68. The Forgottenness of Be-ing

[G217] The forgottenness of be-ing is the forgottenness that is held unto the ab-ground (that is, it is the forgottenness that is turned towards be-ing). What remains forgotten in this forgottenness (in a distinguished not-retaining-retaining) is first of all that which is constantly retained in the understanding of being and which, above all else, must remain preserved in a peculiar retainment, [Behalt] in such a way that the retained in its retainedness gives man as such the ground upon which he — inabiding the midst of a clearing of beings and comporting himself towards these beings — can stand firm in sustaining this clearing in order to be a self. The belongingness to the truth of be-ing and consequently the exposedness to beings is co-grounded in a forgottenness of being.

However, a forgetting in the quotidian forgetting of being sinks into forgottenness along with the forgotten (the vortex) . If it is seen at all, this forgottenness looks like the mere nothingness.

The forgetting of being is not a lapse of memory and not a loss of the retained; the forgetting of being cannot be demarcated vis-a-vis the rememberable, and is not a turning away from the remembered. What is it then? Is it a mere overlooking of being which is constantly pre-understood? Is it merely "not-thinking-of being-specifically"?

This forgottenness seems to be almost a matter of utmost indifference, since explicit attention to what is besides forgotten and indeed is constantly retained leads nowhere further, be it that with this attention the unencumbered immediacy of the relation to beings — granted hitherto


Martin Heidegger (GA 66) Mindfulness