4  Engaging Heidegger

I gather Heidegger’s multiple, varied, rich, and resonant indications – the lifetime of work of a truly original thinker – into a basic description: the Ur-phenomenon that he always had in view, that he understood ancient Greek thinking to have originarily brought into view, albeit glancingly, with the word ἐόν, Being, is the temporal-spatial, finite and negatived, appearing of beings in their beingness, which calls forth and even compels from the human being (Dasein) a cor-respondence in language that allows both what appears – and appearing itself – to be made manifest meaningfully.

This is the single, whole phenomenon – Being itself – that he named and renamed again and again over the course of his lifetime of thinking, and the abundant variety of names that he put into play succeeded in bringing into view the varied features of this one, simple phenomenon. So it is that we may also speak of the unconcealing of beings (ἀλήθεια), the emerging of beings (φύσις), the laying out and gathering of beings (Λόγος), the unifying, unfolding of beings (ἓν), the presencing of beings (Anwesen), the lighting/clearing of beings (Lichtung), the freeing of beings (das Freie); the letting of beings (Lassen), the giving of beings (Es gibt), and the appropriating or enowning of beings (Ereignis). All of these names, and still others, say (sagen) and show (zeigen), in somewhat different ways, the primordial phenomenon. Or to put this in Heidegger’s terms, all of these names are the Same (das Selbe), but not simply identical (das Gleiche) in an empty, purely formal, logical sense.

Indeed, it is a principal aim of these essays to bring into sharper relief how all of these names say the Same and, therefore, are the Same. In particular, I focus on the terms Ereignis and Lichtung. To be sure, Ereignis has received considerable mention in contemporary scholarship, but the precise significance of this distinctive term in Heidegger’s thinking has not received adequate consideration, especially with respect to how it relates to Being itself. My effort is to attend closely to his own words on the matter, and I think that we find – quite decisively, in fact – that he always understood Ereignis as another name for Being itself. Lichtung, though such an important word, especially for the later Heidegger, has received scant scholarly attention. Thus the two studies on this term included in this volume prove to be, I believe, a contribution not only towards understanding more clearly the place of this name in his thought but towards realizing the existential promise of this notion as well. In fact, let us keep in mind that all of his reflections have an existential dimension that speaks to our human sojourn between birth and death, as we dwell upon the earth and beneath the

Richard Capobianco - Engaging Heidegger