Jeopardized and Jeopardizing

As we attempt to analyze dialogue as a human phenomenon, we discover something which is the essence of dialogue itself: the word. But the word is more than just an instrument which makes dialogue possible; accordingly, we must seek its constitutive elements. Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed—even in part—the other immediately suffers. There is no true word that is not at the same time a praxis. Thus, to speak a true word is to transform the world… Human existence cannot be Silent, nor can it be nourished by false words, but only by true words, with which men and women transform the world. To exist, humanly, is to name the world, to change it. Once named, the world in its turn reappears to the nam-ers as a problem and requires of them a new naming. Human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action-reflection…”

Paulo FreireThe Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Chap. 3, p. 87)

Dialog, 1977. Rudolf Bonvie

“The fact that I must fight in this communication may shake me more than death, suffering, and outward force, because it strikes at the source of the phenomenon of self-being. I would like to be sheltered in quiet love, to be relieved of the process of questioning, to have the right of unconditional acceptance and affirmation regarding the other as well as regarding myself.

But existential love in time is not a permanent state of souls shining calmly upon one another. A moment may have this character, but if it were drawn out into a state of things in time, it would be depleted into a wallowing in misunderstood emotions-misunderstood because the reality of existing human beings would be covered up. Love is not a possession I can reckon with. I have to wrestle with myself and with the other’s beloved Existenz (self-realization), without resorting to violence, but jeopardized and jeopardizing.”

Karl Jaspers, Philosophie (Vol 2, p. 214)


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