Positionality [2526]

the fact that the human so approached continues ever anew to fall for the distanceless in the same empty ways. Whatever presences without distance [ohne Abstand] is nevertheless neither without concerned approach nor without a standing. Much to the contrary, the distanceless has its own standing. Its constancy makes the rounds in the uncanny concernful approach of what is everywhere of equal value. The human stands for this in lapsing into it. The distanceless is never without standing. It stands insofar as everything that presences is standing reserve. Where the standing reserve comes into power, even the object crumbles as characteristic of what presences.

The standing reserve persists. It persists insofar as it is imposed upon for a requisitioning. Directed into requisitioning, it is placed into application. Application positions everything in advance in such a manner that what is positioned follows upon a result. So placed, everything is: in consequence of. . . . The consequence, however, is ordered in advance as a success. A success is that type of consequence that itself remains assigned to the yielding of further consequences. The standing reserve persists through a characteristic positioning. We name it requisitioning [das Be-Stellen, to beset with positioning].

What does “to position, place, set” [stellen] mean? We know the word from the usages: to represent something [etwas vorstellen, to place before], to produce something [etwas her-stellen, to place here]. Nevertheless we have to doubt whether our thinking is a match for even the simple and scarcely appreciated scope of these usages.

What does “to place, position, set” mean? Let us first consider it from production. The carpenter produces a table, but also a coffin. What is produced, set here, is not tantamount to the merely finished. What is set here stands in the purview of what concernfully approaches us. It is set here in a nearness. The carpenter in the village does not complete a box for a corpse. The coffin is from the outset placed in a privileged spot of the farmhouse where the dead peasant still lingers. There, a coffin is still called a “death-tree” [Totenbaum]. The death of the deceased flourishes in it. This flourishing determines the house and farmstead, the ones who dwell there, their kin, and the neighborhood.

Everything is otherwise in the motorized burial industry of the big city. Here no death-trees are produced.

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