Nietzsche's thinking became fatefully embroiled in poetizing is itself only the relinquishing of any thoughtful questioning. Yet we do not even need to think back to Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories to see that catching sight of the Gestalt as the source that gives meaning is a matter of the legitimation of the being of beings. It would be an all too crude explanation were one to say that [225 {GA 9 397}] here in a secularized world the human being takes the place of God as originator of the being of beings. Certainly, there can be no doubt that the human essence plays a role. But the essence (Wesen in the verbal sense)4 of the human being, "the Dasein in the human being" (cf. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, first edition [1929], §43), is nothing human. For the idea of the human essence to be able to attain the status of that which, as ground, already underlies everything present as that presence that first permits a "representation" among beings and thus "legitimizes" the latter as beings, the human being must first of all be represented in the sense of an authoritative, underlying ground. Yet authoritative for what? For securing beings in their being. "What meaning does "being" assume when the securing of beings is at stake? It appears as that which can be ascertained, i.e., represented, anywhere and at any time. Understanding being in this way, Descartes found the subjectivity of the subiectum in the ego cogito of the finite human being. The appearance of the metaphysical Gestalt of the human being as the source that gives meaning is the ultimate consequence of positing the human essence as the authoritative subiectum. As a consequence, the inner form of metaphysics, which resides in what one can call transcendence, becomes transformed. Within metaphysics, transcendence is for essential reasons ambiguous. "Where such ambiguity is not heeded, a hopeless confusion spreads, a confusion that may serve as the characteristic sign of the metaphysical representation that is still customary today.

On the one hand, transcendence refers to the relation proceeding from beings and passing over to being, and which transpires between the two. At the same time, however, transcendence refers to the relation leading from changeable beings to an entity that is at rest. Finally, corresponding to the use of the title "Excellence," transcendence can refer to that supreme entity itself, which is then also called "being," resulting in it being strangely confused with the first meaning.

Why bore you with this hint concerning these distinctions, which are bandied about all too readily today, i.e., are scarcely [226 {GA 9 398}] thought through in their diversity or in their belonging together? In order to clarify from this how the meta-physical in metaphysics, namely, transcendence, comes to be transformed whenever, within the realm of these distinctions, the


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