24 July 2010

Time Being

I reconsidered the phrase, "for the time being," the other day. Instead of assuming the regular definition of the cliche, I thought, what is a time being?

A time being, a zeit-sein, is not a being-in-time. It is not Heidegger's Dasein who realizes his ultimate goal in his historicization, his temporality. A time-being is temporality embodied. In embodying time, the time-being identifies with birth and death. The time-being realizes his Being in birth, but most haunts the Dasein in death.

God's separation of light from dark, of birth from death, conceived the time-being. Thus, it is the progeny of a movement towards categorization.

This lack of stasis prompts the invocation of the time-being. At this moment, for the time being, the world acts according to our desires. However, the fragility of time negates any confidence in the time-being. It is always fleeing, always threatening, always moving us towards death.

But also life.

Father Time is figured as both a New Year's baby and the gaunt old man with Death's sickle. Death gives way for birth as we perpetually move from light to dark and back again.

File:Father time 7765.jpg

We all have a time-being. Perhaps it is like the daemon in ancient Greek religion. A benevolent spirit that accompanies us in our mortal life and induces eudaemonia (happiness) instead of thanatos (death). It's always over our shoulder, over the next hill, around the next bend, already here and still to come.

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