MARTIN HEIDEGGER: . . . The human being is the guardian of the clearing, of the disclosive appropriating Event [of being].* He is not the clearing himself, not the entire clearing, nor is he identical with the whole of the clearing as such. But as the one ecstatically "standing out" into the clearing, he himself is essentially cleared [gelichtet], and thus cleared himself in a distinguished way. Therefore, he is related to, belongs to, and is appropriated by the clearing. Da-sein's being needed as the shepherd of the clearing is a distinguished manner of belonging to the clearing.

MEDARD BOSS: Indian thought does not require a guardian for the clearing. There is clearing in and for itself. Basically and in reality, there is nothing at all but clearedness in and for itself. Human Da-sein is only a domain of the clearedness itself. The human being himself is not fully aware of his own proper unfolding essence, that is, of the absolute clearedness, since [his] vision is somewhat obscured. Accordingly, the whole meaning of human Da-sein lies in regaining the full knowledge of his unfolding essence as clearedness itself. All other beings are essentially the same, but they have lost the insight into their fundamental essence even more than the human being has. All beings have to work their way up to that insight through all their reincarnations.

MARTIN HEIDEGGER: In contrast, it is very important to me that the human being is a human being. In Indian thought, the point is "a giving up of being human" [Entmenschlichung] in the sense of Da-sein's selftransformation into the pure luminosity [of being].

"Before" the human being, the earth too comes into the presence of the clearedness as such, of which the human being is the guardian.

The earth's having been [Schon-gewesen-sein] is a presencing of the earth, the manifestness of which—the clearing of which—does not at all need a human being, who was already [ontically] present then; but nevertheless, it [the presencing of the earth] essentially needs the human being, who stands in the clearing of the total presence and thus also in the clearing of what-has-been [ontologically].

* Up to the eighteenth century, Ereignis was spelled Eräugnis (from "to place before the eye," "to be disclosed") and then was associated with Eigen (one's own) and Ereignis (happening, event). Heidegger combines all of these meanings in Ereignis, i.e., Eräugnis (disclosing), Eigen (appropriating), and Ereignis (event).—TRANSLATORS

† Here Professor Boss obviously extends the idea of reincarnation as it pertains to man to the entire chain of beings and even to pre-human beings.—TRANSLATORS

Zollikon Seminars by Martin Heidegger