There is a distinction between existence and being; for the former is something which merely “is”, and over which one has no control over, or the capacity of which to have any input; while the latter is the composite of the essence of who we are — the coalescence of one’s past, present, and future potentiality.
Heidegger’s life work encompassed the attempt to describe the search for being, the revelatory recognition of it, and the systematic approach to unravelling the hidden fullness of being. It is the difference between going through the motions, and living an authentic life.
That is how Federal and Postal employees often feel just before contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS — for the state of merely existing in order to trudge to work, in order to “get through the day”, only to return home, to sleep, to struggle, to regain one’s strength, energy and stamina for a reserve to be depleted for another day of work; such a process describes an existence, not a state of being.
That is also why scams and “get-rich-quick” schemes continue to successfully con so many — because most people consider themselves merely in a state of existence, waiting to be saved for a life of being, but mistake the conversion from the former to the latter as dependent and reliant upon more money, greater acquisition of wealth, and accumulation of property. But it is good health and the ability to be pain-free, which forms the foundation for a true state of being.
Disability Retirement for the Federal or Postal Worker is a means of attaining a state of being where rehabilitation and escape from the treadmill of progressive deterioration is possible. That bifurcation which Heidegger attempted to describe — between a state of mere existence, and the lifting of the veil upon Being — should be seriously considered.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire