Is this my lifework?

As been suggested by my supervisor, I commenced reading that philosophical book, “Being and Time”. It took me weeks to commence reading but I am not motivated to read. I was jumping from a section to another, and it did not made sense at all because this book was structured in a way to build on each other.

So my supervisor suggested an alternative strategy. Instead of reading its actual work, what about reading others’ interpretations about this work. At the time, it was easier than committing myself to read ‘Being and Time’ so I said “that’s a relief.” I truly thought it is at the time.

I commenced this task by searching for other thesis/dissertations that used his work as a philosophical guideline in last 5 years. I skimmed through few thesis; however, I wasn’t satisfied with what I’ve found. Well, first, I was surprised several thesis based on several principles of Being and Time. So what does this mean? This means that there are people who still research Heidegger’s philosophical principles: still under research.

I become very desperate to find a writing that talks to me, that talks in my level of understanding. Or, at least, someone who can argue the main principles of Heideggerian phenomenology. Part of me was interested to learn more, the other was frustrated that I am yet to claim that I understand his principles. Well, if I remember correctly, ‘Understanding’ itself is a principle.

I discussed this frustration with my sister-in-law, explaining that I need to define principles such as: Self, Being, Being-in-the-world, the world etc. My argument was that “I don’t even understand myself, how can I explain to others what is Being means? I am not trying to become a philosopher!!”
She laughed and said “Isn’t that your lifework?” Probably, I looked puzzled and she continued “Well, you always questioned yourself and Being throughout your life, again and again. I think that’s enough for you to claim it as your lifework.”
I stunned for awhile and burst out laughing. I thought for myself “That’s so true. No doubt about that. Whether I want to make it a lifelong learning or not is another matter but I have been questioning that for a long time.”

Clarify your purpose.

What is the why behind everything you do?

When we know this in life or design, it is empowering and the path is clear.

Jack Canfield

Having this purpose or not defined whether I was able to continue reading “Being and Time.” Clarifying this purpose, I determined to immerse myself to this book. As stated previously, for me, “Being and Time” isn’t an easy-to-read book. It actually drained my thinking and concentration every section.

In a normal situation, I can study or work from anywhere such as a noisy library, a cafe, a shopping center, or an amusement park. If at home, I will put some music to help my concentration.
This time, it was impossible to read in such environment. Every sound destructed my reading/thinking.
I also found that I can only read few pages a time because I cannot take in/concentrate anymore than that.

I don’t want to think how many more chapters I have to read or how long will I take to claim that I can explain Heidegger’s principles to any person. However, I am determined to read this book until the back cover.

No one ever reads a book.

He reads himself through a book.

Romain Rolland

Reading is a conversation.

All book talk.

But a good book listens as well.

Mark Haddon

What book are you reading today?
What does that book brings to you?
How are you allowing that book to influence you?

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