198 • The Restriction of Being

Their historical Dasein had not yet entered the realm of pessimism and optimism. [136|186]

Both assessments, in the same way, consider Dasein in advance as a business, either a bad business or one that is going well. This way of viewing the world is expressed in Schopenhauer’s well-known proposition: “Life is a business that does not cover its costs.”85 The proposition is untrue not because “life” does cover its costs in the end, but because life (as Being-here) is not a business at all. True, it has been one for centuries now. And this is why Greek Dasein remains so alien to us.

Not-Being-here is the ultimate victory over Being. Dasein is the constant urgency of defeat and of the renewed resurgence of the act of violence against Being, in such a way that the almighty sway of Being violates86 Dasein (in the literal sense), makes Dasein into the site of its appearing, envelops and pervades Dasein in its sway, and thereby holds it within Being.

Λόγος and φύσις disjoin, step apart from each other. But this is not yet the stepping-forth of logos. This means that logos does not yet step up to the Being of beings, does not yet come forward “versus” Being in such a way that logos itself [as reason]87 makes itself into the court of justice that presides over Being and that takes over and regulates the determination of the Being of beings.

This happens only when logos gives up its inceptive essence, that is, when Being as φύσις is covered up and reinterpreted. Human Dasein then changes accordingly. The slow ending of this history,

85. Cf. Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, vol. 2 (New York: Dover, 1966), 353.

86. ver-gewaltigt: vergewaltigen (root Gewalt, violence) means to violate, and specifically to rape.

87. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

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