NIETZSCHE'S WORD: "GOD IS DEAD"


the last three and a half centuries. But what has happened, in the ground of this history, with beings? When he cites the relationship between earth and sun, Nietzsche is not just thinking of the Copernican revolution in the modem conception of science. The word "sun" will also remind us of Plato's parable. According to the parable, the sun and the realm of its light are the surroundings in which beings appear in accordance with their appearance, in accordance with their visible aspect (in accordance with the ideas). The sun forms and delimits the field of vision in which beings show themselves as beings. The "horizon" means the supersensory world as the one that truly is. This is at the same time the entirety that embraces and includes everything in itself like the sea. The earth as the residence of man is unchained from its sun. The realm of the supersensory which has its being in itself [an sich seienden] is no longer the normative light above man. The whole field of vision has been wiped away. The entirety of beings as such, the sea, has been drunk dry by men. For man has risen up into the 1-hood of the ego cogito. With this uprising all beings become objects. As what is objective, beings are swallowed up into the immanence of subjectivity. The horizon no longer illuminates of itself. It is now only the viewpoint set in the dispensation of value of the will to power.

With the help of these three images, "sun, horizon, sea" (which, for our thinking, are probably something quite other than images), the three questions explain what is meant by the event in which God is killed. This killing means the elimination, through man, of the supersensory world that has its being in itself. This killing identifies the process in which beings as such are not absolutely annihilated, but rather become otherwise in their being. However, in this process, man too, and above all, becomes otherwise. He becomes the one who eliminates beings in the sense of beings in themselves [des an sich Seienden]. 'The human uprising into subjectivity makes beings into objects. However, what is objective is that which, through representation, has been brought to a stand. The elimination of beings in themselves, the killing of God, is accomplished in the securing of duration [Bestandsicherung] through which man secures bodily, material, spiritual, and intellectual durables [Bestände]; however, these are secured for the sake of man's own security, which wills the mastery over beings (as potentially objective), in order to conform to the being of beings, the will to power.

Securement, as the obtaining of security, is grounding in the dispensation of value. Setting, dispensing, values has killed beneath itself all beings in themselves, thereby doing away with them as beings for themselves. This final blow in the murder of God is struck by metaphysics, which as the


195


Off the Beaten Track (GA 5) by Martin Heidegger