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Bon Anthony B. delos Reyes

Department of Philosophy and Humanities
Polytechnic University of the Philippines—Manila

It is remarkable how man has been a subject for philosophical scrutiny,

even its prolific existence that espoused a lot of things that contributed to its
development and to its relation to the world. However, it is with the ascent of
reason that man was preoccupied to identify it-self; thus rendering a
forgetting to what it is, contrary to what the romantic man presupposes, what
it ought to be. With regards to this, it is needful to probe on the subject ‘man’
not alone through the lens of rationality but also in its very subjectivity and its

Charles Bigger in his book Between Chora and the Good: Metaphor’s
Metaphysical Neighborhood claimed that what Jacques Derrida says about
chora1 and its dialectic that oscillates between participation and exclusion could
also be said as the soul or life2. This soul or life may refer to the human person
and its subjective self. This self which is a subjective project of the human
person is that which is given to its own, and that which cannot be grasped by
any person apart from himself. The self is the seat of man’s prolific thoughts
that espouses love, freedom, and ideas of peace, of solidarity, and joy. It is the

Etymologically, the term chora is derived from the Ancient Greeks that is designated to
the territory of the polis outside the city walls. In Timaeus, Plato used such term as a
representation of a receptacle, a space, or an interval. Heidegger also used this term to refer to a
clearing in which being happens or takes place. However, the term chora that appears in this
paper is that which was coined by Jacques Derrida to refer to a radical otherness that gives place
for being. It is chora that gives space, like that of a womb.
Charles Bigger, Between Chora and the Good: Metaphor’s Metaphysical Neighborhood
p. 370

picture of man’s ardent existence as a reverberation of its articulate

interconnectedness with other what-is available around it, including the
abiotic ones. Without the realization of the self, there can be no realization of
the soul, or of life, or even inter-being. As the self is the point of departure for
man’s both philosophical and non-philosophical expressions of its
subjectivity, it is rightful to look at the self as a situation to grasp the moment
of its existence in order to know what man is and what man is not.

Man in the language of his subjectivity is an aesthetic self that gives place
for it-self to become. His existence as a situation of his becoming eventually
eradicates the prison bars of reason that he has constructed around itself of
which we may refer to as identity. It is because of this identity that the human
person has forgotten3 that there is such a place outside the city walls, an event
for freedom and a moment to express the most articulate man it wants to be
regardless that at the end of the day, it will go back inside the city. As man is
preoccupied to identify it-self, it ceases to realize the beauty of what it is
looking. The human person willingly suppresses the subjective self in order to
act with accord to the institutions of thought and practice it has built thus
limiting the possibility to be. Man attached itself to reason, logic, e.g., and
made these ideologically-instituted mode of thinking as a foundation of its

The term forgotten (forget) as used in this paper refers to the act of un-remembering.
This act of un-remembering as Francisco Guerrero puts it is the human preoccupation to deduce
the articulate human subjectivity into the limits of reason in order to project an identity
acceptable to the institutions (political and social system, e.g.) it has created. He also adds to this
that this act to forget (un-remembering) is the preliminary requirement in order to be a corporate
slave which he dubbed as a situation of subtle stupefication which un-develops the human

identity. With these, man did not really identified it-self; rather, it created a
maze where the endpoint is forgotten.

It would be beneficial for man to go to chora, to dive into that which

gives place for being to take place. However, in order to do so, man is required
to go beyond the cliffs of reason and formal thinking to grasp the moment of
making a decision to dive over the ocean of situation of which we may refer to
as existence. For the human person to give-in it-self for the being man to take
place, it needs to get out of the city walls and experience the vastness of the
possibilities and the beautiful whereabouts of who really it is.

Man’s existence is a symposium of being where the subjective human

self is a subject and an object, inter-changing, inter-being, and inter-becoming.

Fabas indulcet fames.