Analogy of Being

God exists but not like a tack exists

Not exactly, but by analogy.

And so I asked my friend, my teacher Dreyfus

Who knew many of the old songs that nobody remembered any longer how to sing

(Although we would also ask each other — if there is something everyone could do —

but chooses not to do — and don’t their whole life long — do they remember it — or do they not?)

What does that mean?  Because I understand the analogy between, say, a frog and a man —

here are the legs, there are the legs, here are the eyes, there are the eyes, but one is small and soft and lives in water, the other big and tough and lives in a house —

But what is the analogy between how something could be and something else could be?  Where are the parts to tick off — this one the same, this one different?

And he said chuckling “Maybe the Being of God is only spoken of as being analogical

By analogy.”

Everything passes away, especially teachers, either because we choose not to learn from them anymore, because it is time, or for the usual reasons.

Nevertheless I can’t help but notice things, or maybe I can help but notice things, but choose not to (better than to have them notice me first and get the jump on me, right?  Right?)

I’ll tell you another thing he taught me.  When we turn eternity into a castle and pull up the ladder and stay there during the earthquake

The earthquake and the riots that follow claim our family. Not just our family, our hearts, our bodies, our pain, our pleasure, our everything, and we trapped up in the castle’s attic are left with nothing at all.

Til like Dorothy we fly away.



4 thoughts on “Analogy of Being

  1. I’m not a mind-reader (as far as I know), but I believe that at long last I’ve come to understand your philosophical method. Seriously.

    My method defines questions and ideas as clearly as possible, and then tries to make clear arguments about them. That’s a fairly typical “point A to point B” approach.

    To me, your method seems intended more to get readers to think about issues, and you often don’t even specify which issues they are. It’s kind of a hybrid of Western philosophy and creative writing. Maybe it’s why some philosophers like Kierkegaard and Heidegger seem so odd to me: they’re not doing what I expect them to be doing, so it doesn’t fit into the conceptual frame I’ve applied to their work.

    • Only if you want to. That wasn’t a criticism, just an “ah, now I see” comment. I enjoy your posts but think I often try to fit them into a conceptual scheme that doesn’t match what you’re doing. You’re in good company, style-wise: the Torah often presents the same kind of 100-sided arguments, but I expect the Torah to be like that, so it hasn’t puzzled me like some of your posts have. It seems like there are subtle ways in which people’s minds work differently. I might have mentioned my friend in grad school who found Bertrand Russell opaque but thought that Sartre was perfectly clear, which was exactly the opposite of my reaction to them.

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