well as the textured medium that receives it, the sky. The divinities could be seen as specifying the rules of engagement between thing and world, as the ambassadors of a kind of structural law, as it were. This law would prescribe that the foreign must appear in order to be foreign. Failure to abide this would entail oblivion. The divinities bring the foreign as the foreign, allowing for what one might term an appropriation of the inappropriable. This is nothing less than the condition of meaning as such. The divinities enact meaning.
Meaning for its part is ever only an affair of the mortal. Meaning is finitude; finitude means . . . . The finite as delimited is exposed. Meaning is found nowhere other than here, at this limit or surface of exposure, for it is only here that we can be reached, addressed, called out by what comes to us, what arrives, what concerns us, what strikes us as meaningful. We are addressed at our limit and this address is the impact of meaning. Finitude implicates its own beyond and is struck by that beyond in return. Whatever is delimited simultaneously sketches its own beyond. The finite does this so essentially that it is inextricable from that beyond. What appears to us does so precisely as something that reaches us. It comes to us from where it is. What appears is (the) given. To be given is to be sent. The given radiates in reaching us. And we are already out ahead of ourselves in reaching it in its concernful approach. What concerns us (geht uns an) approaches us (geht uns an). The given “issues” forth to us. What is given arrives as an issue for us. It comes to us as meaningful. This arriving of the meaningful is not due to any bestowal of meaning on our part. We do not bestow so much as receive the meaning that we are prepared for, the meaning we are enabled to receive. This is the truth of the claim that “I am human and nothing is foreign to me.”38 Meaning emerges from the interface, not the understanding, of a particular being.
In our examination of messengership, we noted the way in which delivery of the message was always the extension of a withdrawal, the bringing of a trace. This establishes the communicative texture of the world. The medium is not pixilated so much as gestural, reaching beyond itself to pass along the withdrawal that sets it in motion, making it worldly. This is why Heidegger proposes such elaborately repercussive structures in his thinking of the divine—the hale is the trace of the holy is the element of godhood is the trace of the gods who have flown. Such reverberations are the only way to properly think mediation. Mediation cannot be thought on the basis of intervention and the intermediary. To do so is to presume the very self-identity that hinting, messaging, and mediation undermine from the outset. There is not a donor-pole and a recipient-pole with a single mediator arbitrating between them. The model presumes not only self-identity on the part of the poles and the
38 A paraphrase of Terence; see note 30 in chapter 2. Sheehan expresses the same thought in his claim that “being is always ‘ad hominem’ ” (Sheehan, “Facticity and Ereignis,” 68).