Muß es sein?

For a long time—possibly since early adolescence—we apparently have assumed that the inexhaustible ground at which we aim (think of all of the various directions in which we aim) must be some thing, something that “exists,” that is, that bes (sic, that’s ‘be’ with an ‘s’).  Somewhere, buried in the detritus in our home, is an old notebook in which we wrote (at age 20ish) that when we composed songs we were not really creating them, but discovering them.

We were Plato, though we did not yet know much of anything about him.  Platonic Forms are the model in the academic argot that we have since taken up, and so most recently it has taken the form of wondering if we must be Platonist.

Muß es sein?” (Must it be?) writes Beethoven on the manuscript of the opus 135 string quartet (no. 16).  His answer in the quartet is yes, it must be.

But we listen to that quartet through a medium that might pop, crackle, or skip, and we aim beyond its qualities…

“Aiming” seems to suggest a target to hit, a hitting of the target that is, at some point, a fait accompli.

Must it be?

Must the aiming have an end (a time at which it is finished) in order to have an end (telos)?

Or, is aiming always already “at its end” insofar as it is always an aiming at…?

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