“Being” and “becoming”: A contrasting analysis
Existentialism emerged in recent centuries as a solution to various metaphysical controversies and a counter argument for various anthropological statements. Metaphysics or ontology is a study of being with special attention towards what a thing or body is on the basis of studying its essence and existence whereas existentialism questions various aspects of one’s existence like “why am I here?”, “why am I so?”,”where is my place?” etc. Themes related to suffering, fate, facticity and authentic living holds important position when it comes to one’s existence.
Being, referring to the grammatical side, would mean an existing state. The word, be-ing is in the present continuous tense, thus beautifully describing the existing present condition. But this word is silent dealing with the potency of a thing. It doesn’t say anything about the future of anything, rather it is more focused ob permanence. What a thing can be is more understood in becoming.
Becoming, looks forward for a future. The word again is in present continuous, implying the permanence and present condition. But here it speaks about the consistency of changes. A being is always subject to changes thus having a new emergence.
The whole human life is a story of becoming. One can find it through his/ her experiences. Each day opens up new ways, each thoughts leads you to various roads. Here, the concept of person is significant. Person is a result of becoming. A human being born and died can’t be described as a person altogether. One, through his interpersonal relations, societal commitments, political responsibility, and self-esteemed dignity gains such a place. This is adorned with qualities of love, hope, subjectivity, justice, rationality, mercy, righteousness etc. Human being becomes a person in such a way. Though often unaware, one develops such qualities atleast partially to some degree thus, not abandoning the stage of being a person.
Implications of becoming
Physiologically, our body undergoes changes every moment. Cells change their positions, chemical compositions in microscopic levels exhibit changes, nervous organs collect and transfer various data though bio-chemicals. Cells multiply, they rip apart and so on. Each moment we find a new body being formed. The body I possess cannot be found the next moment in the same exact way it existed previous moment. Thus in a figurative way, it would be interesting to say that I die every moment and and am born every next moment.
Mentally, a great variety of thoughts pass by our minds. We rationalize and imagine lot of things. Though we may develop a capacity to concentrate on a particular topic, each moment our vivid thoughts bring new and wonderful ideas that are mostly different from the past few thoughts.
We also undergo various changes in our socio-political relations. These changes can vary from person to person and time to time. Spiritual orientations enlighten us with new insights. If there is anything that is permanent in this world, then can be nothing other than change and temporality.
Destiny of becoming
Becoming in itself may not have a fixed destiny. The aim of becoming can be random and multi-directional. But the meaning of becoming becomes authentic when the concept of Being is understood well. Being as we saw is unchanging, ever permanent with no room for improvement or degradation. Such a perfect, necessary and permanent existent is Being, or as I would call God. Every sort of becoming gains its authenticity when it directs towards this Being. Thus from a world of flux one looks towards a truth that remains constant and full. Teilhard de Chardin would opine on evolution, the whole universe marches towards the Omega point, Christ. God is ultimately the destiny where all becoming is focused. Man through his search within discovers his meaning in this path.
Now one may ask whether it would be possible to attain the status of Being. My answer would be no. But then why should we aim for that? It is because in this journey one looks towards a truth, a light. This light shall guide the person to attain his meaning of existing in this cosmos.
Becoming to Being
We started our discussion by understanding becoming more promising than being. And here we conclude by saying every becoming must be aimed towards Being. Thus, one in his journey towards the divine light, finds his hidden meaning being revealed as crystal clear. The One, True, Good and most loveable and loving beauty, Being or God shall enlighten this path.
O light, thy presence brings forth our ways…
Our eyes blinded by the darkness of ignorance and arrogance ….
Shall be washed away by thy light.