The Essence of Truth as Historical Reflection [40-41] 38

turns the past as such into an object. Even where a "historiography" of the present is put forth, the very present must already be bygone. All historiography is retrospective, even when it makes the past timely.

The historical does not denote a manner of grasping and exploring but the very happening itself. The historical is not the past, not even the present, but the future, that which is commended to the will, to expectation, to care. This does not allow itself to be "considered"; instead, we must "reflect" on it. We have to be concerned with the meaning, the possible standards, the necessary goals, the ineluctable powers, and that from which all human happenings begin. These goals and powers can be such that they have already come to pass—in a hidden way—long ago but are precisely therefore not the past but what still abides and is awaiting the liberation of its influence. The future is the origin . of history. What is most futural, however, is the great beginnings that which—withdrawing itself constantly—reaches back the farthest and at the same time reaches forward the farthest. The hidden destiny of all beginnings, however, is to seem to be thrust aside, overcome, and refuted by what they themselves begin and by what follows them. The ordinary character of what is henceforth the ordinary becomes The lord over what is for ever the extraordinary character of the beginning. Therefore, in order to rescue the beginning, and consequently the future as well, from, time to time the domination of the ordinary and all too ordinary must be broken. An upheaval is needed, in order that the extraordinary and the forward-reaching might be liberated and come to power. Revolution, the upheaval of what is habitual, is the genuine relation to the beginning. The conservative on the contrary, the preserving, adheres to and retains only what was begun in the wake of "the beginning and what has come forth from it. The beginning can never be grasped through mere preservation, because to begin means to think and to act from the perspective of the future and of what is extraordinary, and from, the renunciation of the crutches and evasions of the habitual and the usual.

To be sure, even the conservative, the adherence to what has become, and the mere preservation and care for the hitherto,

Basic Questions of Philosophy (GA 45) by Martin Heidegger