Letter from Józef Tischner written 28.04.1966

Cracow, 28/4/1966



Honoured Professor,

Thank you very much for the news from Rabka. Well, I took the lectures on ethics from the prepared location immediately on Monday. I’m reading them at this moment in bits and I’m already on the second. I’m going to try to increase the pace to the point that I’ll have them behind me within the next two weeks. However, I am in quite serious trouble, because I don’t know whether I can say anything intelligent about them.
Tomorrow I intend to visit the passport office for the second time and submit a second passport application. Apparently there’s a chance I’ll get it. I’m afraid only that during the holidays in the Archives I’ll find the door locked. Hence the problem as to whether to possibly go immediately after receiving a passport, or wait until the holidays. Of course, the problem is hypothetical at the moment, because I don’t have the passport. And perhaps I won’t have it at all.
Here, a bit of a fever prevails over the celebrations of 8 May. Seminary professors are supposed to carry relics during the procession. These are supposed to include the relics of St John Cantius, apparently the head – but in sacral terms it’s all one, head or hand. Considered logically, this honourable function should be carried out by professor-prelates, at least, but they, in a completely incomprehensible manner, have managed to get themselves out of it. Therefore, it seems that this ‘honour’ will fall to me as well. I’m in serious trouble, because nobody wants to understand that I’m not made for it … Others have still other problems in connection with the celebrations, but for the seminary professors, nothing exists but this unfortunate head of the saint.
I’m also reading Heidegger, whom I mentioned to you. My impressions are similar to yours when reading Merleau-Ponty: there are entire chunks of Husserl’s ideas. Despite the linguistic problems, this reading is pulling me in deeper and deeper. Perhaps I’ll be able to write some kind of critical article.

I enclose very cordial greetings.
                  Fr Józef Tischner