The Where of the Being-The-There-WIth

Between the Proper and the Improper

Between the two, it is nothing less than the Being-the-there-with which finds itself passed over. Indeed, the Mitdasein must determine the with as the proximity (contiguity and distinction) of multiple theres, thereby giving us the following to consider: multiplicity is not an attribute extrinsic to Dasein, since the concept of the there implies the impossibility of a unique and exclusive there. A there can only be exclusive—w hich it also inevitably is insofar as it is ‘‘mine’’—if it equally includes a

multiplicity of other theres. The analogical model here could be taken from Leibniz’s monadology or from one of those topological schemes inaugurated by Moebius’ strip whose concept of ‘‘neighborhood,’’ present in topology, proposes a suggestive metaphorical proximity between mathematics and the ontology of the with. The interweaving of the limit and continuity between the theres must determine the proximity not as sheer juxtaposition, but as composition in a very precise sense which must rely on a rigorous construction of the com-. In sum, this is nothing other than that which is demanded by Heidegger’s own emphasis on the character of a with irreducible to exteriority. For a Being-with-the-there to happen, there must be a contact, therefore a contagion and encroachment, even if minimal, even if only as an infinitesimal drift of the tangent between the concerned openings. A relative indistinction of the edges of the openings must occur and their lines of sight or horizons must at least tend to intersect one another. I can only open myself there by opening at the same time onto other theres, as we say of a door that it opens onto a garden. The with must constitute the nature of the ‘‘ on,’’ of the ‘‘against,’’ (as in ‘‘plywood’’ [contrecolle and of the ‘‘trans’’ (as in ‘‘transsexual’’). (And this means too, to note in passing, that the with itself has a complex nature, com-posed and inter-laced.)

If that is the case, however, then neither the simple Anyone nor the simple people can fulfill this condition. Yet this condition is exactly the existential condition of a being-with of being-there which would not be secondary in the constitution of existence, but truly and essentially equiprimordial in the existent. ”

– The being-with of being-there

Jean-Luc Nancy

This composition of a multiplicitous Event, a shared interweaving of theres can therefore neither be individualistic nor communal, though it partakes of both. It is also neither fully proper in the sense of a destined propriety nor improper in the sense of the anonymity and flatness of the “anyone” who is also “noone”.

Within the Lord / bondsman relational dynamic then there is an aligning of the multiplicitous theres into a more proper (note:, not “proper” in the sense of a people’s destiny, the mistake of the communitarian) set of relations. This alignment results out of appropriation in the Event into co-propriation of the Event of Being itself. The Lord’s “there” does not preexist as something extrinsic to him/her that the bondsman then partakes of, nor is there a preexisting “there” in which they both happen to be. Rather there is an interweaving intersection of the “there” that each produces, and in this non-egalitarian relationship the alignment is with the perspective of the Lord of the relationship as primary.

At this point, a question that comes up with regard to Lord / bondsman relationships has to be explicitly brought out and engaged with, that is, whether ‘love’ is necessary or even beneficial to the relationship. Co-propriation brings out the answer to this question in the arising of the alignment of the shared theres. Love is brought to its most explicit formulation in the “volu ut sis” borrowed from Augustine.

volo ut sis: ‘‘I want that you be what you are.’’ Thus, love is a mitglauben, a shared faith in the ‘‘ story of the other’’ and a mitergreifen, a shared grasp of the ‘‘ potential of the other,’’


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