of form. More precisely, in overcoming resistance and pushing beyond one’s bounds, a communicative form is achieved.
To communicate is to enter a mediated existence and to bear such an existence is to remain, borne upon the groundless ground. Communicativity is a way of being (beyng). Already in the 1934–35 lecture course on Hölderlin’s Hymns “Germania” and “The Rhine” Heidegger concluded of poetic experience that “Dasein is nothing other than exposure to the overwhelming power of beyng” (GA 39: 31). Exposure to the overwhelming power of beyng is exposure to the medium of communicativity. To be exposed to this is to be drawn into it, to have already entered it. We have always already entered the medium around us. We are seeping through it. To ask what it means to be human is to ask what it means to stand in a storm that grants us our existence. “The question who the human would be has only now broken open a path that at the same time leads off into the unprotected and thus allows the storm of beyng [Sturm des Seyns] to come over it” (GA 65: 300/237, tm). To abandon presuppositions and presumptions is to enter this storm bare headed, as it were. It is to enter the between, that “unprotected amidst [Inmitten] which unleashes the storm of ap-propriation [Er-eignung]” (GA 65: 243/192).
What does the onslaught of the storm reveal? According to the Contributions to Philosophy, nothing less than the singularity of beyng as such. From out of the storm there arises the “lightning flash [Aufblitzen] of the unique singularity of beyng [einmaligen Einzigkeit des Seyns]” (GA 65: 228/180, tm). The lightning flash is momentary—“the moment as the lightning-flashing of beyng [Erblitzen des Seyns]” (GA 65: 409/324, tm)—and as such it is one of the “rare events,” one of the “events as such” (GA 65: 227/179, tm). The rare singularity at stake in the Contributions is thus not something that can be generally perceived.9 While metaphysics begins with a storming assault encompassing beings as a whole—“from the immediate storming in [Ansturm] upon beings as such (physis, idea, ousia) only presencing was retained in the first beginning as graspable and paradigmatic for all interpretations of being” (GA 65: 260–61/205, tm)—any transformation out of metaphysics will be noted only by a few. “The error, of course, consists in thinking that an essential overturning [Umschlag]—one that lays hold of everything in a fundamental way—should at the same time and on the whole also be known by all and comprehended by all and play itself out in public. Only the few ever stand in the brightness of this lightning” (GA 65: 28/24, tm). The few are those who remain.
No account of the rhetoric of storms and exposure in the 1930s can avoid consideration of Heidegger’s politics at the time. The exuberance of overcoming perceived or imagined resistance, the overt and heroic
9 Accordingly, Heideggerian thinking could be considered a kind of esoteric philosophy. The issue is forcefully pursued by Peter Trawny in his Adyton: Heideggers esoterische Philosophie.