(Wooden sculpture by Thomas Rees, Freiburg-Kappel on the way to Kammelenberg, above lovely Kappel)
The Silence of Existence I (Satis Shroff)
Plato once said:
‘Megala panta episphale,’
Destined to fall,
This was Plato’s philosophic answer
To the tyrant Syracus,
Who was doomed to fail.
But why did I follow
And took them
To a heroic sturm-and-drang?
It is true,
I sympathised with the inner truth
Of the National Socialism,
For a short while.
But this short episode cost me
My very existence.
The human being has to grow big
In his own self,
In order to see big movements
And to be aware of it.
I came from a small family,
Didn’t want to be involved
In petty matters,
Donning the mantle
Of stubbornness and refusing
To accept new challenges.
I wanted to understand
The secrets of powerful men,
To ultimately be a part of them.
But in the course of time,
The powerful persons for which I yearned,
Changed their countenances.
My philosophic thoughts
Dwelled on my homeland,
The German folk,
Original thought and great poetry.
Towards the end came the planetary technology,
Which grew big.
My works of philosophy
Went through the illusions and catastrophies
Of the 20th century.
All striving for greatness
Leads to downfall.
At the beginning of the war
The German nationalism was awakened.
The people were collectively enthusiastic,
Hitting us all,
Like a tidal wave.
I didn’t care much
About what was happening
In my thoughts I was living,
Thinking about people in the Middle Ages.
I was following a metaphysical imperative.
In the battlefield of Verdun,
Half a million soldiers perished.
But I was disappointed
For I didn’t get a professorship
At the University of Freiburg.
The Führer once wanted to be an artist.
I wanted to be a priest
The Jesuits and the Catholics in Freiburg
Turned me down.
Similar to Friedrich Nietzsche’s
Forty-year old Zarathustra,
Who after ten years of solitude
In his mountain cave,
Went down to the humans,
To teach them the incredibility
The meaning of their being,
I also wanted to reveal and teach
The essentials of human existence,
Which deals with one’s own being.
For the world of being or Sein,
Is not only the self-world,
But also the world of togetherness,
In which the being-in
Is always the being-together.
Existence is threatened by anxiety,
Behind which lies
The temporality of existence.
The aim of philosophyIs to listen to the silence of existence.