What would be an appropriate term of a gesture so profund that connects people? A philosophical approach.steemCreated with Sketch.

in #philosophy5 years ago (edited)

Jacques Derrida in an exceptional book called (Le toucher, Jean-Luc Nancy, 2000) writes down that a man can find himself in his life under a special test, more like he finds the need for it himself for which can be said that he is already at the test even before he is aware of it, only he does not yet know it yet. The philosopher calls this the real test of hospitality. This realisation is slowed down partly because the fact is that we are overwhelmingly buried under the trash called noise, goods, images, information - data, which companies spit out by the tons each and every day over and over again. All in the name of free market of course.

What is this test then?

It is a test in which we ask ourselves something that is surprisingly common and popular. But not in a regular sense of the meaning. I'm talking about a way to think about hard philosophical questions that became the only means of engaging for the masses. Movies. Movies remain the sole option for a lot of people to think about philosophy, let us not be blinded and say that many people read hard to understand books. It is simply not true, but there are some few rare exceptions. To understand why this is even happening i am not really willing to talk about, for i have said something about this in my previous post, but i will include two key words: will and bravery.

In a moment of hopelessness we are often confronted by events that takes us years to fully understand what really happened.


We know a beloved one in a normal everyday life situation. We have a family with 2 beautiful children that are playing outside and the grass. Suddenly in a matter of moments we are confronted with the arrival of police officers and take our beloved into custody. Based on a false accusation we lose this beloved person in a overly hastily finished court trial and cannot see any hope left on bringing that person back into our lives.

What do we do? Do we accept what has just happened? Do we try to move on? Do we seek revenge? Do we lose our hope for ever again having a normal life again? One of the basic questions: What do we do?

The answer is already within us - so to say. We only need to accept it for it will determine what kind of a person we are.

Who can muster such power within themselves and say: "NO, i will fight the system if i need to, but i will be given my beloved back to me into my life and the life of my children!" Is anyone willing to dedicate their entire life only for this 1 cause, never giving up?

The hospitality is proven within this. A human is capable to go to such lengths just for the loved ones.

What is it within ourselves that we would believe in the beloved so much that we would not care what happened to the world if it meant bringing our beloved back. It is the openness of the human relations. Being in a relationship that is based on being open to one another. This is the basic principle of the idea and question that often drives us. Can the human soul connect with one another? In this sense it is not about physical interaction, but something on a different "wave" length (i don't know how to call it otherwise, if you do, please tell me in the comment section). In which we do not physically touch one another, but we touch with our souls, connection in a deeper meaning. This of course means that being open is not something just imaginary, but something real. Therefore we must explore, discover and understand. A human wants to understand another human in their own space, but one has to explore in great detail, long and accurate. For if we are not open, we simply cannot explore and understand one another. Simply not possible.

The human soul or psyche is not some point nor some hidden place which only our soul knows that it exists somewhere in the bowels of life and existence. The soul is not one or another, although is seems to think it is one or the other. The human soul is vast, thus it can explore itself and create new spaces in which can move in and create even newer dimensions. The soul has the ability to forever create new spaces in which time knows nothing about, thus we can say that the soul absolutely can know itself, for its movement is necessary to know about itself from the past spaces which ware created.

Learning ourselves is thus a continuous process for it also means creation, change and redefining oneself. It is an active process with no possible way of ending, for one can simply not pin point or fixate a soul. This cannot be done for the soul is something else then what we think of in our naive thoughts. It is something that we get the experience we knew all along what it is, but we never could find the way to articulate it.

Soul should mean life, for soul cannot say for itself whether it is alive or dead. Or that we have a soul until we die, and it is not about its immortality. Thus we can only say that if the soul wants to discover itself, we must allow it to explore the life, to touch others and re-define itself. Life is not merely an existence, a meager fight to survive.

I do not consider this from a religious aspect, but rather from aspect human to human. Religion tends to bend the meaning of the "soul" in its own idea and has dominant say over it. I disregard any religion that would try to rule over the notion of a soul. Having said that i mean no disrespect to any religion, for if the human love is strong enough, any and all religion would try to incorporate this meaning of love and connectedness into itself.

Derrida said when life is touching itself, it touches something, so what it touching - this something? I think Freud called this the unsymbolized. An unpredictable, unspecified, something that has no meaning, something that is not something. It is "something". Not something in our souls or deep personalities, or hidden places, but it is rather out there, a abject.

That "something" is therefore out there, an effect of self rejection. We talk about a world and its most genuine and authentic rejection for which world and life even are, and when they simply are, we humans think and ponder.

Discover your own soul (self) and share it with the ones who will do the same. Love life within that.

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Would you mind if I bundled together two comments? First one, why use a word like 'soul'? It carries a specific (although not entirely defined) supernatural meaning. When talking about soul, either one is defending a mystical dimension (a theological duality between matter and spirit), or he is referring to some sort of psychological phenomenon that could be much better addressed with non-mystical vocabulary. In my opinion, that is.

The second comment is that "spirit" has been used many times as a metaphor for psychological phenomena. Fichte, a follower of Kant, would say that spirit is our ability to come in touch with a higher inner dimension, a sort infinite within. Because some ideas, like freedom, can't be defined in words or explained as concepts, they must be understood first-hand by experience. Spirit, in this sense, isn't supernatural at all. It is our ability to sense and experience these ideas that cannot be contained in a concept.

To him, the spirits of two people can't touch each other directly (since they're processes, not things). But they can communicate through works of art. Great art carries a message beyond the physical medium which is very difficult to point out, but that can be sensed by the spirit of another, and his spirit would elevate him to the idea within himself. Such a work would seem to someone without spirit as a mere craft, but would be alive to someone with spirit.

In my opinion, that is an elegant postulation of how spirits could touch. I (greatly) dislike the use of the word, but I do think life can get much richer and deeper once we can connect to and cultivate or "spirits". Even more so once we abandon the illusion that life has a hidden supernatural dimension.

Sorry for the long answer to your great post. Keep'em coming!

Thank you for the great comment @isacvale
I know that the term "soul" is usually associated with religion and stuf like something nonexistent to begin with. But i am talking about a gesture of humans that are capable of such great love between them, that no matter the circumstances in their lives, they will always support each other till the bitter end if needed to. I myself do not know any better term for it, the term "spirit" is like what you said, but i am not talking about that. I do not try to incorporate mystical dimension into my posts, i just do not know of a better term. We (mostly I) need a new vocabulary. :D
Thank you again for the great comment.

Really enjoyed this post. Some things we just know--feeling it deep within. Call it whatever you want--I can connect--I know what that is. Thank you for sharing.