Topoi, the subject matter of topology, can be variously translated as place, terrain, event, etc. In our world of, as Schurmann puts it, “broken hegemonies”, do we still have a common topoi or are we in a situation of nearly individual topologies when it comes to the terrain of Being? This commonality that we have taken for granted for two millennia is entrenched in our laws, our institutions, and our lives, and yet it seems to be counter productive at this point in many ways. Laws are avoided if not openly scoffed at, institutions are utilized when necessary and abandoned when inconvenient. And we live our lives in a forgetfulness of these matters, because in the last analysis, they don’t matter enough.
What is our place when it comes to our Being? This place has to do with World and our World formation. We say that in a particular World things “have their place” and yet we ourselves live in a mode of exile. The state of statelessness of the exile, the homeless one, has become the existential situation of the most stay-at-home of us. The homeless one feels in-appropriate, improper, without the rights of citizenship and the sense of social propriety. We have only the requirement to be always available, always on call. Our time-for is always perverted into a time-to, where we are rushed from one discomfort to another, or one pleasure to another, both equally lost to our full experience.
Comfort and ease become fleeting apparitions chased after, in the way security was chased after incoherently in earlier generations. We know better than to look for security, but scant comfort or ease of being has also been taken away and we scamper after them. This way of living is uncanny, unheimlich (literally “not-at-home”), but we do our best to fashion a home and to create the familiar out of the unfamiliar. And it is in the place of the familiar that the unfamiliar presence (Heracleitas).
Our mode, as a group, is not a ‘relationship’ of isolated subject-things with some kind of ‘between’ that needs to somehow be traversed via a ‘relation’, but a topology of our shared being-together. It is a shared World of openness and meaning that allows things to come to presence as the things they are. In this mode each of us has his/her place and is most comfortable in that place, even when we have to be “put in our place” in order to be maintained there.