Hypocrite Readers of Hamlet, My Brothers

Hypocrite Readers of Hamlet, My Brothers

To be or not to be is to choose an actual existence. It is to remove yourself from the morphology of becoming, to step out of the stream of flux, that of constant and perpetual coming to be. The latter has always been non-being, as close to a primordial nothingness as anything related to annihilation could return us.

To eradicate an overarching and perpetual becoming for an existence that mediates being and becoming together, mutually supporting the opposing force of each against the other without permitting either of them to pull the other apart by its gravity, is a way to be and not to be simultaneously. That is, to become is not to be; to be is not to become, thus the not-not to be we set as the logical complement of being (the double negative of logic herein asserted in contradiction of our grammar).

Being or becoming for any individual life has gravity enough to displace the other. They are not, however, mutually annihilating forces as in matter anti-matter. The latter dichotomy is one of physics; being and becoming are of metaphysics.

Being and becoming, it must be asserted, are able to be controlled and fostered by consciousness. A person’s will in consciousness is both the primary and the final determining factor in how one mediates his or her to be or not to be; not herein one’s suicide, the later being the primary philosophical question for many, but principally a question of ethics, which is not the whole of philosophical enquiry. Herein we are discussing a principal ontological question.

Naturally, I do understand that one’s existence or non-existence will precede all essential values his person will acquire, claim, assert; just as I do understand that to live is to oppose death, even if it is simply to survive one more day when knowing that survival is right up against extinction.

This alleged primary philosophical problem that suicide represents is of inordinate importance, though, because, as Kierkegaard notes, we do not have a purely “conceptual existence,” no, whether I am or not is “decisively important” as our brooding Danish forefather observed.

Being in this world as Hamlet’s to be infers is the first and the last of everything else. Nevertheless, if by our choice of not to be we understand that a condition of perpetual and persistent becoming is also a state of non-being, then in choosing to be in direct counterpoint to any state of becoming would be to deal with Hamlet’s dilemma appropriately. By choosing to be over not to be Hamlet chooses to decide and avoids the passive option of not choosing.

Hamlet’s choice of to be or not to be is to avoid the conditions of the neither, nor; by choosing he makes his selection between being and becoming as in the ways herein outlined, first, by preferring to be, one chooses to act, to assert, to engage choice; the perpetual becoming of Hamlet was his indecisiveness, his delay, his allowing things, events, facts, desires and distortions to unfold perpetually. He lived in the currents of constant flux; there was no fixity of being; only someone awash in the waves of coming to be. So, then, his to be is not only the choice of living, that is, surviving over dying, but one where to be, that is, to exist,as only a human-being exists, is to engage one’s choices, to turn surviving, the not-dying of his to be, into living.

The matter of choice herein the origin of his freedom, his freedom the origin of his existence.


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