The origin of negation

When we go about the world, we have expectations which are often not fulfilled. For example, I go to meet an old friend. I imagine that he will be happy to see me after all these years and that we chat for hours sharing about our lives. I go there and I find that he doesn’t recognize me at all. At that moment my friend begins to appear to me as ‘not-him’. All of a sudden the ‘being’ of my friend has become the ‘non-being of the friend from my expectation’. Everything about him will be reflecting that non-being.

So as Sartre claims in his book on ‘Being and Nothingness‘ – “It is evident that non-being always appears within the limits of a human expectation.”

Non-being is an illusion because it occurs only in the consciousness of an individual. The world always consists of beings. Our conversations about the world creates non-beings and bring them about as realities in our lives. Non-beings create a weak relationship with reality for us – by that I mean reality consists of beings, but my expectations create non-beings. Hence I end up dealing with the unreal non-beings in addition to the beings. Overtime I would have created sufficient non-beings to occupy my time and energy; that I would be disconnected from the beings in the world. I am living inside of an illusion, so to speak!

I am thinking of all the conversations I have in my mind about – ‘this should not have happened’, ‘he/she should not have said this/that’, ‘I should not have done that’, ‘I should have waited a bit more before committing to this/that project’, etc… All of these conversations (though valid) create non-beings. And I can notice how much energy and time I am spending on those. “It is evident that non-being always appears within the limits of a human expectation.” – this is giving me yet another view of life.

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