I think we can learn from the conscientiousness of Heidegger’s exegesis of poetry how to read scripture
with this first line there begins already the mystery. Indeed, this line contains the mystery of the entire poem. This first line resonates in every line that follows. As we transition from each strophe to the next, we must hear this line. This first line attains its full resonance only in the last line.
This is about Hölderlin’s poem “Remembrance”.
Shifting from one part of the world to another it seems clear to me that Hölderlin is an “Imam” to Heidegger. He is to me too, I confess. Is there anything wrong with that?
Like I said, people have them whether they know it or not. I think of many women’s nostalgia for “old girly movies” they watched when they were young.
This is the absolute state of the west. Is this progress? To read poetry rather than scripture? Poetry tends not to be audiovisual though, and that’s what we have in the 21st century.
I’m going to be a nonconformist for a second and say that poetry and film lack the gravity of theology. This is what I intend to convey when I say “the absolute state of the west”. Don’t get me wrong, I love Heidegger interpreting Hölderlin. Still, moving from Shi’ism to that there is a noticeable lowering of tone. Think about it in a Kabbalistic way if you’d like- the philosophy of poetry is in a realm of dim light relative to theology. What we call “ontology” here is first nature to the Shi’ists, they simply think of it as reality and speak of it in theological terms. It’s not a “philosopher’s amusement” to them, they’re gravely serious about it. Not to denigrate poetry, I only seek to remind you there is a significant difference between poetry and theology. Poetry might as well be a grocery list next to theology.
Theology is almost what I would call a “test” or a “school”. If you can’t go through that then it will show in your poetry, and you shouldn’t be writing poetry, because you couldn’t make it through the school.
I don’t expect many in the English-speaking world to be following me with all this.
There’s a cynical way to think of it too, and I’m not sure I could be considered to be an esteemed student of Christianity- you stay back for the rabble. If you go too far beyond scripture then you are hubristic and don’t care about your community. They can only understand exoteric doctrine, and they will be brought into evil if they are shown the excessively esoteric. So maybe I am “evil” myself. I see the post-christian west as in an emergency situation, otherwise I wouldn’t be the way I am. No one can ever accuse me of not trying to keep the rabble away from this place! Despite my efforts they still visit here, and that will only lead them into depravity.
Anyway, just to give you what I take as my “amusing impression” when segueing from Shi’ism to Heidegger, I think- What a sad man, you have to do this. He’s living in a world where God is dead. And as are we. He’s trying to cling to poetry in this world, there’s something funny about it.
He probably knew something of this though. This ties in with the oblivion of Being. There might even be a secret side of Heidegger where he wishes he could call Being God and get it over with. Is it a true capital-b Being if you refer to it as Being? One might suspect a true capital-b Being would be referred to as God. Poetry is going to save us? Really? I doubt it. Again, he might have sensed that, and decided to lecture on Hölderlin for that reason. Poetry is the last way that we fallen ones can even grope toward revelation anymore. Do I think scripture is True? No, I’m in the same boat as you people. I’m only sounding the alarm that poetry is not enough and there must be something more than that. “That’s why we have SCIENCE!” Don’t you still get COVID even if you’re vacc’d? Science gives us effective electricity, that we know. Does it give us effective spiritual electricity? It seems really obvious that’s a No.
I think I might be Corbinpilled about Heidegger now, I feel sorry for you if you’re like that too. He’s so enmeshed in the academic debates of his day he can’t be a poet himself. Nonetheless, for our fallen culture he is a veritable imam. What’s redeemable about him is as I said, his conscientiousness. Corbin seems to have applied that to oriental writings. If you need to have recourse to a poet (!) think of Yeats’ gyres if you want. The west is in a type of darkness, which I for one suspect is due to a Faustian pact. We have this technology now, and we sacrificed something to get it. I’m probably an eternal Faustian and I want to have my cake and eat it too so to speak, I want the technological mindset of the west and the religious mindset of the middle east- I think it’s possible. Both places HATE you. That’s the problem. If you want a synthesis, both sides will hate you.
Corbin don’t tell me you ruined Heidegger for me. He’s writing about poetry ahahaha