69 I. 1
Being and Time

The right way of presenting it is so far from self-evident that to determine what form it shall take is itself an essential part of the ontological analytic of this entity. Only by presenting this entity in the right way can we have any understanding of its Being. No matter how provisional our analysis may be, it always requires the assurance that we have started correctly.

In determining itself as an entity, Dasein always does so in the light of a possibility which it is itself and which, in its very Being, it somehow understands. This is the formal meaning of Dasein's existential constitution. But this tells us that if we are to Interpret this entity ontologically, the problematic of its Being must be developed from the existentiality of its existence. This cannot mean, however, that "Dasein" is to be construed in terms of some concrete possible idea of existence. At the outset of our analysis it is particularly important that Dasein should not be Interpreted with the differentiated character [Differenz] of some definite way of existing, but that it should be uncovered [aufgedeckt] in the undifferentiated character which it has proximally and for the most part. This undifferentiated character of Dasein's everydayness is not nothing, but a positive phenomenal characteristic of this entity. Out of this kind of Being—and back into it again—is all existing, such as it is.1 We call this everyday undifferentiated character of Dasein "averageness" [Durchschnittlichkeit].

And because this average everydayness makes up what is ontically proximal for this entity, it has again and again been passed over in explicating Dasein. That which is ontically closest and well known, is ontologically the farthest and not known at all; and its ontological signification is constantly overlooked. When Augustine asks: "Quid autem propinquius meipso mihi?" and must answer: [44] "ego certe laboro hic et laboro in meipso factus sum mihi terra difficultatis et sudoris nimii",i this applies not only to the ontical and pre-ontological opaqueness of Dasein but even more to the ontological task which lies ahead; for not only must this entity not be missed in that kind of Being in which it is phenomenally closest, but it must be made accessible by a positive characterization.

Dasein's average everydayness, however, is not to be taken as a mere 'aspect'. Here too, and even in the mode of inauthenticity, the structure of existentiality lies a priori. And here too Dasein's Being is an issue for it in a definite way; and Dasein comports itself towards it in the mode of average everydayness, even if this is only the mode of fleeing in the face of it and forgetfulness thereof.2

1 'A us dieser Seinsart heraus und in sie zurück ist alles Existieren, wie est ist.'

2 'Auch in ihr geht es dem Dasein in bestimmter Weise urn sein Sein, zu dem es sich im Modus der durchschnittlichen Alltäglichkeit verhalt und sei es auch nur im Modus der Flucht davor und des Vergessens seiner.' For further discussion, see Section 40 below.