Monday, October 27, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to the absolute idea

If you had been at Thomas More College in Fall of 2001, you might have known me as the guy who always ran all the way from the dorms to the classroom, every morning, and not because I was late for class, nor because I wanted the exercise (it wasn't that far). I ran to the classroom because I was running away from my body. I was rushing to dive head first into "Plato's honey head," the only place in the world I cared to be, and that because it was no place.

But this particular classroom was no refuge for despisers of the body. There I was taught, if not to understand how the body is incorporated into the identity of the whole person, at least to look for that understanding. It is for this reason more than any other that I am now fascinated by the German tradition of philosophers beginning with Hegel. More than the carefully orthodox (and therefore in my view correct) but somehow unintelligible formulations of Medieval philosophers on this matter, the ways of thinking of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger seem to be affording me a way to the truth of the body. More on this later.