its own proper wealth. But the clearing itself is being. Within the destiny of being in metaphysics the clearing first affords a view by which what is present comes into touch with the human being, who is present to it, so that the human being himself can in apprehending (νοεῖν) first touch upon being (θἰγεῖν, Aristotle, Metaphysics Θ, 10). This view first draws the perspect toward it. It abandons itself to such a perspect when apprehending has become a setting-forth-before-itself in the perceptio of the res cogitans taken as the subiectum of certitudo.

But how — provided we really ought to ask such a question at all — how does being relate to ek-sistence? Being itself is the relationa to the extent that It, as the locality of the truth of being amid beings, gathers to itself and embraces ek-sistence in its existential, that is, ecstatic, essence. Because the human being as the one who ek-sists comes to stand in this relation that being destines for itself, in that he ecstatically sustains it, that is, in care takes it upon himself, he at first fails to recognize the nearest and attaches himself to the next nearest. He even thinks that this is the nearest. But nearer than the nearest, than beings,14 and at the same time for ordinary thinking farther than the farthest is nearness itself: the truth of being.

Forgetting the truth of being in favor of the pressing throng of beings unthought in their essence is what "falling" [Verfallen] means in Being and Time. This word does not signify the Fall of Man understood in a "moral- philosophical" and at the same time secularized way; rather, it designates an essential relationship of humans to being within being's relation to the essence of the human being. Accordingly, the terms "authenticity"b and "inauthenticity," which are used in a provisional fashion, do not imply a moral-existentiell or an "anthropological" distinction but rather a relation that, because it has been hitherto concealed from philosophy, has yet to be thought for the first time, an "ecstatic" relation of the essence of the human being to the truth of being. But this [164 {GA 9 333}] relation is as it is not by reason of ek-sistence; on the contrary, the essence of ek-sistence is destined15 existentially-ecstatically from the essence of the truth of being.

The one thing thinking would like to attain and for the first time tries to articulate in Being and Time is something simple. As such, being remains mysterious, the simple nearness of an unobtrusive prevailing. The nearnessc occurs essentially as language itself. But language is not mere

a Plato's Doctrine of Truth, first edition, 1947: Relation from out of restraint (withholding) of refusal (of withdrawal).
b First Edition, 1949: To be thought from out of what is proper to ap-propriating.
c First edition, 1949: In the sense of nearing: holding ready in clearing, holding as safeguarding.


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Letter on Humanism - Pathmarks