Martin Heidegger, the oblivion of being

  • By:karen-millen

01

10/2022

Martin Heidegger is the artist philosopher, the great master of wonder. With few philosophers he feels the call of thought more intensely. When the atmosphere is propitious, as in the Bühlerhöhe spa, he can say surprising things. "The poet does not bring the divine, he only weaves the veil through which he guesses." His audience is not brainy philosophers, but ship captains, industrialists, foreign dignitaries, bankers and ladies of high society who receive medical and spiritual treatment in the mountains of Baden-Baden. The Messkirch wizard electrifies the atmosphere. No one resists the impetus of his words. The auditorium falls silent. The danger and responsibility are palpable. At that summit and at that moment the fate of the world is decided. After the war, the authority in charge of purging the Nazis has prohibited Heidegger from teaching at the university. He makes a living giving lectures in spas and art academies. He flies free, stripped of the cloak of “Western metaphysics”, which has opted for flight from the gods, confrontation with the world and technological utopia.Martin Heidegger, Forgetting Being Martin Heidegger, Forgetting Being

Exiled from university, he spends long periods of time in his cabin in Todtnauberg, a small refuge built in the mountains of the Black Forest. In it he writes his captivating lectures and the enigmatic texts from the end of his life. Chop wood, walk through the hills and kindle the sacred fire of thought. When students visit, they go on excursions and sleep in the open. Bonfire nights, guitar and moonlight recitations. When he is alone, he is transferred "to the vibration proper to thought, of which he is not the owner", and he obediently accepts his onslaught. The peaks, the autumn sun, the snow-covered slopes and the darkness of the forest define their way of being in the world.

Heidegger belongs to a humble family in Messkirch, not far from Freiburg. A quiet and Catholic village, with a baroque church where his father (the shoemaker's son) works as a sacristan. Martin and his brother Fritz help their father with church chores and his other trade, that of a cooper. They ring the bells and collect wood from the forest for the wine barrels. The foray into the forest, the discovery of the clearing, will be decisive in his philosophy. He is a shy, small boy with black eyes. He has a hard time looking at people's faces, and yet he wields a mysterious power over others. An old man from Messkirch confessed to Gadamer that, as a child, "he was the smallest, the weakest, the most restless and useless, but he ended up dominating them all." The power of the word.

His parents cannot afford his studies and, for thirteen years, he will receive a scholarship from the Church, which sees in him a future Catholic theologian. He manages to set foot in the Jesuit novitiate, but a tachycardia takes him out of there. When he discovers Husserl, he is fascinated that one can think without taking God into account. He abandons faith and theology and becomes a phenomenologist. He woos Husserl, who had just lost his son in the war, and makes a name for himself among his disciples. Malvine Husserl called him "the phenomenological child." He gladly assumes the role of adopted son. During the first great war he is not sent to the front due to the delicate state of his heart. He serves as a correspondence censor and meteorological observer. After the war, the system of Catholicism is unacceptable to him. Husserl will help him find a position at the University of Marburg and, four years later, he will return to Freiburg to succeed him in his chair.

Character is destiny

Heidegger is a singular type. He dresses in traditional Black Forest clothing and has something of the impenetrable about him. His way of speaking is somewhat hypnotic, with his rustic Swabian accent. As a philosopher, he had two great shortcomings. In the first place, he did not travel and his philosophy suffered because of it. It can be excused that his thinking is local (in a certain sense, all philosophy rooted in the landscape is), but in his case his parochialism was extreme. Heidegger equates people to plants, who do not travel, and assumes the traditional German "Southern" ideology, according to which the region of Baden and Bavaria are the spiritual spring of the nation. Second, Heidegger lacks a sense of humor (a sense indispensable to philosophy). He never feels lost in the endless "house of being" that is speech, nor does he know how to laugh at the language games that he himself creates and in which his thoughts get entangled (something that his brother Fritz did, with great grace). ).

In Marburg, some of his colleagues believe that his thinking appeals especially to Jews. Due to his etymological games, typical of a Talmudist, "due to his declared atheism and metaphysical nihilism", all aspects of them "dissolving for the race and the spirit of the German people". His relationship with the Jewish world is ambiguous. He shares some of the "ambient anti-Semitism" of southern Germany, but his philosophy has the ring of Hebrew hermeneutics and will open the way for modern hermeneutics. One of his detractors in the Nazi party will say that his writings are "a set of schizophrenic nonsense that gives the appearance of depth to banalities that can only emanate from a sick spirit." Professor Jaensch, a colleague in Marburg, adds that his "Talmudic German, which causes so much admiration among his Jewish adherents", should be denounced. Levinas and Derrida are two good examples. Both will be attracted to that very Hebrew "leguleyo-talmudic" way of thinking, which does not care "exchanging natural science for an exegesis of the Talmud."

All of this did not prevent him from enthusiastically joining the National Socialist revolution in 1933, spellbound by the figure and leadership of Hitler. When he took office as rector in Freiburg, he proclaimed the principle of leadership and planned the unification of the German universities. On May 1, the national holiday, he becomes a member of the Nazi party. He will religiously pay his dues until his dissolution in 1945. The Führer vows to confront Communism (which destroys personality and authentic ways of life), restore order to the chaos of the Weimar Republic, and lift the nation out of economic misery and morality in which it has been submerged since the Versailles Pact. Previously, in the years prior to the rectorate, he has been immersed in Plato. The Nazi revolution opens the possibility of a new philosophical leadership. The disaster will be equal to that of Syracuse. Heidegger, like Plato, will not die trying, but failure will change his life. If a philosopher has to measure himself by his peaks and not by his mistakes, the image of the human being as a "clearing in the forest", an area where a friendly and assimilable light filters, should allow us to be indulgent with his National Socialist delirium.

Max Weber exhorted philosophers to bear the disenchantment of the world. Neo-Kantians tend to emphasize the differences between the sciences and the humanities. The former are governed by general laws, the latter by moral laws. Weber warned of the danger of the prophets who spoke from the chairs. Curiously, two of the greatest, Nietzsche and Heidegger, lost their professorships. One due to illness, the other due to his political delusions. Both look at each other in Heraclitus, in both there is mystery, drunkenness and fear. Since their retirement, they have issued proclamations that shake the established orders. In all three we find the idea that what is essential cannot be manufactured or set up as a system. Philosophy must remain destitute, in its "essential homelessness", in the open. You must litigate against any type of certainty. Therein lies its authenticity. Each one is free to choose their heroes, but the heroes of philosophy must fan the fire of questions and, in the case of Heidegger, show the abyss of being and, as we will see, the horror of the void. Karl Jaspers will be fascinated by that attitude. "For a long time I have not listened to anyone like you." The initial fascination will change over time. Heidegger's magic does not stop him from being irritating at times. The fashionable philosopher is for some a charlatan. With its improbable etymologies and its Black Forest, ethnocentric and, occasionally, anti-Semitic manias. He likes to go against the current, on the razor's edge. It may sound crazy, never frivolous. At times it seems eerily profound, at other times one has the impression that it plays with words in a way unfit for a philosopher. Jaspers ended up mistrusting his conception of being. "No one can affirm what Heidegger's Being is." Heidegger, in turn, affirmed that no one, not even Husserl, knew what phenomenology was. Relationships between teacher and disciple are often complicated. Hannah Arendt, after a series of doubts, will be faithful to him until the end. He will promote it in the United States and would follow him in his break with metaphysics. The individual's relationship with the world is not primarily theoretical or cognitive, but is realized in care and action. A receptive way of being in the world, which opens up when the truth happens.

After the war, we found Jaspers completely disillusioned. Heidegger is "an impure soul who does not notice his impurity," whose moral sensibility is not up to his thinking. Arendt reminds him that he lives with an intensity and depth that is difficult to forget. Others add that "he has been hit with the charge of thought" and "that sometimes he feels threatened by what he himself has to think." No doubt the philosopher knows the blackness of the forest and the onerous nature of existence. In the spring of 1946, after the defeat, he suffered a mental collapse and was admitted to a sanatorium. For a long time he has been cultivating anguish like fertile soil. A state in which the world loses consistency and appears naked against the background of nothingness. When he speaks of the origin, Heidegger does not seem to be thinking of light, but of an impenetrable and dark nothingness. Everything that entertains and sustains modern man, political or philosophical convictions, high culture and values, are vain and desperate attempts to hide it.

The experience of being is openness and assent to an endless horizon of relationships, possibilities, encounters. The essence of art consists in “bringing out” and fostering that openness and assent. Reconciliation with the world and with things. Through technique and its hidden agenda of penetration and exploitation, we can never understand nature or appreciate its brilliance. Art makes shine, technique darkens. Heidegger distances himself from Weber (“the philosopher must assume the disenchantment of the world”), but the re-enchantment is no longer the task of philosophy, but of poetry and art.

If the entity becomes an “object of representation”, it becomes instrumentalized and loses its being. Modern instrumental technique has brought about this transformation. The scientific-technical individual, with his methods and apparatus, prevails. He does not live "implanted" in the world, but "in front of" the world. Then there is no opening but closure, confrontation. Modern times have created the "scab" that Gabriel Marcel spoke of. The Frenchman argued that as we live and receive the wounds that existence brings, we create a shell that protects us but also numbs us. The flight from the gods is not independent of that modern mania of being "in front" of the world.

Being and time

Martin Heidegger, forgetting self

Philosophy has traditionally fallen into two traps. Either he believed that consciousness arises from the world (naturalism) or that the world is constituted by consciousness (idealism). Heidegger looks for a third way. That of "being in the world" (Dasein). Dasein is a technical term to designate the human being, in his condition of "existing", of "being in the world". I do not experience myself first, and then the world. Nor vice versa. Being is not to be sought in the sphere of the eternal and invariable, but in time, in "being towards death", in finiteness and limitation. We have tried phenomenology, but one day it will be taken from us.

Through an artificial language of compound words (sometimes monstrous), Being and Time tries to pave that third way. It uses concepts such as “being at hand” and “being in sight”. Curiously, he still does not speak of "being heard", which will be essential in the second Heidegger, when his philosophy is transformed into a poetic hermeneutics. The forgetfulness of being consists in the transformation of the world into something merely "in sight", while "being at hand" allows one to be among things, making closeness and care possible. "Care is nothing other than lived temporality." Existing is never given, it is realization, delivery, movement. If I attribute falling in love to the segregation of my glands, I will not achieve the realization of love.

We have forgotten being and we have also forgotten that we forget. The sense of being is time. But time is not something we can take, something that happens or something given. Time is a commanding thing. Dasein must be established on its own feet, not entrusted to the State, public morality or society. In Dasein nothing becomes something, but also that something will become nothing. Hence, you should look for authenticity. Heidegger avoids the role of moralist, but denounces "improper" ways of life. The massification of cities, the marketing of public opinion, the serialized whim of spiritual life.

The obstinacy of the sciences with the being is a way of avoiding that disturbing temporality of Dasein and its possible being. Meaning is not something given, as the sciences claim, meaning, like memory, must be continually remade and reconstructed. This situation makes anguish the dominant state of mind of Dasein, a direct consequence of its rejection of forgetting being. Anguish reigns over moods. It must be distinguished from fear, which has its object. Anguish lacks object and limits. Its opposite is nothing. Whoever experiences it in depth, the world can no longer offer him anything. It is not the prelude to the "leap of faith", as in Kierkegaard. There is a certain monomania in Heidegger with anxiety. He recreates in it. He refuses to offer comfort or ways of escape. Philosophy cannot indicate what to do, it is not an instance of moral guidance. Philosophy has to demolish the supposed ethical objectivities. The social or family community is a way to dodge the bulge, a way to hide that decision and that loneliness. However, Heidegger hints at the possibility of a collective path. Dasein is immersed in the history of its people and in a common heritage. You must choose between the heroes of your tradition. But despite these attempts at a collective path, which materialize in the National Socialist project, in Being and Time an individualist tone predominates. The public sphere obscures everything, it is not capable of generating “property”, which is what makes the life of the individual authentic. Husserl's influence is still appreciated and the author does not hesitate to describe his own work as “existential solipsism”. Nothing, no people, no collective destiny, can exonerate Dasein from its decisions in the field of "own being", of its own uniqueness and authenticity. The great historical and social projects are fragile monstrosities and vain refuges. You have to turn in the moment.

The instant

The instant is anti-bourgeois and promises vertigo. No dogma or institution can preserve its truth. He calls each one with a different voice. The moment does not allow itself to be dragged by our usual relationship with time. It lacks ends, it is an end in itself. He does not ambition anything, not even a later moment. His mystique knows nothing of projects or planning. It is vivid and intensive enjoyment. Solipsistic, if you will, but embracing the universe as a whole. The core of temporality is not in the historical evolution, but in the "care" of the moment. Dasein lives in an open horizon of time, looking for support and reliability in the source of time (as if it could be built on water). These supports are work, institutions, family, values. But if the meaning of being is time, there can be no escape from time, no pillar stable enough. There is only one refuge: the moment. That is why thought is nothing other than caring for the moment. Everything else, philosophy included, is self-deception.

The instant is the peculiar passion of thought. It is not something given, it must be discovered, since our habitual relationship with time covers it up. In a certain sense, the instant is a realization of Dasein, it is "created" by it. But the instant does not suppose the leap to faith (as in Kierkegaard), nor the encounter with the numinous (Rudolf Otto), but is the relationship with the totally other. An event in which horizontal time is cut by vertical time. It is the "presence of the spirit" (although Heidegger would not say so). When the moment is missing, life becomes a blind and meaningless race towards death. The lack of presence of the spirit is the prelude to all horrors. That instant is like a crack, an “irruption”, a fracture that breaks the continuum of time. Whoever loves the moment does not have to worry about his own safety. The instant is a "seismic shock" (Nietzsche), a lightning bolt of contempt for duty. The moment demands an adventurous heart. God is dead, long live the moment.

From the perspective of Indian philosophy, it could be said that the instant is the spontaneity of consciousness, which filters through the cracks of sensitivity. Or, in Prabhākara terms, that it is the own light that illuminates both the subject and the object (both reflected light). Phenomenology had put all this in value, but Heidegger follows other paths. The moment is the exception. The normal proves nothing, the exception proves everything. The moment demands a continuous conquest, a unification from the dispersion. But in Heidegger the instant is not the self-contained luminosity of consciousness, but anguish and boredom. Anguish reveals nothing to us. Transcendence is sinking into nothingness. With Heidegger the sentence of Heraclitus is fulfilled: “character is destiny”. The spirit of the woods casts a dark light here. Heidegger leaves us empty, desolate, in semi-darkness. It is the new style of philosophy, the magic of mood affection. A condition unleashed by nothing, which forces us to look an empty foundation in the face.

Hence Heidegger's contempt for positivism, which knows nothing of nothing, which is incapable of considering it as it deserves. The scientist always has to deal with something and Heidegger is on the trail of nothing. A path that reveals that we are not entirely of this world and that we have to sustain ourselves within nothingness. Dasein is the guardian of the post of nothingness. He can hide the abyss of nothing from his own eyes, but then he betrays his essence, becoming entangled in false security. Kafka is not far away. That nothingness is something that affects us unconditionally. But not everything has to be negative. The not and the nothing are the great mystery of freedom. That is the Heideggerian audacity. A dangerous audacity. The fascination with nothingness allows moral oblivion, surrender to barbarism, to intense, wild and uniquely attractive experience. Amphetamines facilitate this mystique of the moment. The National Socialist project, in its final phase, was no stranger to these drifts. Warlike, anarchic and adventurous amorality, stimulated by psychotropic drugs, which leaves trails of pain and blood. Philosophy should not help to free oneself from anguish, but to deepen it. Inject fear. Nothing to take refuge in the lights of culture or the mirage of the illustration. As a good skier, Heidegger is daring on the descent.

What is metaphysics?

When one asks what metaphysics is, the answer is another question. A question that one must ask himself, if he wants to walk the path of philosophy. Metaphysics is the question of nothingness. There is no problem greater than nothing, however insignificant it may seem, in Heidegger's philosophy. "Why is there something instead of nothing?", was what Leibniz raised and is now being reissued. Bergson will say that nothing is the hidden spring of philosophical speculation. For Zubiri, Greek thought starts from being, while Saint Augustine or Hegel start from nothing. Between being and nothing is the game. Sartre knows it well. Despite the classic scholastic sentence (ex nihilo nihil fit: nothing arises from nothing), nothing has had an indisputable magnetism. Its presence, insidious or liberating, looms over the thought of all ages, but the sciences ignore it. It cannot be otherwise. Nothing is not a quantity, physics can do little with it. For some it is a pseudo-idea, since it cannot be imagined or thought of. You cannot imagine that there is nothing, instead, you can imagine the void, for example, in a refrigerator. The void presupposes the existence of something. If we could dispense with all external perceptions and all memories, there would still remain an awareness of the present (empty, according to the Indian imagination).

Heidegger differs in his consideration of Nothingness. The Nothing is not the negation of beings, but that which makes the not and the negation possible. Nothingness is the element in which existence shakes, waving its arms. The sea in which we all swim and where we try to stay afloat. That nothingness is discovered through an experience that we have already talked about: anguish. Nothingness makes possible the transcendence of being. Nothing implies, in an ontological (not logical) sense, being. Without nothingness there would be no identity or freedom, without nothingness Dasein would not be Dasein. The vigor with which Heidegger defends this concept in his famous 1929 lecture turned his philosophy of this period into a philosophy of nothingness that will fascinate the Kyoto School, heir to the Buddhist concept of emptiness (although Buddhist emptiness has nothing to do with it). with nothing, but with the fundamental interdependence of all things).

The inquiry into nothingness is the inevitable consequence of the question about Being. For Heidegger, “the nothingness stunned” leaves us overwhelmed, bewildered. Carnap laughed at this phrase because he perhaps never experienced that heartbreak. Saying "nothing stunned", he tells us, is like saying "the rain rains". A pseudo statement resulting from bad grammar and syntactic insurgency. The positivist reduces that primal emotion to a linguistic question. Heidegger would agree about the insurgency. What he says about Nothing does not pretend to be a proposition "about" Nothing, since Nothing cannot be the subject of propositional sentences. The person (Dasein) is suspended in Nothingness. We now understand why logic is impotent to face the problem of Nothingness. Hence the naivety of positivist logic.

Science knows nothing of nothing

No metaphysical question can be asked without the questioner being challenged here and now. If we consider the sciences, in the plural, we observe that none in particular enjoys dominance over others. Mathematical knowledge is not more rigorous than historical-philological knowledge. To demand accuracy from history would be to contradict the idea of ​​rigor characteristic of the spiritual sciences. The sciences carry out a particular approach to the thing. The essential of the atom is physical, the essential of the chemical molecule, the essential of the biological cell. Is there physics in the cell and chemistry in the atom? In principle it is difficult for there to be, we are talking about another language game. In everyday life, pre- and extra-scientifically, we have to deal with beings. But science is distinguished because it grants the thing itself, exclusively, the first and the last word. They are practices that encourage submission to the entity (which they themselves help to create). Obsessed with beings, they forget about Being. In that submission, each science creates its idol. Then the irruption of the entity occurs. In these three elements, reference to the world, attitude and irruption of the entity, in its radical unity, scientific existence occurs. An existence that receives the direction of the entity itself. The seriousness and sobriety of science consists precisely in the fact that it sticks to beings. Hence, nothingness cannot be the object of scientific investigation and must be the object of metaphysics. Science knows nothing of nothing. He doesn't want to know. It goes against his own principles. Nothingness is what the sciences reject and abandon, for nothingness. And by doing so, are they not admitting it? Science, when it tries to express its own essence, resorts to nothing. Take hold of what you discard. What then happens to nothing? Asking about nothing turns what is being asked into its opposite, as if nothing were "something" (this or that), as if it were an entity, the one that the sciences deal with, which is precisely what they do not want to know anything about. the nothing.

Nothing as a source of understanding

Thought is always thought of something. Thinking nothing seems like a contradiction. We are facing a problem that devours itself. For nothingness is the negation of the omnipotence of beings. But lo and behold, the negation, according to logic, is a specific act of the understanding. How then to eliminate understanding in our question? Is there nothing only because there is no, because there is negation? Or does the opposite occur, that there is no and negation because there is nothing? Question not resolved, not even formulated. Heidegger poses and resolves it: "We affirm that nothingness is more original than not and negation."

If it really is so, the very possibility of negation as an act of the understanding, and with it the understanding itself, depends in some way on nothingness. So, how does the former intend to decide on the latter? "Will not rest, the apparent contradiction of the question, in the blind obstinacy of a wandering understanding?" Heidegger's conclusion is forceful. He recognizes the formal impossibility of the question for nothing, but this does not prevent him from formulating it. The question then will be where to look for nothing. And, as in most cases, when we look for something it is because we know what we are looking for.

If nothingness is complete undifferentiation, there can be no difference between figurative nothingness and authentic nothingness. On the other hand, we can never grasp the whole of beings, since we find ourselves placed in the middle of beings (we cannot see the universe from outside). This situation, far from being a simple episode, is the radical event of existence, of Dasein. The nothing we seek is hidden from us. What temper of mind can place us in front of her? Anguish, answers Heidegger. Anguish (today called anxiety) lacks an object, it is indeterminate, but it makes nothing clear, it leaves us in suspense, without a handle to cling to. This sensation "proves" the "presence" of nothingness. Nothing is discovered in anguish. She is the "organ" that perceives her. At this point, Heidegger launches his forceful proposal: To exist means to be sustained within nothing. That way of being in the world is transcendent. Existence is, in its last root, transcending. If existence were not sustained within nothingness, it could never enter into a relationship with beings, nor with itself. Without that original "presence" there is neither identity nor freedom.

Nothing is neither an object nor an entity, but originally belongs to the essence of Being. Now, life and its desires hide from us the unavoidable reality of nothingness, desires camouflage it. The voluntarist cannot notice her while she pursues her dreams, she remains hidden behind the carrot of follow your dreams. That is why it reappears when the objectives are achieved, when one obtains what one longed for. After the carrot, already swallowed, nothing.

Indian resonances

There is an aspect in which this philosophy is in tune with some proposals of Hindu philosophy. Annihilation as withdrawing into one's own intimacy, into the most original, which is nothingness, understood as empty consciousness, as consciousness without an object, as non-intentional consciousness. "The stunning attitude runs through existence from end to end." For India, consciousness lacks intentions, it is the mind that has them. And the mind takes its light from consciousness. It is not anguish that originally reveals nothingness to us, but quieting the mind, leaving it clear. The mind is chatter, deafening noise, a broken record. Only the yoked word of the verse (or breath) can clear it for the empty light of consciousness to pass through. The Indian civilization is not an anguished civilization (perhaps because it is less bourgeois, or because it is closer to nature, or because it lacks guilt feelings). Anguish is not always on the lookout, what Heidegger felt and what many other people (not all) feel. Dasein, according to Heidegger, sustains itself in nothingness supported by its anguish. "We are so finite that we cannot originally place ourselves before nothingness." Dasein swims in nothing so as not to sink, and is kept afloat by anguish. And that being sustained is the transcendence. Nothingness is no longer something vague and imprecise, but belongs to the very being of beings.

We live a questioning existence. Life is a question. Whoever is incapable of recognizing this fundamental fact can never be a philosopher and will have to assume his superficiality, live in the heat of achievements, in the ever-renewed vertigo of objectives. But that is not all. Science, and our time, which is dominated by it, ignores nothing. "The sobriety and superiority of science becomes ridiculous if it does not take nothing seriously." That is what the superficiality of the scientific vision consists of, in that it wants to know nothing about nothing and is content to establish relationships between entities. But, when asking about nothingness, we verify that this scientific existence is only possible if, beforehand, it is submerged in nothingness. “Just because nothingness is patent at the bottom of existence, the complete strangeness of beings can overwhelm us, can cause us admiration. We can be researchers because we can ask, and that possibility rests originally on nothingness. Going beyond being constitutes the very essence of existence, its radical event. That transcendence is metaphysics. Philosophy can never be measured by the standard of science.

Kant and the problem of metaphysics

Heidegger's anthropology appeared in 1929, in connection with a study on Kant. The peculiarity of the person is not to occupy a peripheral place in the universe, but his position, as Scheler will say, is the very center of the world. That is the extremely complex geometry of the universe in which we live. The center of the world is not a physical or geometric place, but is found in every living being. The universe is multicentric.

The entry of the person into the world, the irruption of Dasein, is not something innocuous or harmless. Transform reality. In this sense, the person is not like other entities. With it metaphysics is introduced, Dasein turns things into subjects of metaphysics. But these are not mere lucubrations. Metaphysics is a real event, and its scope is cosmic. With her, reality breaks down. The irruption of Dasein is like a current that insinuates itself in the universe, breaking down reality into Being and time. This irruption breaks what was originally united. It imposes a distinction between past, present and future. The passage of the person through the universe breaks down the Being, who lives neutrally in the eternal present, to establish a succession. Being and time come together, despite their internal contradictions. And that synthetic union generates a tension, an existential anguish. The immutable presence of Being, its temporary neutrality, is filled with restlessness.

There is also another break. Upon arriving in the world, the person, Dasein, brings the distinction between Being and nothingness. The solid reality of the world breaks down. Shadows appear, intimacy, silence, the force of mortality (whether or not one sighs for an eternal life, which in any case would be a nightmare). Those who sigh for an eternal and unchanging universe do not know what they are saying. Our presence in the world supposes a wound in the Being. The person is the metaphysical entity par excellence and the person really becomes a person when he exercises that metaphysical condition.

The end of philosophy

Philosophy are questions. All philosophical theory is already a way of looking, a way of asking that channels the answers. Philosophy uses language, sometimes current, other times conceptual. For Heidegger speech is the house of being. With this movement, he breaks with the metaphysical tradition and transfers his thought to the realm of poetry.

For Heidegger, one philosophizes in Greek and Greek is an incomparable language. "The Greek language is not simply a language, it alone is logos." The German has the advantage of maintaining a privileged relationship with the Greek. The French, when they philosophize, do so in German (in "Germanized" French). These prejudices were very common in the Germany of his time, plagued by Hellenists. Hegel had said that the only philosophy was Greek and they had believed it. Although he later backed down, that idea remained etched in the European collective consciousness. Philosophy, according to Heidegger, begins with Socrates and Plato. Heraclitus and Parmenides were not yet philosophers. Philosophy is also a peculiar science. Well, he never finds what he asks for. It moves between two impossibilities. That of being “science” and that of “not finding”. That tension (between abysses) allows him to walk the path, which is the question itself. Hence, for some it is a walk in amazement, which does not allow itself to be confused by the mirage of effectiveness; while for others it is a path that leads nowhere.

Liquidation of previous thought is a hobby of some great philosophers. After me there is nothing. We find it in Nāgārjuna, in Nietzsche, the first Wittgenstein and also in Heidegger. What is the completion (telos) of modern philosophy? The old promises of philosophy are now formulated by science, which asks for time and conformity, which asks for waiting and financing to carry out its projects. Nothing has changed that much.

The end of philosophy should not be understood as something negative. Nietzsche describes his thought as inverted Platonism and the culmination of metaphysics. All metaphysics, including its adversary, positivism, speaks the language of Plato. One does not have to be a prophet, Heidegger tells us, to see that the sciences will very soon be determined and directed by cybernetics. The machines transform language into an exchange of data, which mark and guide the phenomena and the position of the individual in them. The sciences interpret the real according to their technical categories and their own division and delimitation of the field of objects. Scientific truth is equated to the efficacy of its effects. The sciences today assume the differences between regions of the entity (nature, history, law, art, physics, biology). The triumph of the scientific-technical vision supposes the disintegration of philosophy into the various technical sciences. Perhaps there could be another possible path, but the West chose that one and there is no going back.

It has been said that philosophies and eras derive from one another as part of a dialectical process. For Heidegger, philosophy is not “dialectical”, nor is it erudition, which, as Macedonio Fernández said, “is a showy way of not thinking”. Philosophy is not even a discursive or historical matter. Philosophy (and this is where Heidegger, although he does not say so, associates it with mental culture), seeks to "correspond." In this sense, what we call philosophy is not what the metaphysical tradition understood, from Aristotle, its founder, to Nietzsche, its undertaker. What we call philosophy, as correspondence, is a pre-Socratic (and Upanisadic) matter. This correspondence consists fundamentally in paying attention to the call of the being of the entity. "Philosophy is the correspondence to the Being of beings." How is this correspondence made? Heidegger does not explain it. He speaks of dialogue, also of silence and willingness, of temperament, of meditation (without saying what it consists of), he also speaks of caring for things and caring for amazement, paying attention to the call. The pathos of astonishment is not only the origin of philosophy, but also sustains and dominates it. In amazement we hold back, in a certain sense, we step back, we don't impose ourselves. It is a question of sensitivity and temper of mind, of disposition, of openness to the Being of the entity.

For Heidegger, “this correspondence is speaking: it is at the service of speaking. At this point, we have to distance ourselves from the German. That correspondence is not only a way of speaking or a way of doing it, it is not only the submission (Islam) of the poet to the will of the language. From our perspective, this correspondence is exercised fundamentally from perception, from the way (split or empathetic) of seeing and listening (also speaking, but not exclusively). Heidegger hits the target, the key is attitude and temperament, but the correspondence goes far beyond language. The light does not create the clearing. The clearing is what is open, what is receptive to light, what lacks a crust (in the sense of Gabriel Marcel). The noun Lichtung refers to opening, lightening, clearing. Clear the forest of trees, open a free, diaphanous space. Goethe's slogan and the legacy of phenomenology are assumed. "Let no one go looking behind the phenomena, they themselves are the doctrine." It places us before the task of letting ourselves say something, of listening. It is no longer so much a question of doing as of receptivity. From a Vedānta perspective, Lichtung can be seen as the “place” from which the subject and object are illuminated. (The knowledge that knows itself, in Prabhākara terms). “The way of thinking, both speculative and intuitive, needs a Lichtung capable of being traversed. In it resides the possibility of presence being present... The quiet heart of the Lichtung is the place of silence, in which it gives the possibility of agreement between Being and thinking, that is, presence and its reception”. If we understand the truth as a "concordance" of the representation and the present, we are still in the straitjacket of Western metaphysics (the one that has led to particular sciences). It can be thought that Heidegger's proposal falls into irrationalism, into bad mythology, into baseless mysticism. But perhaps "we have to think outside the distinction between rational and irrational." What is proposed here is an accompaniment, a receptivity in which thought renounces its effectiveness. That is the task to think about, the pending meditation. Consciousness does not require any proof, it accompanies us at all times. You just have to pay attention to it. "Between thinking and making poetic there is a hidden relationship", but things do not end there. There is a poetic imagination, a poetic sensitivity, even a poetic perception, which are fundamental aspects of that correspondence that is philosophy, now calling attention to the presence of things.

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Martin Heidegger, the oblivion of being
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