Evening Conversation [226–227]

now I see that such questioning remains unbefitting to that on which we wait.

Older Man: It seems to me that those who wait first learn the right kind of humble contentment.

Younger Man: So that they can be the teachers of great poverty.

Older Man: Those who know what heals without investigating it.

Younger Man: What else could that which heals be, other than that which lets our essence [Wesen] wait. In waiting, the human-being [das Menschenwesen] becomes gathered in attentiveness to that in which he belongs, yet without letting himself get carried away into and absorbed in it.

Older Man: In waiting and as those who wait, however, we do listenout into the undetermined and so, as it were, abandon ourselves. And now you mean to say that, in waiting and as those who wait, we are rather on the path that leads us into our own essence. [227]

Younger Man: Waiting is a footbridge which supports our going, a footbridge on which we become who we are without already being who we are: those who wait.

Older Man: And so, if a human were capable of this, pure waiting would be like the echo of pure coming.

Younger Man: This coming essentially occurs all around us and at all times, even when we are not mindful of it. Waiting is a capacity that transcends all power to act. One who finds his way into the ability to wait surpasses all achieving and its accomplishments, although waiting never reckons on an overtaking.

Older Man: This cannot at all be thought of in terms of something like a competition. As those who wait, we are the inlet [Einlaß]7 for the coming. We are in such a manner as though we were to first come to ourselves, in letting in [einlassend] the coming, as those who are themselves only by abandoning themselves—this, however, by means of waiting toward [entgegenwarten] the coming.

Younger Man: In waiting, we are purely “present” as literally “waiting-toward” [Gegenwart].8

Older Man: And nothing else. We are this so purely that from nowhere else does something stand over against us, to which we could cling and into which we would still want to escape.

Younger Man: In waiting, we are in such a manner as though we were to have passed away unnoticed and unnamed—not there for all who still await [erwarten] this or that and still expect [erwarten]

7. Here “inlet” is meant literally, as what “lets in” (einläßt).—Tr.

8. Here Heidegger is thinking entgegen and gegen, not in the sense of “contrary” or “against,” but rather in the sense of “toward,” as in entgegengehen, “to go toward, approach, go out to meet.”—Tr.