‘Nothing Can See Itself’


So here I am staring up at the sky asking myself why Professor Heidegger say’s he see’s something. [Hey! Isn’t that obvious?]

If the Universe was entirely pink, I will never know it to be so. For me to see the pink, there has to be a touch of purple somewhere. A spot of not-pink so that I can see the pink.

There has to be a minimum of two colors showing in order for me to see one color. It is the minimum requirement; a beginning condition. [A simple version of the much-mauled Buddhist ‘Doctrine of Dependent Designation’.]

And one more thing.

I need to be able stand apart from this pink and purple in order to see that indeed, the Universe is pink and purple.

I get back home, look out the window and see my neighbor’s dog lifting his hind leg and aiming at the freshly-washed tire of my ancient jalopy posing as a car.

I See it. I have to be different from what I see in order to see it. Hallelujah! I am possessed of Independent and Separate Self-hood.

Nothing can see itself. I need to be a ‘Self’ to see the ‘Universe’. The ‘Universe’ is seen. Ergo, there must be a ‘Me’ that see’s it.  

When Professor Heidegger affirms a ‘Something’, he simultaneously affirms himself.


Variations proliferate from George Berkeley to Albert Einstein, from the Drishti Srishti Vada of early Hinduism to later Zen. ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?’ Modern Academic Philosophy considers this a question of exceptional nuance and profundity.

In the tradition of of a principal school of Vedantha, this relationship was taken one-step further; the affirmation of a ‘Something’ was deemed proof of a ‘Higher-Self’. [We get to Vedantha in detail in later Posts.]

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