Photography Blog from

Existential Friday: Observed

Observed 2 Brd

The in-itself (in other words, Being), is the first of the pair ‘Being and Nothingness’ to be investigated by Sartre. It is not to be equated with the world. The world is a later product of the encounter between the for-itself (consciousness, human reality) and the in-itself. What comes out of this encounter is the world which is truly a human creation. Sartre has adopted the phenomenological concept of intentionality whereby consciousness is always conscious (of) something. If there is nothing besides consciousness, nothing of which it can be conscious, it ceases to exist. Thus, the in-itself is needed as the basis upon which a consciousness and a world will emerge. We cannot say more than the ‘in-itself is’ because the in-itself lies beyond our experience of it, our being conscious of it. What is unveiled through our conscious grasp of being is a world supported by being of which we can say nothing but that it is. Hence the remainder of the treatise is devoted to explain the for-itself and its various modes of existence as a for-itself, i.e. a conscious being and all that this implies, as a being-for-others and as an acting being in the world. –  Source: Christine Daigle on the Key concepts of Sartre





Observed 1BdThe Heart Sutra says, “all phenomena in their own-being are empty.” It doesn’t say “all phenomena are empty.” This distinction is vital. “Own-being” means separate independent existence. The passage means that nothing we see or hear (or are) stands alone; everything is a tentative expression of one seamless, ever-changing landscape. So though no individual person or thing has any permanent, fixed identity, everything taken together is what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing.”  – Source: Lewis Richmond on Emptiness


6 responses

  1. leecleland

    Had to slow down to read and understand this one, deep, very deep for me 🙂 Interesting though.

    May 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    • elmediat

      I wanted something relating to seeing/observing to go with the images. It is one of those combinations of text & image that can be interpreted both seriously & as a bit of a joke. Both are valid and probably acceptable in either form to both philosophies.

      May 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

  2. I’m thinking I will have to read this more than once.

    June 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    • elmediat

      I found out from my student days that the most difficult part of philosophy was navigating the terminology and almost metaphorical allusions used to describe various social & psychological states – very often the philosopher was struggling to describe something for which their respective language/culture seemed to lack a vocabulary. They were constantly creating new terms or twisting their sentence structure to try and make their observations about life clear to their audience. When you add translating this into English from another language the head begins to spin, … like a carousel. 🙂

      June 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

  3. Pingback: Implied Spaces: Insert Message Here | Implied Spaces

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.