A blog dedicated to understanding Hans Blumenberg's Höhlenausgänge.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Cave of Life: Surviving the Crossing

Not ready to summarize this essay yet; but I must say the first paragraph is just excellent.
To see the light of the world, as a description of the birth process, rings from the mouths of those who believe themselves to be standing already in the light of the world, triumphant: this is the circumstance which is seen as the goal, when one is already on one's way. For the other side, the preceding darkness, there is no linguistic emphasis. In speaking of the security in the mother's lap, the intrauterine prenatality is hardly ever thought of [I am not getting this clause quite right], almost always the flight of the crying child onto the lap of the mother. Concerning the pain of birth, all attention is on that of the woman bearing, not on this, that it could also be that of the one being borne.

(My first reaction was, well what about Freud -- and he moves on in the next paragraph to discuss psychological theories of birth trauma, which he is apparently saying were not a part of our discourse before the modern age.)

Late update: It occurs to me that my reaction to this paragraph could be indirect evidence for (what I am taking to be) Blumenberg's idea that the modern age will witness a major revolution in human consciousness.

Another update: I will write some more about this essay but not, I think, until Friday. Kind of busy week.


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