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§40. The essence of wonder [184-85]


had to be acknowledged in their beingness and had to be preserved in their truth. If for us nothing less is at stake than the preparation for a transition from the end of the first beginning into another beginning, then the need which compels us to this necessity must again and only come out of beings as a whole, insofar as they become a question with regard to their Being.

But this already says that on the basis of the transformation of the essence of truth into correctness, our basic position toward beings is not any more and never again will be that of the first beginning, although it remains determined by it as a counter-thrust. Therefore the basic disposition can no longer be the one of wonder, in which beings as such with regard to their Being once emerged as the most unusual. How far we are removed from the possibility of being again displaced toward beings by this basic disposition of the beginning can easily be measured by the fact that for centuries the Being of beings, which was for the Greeks the most wondrous, has passed as the most obvious of everything obvious and is for us the most common: what every? body always knows. For who is supposed not to know what he I means when he says the stone is, the sky is overcast?

Yet this may express something whose content and bearing we do not at all yet surmise, namely that we are dealing with beings as the object of contrivances and of lived experiences and thereby are not paying attention to the Being of these beings. On account of its obviousness, Being is something forgotten. The forgottenness of Being holds us in its grip, or, what comes down to the same thing, philosophy as the question of beings as such is now by necessity a mere curiosity. The forgottenness of Being dominates, i.e., it determines our relation to beings, so that even beings, that they are and what they are, remain a matter of indifference. It is almost as if beings have been abandoned by Being, and we are heedless of it, and are more heedless the greater becomes the insidious outcry over metaphysics and ontology. For that merely expresses a desire to return to the familiar past instead of working for the future even without being able to see it.

Beings are, but the Being of beings and the truth of Being and consequently the Being of truth are denied to beings. Beings are, yet they remain abandoned by Being and left to themselves, so as to be mere objects of our contrivance. All goals beyond men and


Basic Questions of Philosophy (GA 45) by Martin Heidegger