A History’s Shadow

Light Projects, 2011

"Being Established in my life, buttressed by my thinking nature, fastened down in the transcendental field which was opened for me by my first perception and in which all absence is merely the obverse of a presence, all silence the modality of the being of sound, I enjoy a sort of ubiquity and theoretical eternity, I feel destined to move in a flow of endless life, neither the beginning nor the end of which I can experience in thought, since it is my living self which always thinks of them and since my life always precedes and survives itself. Yet this same thinking nature which produces in me a superabundance of being, opens the world to me through a perspective, along which there comes to me a feeling of my contingency, the dread of being outstripped,so that,although I do not manage to encompass my death in thought, I never the less live in an atmostsphere of death in general, and there is a kind of essence of death always on the horizon of my thinking. In short just as the instant of my death is a future to which I have no access, so I am necessarily destined never to live through the presence of another to himself. And yet each other person does exist for me as an unchallengable style or setting of co-existence, and my life has a social atmostsphere just as it has a flavour of mortality".

Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception,Routledge and Keagan,1962, page 424.