The German word for “countering,” “Ent-gegnung,” means both encountering and opposing, and further articulates the de-cision of gods and humans out of the needfulness which opens inceptively the truth of be-ing. Gods and humans need each other in order to come into their own. Their relation occurs in “owning over to” (Übereignung) and “owning to” (Zueignung): “Enowning owns god over to man in that enowning owns man to god” (C19; B26). The owning over of gods to humans occurs in the compelling needfulness of the gods, and humans are owned to gods in that they respond to the need of the gods and ¤nd their own (being) in response to the gods’ need.
Heidegger notes that “owning to” and “owning over to” stand in an utmost “counter” since they bridge the abyss out of which enowning occurs. This abyss opens in the need of be-ing out of the self-refusal of being. The relation between humans and gods is mediated in the cleft of be-ing by the “not” of be-ing: In be-ing’s self-refusal (the “not” of being) dwells the need of the gods which necessitates humans to become grounders of the abysmal opening of be-ing so that be-ing may occur as enowning.
One could link the three ¤rst aspects of enowning that Heidegger articulates in section 267 by saying that, out of a distress which arises in the occurring of the truth of be-ing as self-refusal, the en-ownment of beingt/ here occurs in the (en)countering de-cision of humans and gods. This entails a differencing between be-ing and beings which marks the next aspect of enowning.
4. Countering is the origin of the strife, which holds sway by setting beings* [das Seiende]4 free from their lostness in mere beingness. Setting-free [ent-setzen] distinguishes en-owning in its relation to beings* as such. En-ownment of being-t/here* lets being-t/here* become abiding* in what is non-ordinary vis-à-vis every kind of being. (C331; B470)
The countering of gods and humans is the origin of the setting-free of beings. In section 269, Heidegger meditates further on this “setting free.” He calls it “a tuning” and “the originary rift of what has the character of
4. It does not seem appropriate to translate “das Seiende” as “a being.” What is set free is not merely a being but beings as a whole.