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Compiled Feelings
The Aesthetics of Decay

We have found ourselves assured of the Nothing but unsure as to where it is to be found. Suggesting that the Nothing reveals itself in death proves ineffective. As Wittgenstein and Heidegger noted, “death is not an event, but a phenomenon to be understood existentially in an eminent sense...” (Ibid., p. 233). In a similar vein, Kant also remarks that, “nobody. can experience his own death (since it requires life in order to experience); he can only observe it in others” (Kant, 1978, p. 55). The objectification of death thus distances it as an experience in the category of other experiences. Reduced to appearances, the exterior manifestation of death precludes an interior competent. Eschewing this limitation, Heidegger situates nothingness in an immediate fashion, thus contesting an unreachable metaphysics by positing it within the grasp of Being. The mode of being which discloses nothingness, Heidegger argues, is anxiety. Anxiety is the sliding away of things which enforces the gradual recess of the unity of being from where we find ourselves stranded in a disembodied, and so placeless, sphere of groundlessness. “We ‘hover’ in anxiety,” he tells us (Heidegger, 1977, p. 97). Concurrently, this hovering unveils the nullity in which Dasein finds its own definition. Heidegger’s account of anxiety is characterized by an existential framework that takes its inspiration from Kierkegaard, and was later adopted by Sartre, Jaspers, and Marcel. For Kierkegaard, anxiety is a call to the vertiginousness of freedom, to the presence of possibility and the exclusion that this possibility entails. Sartre affirms Kierkegaard’s vertiginousness of freedom while endorsing it with the presence of inward-negation: “I distrust myself and my own reactions” (Sartre, 1956, p. 29). This inner contingency renders freedom a burden upon consciousness, since it places freedom as solely responsible for what it is, so evoking the anxiety of the existential conscience. Heidegger agrees with Kierkegaard and Sartre in the emphasis on anxiety as an ontological disclosure and the groundlessness therein. Nevertheless, anxiety, Heidegger is keen to tell us, should not be compounded with fear. Bound by the object it seeks to surmount, fear is rooted in the phenomenon itself, while anxiety, resting upon a non-spatial, non-temporal precipice, exists ontologically.

Words by Dylan Trigg
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Compiled Feelings
The Aesthetics of Decay

We have found ourselves assured of the Nothing but unsure as to where it is to be found. Suggesting that the Nothing reveals itself in death proves ineffective. As Wittgenstein and Heidegger noted, “death is not an event, but a phenomenon to be understood existentially in an eminent sense...” (Ibid., p. 233). In a similar vein, Kant also remarks that, “nobody. can experience his own death (since it requires life in order to experience); he can only observe it in others” (Kant, 1978, p. 55). The objectification of death thus distances it as an experience in the category of other experiences. Reduced to appearances, the exterior manifestation of death precludes an interior competent. Eschewing this limitation, Heidegger situates nothingness in an immediate fashion, thus contesting an unreachable metaphysics by positing it within the grasp of Being. The mode of being which discloses nothingness, Heidegger argues, is anxiety. Anxiety is the sliding away of things which enforces the gradual recess of the unity of being from where we find ourselves stranded in a disembodied, and so placeless, sphere of groundlessness. “We ‘hover’ in anxiety,” he tells us (Heidegger, 1977, p. 97). Concurrently, this hovering unveils the nullity in which Dasein finds its own definition. Heidegger’s account of anxiety is characterized by an existential framework that takes its inspiration from Kierkegaard, and was later adopted by Sartre, Jaspers, and Marcel. For Kierkegaard, anxiety is a call to the vertiginousness of freedom, to the presence of possibility and the exclusion that this possibility entails. Sartre affirms Kierkegaard’s vertiginousness of freedom while endorsing it with the presence of inward-negation: “I distrust myself and my own reactions” (Sartre, 1956, p. 29). This inner contingency renders freedom a burden upon consciousness, since it places freedom as solely responsible for what it is, so evoking the anxiety of the existential conscience. Heidegger agrees with Kierkegaard and Sartre in the emphasis on anxiety as an ontological disclosure and the groundlessness therein. Nevertheless, anxiety, Heidegger is keen to tell us, should not be compounded with fear. Bound by the object it seeks to surmount, fear is rooted in the phenomenon itself, while anxiety, resting upon a non-spatial, non-temporal precipice, exists ontologically.

Words by Dylan Trigg
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