PATHMARKS


a dawning world destiny that nevertheless in the basic traits of its essential provenance remains European by definition. No metaphysics, whether idealistic, materialistic, or Christian, can in accord with its essence, and surely not in [172 {GA 9 341}] its own attempts to explicate itself, "get a hold on" this destiny, and that means thoughtfully to reach and gather together what in the fullest sense of being now is.a

In the face of the essential homelessness of human beings, the approaching destiny of the human being reveals itself to thought on the history of being in this, that the human being find his way into the truth of being and set out on this find. Every nationalism is metaphysically an anthropologism, and as such subjectivism. Nationalism is not overcome through mere internationalism; it is rather expanded and elevated thereby into a system. Nationalism is as little brought and raised to humanitas by internationalism as individualism is by an ahistorical collectivism. The latter is the subjectivityb of human beings in totality. It completes subjectivity's unconditioned self-assertion, which refuses to yield. Nor can it be even adequately experienced by a thinking that mediates in a one-sided fashion. Expelled from the truth of being, the human being everywhere circles around himself as the animal rationale.

But the essence of the human being consists in his being more than merely human, if this is represented as "being a rational creature." "More" must not be understood here additively, as if the traditional definition of the human being were indeed to remain basic, only elaborated by means of an existentiell postscript. The "more" means: more originally and therefore more essentially in terms of his essence. But here something enigmatic manifests itself: the human being is in thrownness. This means that the human being, as the ek-sisting counterthrow [Gegenwurf] of being,c is more than animal rationale precisely to the extent that he is less bound up with the human being conceived from subjectivity. The human being is not the lord of beings. The human being is the shepherd of being. Human beings lose nothing in this "less"; rather, they gain in that they attain the truth of being. They gain the essential poverty of the shepherd, whose dignity consists in [173 {GA 9 342}] being called by being itself into the preservation of being's truth. The call comes as the throw from which the thrownness of Da-sein


a Plato's Doctrine of Truth, first edition, 1947: What is it that now is — now in the era of the will to will? What now is, is unconditional neglect of preservation [Verwahrlosung), this word taken in a strict sense in terms of the history of being: wahr-los [without preservation); conversely: in terms of destining.

b First edition, 1949: Industrial society as the subject that provides the measure — and thinking as "politics."

c First edition, 1949: Better: within being qua event of appropriation.


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Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Letter on Humanism - Pathmarks