employed a clarified terminology.77 He himself admits to having created some confusion due to the ambiguity of the word “Being,” which can easily apply to both (2) beingness and (3) Being itself78 (see Heidegger, OWL 20, 26–27; Heidegger, Martin Heidegger in Conversation 44).

Heidegger casts about for a new way of writing to express these difficult ideas—crossing out the word “Being,” employing terms like Ereignis, “the fourfold,” Spielraum, “the It gives” (es gibt), even coming to reject the ontological difference itself, since it focuses on the difference between beings and beingness: “From the perspective of Appropriation it becomes necessary to free thinking from the ontological difference” (Heidegger, TB 37; see also Heidegger, Mi) 300. There are times, though, when he speaks of the tripartite structure fairly clearly.

We can say, in summary, that three meanings can be emphasized in “letting-be.” The first refers to [1] that which is (to the being). Over against this first sense, there stands another sense for which the attention is drawn less towards what is given (towards what is), than towards [2] the presencing itself. It then concerns an interpretation of being of the sort given by metaphysics. Within this second emphasis, however, a third has its place, where the stress is now decisively placed upon [3] the letting itself, that which allows the presencing. . . . In this third meaning, one stands before [3] being as being, and no longer before [A3] one of the [2] forms of its destiny. If the emphasis is: to let presencing, there is no longer room for the very name of being. Letting is then the pure giving, which itself refers to the it [das Es] that gives, which is understood as Ereignis. (Heidegger, FoS 59–60, bracketed comments added; see also Heidegger, PR 62; Heidegger, TB 19)
There are (1) ontic beings, which are just the entities we encounter and deal with day to day. According to ICS, these entities are determined by (2) ontological beingness, that is, an overall defining character which varies from epoch to epoch and which is captured best in the writings of metaphysicians. Finally, there is (3) the very emergence or giving or unconcealment (or truth) of these epochal modes. “In the beingness of beings, metaphysics thinks [2] being, yet without being able to ponder the [3] truth of being” (P. Pm 232, bracketed comments added; see also pp. Mi 322, 375). Although most of Heidegger’s analyses of the history of philosophy remain at the second level of understandings of Being, his ultimate goal is to point us toward this third level. Ordinary people focus on beings, their experience being guided by an unthematic (pre-ontological) understanding of these entities’ epochal beingness. Metaphysicians have always transcended beings to focus explicitly on beingness,

77. See Sheehan 2001 for a good discussion of this topic. See also Thomson 2000.
78. The German word for “a being,” das Seiende, is not the same as the word for “Being,” Sein.