§13. Manner of being and manifestness [102-3] | 73

comportment, in quite different kinds of comportment toward quite different kinds of beings too, in aesthetic comportment, for instance, there lies a quite determinate letting be of a painting, for example, or of a sculpture, and this quite apart from whether the artwork in question makes a special impression on me or not.

This letting be of things in the broadest sense lies in principle before any special interestedness or any particular indifference. This, our letting be, our leaving things to themselves and to their being, is a specific indifference on our part, an indifference on the part of Dasein that belongs to its metaphysical essence. This ‘indifference’ is possible only within care. The casualness in this leaving is not some utter neglect. Letting beings be is not nothing, as it were; certainly, we do not contribute, for instance, to the fact that nature is what and how it is, we cannot do anything about that, and yet this letting be is a “doing” of the highest and original kind and is possible only on the grounds of the innermost essence of our existence, freedom. This metaphysical indifference toward things will very much claim our attention as we follow our path.

Initially, we have come to see one thing: our being alongside things—if we remain in the realm of what is present at hand—is, in the grounds of its essence, a letting be of things in the sense characterized. This is why an interested being preoccupied does not necessarily also belong to being alongside . . ., and why conversely even a disinterested or unwilling comportment toward things, indeed even every turning away from them, is a being alongside. . . .

We have seen: we must already in advance have a part in things, in order to be able to leave them for ourselves to use; a letting be of things, however, already underlies all usage, for instance.

Does, then, that partaking in things consist in the letting be of beings that we have characterized? Surely, the letting be of something in how and what it is does not intrinsically entail a reciprocal sharing of the being? Must we then in each case let the being be in advance in what and how it is in order to be able to share the being? Or is it the other way around: must we share the being in advance in order to be able to let it be in itself? Does letting be presuppose partaking, or does, conversely, partaking presuppose letting be? What does presuppose mean here? Initially, it remains to be clarified what partaking means. In what do we share? What is it that is common in this, and in what way is that which we share something common?

That we share in what is present at hand means:

1. We do not carve it into pieces and distribute it among ourselves, but instead leave it undivided.

2. We reciprocally leave it for ourselves to use, and even in merely letting it lie there unused, we already share it.

Introduction to Philosophy (GA 27) by Martin Heidegger