THE BEING - HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE // 9
be the “historizing [Geschehen] of the community, of a people.” In “our Being with one another in the same world and in our resoluteness for definite possibilities,” the life paths of these individuals “have already been guided in advance.” “Only in communication and in struggling,” does the “power of destiny become free.” This would be the “sole authority which a free existing” could have.5 For Heidegger “authentic Dasein” was constantly exposed to such a destiny. Were this destiny to remain outstanding, it would entail the fallenness of Dasein. Later, after 1945, this is exactly what he discerns as “nihilism”: the “unhistoricalness” of “Americanism,” i.e., the destruction of every “destiny.”6
Thus as everything was drawing to an end, Heidegger began to look for the “beginning.” Already in winter 1931–32 he held a lecture course that concerned the “beginning of Western philosophy” and the understanding of truth inherent in it.7 In the first half of the course, Heidegger interprets Plato’s cave analogy publicly for the first time. In the midst of the interpretation, Heidegger emphasizes that while “poison and weapons for death are indeed at the ready today” (referring to the death of Socrates by hemlock), nevertheless “the philosopher” is lacking. “Today” there are, “when it comes down to it, only better or worse sophists,” who can “at best prepare the way for the philosopher who will come.”8 End and beginning align themselves with the coming of a philosopher and a philosophy beyond the sophistry of academic everydayness.
But the real lecture course of the beginning is the following one, from the summer of 1932. Heidegger referred to it later, saying that “since the spring of 1932 the basic features of the plan” had been established, which “received its first formulation in the project Of the Event.”9 This lecture course, notably an interpretation of Anaximander and Parmenides, begins with an invocation of the narrative: