Thrownness* (Part i)

Thrownness* (Part i)

*(German: Geworfenheit)

One of the most enlightened moments I have ever had was when I recently opened a large notebook, which I have slowly been filling up with ideas, scribbles and the occasional quotes of inspiration over the years. There was a page with a paragraph or two by a writer I now wish I had remembered the name of. The topic was “On Thrownness”, and the concept was explained as follows:

“We have all been “thrown” into this world through no choice of our own. Yet, any physicist will tell you that by the simple addition of your energy to the mix of things in this universe, nothing will ever be the same again!”

Think about it; you have changed everything just by being here.


Now that is an amazing thought to begin with, but it gets better…

Right now, we all live in the most promising time of all. Why? Because it is the only time we have. How could we view it as anything BUT promising?


Although there are a lot of things we cannot choose, such as family, school and politics – perhaps even friends are “givens” in the bigger picture of our lives. These are the EVENTS that fix the mythology of our terrain: religion, beliefs.

But what we often do not understand is that these things that so implicitly bind us, are only correct for the TIME and PLACE we were “thrown” into. In other words, if we had been “thrown” into any other time or place, our events may have caused us to have a completely different set of rules.

Now by the time I was reading this, a major “ah-hah!” alarm bell was already going off. And ever since, I have tried to remind myself as often as I could, that everything I know to be true could just be my imagination. Make sense?


German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, first introduced the concept of Thrownness. Wikipedia sums it up like this:

“Thrownness describes the interactions of the subject with its surroundings in the everyday life, that causes it to act upon instincts, immediate reactions to other people’s language and actions, ‘flow with the situation, and immediate interpretations.”

Now it gets tricky from there on in, because Heidegger further suggests that to “not act” is also an action and after that he just loses me!

But my understanding of the long and the short of it all is that it is TIME and PLACE which create the EVENTS of our lives; and these events are only OUR REALITY, not necessarily THE REALITY.

Which reality are you going to choose to go with today?

Happy Friday!


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