For my mini-project, I’ve decided to use the first prompt and apply it’s questions to one of my favorite concepts of existence – perspective. Next to that, I’d like to explain how the relation between the Holdinger piece and perspective is an answer to why we no longer view things, like the Rhine, with the same amount of beauty and grace as it was described with in the hymn. Allow me to explain.
Essentially, we’re looking at how one thing can be assessed, viewed, etc from a technological point of view, vs. how it can be assessed from an artistic, or in my case with perspective, more humanistic point of view. Heidegger, in his work, asked the reader to compare the Rhine in how it is used in today’s society, vs. how it is used in Holderin’s hymn. There are some obvious differences between the two. In Holderin’s hymn, at points the Rhine is spoken of like a human being, and given human traits, in lines such as “his word is a jubilant roar” and “the voice it was of the noblest of rivers, freeborn Rhine…” It seems that in Holderin’s work, the Rhine is a beautiful, almost humanistic being. It has a voice, it has goals – but when compared to today, in it’s current use, it’s just another thing used by humans to fulfill our needs, generate power for us, and so on. It’s another technology that humans have brought to the point of primarily being known and used for our own benefit.
I believe that the comparison between these two – that being Holderin’s piece, and the current use of the Rhine – indicates a lot about how modern technology is created and used, and it relates to the ideology of each of our individual perspectives as I mentioned before. The way these pieces can be compared to the way technological uses have evolved is somewhat obvious. As time has gone on, and industrializing has become more common, often times humans attempt to find the best, most efficient way for technology to work – oftentimes at the sacrifice of it’s beauty, or it’s meaning, or so forth. In this case, the Rhine, once viewed as Holderin has mentioned, as a beautiful, rare part of earth, is now looked at and used as a hydroelectric dam.
This relates to our perspectives now – an important phrase that I learned is that, “Our perspective is our reality.” So, oftentimes, we shape our perspectives to meet our physiological needs so that we can continue to live in some sort of peace. In regards to our perspectives on other things, like the Rhine, we view what was once a beautiful piece of nature as now, just a helpful source of power. The reason behind that, though, is because it is what our perspectives need to live a good life. Our physical technological advancement has been incredibly rapid, but our mental technologies lag behind – we are often too quick to adjust things so that they fit our perspectives, instead of thinking about adjusting our perspectives to see and make the world as a better place.