Thoughts from a Forest of Fallen Trees : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Side of Existence

(If a philosopher falls in the forest who really cares?) Critical Theory, Deconstruction, Ethics, Religion and other such Things.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reason and Logos

The Greek word Logos means Word or Reason.
Logos from the word Legen means to lay down or lay before. Legere is where we gather to rest. To lay is to place one thing beside another. To lay your cards down on the table is to show the layers of your luck or skill. To lay down the law is use force. To lay yourself down is to rest.
Legen as lay is also to gather. At harvest time we gather fruit from the soil. We gather grapes from the vine. Gathering belongs to collecting but it points us to what is known as sheltering.
A mother gathers her children to shelter them from the storm.
A shepherd gathers his flock to shelter them from the wolf.
Lovers gather to each other to shelter themselves in an embrace.
We gather to witness a game, to watch a movie, to hear a lecture, to have a drink together in the shelter of our conversation.
Saying and talking lays the world before us.
We are gathered to what is addressed.
The world which is before us is undressed as we address it.
To gather is to see the world as it is and as we are, namely naked.
The cosmos does not need to be dressed with our superstitions.
We need to undress the superstitions from ourselves; to be freed from absurd claims.
To learn to say, to talk, to read, to write, to think what Logos reveals is to communicate where we stand in the cosmos.
The German philosopher Heidegger showed that thinking is a thanking. In Old English thinking (thencan) and thanking (thancian) are related. We are thankful for having been given thinking. The ancient word thanc is what lies within the heart. Thanc gathers all that concerns us. It gathers all that we care for as human beings and can never be reduced to the limits that mere reason or ratio imposes upon us.