the most ideal possibilities of human activity. (In contrast to circumstances, the situation of factical life means the stand taken by life in which it has made itself transparent to itself in its falling and has, in worrying about itself in a concrete manner at the particular time, seized upon itself and stirred itself in its possibility of a motion running counter to the falling of its care.) As tranquilizing, the tendency toward falling that manifests itself in the manner of temptation is alienating. That is, in being absorbed in the world it concerns itself with, factical life becomes more and more alienated from itself, and the movement of caring that has been left to its own devices and comes before itself as the occurrence of life increasingly takes away the factical possibility that life can, in worrying about itself,5 bring itself into view and take itself up as the goal to return to and appropriate. In the three characteristics of its motion, namely, being tempting, tranquilizing, and alienating, the tendency toward falling is the basic movement not only of going about those dealings that gear things in certain directions and produce but also of circumspection itself and its possible autonomy, i.e., of looking at and the addressing and interpreting that define and provide knowledge. Factical life not only takes itself up and cares for itself as a significant occurrence standing before it and as worldly importance but also speaks the language of the world whenever speaking about itself.

What lies in the inclination toward falling is the fact that factical life, which is in each case properly the factical life of the individual, is for the most part not lived as such. Rather, it moves within a certain averageness that belongs to its caring, its going about its dealings, its circumspection, and its understanding of the world. This averageness is that of the reigning publicness6 at any particular time, of the social environs, the dominant trends, the “just like the others.” It is this “everyone”7 that factically lives the life of the individual: everyone is concerned about such and such, everyone sees it, judges it to be so, everyone enjoys it, everyone does it, asks about it. Factical life is lived by the “no one,” to which all life devotes its concern and apprehensions. Life is always mired in inauthentic traditions and customs of one sort or another. Out of them develop certain yearnings, and in them the paths along which such yearnings are to be satisfied have been mapped out for one’s concern. Life conceals itself from itself in the world in which it is absorbed and in the averageness in which it goes about its dealings. In the tendency toward falling, life goes out of its way to avoid itself. Factical life itself gives the clearest attestation to this basic movement in the way it approaches death.

If in accord with the basic character of its being factical life is not a process, so death is not a cessation in the sense of the termination of this process that will turn up at one time or another. Death is imminent for factical life, standing before it as an inevitability. Life is in such a way that its death is always in one way or another there for it, i.e., there as seen in one way or another, even if this takes the form of pushing away and suppressing “the thought of death.” Death is given as an object of care precisely in the fact that in the obstinacy of its imminence, it is

Martin Heidegger - Supplements: From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond