(11) For what is happening now is the melting down of the self-completing essence of modernity into the obvious. Only when this is secured as a world view will the possibility arise of a fertile ground for being to become capable of a primal questioning - a question-worthiness which opens the leeway for the decision as to whether being will once more be capable of a god, as to whether the essence of the truth of being will make a more primordial claim upon the essence of man. Only when the completion of the modern age affirms the ruthlessness of its own greatness is future history being prepared.

(12) Americanism is something European. It is that still uncomprehended species of the gigantic — the gigantic that is still not properly assembled and still fails to arise from the complete and collected essence of modernity. The American interpretation of Americanism in terms of pragmatism still remains outside the realm of metaphysics.

(13) Everyday opinion sees in the shadow merely the absence of light, if not its complete denial. But, in truth, the shadow is the manifest, though impenetrable, testimony of hidden illumination. Conceiving of the shadow this way, we experience the incalculable as that which escapes representation, yet is manifest in beings and points to the hidden being [Sein].

(14) But what if the refusal itself had to become the highest and hardest disclosure of being? Conceived from out of metaphysics (i.e., from the question of being in the form "What is the being?") the hidden essence of being, the refusal, reveals itself first of all as the absolute non-being, as the nothing. But the nothing, as the nothing of beings is the keenest opponent of mere negating. The nothing is never nothing, and neither is it a something in the sense of an object; it is being itself whose truth will be given over to man when he has overcome himself as subject, when, that is, he no longer represents beings as objects.

(15) This open in-between is the being-there [Da-sein], understanding the word in the sense of the ecstatic region of the disclosure and concealment of being.


Off the Beaten Track (GA 5) by Martin Heidegger