On what-is and what-ought-to-be

The surest way to lose sight of the unseverable link between us and what-is is to attempt to place a what-ought-to-be up against and independent of what-is. This effort conceals our link with what-is under a negation.

Just as words are needed for speaking, so do we need things for thinking. Words that-are-not cannot be used in sentences. Likewise, the dictionary of our thought comprise the things that-are: all of our thoughts are articulated via the things that-are.

We also articulate what-ought-to-be by what-is. Such thought is different from others in that it claims to be independent of what-is.

By attempting to make what-ought-to-be independent of what-is, we place it up against what-is, we ground it on the negation of what-is, i.e. on what-is-not. What-ought-to-be is a state of affairs inaccessible to what-is, therefore it is an ensemble of what-are-not.

Yet from the perspective of what-ought-to-be, all that-are turn into what-ought-not-to-be, for what-ought-to-be as an ensemble of what-are-not must oppose things that-are at all times. Yet the set of what-are-not wherefrom what-ought-to-be emerges can only exist by virtue of what-is.

In this case we can do two things:

1) We continue pursuing the set of what-ought-to-be that we have arbitrarily determined. We reduce our relation with what-is to a negation to promote this ideal. We criticise, dislike, make fun of what-are, and up against them, we place what-are-not that we have elected to constitute our ideal.

2) We become aware that we need things that-are for thinking and dreaming. We don’t hold on to what-ought-to-be as an escape from what-is. We pass through what-ought-to-be in order to return back to what-is. What-ought-to-be ceases to be an ideal goal and becomes a transitory bridge where we come from what-is, and return back to, again, what-is.

Işık Barış Fidaner
May 5th, 2010


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