The Fundamental Question of Metaphysics • 43

All this implies that this people, as a historical people, must transpose itself—and with it the history of the West—from the center of their future happening into the originary realm of the powers of Being. Precisely if the great decision regarding Europe is not to fall upon the path of annihilation—precisely then can this decision come about only through the development of new, historically spiritual forces from the center.

To ask: how does it stand with Being?—this means nothing less than to repeat and retrieve <wieder-holen> the inception of our historical-spiritual Dasein, in order to transform it into the other inception. Such a thing is possible. It is in fact the definitive form of history, because it has its onset in a happening that grounds history. But an inception is not repeated when one shrinks back to it as something that once was, something that by now is familiar and is simply to be imitated, but rather when the inception is begun again more originally, and with all [30|42] the strangeness, darkness, insecurity that a genuine inception brings with it. Repetition as we understand it is anything but the ameliorating continuation of what has been, by means of what has been.

The question “How does it stand with Being?” is included as a prior question in our guiding question: “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?” If we now set out to pursue what stands in question in the prior question, namely Being, then Nietzsche’s saying at once proves to be completely true after all. For if we look closely, what more is “Being” to us than a mere locution, an indeterminate meaning, intangible as a vapor? Nietzsche’s judgment, of course, is meant in a purely dismissive sense. For him, “Being” is a deception that never should have happened. “Being”—indeterminate, evanescent as a vapor? It is in fact so.


Introduction to Metaphysics, 2nd ed. (GA 40) by Martin Heidegger

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