In his 1944 seminar on Heraclitus Heidegger advances the notions of essential thinking and conventional thinking. I think both notions, or their polarity, must be understood as part of a long process one of whose hallmarks is the departure from the framework provided by Being and Time (1927), in which a crucial segment of their genealogy appears under the terms Eigentlichkeit and Uneigentlichkeit, translated some times as “authenticity” and “inauthenticity.” Their replacement with “essential” and “conventional” thinking in 1944 is itself part of a long process that might lead to as far as “On Time and Being” and the need simultaneously, if that is the right word (it probably is not), to think the “Es gibt” of be-ing and the “Es gibt” of time. The taking-place of be-ing and the taking place of time and also the taking-place of place itself. To this extent these things must be connected to the Greek notion of the Khora, particularly developed, albeit enigmatically, in Plato’s Timaeus, but also mentioned by Heraclitus (the 1944 seminars includes some thoughts on the Heraclitean khora). (Later on the khora would be identified with matter, hyle, in the Aristotelian tradition, but probably wrongly, to the extent that the khora is a triton genos, a third kind of being.) Derrida published an article in 1976 about it, entitled “Khora,” but it is an inconclusive essay, probably part of a seminar (I have not done the proper research to determine it, but the essay sounds like a part of a larger whole).
One must think, then, on the opportunity to think the khora as the uncanny gift without giver that at the same time makes possible and impossible the opportunity for essential thinking, or for carrying it to its end. There is a limit to essential thinking, which is the necessary concealment warranted by an inescapable structure: essential thinking cannot think beyond the taking-place of thought, and yet that is what needs to be thought.
The question that intrigues me is whether such a possibility is fulfilled or interrupted by poetry. I assume that discursive thinking, the kind of thinking we may associate with philosophical reflection, at least with philosophical writing, cannot get to it. So poetry is the only modality.
In What Is Philosophy? Giorgio Agamben suggests something else: music. There would be a museicological (Museic, from the Muse, or from the Mother of the Muses, Mnemosyne) approach to thinking the khora as what is most worthy of thought. For Agamben, such a museicological path is at the same time the fulfilment and the interruption of philosophy, as far as I can tell. It is unclear to me how poetry and music would relate to each other at this juncture.
But thinking fulfilllment and interruption at the same time, if that is the right phrase (and it probably is not), is not an easy task.
Heidegger proposed Ereignis as the advent of a historical possibility for thought. Given its connection with “eigen” the word is often dismissed, particularly in the texts of Derrida and the deconstructionists, as intolerably contaminated by the notions of property and propriety. It may be time to get rid of such obstacle to thought–the deconstructive prohibition to think propriation.
At the end of On Time and Being the notion of Enteignis, to be translated as Disappropriation, comes to supplement Ereignis.
I wonder whether the play Ereignis-Enteignis could be a version of the game of fulfillment and interruption. We could talk about an uncanny propriation in the khora as the contemporary limit of thought. Of a certain kind of thought, obviously banned by common sense, obviously disadvised to worthy doctoral candidates and assistant professors. But nevertheless. And I wonder whether it is also a form of imperative thought, in the Eckhartian-Schürmanian sense: something that, no matter its unadvisability or its danger, one has no choice about.