On the meaning of ‘is’ Part I

Anyone can see that “runs” and “running” are the same word; but “is” and “being” have the same relation. The wild irregularity of the verb “to be” (am, are, is, being, to be, be, was, were, been) hides relations that should be more apparent, and which are more apparent in other verbs.

Properly speaking, we can never learn what being is; for all learning is a certain transition from not knowing something to knowing it- but we already know what being is before we ask about it, because to ask about being means to ask what it is (the case is similar with the word “meaning” and “mean” in the sense of signifying). Being is already known in a way that no other concept is. Who does not understand what “dilatoriness” is can understand it at least in potency- and he can have it explained to him in a way that doesn’t require him to actually understand the word itself or any of its roots, like “dilatory”; but whoever does not have some actual understanding of being cannot ever ask what it is. If the verb were not so irregular, the previous sentence would be an obvious tautology.

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