"What gets said in the call of conscience? Heidegger is crystal clear: like Cordelia in King Lear, nothing is said. The call of conscience is silent. It contains no instructions or advice. In order to understand this, it is important to grasp that, for Heidegger, inauthentic life is characterised by chatter – for example, the ever-ambiguous hubbub of the blogosphere. Conscience calls Dasein back from this chatter silently. It has the character of what Heidegger calls "reticence" (Verschwiegenheit), which is the privileged mode of language in Heidegger. So, the call of conscience is a silent call that silences the chatter of the world and brings me back to myself."

Simon Critchley, Being and Time, part 7: Conscience, at the Guardian

It seems true; I am at my inauthentic best when I am immersed in and driven by the clamor of life, both online and offline.


Freya said…
Interesting and true - I'm glad you mentioned this blog, I've been reading some Heidegger lately. Thanks, I always enjoy you blog, keep it coming!
Anonymous said…
Interesting post.

It is right that the call of the conscience is silent. But it's not really that it contains no instructions or advice. Au contraire, it is the chatter that might be rightly said to contain no instruction or advice. And yet we constantly prefer it to the instructive silence - perhaps because of human sphexishness. Conscience, in a larger sense, may not be noisy but it does give us directions or advice in its own calm way. It's silence is full of certitude and power and the actions derived from this energetic silence are more productive and efficient because we do not err. A conscience that 'brings me back to myself', I believe, must do so through decisive signposts of inner knowledge. Not without nothing - as the article says.

Also, upon reading the post the first thought that came to my mind was that this 'conscience' was so much like the psychic being of Integral Yoga. The Mother also said something similar:

X: What is the difference between the voice of the mental
Purusha and the voice that comes from the depths of the
heart, the psychic voice?

The Mother: The psychic voice is silent — it manifests in the form of an
understanding or knowledge rather than in words.