357 II. IV
Being and Time

With regard to what was developed as the meaning of being of [374] care under the rubric of temporality, we found that by following the guideline of the vulgar interpretation of Dasein, which within its own limits is justified and adequate, we could not carry through a genuine ontological analysis of the way Dasein stretches along between birth and death; indeed, if we take this interpretation as our guideline, we could not even establish such an analysis as a problem.

Dasein does not exist as the sum of the momentary realities of experiences that succeed each other and disappear. Nor does this succession gradually fill up a framework. For how should that framework be present, when it is always only the experience that one is having "right now" that is "real," and when the boundaries of the framework—birth that is past and death that is yet to come—are lacking reality. At bottom, even the vulgar interpretation of the "connectedness of life" does not think of a framework spanned "outside" of Dasein and embracing it, but correctly looks for it in Dasein itself. When, however, one tacitly regards this being ontologically as something present "in time," an attempt at any ontological characterization of the being "between" birth and death gets stranded.

Dasein does not first fill up an objectively present path or stretch "of life" through the phases of its momentary realities, but stretches itself along in such a way that its own being is constituted beforehand as this stretching along. The ''between" of birth and death already lies in the being of Dasein. On the other hand, it is by no means the case that Dasein "is" real in a point of time, and that, in addition, it is then "surrounded" by the nonreality of its birth and its death. Understood existentially, birth [Geburt] is never something past in the sense of what is no longer present, and death is just as far from having the kind of being of something outstanding that is not yet present but will come. Factical Dasein exists as being born [existiert gebfütig]*, and in being born it is also already dying [gebfütig stirbt es] in the sense of being-toward-death. Both "ends" and their "between" are as long as Dasein factically exists, and they are in the sole way possible on the basis of the being of Dasein as care. In the unity of thrownness and the fleeting, or else anticipatory, being-toward-death, birth and death "are connected" in the way appropriate to Dasein. As care, Dasein is the "between."

But the constitutional totality of care has the possible ground of its unity in temporality. The ontological clarification of the "connectedness

* "Gebürtig" [being born] needs to be distinguished from "Geburt" [born]: the former refers to something that is continuous, not to an event that is "past"; the latter refers to the singular event of one's birth. The parallel here is to "Sterben" [dying] and "Tod" [death]: one continually "dies" so long as one is ["gebürtig stirbt es"], while "death" refers to an event still outstanding. Being born and dying are the existential meaning of birth and death. "Being born" is thus the name for the natality of Dasein that needs to be existentially understood in conjunction with Dasein's mortality which Heidegger characterizes as "dying" or as "being-toward-death." [TR]

Martin Heidegger (GA 2) Being & Time (S&S)