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Language of the Poet, Language of the Heart

We explore the language of the poet as that which opens a space for dwelling. A meditation upon the heart, inspired first by comments from Rilke. Whatever shrines are kept for the gods, they are safe nowhere but in our heart. The Fourfold relationship essential to dwelling, which resists calculative thinking, then finds its place in the heart.

I. The poet Rilke reminds us that: Whatever shrines are kept for the gods, they are safe nowhere but in our heart.

First, the ‘world’ in which we dwell is not merely an external reality. When talking about dwelling and the ‘world,’ I am speaking much more of the macrocosm and microcosm. The human being and world reflect each other. Where one can build a world, one might dwell authentically. This ‘where’ is not a geographical location, but a condition and/or disposition.

II. A discussion of perspectives at work: scientific and technological lenses

I begin here with a response to listener mail.  The question of whether one could properly dwell today came up in  Re-enchanting the World: Dwelling Poetically & Novalis (Episode 025).

Afterward, I elaborate on the relationship of the inner disposition to dwelling.

The flattening of our world threatens that inner disposition, of course. It does so in part by making our familar world too familiar, so that it is flattened in microcosm as well.

Whatever ‘outer’ danger is posed by the technological paradigm, it is that threat posed to the inner self, to one’s Being-in-the-world as care, that most concerns me. One reads these days of AI, or of present and future ‘enhancements’ to ‘humanity,’ that what is coming will be ‘better’ or ‘superior’ to human beings. This supposed superiority is purely in calculative terms, as if this could somehow capture the essence of life, of human being.

III. The Heart and the Will

First, I elaborate on comments from the last program with respect to the will. In connection with comments made by listeners, I then explore what the ‘decision’ is with respect to attention and care. This ‘decision’ is not the same as a subject-centered will. It is an openness, a letting-be.

IV. The language of the poet

How do we then tie this back to language, and specifically to poetry?

We begin a discussion of Heidegger’s “Poetically Man Dwells.” The poet Hölderlin presents us with a sense of dwelling aside from the calculative sense. (See Dwelling and Poetry: Rilke, Hölderlin, Heidegger (Episode 024)). After an initial exploration of dwelling in this essay, we return to Rilke.

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