I. Prospect [51-52]

Here the gaze opens onto nexuses of a quite different sort, different from the ones known to the mere calculating about, and tending to, the objectively present human being, as if the task concerning the human being were simply one of re-configuring, such as is undertaken by a potter with a lump of clay.

The selfhood of the human being—of the historical human being as the selfhood of a people—is a realm of occurrences, a realm in which human beings are appropriated to themselves only if they themselves reach the open time-space wherein an appropriation can occur.

The most proper "being" of humans is therefore grounded in a belonging to the truth of being as such, and this is so, again, because the essence of being as such, not the essence of the human being, contains in itself a call to humans, as a call destining them to history (cf. The grounding, 197. Da-sein—domain of what is proper—selfhood).

From this it is clear: that question of the "who," as the carrying out of meditation on the self, has nothing in common with an overcurious, egotistic, lost preoccupation with one's "own" lived experiences but, instead, is an essential path in the carrying out of the question regarding what is most question-worthy, namely, the question that first opens the worthiness of what is most question-worthy, the question of the truth of being.

Only one who grasps that humans must ground their essence historically, through the grounding of Da-sein, and that the steadfastness of withstanding Da-sein is nothing other than dwelling in the time-space of that occurrence which eventuates as the absconding of the gods, only one who creatively takes the dismay and the bliss of the event back into restraint as the basic disposition, only such a one can have a presentiment of the essence of being and in such meditation can prepare the truth for what will be true in the future.

Those who sacrifice themselves to this preparation stand in the transition and must have reached far ahead; they also may expect from their contemporaries no ready understanding—as immediately pressing as that might be—but, if anything, only resistance.

Meditation, in the form of meditation on the self, as it becomes necessary here from the question of the essence of beyng, is far from that clara et distincta perceptio in which the ego emerges and becomes certain. Since selfhood—the site of the moment of the call and of the belonging—must first be brought up for decision, what approaches the transition cannot be grasped in that transition.

All "resorting" to what is past remains unproductive unless it arises out of the extreme decisions; otherwise it merely serves to avoid those decisions through the greatest possible adulteration of them.