Posted on November 23, 2008 in consciousness

As I was watching the new Del Toro film on dvd, Hell Boy II: The Golden Army, it was impossible not to think of a riff on Heidegger’s writings wherein the status of the human (and presumably the constitution of the perception of not only our being/ontology but those forces which escape us and yet somehow still seem to participate in our formation) was to proceed from gods (in terms of, e.g., ancient Greece/Rome), then in medeval times to creatures, then to modernist abstractions of fields of force. Somehow that tripartite series I attribute to Hubert Dreyfus. In searching for that movement, I came across the Dreyfus website, an article on Heidegger and Foucault, which I think addresses at least the latter part of the declension (I use ‘declension’ purposely but as a more ambiguous term than simply deterioration or degradation – though perhaps there is that – but also in this sense of the dictionary: a bending, sloping, or moving downward: land with a gentle declension toward the sea, keeping in mind Foucault’s declining nature of the human face as it is washed away at the edge of the ocean in The Order of things):

The history of being gives Heidegger a perspective from which to understand how in our modern world things have been turned into objects. Foucault transforms Heidegger’s focus on things to a focus on selves and how they became subjects.

And yet. our tech seems intent on reviving all manner of creatures. And for that matter, for the subject, and consciousness, to become another species of matter, the great death drive of the human, if we can be some Freudian about it for a sec.m meeting up with the great ‘yearning’ of matter to become conscious.