Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reflections: The Verb "To Be"

Most people have seen all of the below, but perhaps not all in one place, at one time, and considered in conjunction. So, mix 'em, match 'em, trade 'em with your friends:

I am that I am.

Tat tvam asi.*

The Tao of which one can speak is not the true Tao.

Before Abraham was, I am.

Existence precedes essence.

The world is all that is the case.
*Thou art that.


jb said...

Je suis un autre

I am an other.
Il est un autre.
He is an other.


I am very behind in my reading, but I think (Je pense, donc je suis, or Cogito, ergo sum)a correction is in order.

Rodak said...


"Je est un autre" is a formulation of the French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. The syntax is deliberately skewed, I think to indicate that Rimbaud considered the poet to be "another" even in being himself.

I should have included the "Cogito ergo sum" in the list, however. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

jb said...

If I'd done a google search first...


Rodak said...

I thought it would be just clever as hell to stick that up there instead of "About Me".
Incidentally, I tried to do a google search on the phrase itself, in hopes that I could show you something specific about it. But I had no luck in finding something concise (and in English.)

jb said...


I did the search in French and muddled through a little of it. The "translate this page into English" option provided total gibberish. I wanted to see if their was any comment on word play i.e. Je est would be heard as geste or jest. I am pondering.

Rodak said...

If you discover anything conclusive and/or interesting, please let me know. I always figured it was part of Rimbaud's project of deliberately "disordering the senses"--in this case by being simultaneously subject and object.