openness of Being in which it stands in withstanding it. This withstanding is experienced under the name of "care." The ecstatic essence of Dasein is thought in terms of care, and, conversely, care is experienced adequately only in its ecstatic essence. Withstanding, experienced in this manner, is the essence of the ecstasis that is to be thought here. The ecstatic essence of existence is therefore still understood inadequately as long as one thinks of it as merely a "standing out," while interpreting the "out" as meaning "away from" the interior of an immanence of consciousness or spirit. For in this manner, existence would still be represented in terms of "subjectivity" and "substance"; while, in fact, the "out" ought to be understood in terms of the "outside itself" of the openness of Being itself. The stasis of the ecstatic consists — strange as it may sound — in standing in the "out" and "there" of unconcealedness, which prevails as the essence of Being itself. What is meant by "existence" in the context of a thinking that is prompted by, and directed toward, the truth of Being, could be most felicitously designated by the word "in-standing" [Inständigkeit]. We must think at the same time, however, of standing in the openness of Being, of sustaining this standing-in (care), and of enduring in what is most extreme (being toward death);a for together they constitute the full essence of existence.b

[204 {GA 9 374}] The being that exists is the human being. The human being alone exists. Rocks are, but they do not exist. Trees are, but they do not exist. Horses are, but they do not exist. Angels are, but they do not exist. God is, but he does not exist. The proposition "the human being alone exists" does not at all mean that the human being alone is a real being while all other beings are unreal and mere appearances or human representations. The proposition "the human being exists" means: the human being is that being whose Being is distinguished by an open standing that stands in the unconcealedness of Being, proceeding from Being, in Being. Thee existential essence of the human being is the reason why human beings can represent beings as such, and why they can be conscious of such representations. All consciousness presupposes existence, thought as ecstatic, as the essentia of the human being — essentia meaning that as which the human being essentially prevails insofar as he is human. But consciousness does not itself create the openness of beings, nor is it consciousness that makes it possible for the human being to stand open for beings. Whither and whence

a Fifth edition, 1949: Letting death come toward and upon oneself, holding oneself in the arrival of death as the gathered shelter [Ge-Birg] of Being.

b Fifth edition, 1949: Dwelling, as "building."

c Fifth edition, 1949: Used and appropriated.


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) What Is Metaphysics? - Pathmarks