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§ 9. Historical Time and Fundamental Attunement [108–109]

that is past to recur once more in all its details and circumstances, it would never be the same; that point of time—the previous ‘now’ from which what was passing receded back into the past, taking it itself along with it—is irretrievably gone. What is past lies before the gate to the present and can never again enter back through this gate. That which has been, however, is that which still presences, which we ourselves in a certain way are, insofar as, bringing it before us, preserving it and carrying it forward, or even pushing it away or wanting to forget it, we let it stand forth into our Dasein. The shadows of those who once have been visit us anew, come toward us, are of the future [zu-künftig]. Conversely, however, in withstanding the distress, in the pressure of those who press upon us, we do not experience something altogether other, but divinity and that for which, in the prelude to a harsher time, the Earth already made herself ready before this.


d) Temporalizing of Originary Time as the Fundamental Occurrence of the Fundamental Attunement


Within this prevailing forward of that which has been into the future—which, directed backward, opens up that which earlier already readied itself as such—there prevails the approach of a coming [das Zu-kommen] and a still-presencing (future and having-been) in one: originary time. The temporalizing of this time is the fundamental occurrence of that attunement in which the poetizing is grounded. This originary time transports our Dasein into future and having-been, or better: makes our being enraptured as such, provided that our being is authentic. Inauthentically, it is always—in contrast to such rapture—merely sitting tight on an ever-changing present-day. I have provided an account of the essential constitution of this originary temporality and its essential possibilities in the treatise Being and Time.1

The poet on a number of occasions names this time the “time that tears,”2 because it is within itself the oscillation that tears us away into the future and casts us back into having-been. Within the rhythm of this being torn back and forth into an ever-new preservation of what has been and an ever-new awaiting of that which is to come, there is temporalized the time of a people. By virtue of this time, a people enters into the standing open of valley and flowing rivers for that which is told from the mountains concerning what is to come,



1. Tübingen, 1977 (14th edition). Gesamtausgabe Bd. 2. Frankfurt, 1977. §§65ff. Translated as Being and Time by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper & Row, 1962.

2. Fragments on the motif of the “Titans,” IV, 217, line 67; “Remarks on Antigone,” V, 254; and elsewhere.