134 | Heidegger’s Poietic Writings


relation to the abandonment of beings by beings. Staying away is a “leaving empty” and thus simultaneously an opening up, an attuning or disposing disclosure. The emptiness transports into the arriving future and breaks open a happening past, that is, the staying away is a spatializing and temporalizing, a remembering expectation that opens up the decision over beyng (GA 65: 383–384; C: 303). Beyng and history are not yet decided here but they become decidable in the time-space of the abyss.

Whereas in Contributions the staying away marks the temporalizing and spatializing of the time-space of decision over history or lack of history, in On Inception Heidegger thinks the staying away as opening up the arrival of the egress and as the site where history truly happens. His thinking found a stay in the staying away.

Whereas in Contributions the staying away marks the temporalizing and spatializing of the time-space of decision over history or lack of history, in On Inception Heidegger thinks the staying away as opening up the arrival of the egress and as the site where history truly happens. His thinking found a stay in the staying away.

But again: What kind of history (Geschichte) is this “dimly lit” happening?4 What about Heidegger’s idea only a few years earlier (“The Origin of the Work of Art,” for instance) that history happens in the openness of a world? Where did the world go? And where did beings go that, according to his thought in Contributions, are what shelters truth (out of Da-sein)?

Still in section 20 of On Inception Heidegger writes that the staying away has parted from beings (die Verabschiedung des Seienden) (GA 70: 38). Such parting does not effect anything with respect to beings and yet it allows beings to be “elevated above themselves” and to arise in the openness other wise refused to them: “The parting first brings beings (in the manner of the event, not as a nexus of effects) into the rareness of their essential simplicity and first-time-character [Erstmaligkeit] proper to beyng” (GA 70: 38).5

It seems paradoxical: beings, by parting from beings, first rise into the open. If we compare this thought again to Contributions we may say that in Contributions, the time-space of the abyss is yet to be grounded into beings, it yet needs to find a concrete site through the sheltering of truth in beings. In On Inception, on the one hand, Heidegger seems to make a similar move, the staying away parts from beings (this is analogous to the abandonment of beings by being). On the other hand, this parting now somehow lets beings arise into the open (whereas before beings did not yet shelter truth). What beings arise into the open here? What beings besides the words of the thinker?

This brings me again to the question of the relation between beyng and beings (the question of the simultaneity of and difference between beyng and beings), which now needs to take into account the beingless (or nothingless) as well.


Beings and the Beingless

The way Heidegger engages or addresses beings changes with On Inception. What changes as well is their “place” in the thinking of the event. Especially when we think of that passage in which he says that beings (as the beingless) are somehow older than being (GA 70: 121), it appears that the simultaneity of being and beings


4. I am taking the notion “dimly lit” from Claudia Barracchi’s essay “The End of Philosophy and the Experience of Unending Φύσις,” in Paths in Heidegger’s Later Thought, ed. Günter Figal, Diego D’Angelo, Tobias Keiling, and Guang Yang (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, forthcoming).

5. The phrasing is somewhat strange in the German too: “Die Verabschiedung bringt (ereignishaft, nicht als Wirkungszusammenhang) das Seiende erst in die Seltenheit seiner dem Seyn eigenen Wesenseinfachheit und Erstmaligkeit.”


Heidegger’s Poietic Writings : from Contributions to Philosophy to The Event by Daniela Vallega-Neu