Interpretation of the Main Part of Schelling's Treatise

It is important to remain closer to the text again now without claiming to clarify everything in a final way. But because the success of a true understanding depends above all on our actualizing the movement of the project, let us now once again—in brief statements—place the task before us.

As the essential possibility of human freedom, evil is an essential manner of human freedom. As the spirit separated from God and thus idiosyncratic, man is that being in which God reveals himself as eternal Spirit. This self-revelation of God in man is in itself at the same time the creation of man. But self-revelation belongs to the nature of God as the existing one. Existence is the primordial and essential self-revelation of God in himself before the eternal act of creating things. But existence is intrinsically related to that in God from which he emerges as existent, to the ground in God. Thus existence, self-revelation in general and the creation of the world in particular and thus human beings and thus the possibility of evil have their essential beginning, their "principle," in the nature of the ground.

Therefore, the reflection on the origin must begin with an essential project of the nature of this ground in God—all of this, however, in anticipation of the becoming of creation. The entire reflection on the origin is, however, carried out in the light of a concept of Being which has abandoned that decisive orientation toward the mere bodily presence of material things.

A consideration which proceeds from things leads to the same distinction. First, the concept of immanence is to be set aside completely insofar as it is meant to express a dead conceptual inclusion of things in God. We recognize, rather, that the concept of becoming is the only one adequate to the nature of things. But the process' of their becoming cannot be in God, viewed absolutely, since they are distinct from him toto genere or—more accurately—in eternity. To be separate from God they would have to carry on this becoming on a basis different from Him. But since there can be nothing outside God, the contradiction can only be solved by things having their basis in that within God which is not God himself (footnote: this is the only correct dualism, namely a dualism which at the same time admits a unity. We mentioned above a modified dualism according to which the principle of evil does not stand alongside goodness, but is subordinated to it. It is hardly to be feared that anyone will confuse the relationship established here with that dualism in which the subordinate is always an essentially evil principle and for this very reason remains incomprehensible with respect to its origin in God.), that is, in that which is the basis of His existence. If we wish to bring this Being nearer to us from a human standpoint, we may say it is the longing which the eternal One feels to give birth to itself. This is not the One itself, but is coeternal with it. This longing seeks to give birth to God, that is, the unfathomable unity, but to this extent it has not yet the unity in its own self. Therefore, regarded in itself, it is also will: but a will within which there is no understanding and thus not an independent and complete will, since understanding is actually the will in willing. Nevertheless, it is a will of the understanding, namely, the longing and desire thereof; not a conscious but a prescient will, whose prescience is understanding. We are speaking of the essence of longing

Martin Heidegger (GA 42) Schelling's Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom