may be more

firT!lly

established

initially

if the trainer explicitly asserts

that

the

trainer and

support

team

are

prepared

to

enter into

agreement

with

the trainees.

The

agreement

would be

that

everyone

give

100%

of

himself or herself

to

the

training.

 

2)

There

is

a

tendency

to

speak

as

if

the

training

will

provide

more "satisfaction"!n life, but if satisfaction is made the goal by

trainees, they will never find it. Satisfaction ensues; it cannot

be

the reason for keeping one's agreements is to gain satisfaction. Such a utilitarian view of behavior is inimicable to the fundamentally

pursued.

At

times,

the

training

conve~s the

impression

that

sound view, expressed elsewhere in the training, that the key is to

act impeccably: from this, everything else--including satisfaction

as well

as

unhappiness--follows.

 

3)

More

explicit

treatment of death,

and

the

attendant ~henomena

of anxiety and guilt, are needed to provide a more complete account of human existence. Anxiety is constriction of the self that occurs in

the

enables us to make the leap from mechanicalness or inauthenticity to aliveness or authenticity. Guilt is the ontological self-corrective

face

of the

disclosure of mortality,

but

only

such

disclosure

that

reminds

a

person

that

he

or

she

is

failing

to

repay

the

loan

of

life

by

experiencing

everything

there

is

to

experience.

Guilt

and

anxiety call the individual to the resolution or decision to live.

4)

Resoluteness

refers

to

the

decision

of the

individual to

experience whatever there is to experience. Resoluteness (Entschlossen- heit) is authentic openness or disclosedness (Erschlosse~~ei~)~ The

decision in

favor

of being openness

is

a

free

choice

to

be

the

freedom

that

we

already

are.

Ulti~ately, freedom is

not

a

human

possession, but instead the openness or no-t~ingness into which we are thrown. Hu~an existence or Dasein constitutes the clearing or

openness

in

which

the

Being of

beings

manifests

itself.

5)

While

the

training

currently makes

some

reference

to

time

and

temporality, a more thorough discussion is probably in order. Such a

discussion would show that the leap from inauthenticity to authenticity involves a transfor~ation in temporality: from linear tiMe to the

froJ!l

circling temporality

the constriction of human openness to that of the ego/mind, w::lich

reveals

called

as

eternity

to

or

be

"Now. 1f

Linear time

arises

things

merely

objects

exp16ited

for human ends.

Circular or eternal time arises when human existence opens up and lets

beings be

just what they are.

G)

The

training

needs

to

define

more .carefully

what

it

means

by

the notion that I am responsible for all my' experience.' that :r am God in my universe. Apparently derived in part fro~ Hindu'~octri~es of

Atman or the Transcendental Self, this conception of responsibility

is too easily confused with more ordinary notions. The notion that I

somehow create ?y experience is metaphysi speculation that cannot be verified. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to redefine creating. Inste of speakip.g of creating as a kind of producing Or making, we could say that creatinf. is a letting-be. T!1e former notion of creat is masculine and typically Western, while the latter is fenin and more in line with Eastern views of reality. We could then say that

I am responsible

on to experience whatever it is that manifests itself within the openness

for

all of my experience in the

sense

that

I

aD

called

that I call lime."

The

true

"I,"

of

course,

is

not

ego/mine

but

the

temporal-historical

clearing

called

Dasein.

7)

While

the

training

speaks

of

everything/nothing,

Heidegger

speaks of Being/nothingness. Although what both parties mean by nothingness or noth g is similar, they differ considerably on what

they mean Being and everything. For Heidegger, Being does not mean

the totality of t~ings, but the presencing or self-manifesting of beings.

To identify Bei

with

every

thing

to make

a

category-mistcke.

B)

Al thoubh

the

training

currently

emphasizes

the

importa.nce

of

participating and sharing with other hu~an beings, the implicit idea

of the

beings. Hence, the Hunger Project should naturally lead into the Planet Project designed to save the earth from environmental destruction.

training

is

that

we

humans

should

share

ourselves

with

all

4.

9)

Heidegger

claimed

that

everything great

happens

from

within

a heritage or tradition. Perhaps it is time for est to acknowledge

that

One goal of est would then be to e~power people to revitalize their

own

it

is

part

of

the

great wisdo~ traditions

of

East

and

West.

trad.i tions.

10)

Miscellaneous

11)

Conclusion.

12)

Appendices.

Observations.

A) Michael

E.

Zimmerman,

"Heideg-ger's

'Existentialism'

Revisited. It

B) Michael

E.

Zim1'1erman,

"Towards

a

Heideggerean

Ethos

for

Radical

Environmentalism."

 

1.

Establishing

the

Authenticit~ of the

Training.

 

Currently,

the

authenticity

and

integrity

of the

training

are

guaranteed from the start by the com~itment of the trainer and his or

her support team. The trainees, however, are not explicitly informed

of this

cOr:1"llitment.of their own. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the trainer to enter into the following agreement with the trainees: that

both parties

commitment,

although

they

themselves

are

asked

to

make

a

give

100%

of

themselves

to

the

training.

This

sort

of

thing

much

team seem so authoritarian anc aloof at the start of the training- is' to discourage trainees from I'running their acts" and to encourage

them to turn to themselves for support.

has the advantage of eliciting anger and resentment from those trainees

who

truer

tempered by the explicit willingness of the trainer and support team to enter into partnership with the trainees. Such an agreement could be made without giving into people's acts. An "authentic" relationship

involves reciprocity and respect.

trainees initially counter-productive

the

is

said

later on during the

Apparently,

one

of

training,

but

might

be

introduced

earlier.

reas~ns the

trainer and support

Such

authoritarianism

also

have

to

problems

the

with

authority

of the

figures.

Nevertheless,

it might be

were

intention

training

if this

authoritarianism

The

current way of engaging

for

the

has

for

sone

advantages

sone trainees~ but is

others.

6

2.

On

Aiming

for

"Satisfaction"

in

Life.

Recently,

I

read

a

chapter on est

Sixties. l

training

to

in

a author of this

called

book

Gettin Saved frOD

est can be understood as a kind of utilitarianism based on taking care of one's own needs: successful selfishness. The reason for keeping one's

agreements, for example, is that this produces greater s sfaction in

life.

in life's machinery. ~ere, satisfaction is evidently understood as an

agreeable condition that results from behaving in a certain way. The training sonetiDes supports this point of view by asking trainees if they want more satisfaction in life. Normally, we think of satis ion as a kind of gratification, but the radical insight of est is that !!getting it"

means being just where one is--whether satisfied or dissatisfied, happy or sad, getting it or losing it. Yet there are people who come away from the

training thinking that "satisfaction" results if I take care of my emotions

According

the

work,

If one does

not

keep his

or her agreements,

he

or she

gets

caught

and problems: I'm respon

Clearly, this approach is guided by the dualism between self and Other,

a dualism that est intends to under~ine. In Sacramento, Jerry Joiner pointed out that "getting it" is not a matter of improvement or getting

better, but instead involves a radical shift that transcends the distinction

hIe

for me over here,

not

for

you

over

there.

between better and worse.

!'Getting

it"

means

reali

ng

that

I

and

the

Other are one,

not

separate.

 

An

enlightened

being

does

h'hat

the

situation

calls

for 1

not

in

order

to get 11 satis faction," but simply because the deed is ~proJ::riate.

My personal experience -

ling

good

or

bad,

fulfilled

or unfulfilled-

is not the criterion by which to judge the appropriateness of my actions.

Consider

Kantts

notion

of morality.

According

to

Kant,

hunan

beings

are

moral agents because they are rational: they can understand that a moral

obligation is universally applicable to any rational being in the same

tuation.

Crucial

for

Kant's

notion

of morality

is

the

idea

of

self-

respect.

Self-respect

does

not

result

from

my

obeying

the

law,

e.g.,

only insofar as I respect myself as a ratiorial being. Soneone lacking in

keeping ~y agreements.

Instead,

I

choose

to

follow

the

moral

law

self-respect acts inappropriately; he or she goes

nature of hQ~anity.

est makes much the

same

point

nst

when

it

the

essential

says

that

7

disloyalty to the self kills aliveness, or turns us into machin-es.

A machine

Disloyalty

acts

to

automatically,

the

self means

while

a

turning

human

away

being

the

chooses

freely.

of

from

possibility

being responsively open to whatever we are called on to experience. Someone disloyal to this intrinsic human openness is lacking in self-

respect. Kant emphasizes that self-respect and integrity lead one to

do one's duty,

Put in a way more in accord with est's insight: acting appropriately out of integrity means choosing to experience whatever there is to experience. For Kant, duty is primarily to. the noral law; for est, duty is defined more extensively as openness for whatever there is to experience. According to est, an f'enlightened" being chooses to let

everything that is be what it is. Such letting-be, however, can only occur if the person transcends the ego/mind that is dead-set.against against letting beings be. For ego/mind, the task is to manipUlate reality in a way that guarantees

no

matter how

difficult

or distasteful

it may be.

survival. Letting beings be is always risky. By transcending ego/mind,

is

a person

person~ or from anything else. Hence, just as a person naturallY takes

care of himself or herself if

enlightened person naturally takes care of sick or sufferin~ Others.

This

religions. One acts compassionately and appropriately not for the sake of consequences, e.g., so that one might feel more "satisfaction" from life by doing good deeds. One acts appropriately siMply because

it is appropriate.

for

unenlightened. est, too, no doubt practices such skillful means in

first addressing trainees who are accustor:1ed to the "successful self- ishness!! school of morality. est appeals to their self-interest by asking them if they want to get more "satisfaction tl from life. The trainees naturally respond by saying yes, though they usually think

satisfaction must mean "happiness" as opposed to Hsadness.f! Gradually, however, the trainees are taught that the pursuit of happiness and the

the

of

recognizes

that

he

or

she

sick,

not

separate

or

and

from

the

other

so

an

great

wounded,

Buddhism

suffering,

of

other

is

the

"compassion

doctrine H

Buddhism

speaks

of the

need

skillful means

in

approaching

8

flight from sadness are the source of their suffering. Since ego/mind initiates and sustains the chase-and-flight, only "blowing the mind"

enables one to end the quest for happiness. Victor Frankl has observed that "Happiness ensues; it cannot be pursued. tt2 Thus any attempt to

achieve happiness is doomed to failure.

comes

Releasement

from

suffering

Hhen

only

if

ego/nind's

craving

for

security

transcended.

ego/mind surrenders,

the

separation between

self

and

Other

is

overcome.

"Blowing

the mindt!

is

the

beginning

of

conpassion.

The

quest

for

personal

salvation

is

contradictory,

for one is

not

separate

from

the

Others.

This

is

the

crucial

insight of Mahayana Buddhism,

an~ is

reflected

in

est

training,

which

stresses

the

i~portance of partici

 

and

sharing.

Yet

it

is

necessary

to

remind

the

trainees more

explicitly

that while

satisfaction

they

and

started out

security,

thinking

the

fact

that

is

satisfaction

meant

personal

only

that

satisfaction

comes

when

one

ceases

to

pursue

personal happiness.

Kore

conceptual

recapitulation

is

needed

to

rernind

the

trainees

where

they

started

from

and

where

they

are

at

the

end

of

the

training.

Above

all,

they

must

be

reminded

that

ttgetting

it"

does

not

mean

successful

selfishness.

3.

Death,

In

Anxiety~ and

Guilt.

my view~ the

training

should

say

it plays ih human existence.

According

9

more

about

to Heidegger,

death

and

the

role

or

authenticity

aliveness

occurs

only

if one

accepts

one's

own

mortality

and

finitude.

Authenticity

(Eigentlichkeit,

"owned-ness'f)

means

owning

up

to

who

one

already is;,responsive and responsible openness for what is. Authentic

openness is only possible if inauthentic openness is transformed, i.e.,

if

letting oneself undergo the anxiety

starts opening up or co~ing to life. What.is anxiety all about? Anxiety

passes

through

nothingness.

Passing

(Angs!)

through

that

nothingness

up

means

comes

whenever one

is anxiousness about one's own Being-inpthe-wor1d, the .finite openness, ~ context, or clearing in which beings can manifest or present themselves.

Being-in-the-world refers not to a thing,

which things can "be fl . ing

then,

object for anxiety.

people

event.

object to anxiety turns

thing or other.

we fear, there is nothing to be done about nothingness. The reason that

we resist the disclosure about our utter nothingness is that ego/mind'S

only motive is

insubstantiality and mortality sends it, into a self-protective frenzy.

Ego/mind orders

posture.

CUltivates a zombie-like existence. Authenticity or aliveness require

but

to

the

no-thingness

in

anxious

about

own

one's

Being-in-the-world,

There

is

no

means

are

Such

being

always

is

anxious

angry

the

while

about one's

the

sad

nothingness.

the

During

or

case

training,

or happy

trainer points out that

some

particular

thing

or

assign

fear of

an

some

the

thing

about

not

But

with

can

anxiety.

fear.

to

do

Any atte~pt to

Fear

is

always

something

about

anxiety

we

into

try

survival;

the

body

any

hence,

to

any

acknowledgement

and

of

ego/mind's

iD

a

de

ego/mind

beco~e contracted

rigid

nsive

To

avoid

awareness

of mortality whatsoever,

that we be willing

Anxiety has the positive

openness.

shut down. The word anxiety stems from the Latin anguista, which itself comes from the Greek ancho (~V~W), meaning narrowness and strangling. 3

to

the

pass

through

this

of

anxiety

us

TO

the

to

other

side.

function

calling

a

back

is

aliveness

and

When

in

grips

of anxiety,

person

throttled,

choked,

To

overcome

this

self-constriction,

a

person must

let

go of

all

attempts

to

save

himself or herself.

All

world

religions

testify

to

the

extreme

difficulty

that

such

letting-go

involves.

10

Ken Wilber claims

that

anxiety

arises

as

a

result

of our blocking the

expression of our

"cosmic

energy,"

our

primordial

responsiveness

and

aliveness.

Often we

block

our

energy

by

projecting

it

outward

onto

others:

Under these

conditions,

whenever we

excited,

excitement

is

experienced

as

anxiety,

and

conversely,

feel

anxiety we are

simply

refusing

to

let

ourselves. be

vibrant,

alive.

The

only

way

out

of this

type

of situation is to get back in touch with our interest and excitement--

to

of tightening our

vibrate with energy, instead of "playing cool" and trying to hold back

our

Energy

let

our

body

get

by

and

excited,

breathe

restricting

to

and

and

even

gasp

deeply,

to

instead

and

chest and

stiffening

flow

our breathing;

"uptight";

up .•.•

to

shake

excitement

mobilize

becoming

let

in

our

touch

i~stead of damning it

Get

with this

Energy

that wants

to

be

born,

and

feel

it

9ut

completely,

.

for

anxiety

is

birth

denied

to

excitement.

Give

that Energy re-birth,

re-own

it,

let

it

flow,

and

anxiety will

yield

to

vibrant

excitement,

to energy freely mobilizing and directed outward, instead of blocked

and

on

projected,

boomeranging

back

us

as

anxiety.4

Heidegger's talk about the

liberating

power of

passing

through

anxiety

to

authenticity or aliveness

is more obscure than Wilber's,

but

certainly

understandable:

 
 

When,

by

anticipation[of

one's

mortality]

,

one

becomes

free

for

one's

own

death,

one

is

liberated

from

one's

lostness

in

those

possi-

bilities

that may accidentally

thrust

themselves

upon

one;

and

one

is

liberated

in

such

a

way

that

for

the

first

time

one

can

authentically

understand and choose among the

factical

possibilities

lying

ahead

of that

possibility [death) which is

not

to

be

outstripped.

Antici-

pation

discloses

to

existence

that

its

uttermost

possibility

lies

in

giving

itself up,

and

thus

to

whatever

existence

one

has

it shatters all one's tenaciousness reached. S

anticipation reveals to

face

Dasein

with

its

lostness

--

in

the

of

they-self

~'_~

~

and br{n~s i~face to

:

t

E£imarily

itself,

which

has

unsupported

an

been

rather,

in

the

possibflity

sollcltude,

of

but

beIng itself,

belng

---

- -----'-r-~-

by

impassfOned

cor.cernful

troIT.

the

FREEDOM-TOWARDS

il:l\iSTonsof-tne

released

DEATE~-rreedom

"thei lT •••• 6

In authenticity there lies "an unshakeable joy," the joy of accepting

one's own possibilities. 7 But for Heidegger, the moment-of-truth

(Augenblick) or the moment when we pass through to the other side of

anxiety, is not merely a personal or psychological event, but an

ontological event. Authentic existence is not for I'my" sake, but for

the sake of the Being of beings. As authentic, I

they are. Although I did not create the openness into which I have been

let beings be what

11

thrown,

that openness.

who

I

have

the

cosmic-ontological obligation

means

Heidegger scholar has

insistence

One

of owning up'to

For Heidegger,

freedom

that

taking

responsibility

I

already

am.

remarked

is

that

funcamental,

Working

Heidegger has

no-thingness] itself.

from

Kant's

freedom

identified

it with transcendence [openness;

freedoLl is the "ground of grounds I'. It

for

opens

up

the

"outlying

scope

of possibilities"

before

us.

Its

responsible

exercise

is

"a

transcendental obligation

for

the

person

in

whose

freedom

it

is

rooted".

Is

this

not

to

say

that

the

nature of

freedom means taking

all

obligation

the

to

use

freedom

in

responsibility

the

heart

is

rooted

in

the

freedom

itself,

of man's nature?8

responsibility

fo~ being responsively open

Medard Bo~~, the Swiss

to

psychiatrist with whom Heidegger worked closely for many years, tells

in the

us

service of Being. "Da-sein" means to be the "here" (clearing, openness,

possibilities of my experience.

that we Llust never forget

that hunan existence or Dasein is

!lDa-")

in which beings

existence

is

be

claimed

can

present

to

serve

or manifest

the

(Il- se in!!).

Hence,

into

as which all that is to be may actually shine forth, emerge, and appear

man's

luminated

realm

as a phenomenon, i.e.,

conditions for the possibility that man can permit (to the best of

his ability) everything that clains him (by being encountered) to

unfold in the light of his existence.

as

that which shows

To

itself.

These

man

are

in

the

understand

this

fashion (namely, as servant and guardian of the truth inherent in

things

fron the egocentric self-glorification, the autonomy and autarchy

of subjectivistic world views .•

feature of man's existence, all so-called ethical values become

self-evident. 9

Following

fundamentally guilty (schuldig) or indebted. Such ontological guilt

as

they

are

permitted

to

come

On

into

the

being)

basis

is

to

free

him

of this

fundamental

is

always

Heidegger's

lead,

Boss

claims

that human Dasein

is

to be distinguished from neurotic guilt that arises

from

failure

to

do

what

one's

parents

or other authority

figures

demanc.

But

neurotic

guilt

is

only

possible

on

the

basis

of our

fundamental-ontological

indebtedness.

~Je are

guilty

ontologically because we 6re

always

indebted

for

the

~ift of

life.

To

repay

the

gift

of

life

means

to

life

fully

and

completely,

with

nothing held

back.

Boss

asserts

that

12

man's basic nature reveals itself to our iwmediate perception as that being that our world needs as the realm of lucidity - nece'ssary for the coming forth~ the being-able-to-appear-and-to-be of its . phenomena. However, it is just the allowing-oneself thus to-be-

claimed and needed, and nothing else, which in his

is what man owes to that Hhich is and has to be. Thus all human feelings of guilt in general are rooted in this state of owing. lO

We feel guilty

innermost

living

up

recesses

to

our

so

often

because we know we are

not

obligation of letting beings be, or experiencing everything we are called

on to experience. As already noted, such betrayal of or disloyalty to

our calling stems largely froT:'l ego/mind's desire to avoid annihilation.

And to be fully open for what is requires that ego/mind be suspended,

.

put out of action. Hence, anxiety and guilt usually go hand in hand.

But both anxiety and guilt have the ontological function of calling us

back

to

our aliveness

or authenticity.

Many psychologists, theologians, and philosophers have noted that

anxiety about mortality turns us away from choosing to be fully alive.

and thus elicits

ontological Obligation to let beings be. Irvin D. Yalom summarizes

this

the

sense

he

says

of guilt

for

failing

to

live

up

to

our

viewpoint

when

Many

existential

theorists

have

commented

upon

the

high

price

exacted

in

the

struggle

to

cope

with

death

anxiety,

Kierkegaard

knew

perception

next door to any man."

that man limited

of

the

diminished

Hterror~ perdition

and

himself

in

order to

neurotic

avoid

and

described

annihilation

the

that

as

dwell

one

Otto

Rank

"who refused the loan (life) in order to avoid the paYr.lent of the

debt (death)."

avoiding non-being by avoiding being." Ernest Becker r.lade a similar point when he wrote: liThe irony of man's condition is that the deepest

need is to be free of the anxietv of death and annihilation: but it is life it-self Hhich awakens it and-so we must shrink fror.l being fully alive. ,. Robert Jay Lifton used the term "psychic numbing" to

describe

Medard Boss insists that human existence "consists solely in its

Paul

Tillich

stated

that

"neurosis

is

the

way

of

how

the

neurotic

incividual

shields

himself

from

death

possibilities for relationships.n l 2 As long as we resist our obligation

to be open for such relations, we experience life as burdensome, boring,

and threatening. Ego/mind resists taking on its obligations, for this

decision requires acceptance of ego/mind's mortality. For ego/mind,

freedom

means

license

to

pursue

happiness

and

to

avoid

13

sadness.,

Such

a

conception

of

life

and

freedom

presupposes

that they are our

 

possessions,

when

in

fact

just the opposite

is

true.

We

are

in

the

service

of life

and

freedom.

According

to

Heidegger,

freedom

means

the

free- realm

of openness or nothingness

in which beings

can

be

manifest.

This

gift can be repaid only by letting ourselves be this

openness

as

fully

as

possible.

Authenticity

means

resolving

to

be

the

openness

into

which

we

have

already

been

thrown.

 

Before

turning

to

a

discussion

of

resoluteness,

I

would

like

to

note that

the

training would do well

to

add~ess itself

to

the

phenomena

of

death,

anxiety,

and

guilt more

explicitly

than

is

pr~sently done.

Trainees

could

be

reminded

that

the

reason

they

feel

anxious

and

 

guilty

is

that

they

are

not

living fully.

Hence,

they

should

be

made

aware

that

anxiety

and

guilt

should be welcomed;

these

painful

experiences

summon

us

back

to

aliveness.

The

mood

of

anxiety

cannot

be

lIerasedtl

by

getting

in

touch

with

some

incident

from

the

past

or by doing

anything

at all;

anxiety

disappears

only when we

let

go of egol

mind

and

pass

through nothingness. To elicit the mood of anxiety, it may be advisable to let the trainees spend more time "just sitting," in silenCe, without being addressed by the trainer or anyone else. Since the "Truth 11 cannot

be spoken, but only experienced in silence, it is perhaps fitting that the

training make

a

place

for

periods

of

silence.

14

4.

Resoluteness

to

According

and

Heidegger,

Freedom.

resoluteness has

a

two-fold

meaning.

On

the

one hand,

resoluteness

(Entschlossenheit

refers

to

the

decision

or

cho

necessary

to

be

opened

up

for

what

The

verb ents~hliessen means to un-lock or un-fasten, so that resolute~

ness means an un-locking of the shut-down self. On the other hand,

resoluteness also means disclosedness (Erschlossenheit. Note that

the English word "resolution" means Dot only decision or choice,

but

resolving

specific possibilities. Because ego/mind identifies.limitation-and

fini tude tv! th

als~ the

to

clarity of an optical

be

open

death)

for

and

Resoluteness

one's

i~age.

~eans

responsive

t9

own

finite,

it flees from the disclosure of one's own

finite possibilities and loses itself in distractions, delusions,

and fantasies. This is called a "full life'!! Genuine resoluteness

means entering responsibly into relationships; letting those around

us be who they

anticipates mortality and nothingness. We are familiar with the Zen

are.

Resoluteness

becomes

fully

itself when it

tale of the ~an hanging

from

a

root

over a

1000

foot

chasm,

while

a

hungry

tiger

snaps

at

him

from

the

Ie

above.

As

the

root

begins

to

pull away,

the

frantic

man

suddenly

notices

a

strawberry

growing

on

a

plant

that

clings

to

the

rocky

cliff.

How

sweet

it

tastes

to

him!

Boss

reminds

us

that

when we

choose

to

be

just precisely who we

 

already

are,

existence

loses

its

bUrdensome

character:

 

,

The

burden

and

oppression

are

overcome

in

the

joyous

readiness

to

place

as

and

the

as

hinself

lir:;ht

without

and

reservation

into

at the

clearing

13

which they

their custodian.

disposal of

appear

can

all phenomena

and

unfold

Freedom,

then,

is

not

freedo~ to

get

out

of

things

or

to

avoid

 

responsibility,

but

the

freedo~ to get

into

life.

Gettine

into

life

means

experiencing

completely

everything

that

presents

itself to

us

-

whether

it

be

painful

or

joyous,

boring or indifferent.

We

becone

tired,

resentful,

and

disillusioned

because we

know

that

we

are

not

being

responsively

open

to

what

offers

itself to

us.

We

are

fully

open,

alive,

and

ourselves

when we

participate

in

life.

Such

 

15

participation

requires

that we remain

loyal

to

what

calls

upon

us.

Freedom

means

choosing

or affirming necessity:

letting

be

what

already

is.

What

ego/mind

seeks

above

all

is

some

ground

on

which

to

stand,

some source ,of security and certainty that will guarantee its survival.

The quest for certainty, however, ends in the mechanical existence

that usually passes for lilife." Being free and resolved, then, means

taking the leap into the no-thingness or clearing that constitutes

hU~an existence. And this leap, curiously enough, brings one right

back to the place from which one started: one's own life-situation.

But now one has different eyes with which to see. The ~ew Testament

Claims that only God's saving grace forgives and frees us from the

burden of sin; yet we must make the decision to accept this grace.

Rudolf

Bultmann, the great Protestant theologian who was associated closely

We

hesitate

to

let go because ego/mind resists

annihilation.

with

Heidegger

during

the

1920s,

remarks

to

cboose

God

means

to

let

the

world

go

wlth

It.

There

is

nothing

go

enticing

that

and

about

to

let

that!

one's

On

security

J

the

contrary,

that demands a

"hard

saying,1I

a

Ustumbling

block"

which

terrifies

because

it

is the

end of

man •••.

But

just

that

end

is

life:

to

win

back

one's

self as a possibility~ once

again

to

be

in

the

potentiality

of

being

and

to

have

a

future. 14

According to Bultmann, Heidegger, and many others, authentic existence

involves a radical transformation of our experience of time. Let us

consider

this

transformation

in

the

next

section.

16

5.

Authenticity

and

Temporalitv.

According

be

to

Heidegger,

to

human

existence

or Dasein

be

through

constitutes

manifest

past,

the

temporal-historical

To

future. When we are inauthentic or mechanical, we experience time as

clearing

be

in which beings

up

can

or revealec.

and

human means

temporal--opened

present,

a

linear

series

of events stretching

behind

and

ahead

of

us.

The

"now"

is

reduced

to

a

split-second

that

is

of

no

importance.

For the

inauthentic self, the past is either the burden of guilt or the store-

house

for

the

memories

that

give

"meaning"

to

an

unhappy

life.

In

either

cise,

past

produces

death

in

the

present.

Ego/mind

IIpersonality" is

always

of the

past

and

therefore

always

or already. dead.

I f