Unconcealment (Part Two)

Continued from Part One:



If we look at the way human societies within the ever-expanding circle of the WEIRD[1] civilisation are structured and then analyse these structures according to their facilitating Unconcealment, we see that quite the opposite to purposiveness is taking place.

In order to Unconceal one must have the time to do so. Nevertheless, economies do not allow us that time as most of us are expected to work at least eight hours a day in order to get acceptable salaries. Eight hours maybe only half of our waking life, but after the time spent commuting to and from the work, our domestic chores, and our social life, one is left little time to be creative or philosophic in the unconcealing (purposive) field of life. Neither does civilisation encourage its subjects to be purposive. Free time is meant for consumers (workers turned into consumers) whilst purposive people would be too busy with reading or writing books, creating art, or just trying to think outside the box, to be concerned about something so trivial and vulgar as spending money. To keep us within the restraints of its paradigm, therefore, WEIRD civilisation encourages us to relax ourselves and relieve our creative instincts in front of the TV. The television is the perfect tranquiliser, it rests our minds and unconcealing instincts.


We regard the power to unconceal as a human virtue, and, like all virtues, one that needs to be nourished if it is to bloom. Especially as the status quo of the WEIRD world is to ferment an interest in that which can be sold rather than in that which can be enlightening, mind-changing, thought provoking and/or challenging.


Unconcealing is only ever a short-term aim and never an end in itself. Once the Universe was unconcealed by conscious awareness it became a beautiful problem. The unconcealing, once started, immediately became a continual process. Reality is complex, unfathomable, impossible to really grasp – like Heraclitus’ river, it flows around us, constantly changing as long as we are prepared to dedicate some time to unconcealing it.


Unconcealing is related to truth in a material sense, in that to unconceal something is to become aware that something exists, and that the truth of things depends on whether they exist or not. The opposite of truth is lies, and lies are therefore related to concealing. Between lies and truths are beliefs – which are assumptions of the existence of certain possible entities that have not properly been unconcealed.

Heidegger would probably have added here that Unconcealment alone is not close enough to truth to pair them, and that Unconcealment has to uncover a correspondence between the linguistic proposition we make about a phenomenon and the actual phenomenon itself.


This reminds us that Unconcealment, as far as it is a human, homo sapiens procedure, is a primarily linguistic process. We unconceal things by naming them and describing them, but truth depends on the accuracy and faithfulness of that description. In a sense, language is a kind of technology, and, likewise, the technological process of taking a photo or painting a picture is also a kind of linguistic process. They are certainly methods of unconcealing things.

No one knows better than the artists how difficult it is to unconceal the truth of an object or a matter. Ironically, truth in art can best be expressed by concealing it rather than unconcealing it. Truth is often buried and hidden. It lurks in the subconscious and often seems happier to remain in hiding than to be revealed. Alluding to Nietzsche, we could say that this encourages the idea that truth is shy and easily embarrassed. It does not stand well on the open stage and prefers to linger in the wings. Because of this, unconcealing has to be a process of deciphering – which has always been dangerous and often leads to erroneous interpretations.


But truth and Being are not inseparable ingredients. Being is what is Unconcealed: on the most basic level of Being it is the entity that corresponds to the image the conscious subject has of it. On another level of Being, it is the object that corresponds to the name or definition that it is given.

The process of Unconcealment proves the object to the subject as real. The still-concealed-but-believed relies on faith to make it real. The concealed might exist, or it might not. Imagination is positive when it can be channelled creatively into the realm of artistic concealment, but it is also dangerous when belief is accompanied by an imagined correspondence with an illusion, or if Unconcealment takes place before a solitary figure who is lone witness to a unique event. For Unconcealment to be meaningful in society, it has to have a correspondence that is witnessed and shared by a group large enough, or convincing enough to make the Unconcealment valid for everyone – or at least the majority. Such Unconcealments are valid until proven wrong. When this happens, we see that the Unconcealment of something can prove a falseness about the entity or proposition that may push it away into concealment again or reduce it to the condition of mere belief.

See Part Three: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2020/04/27/unconcealment-part-three-transparency-vs-gossip/     

See Part One: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/pauladkin.wordpress.com/3342

[1] Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic

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