Gelassenheit

Memorial Address

In 1955, Heidegger delivered this memorial address to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the birthday of the Meßkirch composer, Conradin Kreutzer. He later published it under the title Gelassenheit (releasement) in 1959.

In this address, Heidegger discusses the need and distress of modern times. Being-there has lost its foundation and roots. He distinguishes between metaphysical representation and mindfulness as the explication of meaning. Modern man is fleeing from mindfulness. The triumph of technology threatens what is ownmost to the human being, because it makes our dwelling impossible. The only solution is releasement as the necessary attitude of simultaneous acceptance and rejection of technology. In releasement, we let things be as they are and open ourselves to the mystery of being. This attitude might allow us to escape the danger of homelessness that threatens us in the age of technology and nihilism. Releasement may enable us to grow roots in the ground of our home and make the autochthony of our dwelling possible.