The Clearing / The “There”

The “There” / the Clearing

The “there” is the disclosedness of being-in. Every way of comporting ourselves toward the world: being toward things in the world, having a world, acting in the world, is an instance of the fundamental existentiale of being-in. The ways of being-in we are, determines the clearing we are. Our primary issue is our being the “there”.

“The being which is an issue for human beings in our very being, is to be our ‘there’.” [H133]

The primary mode of being-in-the-world is to be the the context within which, or the horizon upon which, world and what’s in it can show up for us. Most people in the work call this phenomenon of being-in the “there”.

We exist as ‘being there’.  The ordinary way of responding to this statement is to hear it in regard to locations in space. As in when we say “I guess you had to be there.”  This is not at all what I am saying. Instead, I am saying that we bring being to the world, we supply it and ourselves with being. We are the context within which the world and things within the world have being. “We [literally] are the world existingly.”

Terminology and background

The primary mode of being-in for everyday human beings is to be the “disclosedness”/ the horizon upon which/ the context within which, world and what’s in it shows up for us. The German world Heidegger uses is “Da”, which means “there” or “here”; the word for being is “Sein”. We are Dasein, literally “there-being” or “being-there”.

Landmark Education has a distinction “being a clearing for…” which is a different but related phenomenon.  “Being a clearing for…” is a way of being that calls for/pulls for/provides an opening for, the showing up of some phenomenon. Landmark also talks about the clearing in the sense of: “You are the clearing in which your life shows up.”  Another slightly different interpretation is provided by the distinction “Occurring World”: When one is clear as one’s self that one lives in an OCCURRING world, and not an IS world, one is being the clearing. Heidegger takes it a step farther in that you are in fact the clearing in which all of it shows up.

Scientology talks about phenomenon of “being clear”.  My opinion is that the actual phenomenon is similar but the interpretation and methodology for achieving the mode of being is entirely different in Scientology. Scientology being clear is more closely related to the Situation and resoluteness.

What makes up the there?

How do we constitute the there existentially? How do we be what we are, such that we are the there? What is it made of? How is it constituted? We constitute the “there” from two way of being that we are: mood and understanding. Mood and understanding are ‘primordially characterized’ by talk. Another way of saying this is that mood and understanding are the two equi-primordial ways of being the there. Distinguishing the particulars, enunciating the possibilities of mood and understanding is accomplished by talk.

The Clearing

Recognizing that we essentially constitute the “there”, we are also the “light which illuminates the there”. We can characterize the ‘there’ as a clearing / open space in which stuff shows up.  The German word ‘Lichtung’ means both ‘lighting’ and the ‘clearing’, in the sense of a clearing in the forest. When we “are that we are”, the ‘there’, when we are clear for ourselves, transparent to ourselves, that we are the there, we also are the clearing. We are that which clears, in the sense of shining the light which discloses being, and ultimately discovers things in the ‘world’.

For most of us, most of the time the “there” is characterized by fallenness. This fallenness is the mode of the ‘there’ a determined by the ‘they’ self. In that we are not ourselves the authors of the ‘there’; it is in this sense inauthentic.  For most of us most of the time, we live as thrown into a world that is already there. This is the case regardless of our self transparency, our theoretical knowledge, that we ourselves constitute the clearing.

You can see this by noticing explicitly, that most of the time you see things as everybody sees them, we see things they way they ‘really are’. We see things as “they” see them. Like red octagonal stop signs. We see stop signs as they they see stop signs. If someone sees stop signs as something else, that calls for corrective action! Most of what we call our individual point of view is merely a variation, a selection of options available in “their” interpretation. Mostly whatever your possibilities are, are not actually ‘personal’ or ‘private’; of course except as “they” call it ‘personal’ or ‘private’. It’s really not.  We are “they” through and through.

In contrast to this everyday mode, where the clearing is determined by falling, there is a possible mode of authentic disclosedness called the “situation”.  The situation is a disclosure manifested by our own most ability-to-be. Heidegger calls this mode of being anticipatory resoluteness.

For most of us most of the time, the situation as an authentic disclosure is covered up by the inauthentic ‘there’ of the they. Our own view can be particularly obscured by a personal interpretation, so that others, even in the inauthentic “there”, can see what we can’t. Other people can see things we can’t see.

Partial interpretation of an LEC distinction (dave’s view)

When a person is running a racket™, in the persons occurring world the they often doesn’t see the cost. Oh, they may have an “idle talk” sense of it. But the cost of running the racket, say, to their aliveness is not something they have a primary relationship to. Telling them what you see makes no difference to them; it is a blind spot for them. In their occurring world it’s ‘no big deal’; the impact is covered over by the “they’s” inauthentic interpretation.  However, if they can be successfully coached to see the real cost for themselves, as something that matters / has an impact for them, there is a possibility of being authentic in this area. The person now has some access to this area as an authentic disclosure. What is inauthentic is often the “they”s interpretation that minimizes cost of, say, a broken relationship. When they are authentic about that inauthenticity, a new space opens.

A distinction can uncover a person’s inauthentic way of being in a way to be transparent enough, so that the authentic self has access to what was previously not seen. There is now some access to what they didn’t know that they didn’t know.

Running a racket is a particular mode of entanglement; the distinction racket allows one to “untangle it”. Entanglement is a characterization of Falling.


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