12
ON TIME AND BEING

as presence and everything which belongs to such a present would have to be called real time, even though there is nothing immediately about it of time as time is usually represented in the sense of a succession of a calculable sequence of nows.

But we have so far omitted showing more clearly what the present in the sense of presence means. Presence determines Being in a unified way as presencing and allowing-to-presence, that is, as un-concealing. What matter are we thinking when we say presencing? To presence means to last. But we are too quickly content to conceive lasting as mere duration, and to conceive duration in terms of the customary representation of time as a span of time from one now to a subsequent now. To talk of presencing, however, requires that we perceive biding and abiding in lasting as lasting in present being. What is present concerns us, the present, that is: what, lasting, comes toward us, us human beings.

Who are we? We remain cautious in our answer. For it might be that that which distinguishes man as man is determined precisely by what we must think about here: man, who is concerned with and approached by presence, who, through being thus approached, is himself present in his own way for all present and absent beings.

Man: standing within the approach of presence, but in such a way that he receives as a gift the presencing that It gives by perceiving what appears in letting-presence. If man were not the constant receiver of the gift given by the "It gives presence," if that which is extended in the gift did not reach man, then not only would Being remain concealed in the absence of this gift, not only dosed off, but man would remain excluded from the scope of: It gives Being. Man would not be man.

Now it looks as if the reference to man had led us astray from the way upon which we would like to think about what is peculiar to time. In a way this is so. Yet we are closer than we believe to the matter which is called time and which is to show itself explicitly in the light of the present as presence.

Presence means: the constant abiding that approaches man, reaches him, is extended to him. But what is the source of this


On Time and Being (GA 14) by Martin Heidegger