Rainer Bruno Zimmer

New Philosophy of Being

Seeing Instead of Thinking

The best current knowledge about our being – for future reworking

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Original: "Neue Daseinsphilosophie –Sehen statt Denken", Version 11 English raw translation by the author, not professionally proofread, May 2022

© Rainer Bruno Zimmer


Preface 5

A Note on Terminology 6

Being and Beings 7

Concepts 7

Concepts and Phenomena 8

Different Concepts for Identical Phenomena 8

Identical Concepts for Different Phenomena 8

Perception and the World of Thoughts 9

Associations 10

Relations 10

Successions 11

Actions 11

Understanding 12

Intelligence 12

Intentions 12

Thinking as a Mode of Acting 13

Simple Associative Thinking 13

Rational Thinking 14

Theories 15

The Truth of Non-Provable Theories 1 15

Basic Trust 16

The Truth of Non-Provable Theories 2 16

The World is Mental 16

Language 16

The Growing World 17

Collectivization, Culture, the Objective World 18

Dasein 19

Dasein is Not a Concept 20

Communication about Dasein 20

… Using Approximately Pointing Language 21

The Other Humans 22

The Dimensionality of Dasein 22

Attitudes Towards Dasein 24

Résumé: Seeing Instead of Thinking, to Be Updated 25

Appendix – Looking Back to Sein und Zeit 26


Our individual thinking defines our individual world. Our rational, that is confirmed relational thinking defines the objective world. What mankind can, in principle, think at all, defines all the world.

Instead of saying: "our thinking defines" we could also say: "our thinking delimits". But that is controversial because, indirectly, it says that there could still be something outside that limit. In former times, some people seriously studied what was beyond all these horizons: the beyond. Today, the dominant view is that the beyond is empty, the world is all that is.

Even the view is being held, that the objective world is all that is, that there is nothing that cannot be fully understood rationally, as a structure of concepts.

These views are determining and restricting our science and philosophy. Scarcely anybody suspects or clearly sees that, as a consequence, science could be missing out on important research, and philosophy missing out on important insights.

Well then, what about the beyond?

For a start, we can get rid of the religiously loaded term the beyond and rather use the more neutral terms the extra-worldly, or the inconceivable / non-conceptual, or the absolute. All these are synonyms, because concepts and structures are the objects of thinking and therefore belong to the/some world; and because the very meaning of absolute is "not in relation to anything", that is: not part of any structure of concepts, and therefore, by the way, cannot be part of any predicate expression.

Is there possibly something like this?

Who or what is perceiving that which "exists", that which "stands out against nothing"?

I do, my genuine, authentic self, definitely mine, not that of somebody else.

This is, however, not my "ego" or "self" that I define for myself in the world and then want to establish and sustain there. Equally, it is not my psyche, the emotions, aspirations, and drives of which I face in my inner world. My sensory system? That is merely a classification in categories of perception: I divide my perceptions into, on the one hand, the outer perceptions coming from single senses or the senses in general, and, on the other hand, the inner perception, for example, the proprioception of my body, or my thoughts. My brain isn't my genuine self either. Nobody directly perceives his or her own brain, it is a mental object; and a component in the brain, that would face what the other parts of the brain are allegedly "displaying" to it, has not so far been invented and, thus not confirmed at all.

No, in essence all this is most simple and direct: there is fundamentally nothing, but I perceive some "what", and this "what" just occurs to me, but this me is not such a "what". All attempts to grasp this perceiving "instance" as a structure of concepts are doomed to fail.

For somebody seeing this in the same way, it follows that it is also impossible to falsify the thesis that the beyond / extra-worldly / absolute could not somehow be. The perceiving instance is not a concept, therefore extra-worldly, but it cannot be denied.

This should suffice as an incentive for further searching.

This paper is out to the following: starting with perception, refocus and review further candidates for the absolute, and, because they cannot be relational, present them otherwise, by describing and circumscribing them in such a way that the reader will, hopefully, see them, too.

In other words, by using approximately, associatively pointing language, it should show, what, beyond the world, is constitutive for our being. Each and every human can, in principle, see this by her/himself, through focusing on her/his own existence. Therefore, the results aren't esoteric, but hard and very rich and highly valuable knowledge

A Note on Terminology

In the subsequent section on "Beings", we will see that the term being – both as a substantive and a verb – refers to inner-worldly concepts and, therefore, should better not be used for extra-worldly / non-conceptual / absolute items. For the totality of the latter, we will instead use the term Dasein (originally German; literal translation: "being there"). In this sense we can say that our "Dasein film is on", and that we are in our exclusive "Dasein situation".

Being and Beings

Why is there something and not nothing? Impossible question? It is just as it is, absolutely, and the absolute cannot be related to anything, and therefore not related to a reason either.

Below, we will see, that it is still possible to "see" the absolute "with the inner eye", and to guide others with suitable words to "see" the same. Insofar, the sequence of words of the initial question is appropriate and to the point, as it indeed points to the absolute.

Let us look closer! Everybody knows for her/himself: This moment, I am and "something" whatever occurs to me; in the next moment again something occurs to me, and these occurrences continue to happen. Moreover, when something occurs to me, I can recognize, that it has already occurred to me in other moments; or even that it occurs to me again and again. On the other hand, I can discriminate the somethings, that occur to me, as different. That may well be the same for all humans.

If the same occurs to us twice, or again and again, then the concept, that it was the same, is our – mental – construction. That the same could have also occurred to us between the actual occurrences, and that it could occur to us likewise in any moment to come, is another mental construction. And that it must, independent of us, somehow permanently be, as a Being, is a third mental construction. Beings – as subjects – and their being – as a verb – are thus mental constructions that only depend on what we recognize as the same.

Basically, the preceding paragraph says the following: Beings and being are not primary, but constructed on top of what occurs to us, and the individual Beings are not constitutive for our Dasein, while the trait to construct is. What is primary, is, that continuously something occurs to us. That is absolutely so, as long as we live. It is the essence of our Dasein. That nothing occurs, is the same as no Dasein.


Still, we would not have a Dasein, if we only somehow acquiesced, that something whatever occurs to us at all. Included in our Dasein is also, that we keep preserve the Beings that we have constructed, by conceiving and remembering them as concepts – even before having words for them. Only this renders recognition possible: If that, which we have memorized as a concept, occurs to us again then this concept comes to mind, and this is re-cognition.

At this point, we have to look still closer. What is the meaning of "comes to mind"? In saying that something "occurs" to us, our first idea is, that it occurs to us "by way of our senses" from the external world. But, that something comes to mind, also means that it "occurs" to us from our internal world, more precisely in our individual world of thoughts. Concepts are purely mental. They occur to us not only in the context of perceiving the external world, but generally in being alive, for example, while thinking.

By the way, that we are having both an external world, and an internal world, and that they are disjoint, is again our construction. We are having all that occurs to us, subdivided into groups, that we consider as domains of our world, and we have these further divided. For example, counted among our inner world are the perception of our inner body

(position of limbs, comfort, hunger, pain), our psyche (motives, drives, emotions, moods), and our mental world (thoughts, inner images and films, inner language).

Concepts and Phenomena

What kind is that which occurs to us from the external world: concepts or something else? The pros for the latter are, that, in the external world, something may occur to us that we do not recognize, for which we don't (yet) have a concept. On the other hand, we may happen to be mistaken about something that occurred to us from the external world, and that mistake cannot be inherent in what occurred to us: it cannot at the same time have occurred to us and not occurred to us.

This is a mental construction. The construction is: what we perceive, the concept, and what occurs to us from the external world, are not the same. For the latter, we will below use the term "phenomenon".

A fundamental trait of our Dasein cannot, however, depend on any construction. Therefore, our question has still not been answered, whether that which occurs to us are concepts or phenomena.

Different Concepts for Identical Phenomena

Concepts and phenomena are indeed of different kinds, because we can always replace a concept associated to a phenomenon by a better concept, for example when we learn to differentiate concepts. In such a case, we have the different concepts one after the other. In general, we consider any contexts for differentiating among concepts. When we are facing a person in front of us, then her face is not the same as, for example, the face of the same person on a framed portrait in an exposition, and this is again not the same as the face of the same person on a party, having to look through a frame in order to make a photo of her more interesting. A picture is not the same as the content pictured, and something in a frame need not be a picture.

Identical Concepts for Different Phenomena

Much more frequently than associating identical phenomena to identical or different concepts, we use to associate different phenomena to one and the same concept. A simple example: we proceed on a sidewalk and catch sight of a street lamp on a pylon arm pointing to the left. Having passed it, what we see after turning around is a street lamp with an arm pointing to the right. In order to construct that this is the same street lamp, it is obviously necessary to have constructed, and apply, the right – in this case: spatial – transformation that morphs the first lamp into the second. The more, we need such a transformation in case we are moving around a tree, where the least change of the sight angle repositions all branches and twigs in the field of view, and we recognize the same tree in spite. Thus, when different phenomena occur to us in sequence or at different times, we may well recognize them as the same, and associate them to one and the same concept, by having available and applying the transformations required to morph them into each other.

The transformation work load that we use to deliver in thus constructing the sameness of Beings are easily underestimated. Over and over again, during the course of the day, the

sun shows different colors, sizes, positions, cloud amounts – every second, that is thousands of seconds a day -, and we perceive it as the same sun all the time, over days and years, on journeys from many different locations, throughout our life. This transformation ability enables us to avoid getting stuck in the overwhelming mass of aspects of the sun, but rather get over it and proceed with recognition.

The same is true for virtually all objects and configurations around. For example, they occur to us permanently from different view angles, in different lighting conditions, in different parts of our range of vision, close-by or distant, in different perspectives. Still we use to easily overcome these rather infinitely many aspects and grasp it in a single concept, as a single, clear, and familiar configuration of Beings.

Perception and the World of Thoughts

Above, we have already seen that concepts are purely mental, that is, occur to us in our inner world, more precisely in our world of thoughts. There, they occur to us directly, without any further recognition processes around, in a single layer.

What we have so far found, is: In perceiving Beings in the external world, we permanently ignore the occurring phenomena as well as the discriminating and the equating transformations involved. Instead we have the corresponding concepts of Beings, resulting from the transformations, act as the objects of our perception. We directly perceive the supermarket as a concept we know, and not some more or less transformed supermarket phenomenon behind, even less all its parts, not to mention all its pixels.

To sum up: We perceive our own concepts, as they are occurring to us without anything behind. Among our domains of perception, we are having a sector "external world", but that there would be something behind, e.g. phenomena and their processing by sensory organs, nerves, the brain, are constructions of ours, as are possible storage and working structures considered fundamental to our thinking. We cannot "look" behind what occurs to us. Primary is the momentary perception of concepts. Phenomena, and structures of phenomena, as all structures, have been additionally constructed by ourselves.

By the way, it isn't true, that our perception could at all be explained as caused by the said constructs, say, in such a way, that the sensory organs were emitting impulse patterns that cause the brain to associatively activate concepts. First, we have to be, that is, we have to be able to perceive at all, and only then we can construct such concepts and relations of concepts. Perception cannot be explained as something perceived, and our Dasein not from that which occurs to us within our Dasein. Dasein is, that somewhat occurs, and this is an absolute given, hence not conceptually or structurally graspable.

Back to the perception of concepts. We note as a continuative point, that we are able to improve our perception of concepts by replacing individual concepts with better ones, or by learning new concepts. Before and after the improvement, we are perceiving with our best available concepts.

Below, we will see, that, in improving our concepts we are not confined to ourselves, rather we can benefit from the improvements offered by our collective, and, in this way even get the objectively best concepts available.

Let us now look closer at our dealing with concepts.


We can observe that, in addition to the concept we just perceive, usually one or more others come to mind. And when the first concept occurs to us repeatedly, then, in each case, these same other concepts come to mind, too. Generally, with respect to concepts, we rather don't say, that they occur to us, but almost always, that they come to mind.

Sometimes, concepts come to mind spontaneously, mostly triggered by a preceding concept from whichever domain of perception.

This, kind of triggered-coming-to-mind, relation between two concepts, we call association. Because the term association is ambiguous, we use here, for greater precision, defined phrases:

Important relations are spatial, temporal, set relations (is element of, is a subset of, is disjoint with, is intersection of, and more), contextual (belongs to, inevitably belongs to, characterizes), logical (is a consequence of, has as a consequence, serves as a means to).


Given a concept or profile of concepts, then in temporal succession, from one moment to the next, a further concept or profile can come to mind, thereafter the next, etc., and then we have a temporal sequence of associations. This succession itself can occur to us repeatedly, whence we may capture it in a new concept for this very sequence of associations. Each time we experience the process driving my car to the office, then certain streets, crossings, traffic lights, parking lots, etc., and our corresponding actions occur to us, all of them always in the same sequence. And if that is the same all the time, then we have obviously understood and a confirmed knowledge of how to drive to the office.

The preceding paragraph suggests two continuations, on the one hand concerning the topic of actions, as driving the car to the office indeed requires a lot of successive actions, on the other hand concerning the topics of understanding and knowledge. Let us start with the first one.


Our body offers quite a number of possibilities to move. Obviously, we perceive that certain concept profiles in our world of thoughts are associated with perceptions of our inner and external worlds in such a way that they can trigger or block the latter. That does not mean that all movements are controlled in this way, given there are reflexes and unconscious movements, but we learn that sufficiently weighted concept profiles – sufficiently intense and targeted thinking – can effectively be associated with subsequent actions.

In most cases, we are triggering our actions through associations as a matter of course. Rain occurs to us, and we associate opening the umbrella, the corresponding movements for unpacking and unfolding, possibly an impulse to act, and then this happens. We can also think of an action without starting it. On the other hand, an action can so firmly be associated with a perception or thought of a sudden imminent danger, that this action is being started directly, rather beyond our control.

Actions also include mental actions. We can trigger actions of thinking of something specific and different from what we currently think about. That is, we can direct our attention away from our current focus towards the next focus, and thus carry our attention forward along a "route", and we can again associatively connect this route with a concept, and, by thinking of this concept, again activate this route.


We are being in a situation. Our perception provides us with a matching, weighted profile of concepts: the present context. If we have already lived through it before, and more or less know it, then we possibly can directly and firmly associate, what we are going to perceive next, or which actions we have to trigger in order make us perceive something specific next, that we are up to. And if, in the next moment, we do perceive this specific something, then we feel we are right on track and, for a moment, or for the whole course of events, live in harmony with that which is occurring to us.

Our life essentially is, that all kinds of perceptions are going on to occur to us, and that we have sequences of association structures, including associated actions, concur and possibly harmonize with this course of perceptions. If they harmonize indeed, then we understand that which occurs to us. The aggregate of all and everything understood in this way, that is, of all association structures, that we can thus live through, constitutes our – individual – world.


Intelligence is new understanding, that is, to perceive new relations, to build corresponding concepts and association structures, to test and prove them in actual life, and to take them as confirmed, if they harmonize with the successions of perceptions, and otherwise memorize them as inept and review the deviations from the expected, in order to hopefully understand the unexpected course of events, too.

We are not in control of what and when we may, from one moment to the other, newly understand, but it is perpetually given to us. This is not a claim, but rather a hint to the fact, that everybody can try to detect this in her own life.


We can be out to something and achieve it, that is, we can act in such a way that this something is finally going to occur to us. The simple example is, as described above, that, in our sequences of associations, we are having profiles of concepts, in which concepts of action, for example, to sit down on a chair, are so heavily weighted, that these actions are effectively being carried out – and we do sit down on the chair.

Generally, we pursue intentions by carrying forward our goals, plans, and intermediate goals, sufficiently weighted among our concurring profiles of concepts.

The anticipatory association process can be unproblematic. When we are going to enter a shop in order to buy something specific, we know each single step and the whole sequence. We know what we are going to do next, and what we have to expect thereupon.

But, what we are being out to, may also require very many, intricately related, conditional courses of action, for example if we want to build a house. In this case, a great many of virtually unmanageable, particular actions have to be initiated. Still, we may involve professionals, who know how to organize the project, starting with the planning phase, up to the delivery and acceptance, so that we can count on the completion in due time of the house, that we are after.

On the other hand, we have sometimes to be very fast with our associations. For example, in speedy ball games, we have to anticipate, where the ball will end up and where the players are moving to, just in order that we may be able to act according to our intentions at all. For this, we must be up to read the situation and to understand the opponent's way and means to play, in order to know at the soonest, what the opponent prefers to do in this situation, and what we can do for not only holding off, but also attacking, the opponent at some weak point.

And then we may also be out to reach goals, while it is incalculable whether and how we might reach them, for example, a desired career position. Maybe, we know some required or helpful intermediate goals, maybe some opportunities arise, of taking certain steps to bring us nearer to the main goal. Maybe, it is fully open, how we could move on, and we may not have any option other than trying the possibilities at hand. In this case, we have at least to carry along, in our concept profiles, the main goal and the intermediate goals weighted that strongly, that they will, in case of unforeseen opportunities, trigger those actions that will help to advance towards the goals.

This is the very manner, by which our life keeps prevailing against chaos and entropy: we use a kind of mental detent, that allows the "favorable" occurrences to progress the wheel of our life, and that blocks regress through "adverse" occurrences. Progressing is good, not progressing is bad.

By the way, intelligence and intentions are forming a virtuous circle. New understanding can open new action possibilities towards present goals and make new goals achievable. And we can have and pursue the explicit intention to create more possibilities and chances for new understanding, by intensely studying the concept domain in question.

Thinking as a Mode of Acting

Thinking is based on the same structure as acting is. In the same way in which we can, by suitably weighting concepts in profiles, trigger actions, we can also effect that next, or through the next steps, we will associate towards something particular, and thus trigger a possibly long, targeted thinking process.

There are three major types of thinking: (1) simple, targeted associative thinking, (2) free associative thinking, and (3) rational, that is conceptually precise, relational thinking.

Simple Associative Thinking

Simple associative thinking means – from all that occurs to us –

to generate concepts, concept structures, and association sequences, to test and confirm these in the course of life, and thus

to gain a trustable repertoire of understanding and acting –

trustable to such extent that, through its use, we can master our life and enhance its possibilities.

In these processes, we are normally out to something.

Free associative thinking is just the special case, in which we are not out to anything, but rather "openly" let occur to us whatever may come.

Simple associative thinking can be schematically described as follows: for a concept B1, for example lightning, we are having associated a second concept B2, for example thunder, and when we experience B1 preceding B2, we see our association B1->B2 confirmed. On a closer look, the same is happening with concept profiles. That is,

  1. for the weighted profile of concepts P1, that harmonizes with the present situation, we are having associated the next profile P2,

  2. we compare this P2 with the subsequent situation S2, and

  3. accordingly either confirm the association P1->P2, or

  4. weaken it, and add P1->P(S2) to our repertoire as a new possible association.

Rational Thinking

Rational thinking is functioning along association chains in the same way as simple associative thinking, with the key addition that we are permanently and without exception out to stay within certain rules. These rules are strictly relational, that is, limited in a characteristic way to narrow profiles of precisely framed and defined concepts and relations of concepts, and to a set of permitted sequences – logical derivations – of associations. At best, there may be accompanying concepts of what may be intended, and what should, or must, be avoided. Rational thinking is restricted to relational thinking.

Additionally, the point is, starting from proven relations of concepts, to find new proven or provable ones, in other words, to proceed from confirmed truths to new truths. This is the fundamental version of rational thinking, non-verbal and, therefore, not easily described. The prevalent rational thinking is verbal, and we understand it directly and applying common terms: the relations of concepts are our notions, and we use to express them by means of formal or formalizable propositions or assertions. The rules for the progression of associations are here the rules of theoretical and practical predicate logic. Assertions are considered to be true,

(1) if they are, or can be established as, objective, and (2a) if they are provable, or

(2b) if they are open to falsification, but could not be falsified in a single of sufficiently many and comprehensive tests.


Relations are here to be understood simply and safely in the plain mathematical sense: a relation is a subset of a product set. For example: Let H be the set of all humans. Then HxHxH is a product set and consists of all theoretically possible sequences of 3 humans (triples), written as a set { (h1,h2,h3) h1,h2,h3 H }. The relation father-mother-child is a subset of such triples, for which the assertion (the predicate P) is true, that h1 is the father, and h2 the mother of h3. Predicates may be logically related: for example, the truth of the predicate P above implies the truth of the assertion that h1 and h2 are elder than h3; on the other hand, the truth of P can be implied from the truth of an assertion about a corresponding DNA test.


Our notions, when expressed in formal propositions or assertions, we refer to as theories; or as hypotheses, resp., if we want to emphasize, that their truth has not, so far, been confirmed in the sense above.

Theories, as we generally understand them, are structures of thoughts, hence mental structures of mental objects. Theories allow to predict occurrences. They are either provable, or their usefulness depends on the occurrences of facts coming indeed as predicted.

Provable are mathematical theories, in the widest sense. Proofs are here built on top of previous proofs and, therefore, there is an initial set of – unproven – propositions: the axioms. Contrary to necessary conditions in the case of non-provable theories, we can rely here on sufficient conditions. The resulting construct of theories is true in itself, not falsifiable and can, in practice, only be replaced by a new one on the base of a somehow better set of axioms.

In the case of non-provable theories, it is essential that they are, at least, falsifiable, for example, that they are having logical implications such that it is possible to observe, in the external world, under controlled and reproducible conditions, whether the implied really occurs under the preconditions specified by the theory.

Non-falsifiable theories suggest that something was predictable, while its implied consequences can, in principle, not be observable, hence not be confirmable. Non- falsifiable theories can therefore, as a matter of principle, not be true in the sense of the following section.

The Truth of Non-Provable Theories 1

Logical consequences are nothing but "necessary conditions". If, given the preconditions of a theory are fulfilled, there is one single observation in which one single necessary condition of this theory is not fulfilled, then the whole theory is disproved and thus not true. If, in as many pertinent observations as mankind can possibly collect, all necessary conditions are fulfilled, then the theory is insofar confirmed, but the next observation could still disprove it.

Theories can therefore be universally true in the sense that, in principle, every human could, in the external world, reproduce all confirmations, or find new ones. The set of all theories proved, or confirmed in the way above, are constituting our objective "knowledge". It includes the laws of nature. They are true, in the sense described above, as long as their predictions do really happen. They do not at all control the course of the world, but they predict it. Particularly, it is not true that facts are being enforced by the laws of nature.

Actually, the laws of nature depend on the facts, because a single contradicting fact could disprove some of them.

Basic Trust

That, in spite of the finite number of our experiences, and in spite of the finite number of confirmations, we can and do rely upon our "knowledge", results from our basic trust, and this in turn on our experience, that what is happening to us, does not arbitrarily lead us by the nose, but is systematic, and sufficiently dependable to an extent that we can assess.

Accordingly, theoretical "knowledge" is an exaggerated term because, in fact, we do no more than reasonably trust our theories or – if you will – believe in them.

The Truth of Non-Provable Theories 2

At least, we do not blindly believe our theories, but rather only, if we can, or at least could, "see for ourselves", more precisely, if we can reduce them to something more fundamentally true: to that, which we can ourselves perceive in our external world. Our "knowledge" will be true as long as it will not be disproven by our perceptions from the external world, and it is thereby confirmed only to a limited extent, because we can collect no more than a finite number of corresponding perceptions.

The World is Mental

Above, we have already defined our individual world as the aggregate of all association structures that we, personally, can live.

The world can then be defined as the aggregate of all association structures that can, in principle, be lived by some human.

This is not, what people generally mean by "world": the objective world of all that which is being outside and independent of us.

In the first place, we have to record here, that we have determined the external world as the domain of perceptions from our senses. The corresponding concepts occur to us in our world of thoughts and therefore do not belong to the external world, as all association structures of concepts do not. Already the notion, that there are senses on the one hand, and objects on the other hand, from which the senses receive stimuli, is a conceptual construction, hence a theory and by no means a primary given. We are perceiving concepts, and then invent, that, behind these concepts, there be something else, external to, and independent of us. We keep going on even farther: in order to explain relations in the external world, we proceed constructing components like molecules, atoms, elementary particles, etc. We construct quasars, genes, the psyche, Julius Caesar. These are concepts that we could never perceive in our external world. That we imagine them as being in the external world and thereby extend the external world, is a useful construction in many cases. But, philosophically, we are misleading ourselves here. Objects in theories do not exist in the external world proper, that is in the world of our senses, but only in our world of thoughts, part of our inner world.


We have now seen that we can conceive the world as a system of static and dynamic concept structures, that we mostly handle verbally.

A very important relation is that between a concept and the word for it. Both are mental objects and so tightly associated that we use to take them as virtually the same.

Words are concepts on their own. The word "house" does not have any attributes of houses. Firmly associated with a word are its phonetic representations that can be spoken and heard, its writing representations that can be written and read, and the pattern of activity for speaking and for writing the word. Comparatively loosely associated with a word are the concepts meant by the word. Given the word "house", what comes to mind first is a typical house, but there are "infinitely" many types of houses for which the word "house" is precise, or still tolerable. In most cases, the concept associated with a word is not unambiguously defined, but there are many concepts associated likewise, that is, words are normally kind of "wide-angle" and associated with multiple concepts.

Language is essential for rational thinking and for the communication of its contents, and here predominantly formalized language with unambiguous words and associated concepts. In certain domains, formal languages are common, with specific, defined symbols and grammars, for example, for mathematical formulae or for chemical substances and reactions.

Equally well, we are using language for the communication of simple associative thinking. Here the words are just following the associations, and, possibly, the sequence does not matter, for example, when describing situations offering multiple impressions and showing multiple effects. In sequences of words meant poetically, figuratively or metaphorically, the meanings and modes of the words may possibly have to be ignored, as for example, when talking about butterflies in the stomach.

The Growing World

Let us recapitulate: Our individual world consists of proven, static and dynamic, associative structures of concepts, that we can understand, and perform as sequences of actions, that is: that we can live.

Above all, this world is vastly gigantic.

On the one hand, we owe this to our intelligence, and, on the other hand, to our language and, enabled by it, to the communication of association structures, in particular, and to a much greater extent, to the communication of rational thinking and knowledge.

Intelligence we have already defined above as new understanding and confirming. Due to it, our world is growing, as well in new, positive knowledge, as in the knowledge to avoid errors and unsuitable actions.

An important strategy to acquire new understanding is to observe and imitate, or avoid resp., what other humans are doing and how. Every toddler already has this ability and, by using it, makes a lot of progress even before being able to speak. But, also an adult may learn from the boss, how to be a good or bad leader of a group, without any explanations given.

The crucial boost, however, is produced by language. The first learning step of the child is, to repeat the words of the adults, and to connect these words with its already known concepts. Next it is learning – through a lot of corrective feedback – the connections between the words spoken by the adults, and accordingly builds the associations among its own concepts. The child adopts, from its parents and other role models, the obviously proven and dependable association structures, but also those to avoid, altogether: their corresponding world constructions. In this way it constructs important parts of its own individual (initially: external) world.

Collectivization, Culture, the Objective World

This type of replication technique by using language is available to everybody for a lifetime. From all of the environment – from the fellow human beings around as well as from all humans of all times, for example, through their books – we can permanently learn how this and that are related, how to understand it and act accordingly, and then adopt it into our own understanding and options to act. If sufficiently many people are doing this, then they will produce and spread a collective repertoire of understanding and behavior, prevalent and permanently developing: a culture.

In limited groups or regions, people may reproduce and share a great many of association and communication patterns and therefore, in the horizon of the group, harmonize with the members.

For its universal functioning, a culture can by means of ubiquitous harmonization develop objective understanding, that is, knowledge consisting of theories which, in principle, every human can reproduce and confirm as true. Altogether such collectivization produces the objective world, and a global culture.

The conditions for the reproducibility of theories are:

  1. The associations between the words and their corresponding concepts, including the concepts for relations, must be verbally and unambiguously defined.

  2. The rules for deriving implications from theories must be verbally defined and unambiguously formulated.

  3. The associations among words, concepts, and the phenomena from the external world to be observed for possibly confirming the implications, must also be verbally defined and unambiguously formulated.

    Objectivity requires reproducibility, in principle, by all humans, and can only be based on knowledge, and only be developed and maintained using conceptual-relational communication.

    In the same way, a culture can rule behavior through written or unwritten – ethics conventions or laws, and thereby define and enforce collective, or objective, behavior or forbidden behavior, that all members can normally rely upon when acting or being affected.

    In order to build our own world, we are not only bound to our own intelligence, and would, in the end, be left to start from zero and newly live through and try out everything ourselves. Rather we benefit from the collective intelligence of the culture.

    Since the invention of letterpress printing, and more so since the availability of global communication, this is not limited to the directly surrounding culture but, in principle – and as far globalization is operational –, extends over all cultures.

    In actuality, there are restraints, nevertheless. In many respects, Cultures are not heading for something specific, and so, continually, new repertoires of understanding and behavior are being constructed, by which a culture can advance. The reach of these developments is limited, on the one hand naturally, on the other hand intentional, for example, by means of copyrights or patents, or due to political circumstances. Accordingly, local or milieu-based subcultures are coming up and developing, differing in their incompatible irreconcilable repertoires, and even using the differences for demarcation, and thus reducing access to, and copying of, repertoires across the entire culture.

    At the end of these considerations, because rather nobody seems to have it on the radar, we emphasize once more:

    The world has grown, and is growing. Thanks to their intelligence, everybody is contributing by inventing, confirming, and communicating new possibilities of life, and by adopting the thus confirmed and in turn, building on them, producing further new possibilities of life.

    The growth of the individual world is a main feature of individual human Dasein, the mutual facilitation of the growth of the world is a main feature of the collective being of several, or arbitrarily many, humans.

    Transcribed for the individual: Growth of the world is: increasing the possibilities of life. To be out to achieve this, for oneself and for the others, is good. Not to be out to this is not in line with our Dasein, and thus misses beatitude.

    The sense of Dasein is to foster human life – possibilities of human life, and the actual lives of humans.


    So far, we have proceeded quite a long distance, on and near the basics of our Dasein, and we have found lots of structure. We are constructing our world as a structure and can communicate it. On the other hand, we can "see" that our Dasein essentially is: that something is occurring to us. And we can see, that this is absolutely so, without rationale, and independent of the contents and structures of our individual worlds and of the world.

    Dasein is most different from the world. World is constructed, conceptual, relational. Dasein is the most fundamental, a priori, non-conceptual, absolute. The accesses to Dasein and world are mutually exclusive.

    That cannot but have grave consequences, and on the way to unfold them, we resume, in compact form, the results of our preceding considerations.

    The Essence of our Dasein is

Dasein is Not a Concept

The above looks like a description of a structure of our Dasein. What the sequences of words are standing for, is, however, not graspable in terms of concepts. About our "instance", to which something is occurring, we know that we ourselves are being it, but this instance we never perceive, and there is nothing pertaining to it, that we could assert. Equally, no source and no channel are ever occurring to us, from and by which that, which occurs to us, enters our perception; and on top of this, it also means that we cannot tell where the obvious systematics in what occurs to us, is coming from.

We cannot conceive of our Dasein, for it does not occur to us. We only know that we are "here", and that this is absolutely so, as it is.

There is much that can be derived from theories, but not the fundamentals of Dasein, because otherwise they could not be fundamentals. Something derived cannot be fundamental. There cannot be a theory of Dasein, no theory of that which is before all theories.

Communication about Dasein …

If important givens of our Dasein are inconceivable, because they do not occur to us, and if our Dasein cannot be grasped as a structure of concepts, then this puts in question all our wordings above. Can they be true, in any sense? How can we appropriately talk and write about our Dasein?

Regarding these questions we are already quite well prepared. We have already treated above simple associative thinking and the corresponding associative language. With these, we are not restricted to rational, relational structures of concepts, least of all to objectively true ones. Therefore, we can employ associative language for communication about Dasein, by using our commonly available words for causing on the recipient's side, associations aimed at guiding him/her towards, and making him/her somehow "see", what is meant.

If we cannot grasp the instance in our Dasein, to which everything occurs, the we can still use the words I, or Self, or – to differentiate against the Ego – Genuine Self, or Authentic Self,

and even Inner Eye, and then expect that other people recognize the same in their being. Or, if we see that, what is occurring to us, is dependably systematic, and, while we do not know a cause, is such that we can build and grow our lives relying on it, then we can say that, what is occurring to us, is as if coming from an inconceivable but benevolent creator. And then, like with poetry, we can hope, that other humans can see that in the same way.

… Using Approximately Pointing Language

Approximately pointing language using free but targeted associations is the medium of choice for communicating about the non-graspable, absolute, extra-worldly. It consists of sequences of words and can therefore often look like, and thus be mistaken, as concept- relational language, and, in this sense, even be qualified as true or false. This misses the truth claim of approximately pointing language. It must always be taken as if preceded by the prefix "it is, as if", and it is really working, if the recipient is likewise "seeing" what is meant. Therefore, approximatively pointing language cannot be logically challenged, it cannot be based on anything, and nothing can be derived from it, it can neither be proven nor disproven. At best, it can be replaced by some better pointing sequence of words.

If the difference between approximately pointing, free associative communication on the one hand, and conceptual rational communication on the other hand, is so crucial, how can they be safely distinguished.

An example:

In German, there is the colloquialism: "The ceiling is about to fall on my head" and we freely associate that the speaker is suffering from being bound in the house all the time.

But if the speaker continues: "It is already sagging. Some structural engineer should have a look at it" then the meaning changes: There are a cause and a consequence, that is, relations between concepts. Then the sentence with "the ceiling … on my head" is no longer free-associative, but structural, relating concepts.

So, we hereby have a criterion to discriminate between free associative and concept- relational language. Any embedding in a logical relationship proves it as concept- relational.

Let us sum up:

The diagnosis of these few symptoms should already show how consequently Sein und Zeit is fixated on the inner-worldly, and thus completely misses Dasein.

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