Friday, October 25, 2013
In the comments recently, Still made the following remark en route to a worthy point regarding the differentiation of Seyn:
"While Seinsvergessenheit holds sway, for instance, the mystery *cannot be thought from itself*, and the thinker is powerless from himself alone to open the space in which it may be so thought"
I will here permit myself the license to tear this quote from its context in order to consider it solely as an indication of the nexus of a peculiar seynsgeschichtlich ambiguity: the time during which seinsvergessenheit holds sway can be said in more than one way.
On the one hand, there is an extensive sense of the time of seinsvergessenheit. The extensive time of seinsvergessenheit is the time that began with the "first beginning," i.e. the time which began with Greek thinking --a beginning of Western thought which also eventually buried the hidden possibility of that same thinking. In this sense, seinsvergessenheit has (increasingly) reigned as long as metaphysics has actually existed. According to this sense, the "mystery," as Still says, "cannot be thought from out of itself," insofar as it is epochally withheld in order to provide the ages of Western history -- the ages which metaphysics each time grounds for a while.
On the other hand, there is an intensive sense of the time of seinsvergessenheit. In this sense, the time of seinsvergessenheit is only the present age, the age, that is, where metaphysics consummates what has always been most distinctive of it, namely how Being withholds itself from metaphysics. In this case, the time of seinsvergessenheit is the dissipation of actual metaphysics into the various fields of the sciences, as the latter is ordered in advance into the constellations of technology, the invisible center of whose gathering is Das Gestell. But in this case, if seinsvergessenheit actually comes about through the actual loss of metaphysics in the present age of technology, then it is precisely at this time of the present age that the mystery may yet be thought from out of itself. That is to say, only now, in the reigning of seinsvergessenheit, is the possibility granted to think Being differently than metaphysics was ever eventually able to. Seinsvergessenheit thus becomes the mystery first giving itself to thought, namely in the offering of nothing ---but concealment. And this concealment is none other than the concealment of Being itself (Seyn). This is why Heidegger speaks of technology's essence as a Janus-Head: the sending of Sein as Nothing (seinsvergessenheit) is the giving of the refusal of Seyn. No longer an understanding of Being (Sein) but Being itself (Seyn) is finally given --given as the unthought. Seinsvergessenheit is yet to be thought as Seynsvergessenheit.