So Sorry; After the Fall

Ich und du; aber
Du bist "ich" und
Ich bin "du."
She who comes from nothing
And likewise dissolves
Into naught, distributed
Unequally (like a comet trail in space).
Not even such dignity as that,
If thou exist not for I,
Then thou never wert at all.

"we are for each other." The riddle at the heart of being is the autonomous man and the situated self: I am as I am, but I am for you also, in that I exist for you in a particular way, composed by you in your mind and bound up in a concept. It is, shall we say, your particular nominal essence of me. cummings wrote of love, or at least of feeling, and perhaps did not mean any such philosophical observation. Even so, the observation holds.

What happens when you are for me, but I am not for you? Then only one of us exists, and the other remains bound. There can be no mutually life-giving relationship between a person and an inanimate object. It is the slow starvation of a soul, through refusal to acknowledge its independently valuable existence. The two part ways, and that, itself, is a death in the ending.

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