I just finished a course on Nietzsche and Heidegger, two heavy-weights on western philosophy. Surely it was an intellectual extravaganza. But it was much much more than that. Some of my insights are…
- I have heard that wisdom is inversely proportional to arrogance. (Don’t make the conclusion that I became wise). But learning Heidegger and Nietzsche in an authentic fashion makes you humble than arrogant. They (Heidegger to a greater extend) are seekers on the way; their philosophy is filled with dynamism, authenticity, open-ness. Rather than a philosophical arrogance, humility is the result.
- It helps us to see a unitary perspective between presence & absence, theory and practical, center & periphery. Rather than one privileged over the other, the so-called groups formed after classification or division are embraced together.
- It helps us to maintain the mystery dimension. Many a times, people have an idea that philosophy should give absolute clarity & complete knowledge. Heidegger’s later thinking cut these ideas into pieces. It is the union of you knowing+ you not knowing; there is always more to know. We are a seeker in the journey where the reality is disclosing to us.
- Heideggerian thinking is considered to a primordial style of thinking. (the word primordial itself can put off many people, but ignore that for time being). They say mystics of different religions speak same language (or I would prefer similar language). Heideggerian thinking could be helpful to live your spirituality in more authentic way. I have experienced it for Ignatian Spirituality and I am sure it will help many others too. It should be explored ..
I know reading Heidegger is not an easy task. Nietzsche may be a little easier. But the thinking of both the masters are a great gift from Western Philosophical tradition. You-tube and other sources offer many helps to enter into that ocean. For learning Christian theology, for people interesting to see the links between western and eastern style of thinking, Heidegger is a wonderful option. I hope some of you may be inspired to undertake this extremely challenging, but very very fruitful journey.