80 • On the Grammar and Etymology of “Being”

Nothing arises merely through loss, and least of all that which unifies and blends, in the unity of its meaning, what is originally different.

5. What leading, fundamental meaning can have guided the blending that happened here?

6. What dominant meaning persists through all the blurring of this blending? [56|77]

7. Must not the inner history of precisely this word sein be excepted from the usual equivalence with any other arbitrary word whose etymology can be studied, especially when we consider that even the root meanings (living, emerging, dwelling), in their addressing and naming and saying, do not unveil arbitrary details in the sphere of the sayable?

8. Can the meaning of Being, which strikes us as “abstract” and therefore derivative on the basis of the merely logical, grammatical interpretation, be whole and originary in itself?

9. Can this be shown from the essence of language, if this essence has been grasped sufficiently and originally?

As the fundamental question of metaphysics, we ask: “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?” In this fundamental question there already resonates the prior question: How does it stand with Being?

What do we mean by the words “to be,” “Being”? In our attempt to answer, we immediately run into difficulties. We grasp at the un-graspable. Yet we are constantly impinged upon by beings, related to beings, and we know about ourselves “as beings.”

“Being” now just counts as the sound of a word for us, a used-up term. If this is all we have left, then we must at least attempt to grasp this last remnant of a possession.

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