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IV. The Leap [285-286]

i.e., being-toward-nothingness, and this as the essence of Da-sein! And yet it is not supposed to be nihilism.

But the issue is surely not to dissolve being human [Menschsein] in death and to declare being human an utter nullity. On the contrary, the task is to draw death into Da-sein so that Da-sein might be mastered in its abyssal breadth and thus the ground of the possibility of the truth of beyng might be fully measured.

Not everyone, however, needs to carry out this beyng-toward-death and to take over the self of Da-sein in this authenticity. Rather, to carry that out is necessary only in the sphere of the task of laying the ground for the question of beyng, a task which is of course not restricted to philosophy.

The carrying out of being-toward-death is a duty incumbent only on thinkers of the other beginning, though every essential human being, among the future creative ones, can know of it.

Being-toward-death would not be touched in its essentiality if it did not give scholars in philosophy an occasion for tasteless scoffing and journalists the right to know everything better.



166. Essential occurrence and essence


Being-toward-death must always be grasped as a determination of Da-sein, which does not mean that Da-sein completely exhausts itself in it but, on the contrary, means that being-toward-death is intrinsic to Dasein and that only thus is Da-sein fully abyssal Da-sein. In other words, only thus is Da-sein that "between" which offers a moment and a site for the "event" and which can thereby belong to being.

If conceived in terms of "worldview," being-toward-death remains inaccessible, and if it is misinterpreted in that way-as though beingtoward- death were able to teach the meaning of being in general and thus also its "nullity" in the ordinary sense-then everything is torn from the essential nexus. What is not carried out is the essential, namely the inclusive thinking of Da-sein, in whose clearing the fullness of the essential occurrence of beyng is disclosed as it conceals itself.

Here death comes into the domain of ground-laying meditation, not in order to teach a "philosophy of death" as a particular "worldview," but so as to first bring the question of being onto its ground and to open up Da-sein as the abyssal ground, to move Da-sein into the projection, i.e., to under-stand in the sense of Being and Time (not somehow to make death "understandable" to journalists and philistines).


Contributions to Philosophy (of the Event) (GA 65) by Martin Heidegger