Sometimes, the horror of the real overwhelms. The ability to be for-the-other dissipates and living in the world becomes difficult. Though this is not a necessary response to the real; the nausea, the fear, it can happen.

What can be done? If the possibility of the transcendent/immanent being is gone, temporarily, then, perhaps, being in the world has to go too, for a short while. This is not to speak of dying – though it can be used as a metaphor – but as abstraction, retreat.

it is not that there is any particular benefit in retreat, though this too is possible. It is that if there can be no moral presence, no accepting of the other, then the other should be avoided, for their sakes. When in the inauthentic condition of appropriative interaction we can only damage others and ourselves. This is why retreat may be needed.

And the language changes; the simple words become impossible and instead a complex web of metaphor and ambiguity replaces it, acting as insulation and the self’s own cry of ‘do not kill me’.

There are times when there is nothing to be heard, no clarity. At these times, even words become problems.

Be loved.

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