146 Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics [219-20]

Never yet, however, has the case been heard of in philosophy where a bland triviality did not conceal behind it the abyssal difficulty of the problem. In the present instance there is not merely one problem, but an entire dimension of such problems.

Let us concede for a moment--in as rough and approximate a fashion as we now understand it--that the full horizon of time is the condition of possibility for the manifestness of beings as a whole, quite irrespective of how beings as a whole behave and announce themselves here, whether they are given in telling refusal or in some other way. What does it mean here to say that time is a horizon? One can relatively easily indicate such a thing, and yet it is hard to say what horizon means here, or how this--namely functioning as a horizon--is possible in terms of the essence of time.

Yet even if these questions are posed and worked out in a legitimate manner --which is by no means the case--even then we are not finished with our problem but only at the very beginning. For this does not yet decide whether the temporal horizon participates only in the manifestness of beings as a whole, or also in the fact that there can be a telling refusal of beings as a whole. If the latter is the case, then this means that the temporal horizon is in each case playing a role in every manifestation of beings as a whole, not only in general, but precisely with respect to each specific kind. Yet this then entails that the temporal horizon can play a role in manifold ways which are still entirely unfamiliar to us, and that we do not have the slightest intimation of the abysses of the essence of time.

How do things stand concerning this horizon of time, which as it were surrounds beings as a whole? Past, present, future􀅎are they like the arrangement of scenery on a stage, the scenery that stands around beings and thus forms the space in which beings can play their roles? Horizon􀅎is a horizon like the wall of some vessel whose walls have nothing to do with the contents, cannot and do not want to do anything to the contents other than embrace and enclose them? How do things stand concerning this horizon of time? How does time come to have a horizon? Does it run up against it, as against a shell that has been placed over it, or does the horizon belong to time itself? Yet what is this thing for, then, that delimits (ὁρίζειν) time itself? How and for what does time give itself and form such a limit for itself? And if the horizon is not fixed, to what is it held in its changing? These are central questions, yet􀅎as we can easily see--ones that concern the essence of time in general, which essence we cannot and do not wish to discuss now off the cuff. Nonetheless, however, we ought now to provide some indication concerning the extent to which the telling refusal of beings as a whole and all that belongs to them in the essence of the third kind of boredom, the extent to which the being left empty and being held in limbo of this form of boredom are bound up with time. We cannot escape this task; we must show that and how this specific