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Without Why (The Rose) III

Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity! What advantageous difference for man in all the labor by which he labors under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 1:2-3


Only God does not have to be. And God loves without being.

Jean-Luc Marion

But to know that the child and the rose hide a secret is to already know what we do not know, what is missing in us. We are precisely able to imagine what is in the child at play or the rose in bloom because we ourselves were children before, because we could be a rose 'without why' as well. If we try.

Heidegger notes the difference as such between human beings and the rose:
Humans live so differently from the rose that, as they go about doing things in their world, they glance sidelong at what the world makes and requires of them. . . . we humans cannot come to be who we are without attending to the world that determines us -- an attending in which we at the same time attend to ourselves. The rose has no need of this (Lecture 5, The Principle of Reason, 37).

In the end, by attending to the inescapable world through Care (Sorge) where we have to take care of this or have to do that (the workaday, the everyday), we busy ourselves with ourselves. Today, the pleasure of play becomes 'childish' and 'foolish' with all the work that has to be accomplished. See the weary businessmen who travel to and fro from city to city without dwelling in one place; witness the young and free imitate their elders by torturing themselves with school and 'unwinding' until the wee hours of the morning. All this in the name of success so as to take leisure in life, to be happy someday; but until then, it's a career, karera, a rat race. In the end, we pay attention to things outside us so that we can one day really start paying attention to ourselves. In a word: vanity.

While the rose, as Heidegger says
is not in need of expressly considering itself, and that means of considering all that belongs to it (Ibid.).

Because instead of considering this in order to reach that, instead of attending to this in order to be that, the rose does away with all consideration and all attention. Instead, the rose abandons itself to just bloom and become the rose that it is just as the child becomes the child in losing itself in play. They do not hold anything back, just like what Vincent told his brother Anton in the movie "Gattaca": "This is how I did it, Anton. I never saved anything for the swim back."


Are we then able to finally see that this wreckless abandon, this disregard for a reason or a cause, so as to finally become who we really are as nothing other than love? In a simple transposition of words, let us see how "love" can also be a sweet "rose":
Love is without why, it loves because it loves,
It pays no attention to itself, asks not whether it is loved.

To explain this would only lead to more problems and would rather be pedantic. We can go no further.


When Narcissus could not stop at gazing at his image on the water to the point of starvation, a delicate violet flower bloomed from the spot where he died. Because of this, legend has it that flowers in bloom love being gazed upon, enjoy being looked at, in a word, are vain. But the version of the myth I prefer is that Narcissus gave up his vanity not in order to be admired or gazed upon but to finally surrender his love of himself. He lost himself in a total abandon by blooming into the most beautiful flower that could possibly be imagined. By this (however) late surrender, he became who he really is.


  1. i don't know if you are my classmate in my advance metaphysics class... but thank you... your words have enlightened me and enabled me to understand better. God bless!


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