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stand in
september 26, 2010

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One stands in Time... The emigration of Jewish intellectuals before WWII included a couple of German phenomenologists, also MDs, who became staff in the Department of Psychiatry at a Veterans Administration Hospital, including Dr. Erwin Straus, a student and friend of Edmund Husserl. Early 1970, he was a guest one day in a graduate seminar on political phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty and related others) that I was attending.

I was deeply affected by the ongoing civil rights movement (my True Love girlfriend headed for law school, to change the world; I, to grad school in political philosophy with the last American student to study under the Hungarian Marxist György Lukács before Lukács died), intensely identifying with the anti-war movement (to my mind at theoretical heights of “Praxis”), and just prior to the Kent State University event that inflamed the anti-war movement (including, at my university among many, burning down the ROTC building)....

Dr. Straus was then a very old man, his unsteady standing to speak unsurprising. Yet, he was also performing the stand, absorbed in being seen to stand (not having as much difficulty as one might have perceived), as the theme of standing echoed for him our eonic species Event of coming to prevalently stand in the African forest and in savannahs (evolving minds destining themselves for diasporas), as well as expressing the existentially profound experience a baby embodies when it thrills in standing to step forward—and fall, and stand again.

We stand for who we are. We take stands.

We stand suffering around us by standing for futures where suffering is much less, if not mere history. If only suffering were, any longer, mere history.

Anyway...

 



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