Friday, January 14, 2005

.:Today’s LSS:.

While I’m a HUGE fan of Gary Valenciano, I can’t help but feel he bastardized this song. Nonetheless, refer to the heading “The Others” in this post to know why this is my LSS for the day…

How Did You Know
by Chiqui Pineda

I remember so well
The day that you came into my life
You asked for my name
You had the most beautiful smile

My life started to change
I'd wake up each day feeling alright
With you right by my side
Makes me feel things will work out just fine


How did you know
I needed someone like you in my life
That there's an empty space in my heart
You came at the right time in my life

I'll never forget
How you brought the sun to shine in my life
And took all the worries and fears that I had
I guess what I'm really trying to say
It's not everyday that someone like you comes my way
No words can express how much I love you

(Repeat Chorus)

.:It's Been Great:.

Ran into *jaded* yesterday, and I must say that I was glad that I did. It's been a while since I met her, and she's been a really great conversation, even though it lasted for just a few minutes.

Sacha has also been nice to me online. She gave me a good site to consult in case I get stumped here and there trying to translate some words from English to Filipino.

Met an old classmate of mine in Chinese Philosophy, Len Go, while I was on my way home after Levinas class. She was on her way to Gateway Mall. Interestingly enough, she wanted to watch Kung-Fu Hustle. Just about everyone I know wants to watch it. Even Ces, who apparently had new braces.

Interestingly, I've been in touch with that WAVE listener who recognized my voice from Radio 1, and today's Hot 10 was likewise very interesting... let's just say that people seem to be very good at the "Hot 10 things to say to someone with a broken heart"...

Levinas class was fun. My classmates are beginning to notice my fondness for balut, and they agreed with me that removing ellipses from Book 5 of Harry Potter would've cut the page count by 200... ;)


While talking to her last night, Ces was a bit careless while bending down to pick up her bag after class...

Marcelle: Uhh... Ces?

Ces: Yes?

Marcelle: ::motions to cover his chest::

Ces: Oh. Thank you. There's nothing to see, anyway.

Marcelle: I wouldn't know...

.:The Others:.

Being schooled in Heidegger the previous semester, it was quite a leap for me to suddenly listen to Emmanuel Levinas, who seems to be clashing head-on with Heidegger's philosophy, particularly in his focus on the other instead of the self, which is Heidegger's crux, for the most part.

Ironically, what I really wanted to write about since last year will have to wait, as I still can't find the strength to go about it. This, however, is equally insightful.

What is the deal with giving so much premium to the other, to begin with? What have they done that merits them such regard? Why in Hades are we responsible for them, to begin with? While we were talking about the nature of the other, and how we encounter them through time not in a continuous line from past to present to future, it became clear that Levinas saw time as a pulse. This pulse is an instant in the present, that is separate from the past and the future, but still connected, nonetheless. Levinas furthermore likens the future to both a threat and a promise: a threat for what harm may come, and a promise of redemption.

Redemption from what? What are we to redeem ourselves from? Levinas makes it clear that we do become redeemed from our solitude. Moreover, we realize that the other is the other insofar as we do not control the other. Regardless if this is the personal Other, or simply the object other, we do not fully control the other, especially not the Other.

Yet why does it seem to be the case that despite not being able to control the Other, the Other still seems to impose, or to sound less negative, contribute so much to our being? From everything we do, we are clearly never fully “self-made”. It is simply impossible, and quite almost an oxymoron, in fact.

This reminds me of that Chiqui Pineda song, “How Did You Know?” While the song may sound overtly sappy, the removal of the romantic overtones of the song spell out a clear message: a call to the Other, thanking the Other for doing what the Other does in our life, whether good or bad, and asking the Other, “How did you know/I needed someone like you in my life?”

Whether or not we would like to admit it, the Other is needed in our lives, not in the sense that we would die without the Other, but because we desire to be with the Other, in varying capacities, though it may be.

The fact that we do not control the Other, yet the Other is capable of coming “in my life at the right time” for the most part, is what makes the Other special. That led me to my second point when I made a comment to Dr. Garcia: we are responsible for the Other because truly, we don't deserve anything that we get, good or bad.

In the most crass of ways, and I know I talked about this just the other day and some time before that, even, we know that we never merited our existence. Anything we get, good or bad, is irrelevant when contrasted to the fact that we have never done anything prior to our existence (Well, duh, unless you believe in reincarnation, and even then...) to merit it. It is as though life is a handing to us of a “capital”, a capital that we never earned, yet we spend it as best as we could as though it were our own. Of course there will be obstacles or perhaps other people who will keep you from maximizing your capital, but you see, whether you lose all of it or get a thousandfold, you never deserved that capital to begin with.

That being said, I have to credit that notion to Dr. Barbazza. It was he who pointed out to me that I have no right to assume that just because I exist, then the world owes me something. Nor do I have the right to ask God why he cannot make this or that better for me or for anyone. A man may say to the universe that “Sir, I exist,” but the universe could very well reply, “Yes, you do. But that has not created in me a sense of obligation.”

My responsibility to the Other comes from the mere fact that while I realize I can never earn the capital that was bestowed upon me, my obligation to the Other is the least I can do to somehow “pay it forward”, for clearly, I cannot truly pay it back to the ultimate source of this capital. This is precisely why we are responsible to the Other.

At the very least, your parents were Others who brought you into existence, regardless if it may have been in the backseat of a car, or it may have been in Italy.

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