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Die existenzial-ontologische Verfassung der Daseinsganzheit gründet in der Zeitlichkeit. ...
Führt ein Weg von der ursprünglichen Zeit zum Sinn des Seins?
The existenzial-ontological constitution of the whole of Dasein is grounded in temporality. ...
Is there a path from originary time to the meaning of being?
Martin Heidegger Sein und Zeit 1927 penultimate sentence
In his 1962 talk, 'Zeit und Sein',(2) Heidegger seeks to show how to understand being itself starting from the innocuous statement, 'Es gibt Sein', normally rendered in English as 'There is being.', but more literally, 'It gives being'. This alternative, 'angeletic'(3) way of saying is important because, strictly speaking, only a being 'is', but not being itself. Heidegger takes his cue from the German language, and capitalizes the Es (It) into a mysterious It that gives being itself. The mystery of the It is usually enough to put off most metaphysically disposed philosophers and scientists, who implicitly or explicitly take the meaning of being as read, as trivial. The meaning of being itself, however, is easily made out to be 'Anwesen', 'presence', because this has always been tacitly presupposed by the entire philosophical tradition, even though metaphysical thinking has always implicitly thought only the presence of beings, and thus the letting-presence (Anwesenlassen) of beings rather than presencing (Anwesen) itself.(4) Metaphysics' hallmark is that it thinks being only in relation to beings, i.e. the beingness of beings (Seiendheit des Seienden). Thus 'It gives being' means 'It gives presence' and further, 'It gives the letting-presence of presents'. Hereafter, when you read 'being' and 'beings' in Heidegger's thinking, you must always think 'presencing' and 'presents' as that which is present (Anwesendes).
The giving of presence, however, holds onto itself in an e)poxh/ (from the verb e)pe/xein meaning in one of its significations 'to keep in, hold back, Lat. inhibere'). Presence itself thus holds itself back in hiding whilst letting presents presence. They presence and thus present themselves in various guises, each of which has been seen metaphysically in different historical epochs, starting with Plato's famous i)de/a, meaning literally 'look' or 'sight', through Aristotle's ou)si/a (substance, or literally: beingness) and e)ne/rgeia (energy, at-work-ness) to Leinbiz' monad, Kant's Gegenständlichkeit (objectivity), and beyond. In each historical epoch there have been different, overlapping casts of the being of beings, or the presencing of presents, that present themselves historically as this or that in different metaphysical guises that define each epoch. The as is the hermeneutic As through which an historical world takes shape and is understood and, as explicitly expounded, it is the apophantic As defining a metaphysical Gestalt of the being of beings, such as the Platonic Idea or modern science's objectivity of the object for the subject. Meanwhile, presence itself holds itself back, thus disguising itself in favour of the guises in which beings present themselves historically. The giving that gives each epoch of the presencing of presents is thus a sending, a Geschick, that defines history (Geschichte) from the It that sends. This understanding of history from the sendings of an It that sends the presencing of presents in various guises whilst itself remaining hidden in disguise, of course, remains foreign to any kind of historiography that is used to stringing events, i.e. beings, together in some sort of explanatory, causal way along the washing-line of linear time.
In making the implicit meaning of being as presence explicit, by bringing it out into the open, the temporal meaning of being has been uncovered. The phenomenon of time itself, however, is not exhausted by presence nor can it be clarified by linking it back circularly to being.
Is this time?:
To understand what time is aright,
without which we never can comprehend infinity,
insomuch as one is a portion of the other,
—we ought seriously to sit down and consider
what idea it is, we have of duration,
so as to give a satisfactory account, how we came by it.—
What is that to any body? quoth my uncle Toby.
Vol. III Ch. 18.
So, how are we to think time more adequately than has been the case throughout the history of metaphysics? Starting with Aristotle, time itself has been thought as a one-dimensional, and thus linear, succession of now-instants (Gk. nu=n) proceeding from an earlier to a later. Only that which is present in the present now-instant was thought, and is today still thought, metaphysically to be really there, to be really real. What is still coming from the future is not yet, and what has past into the past is no longer. Hence, linear time itself, consisting of a string of now-instants, has been thought metaphysically, strictly speaking, as largely non-existent! The negations of not yet and no longer have been understood as a negation, a lack of being, i.e. a lack of presence in the present. Heidegger, however, shows us in lucid phenomenological finger exercises that the two kinds of absence are by no means nothing at all, or mere negations, but rather themselves modes of presence! The presence in the present of what is not yet, still coming from the future, is withheld (vorenthalten), whereas the presence of what is no longer is refused (verweigert), retreated into absence. Such withholding (Vorenthalt) and refusal (Verweigerung, or better: Rückzug, retreat as an alternative to Heidegger's term), although negative, are also distinctly positive phenomena: presence withheld in the future and refused presence through retreat into absence.
The difficulty now is to look away from the presents that are not yet or no longer presented in the present, to the presencing of the three characteristic modes of presence themselves. It is necessary to explicitly ask for whom presents are presently present, withheld in, or retreated into, absence. The hallmark of human being itself is to be the site, the Da, for such presencing and absencing. The three modes of presencing themselves impact (angehen) human being itself. Such impact (Angang) is the opening of human being itself as the opening of the clearing of this three-dimensional presencing of the dimensions of time. Dimension is thought here from the Greek as a 'measuring-through' or 'passing-through' which in this case is a 'reaching-through-to'. Such impact is only possible because the three dimensions, reaching to each other in a unified way, also reach (erreichen) human beings. This reaching-to (Reichen) is a bestowal of human being with time, a bestowal of unified threefold presencing itself that impacts human being inconspicuously, not in a self-showing, but in the silent quivering of an attunement which sets human being itself 'musically' into resonance. Hence the time-clearing hides itself inconspicuously as 'nothing at all', whilst nevertheless affecting human being. Without the bestowal of the time-clearing reaching human being, humans would not be human beings.
As three-dimensional clearing, time is now no longer thought linearly, but as a time-space (Zeit-Raum, ZS:14). The It that gives does not send only the presence of presents in their epochal disguises, but It bestows three-dimensional presencing itself that reaches human beings. As human beings, humans are exposed (ausgesetzt) to the clearing of 3D time-space and have to stand it (ausstehen) so long as they ex-sist, i.e. 'stand out' in the temporal clearing for presencing and absencing.
Three-dimensional time itself is a reaching of the three temporal dimensions to each other in a play of time in which, say, beenness plays to future which in turn reaches itself to presence. This interwoven reaching-to of the three dimensions enables fluid movement through a time-space thus unified. This unified 3D time-space itself is bestowed on human being in a reaching-through-to, so time itself may be thought as four-dimensional (vierdimensional, ZS:16), namely, the reaching of the three temporal ecstasies to each other along with the reaching-through of unified time-space itself to human being as the clearing to which human beings are exposed and in which they dwell. Human beings as such are stretched ecstatically to the three ecstasies of time, passing through its dimensions and moving fluidly between them. This exposure to the time-clearing is their mind.(5)
The It that gives not only sends presence itself, but is a reaching-to that bestows. Hence we have a giving (Geben), an historical sending (geschichtliches Geschick) and also a reaching bestowal (Reichen). These gifts may be thoroughly two-edged, i.e. both terrifying and joyous, but this gift-giving bestows human being itself as ec-static ex-posure. Post-metaphysically, being's very meaning is unfolded (explicated) into the three ecstasies of the time-clearing. The very meaning of 'simultaneity' also changes, because the three characteristic modes of presencing/absencing in their unity are 'simultaneous'.
Heidegger himself says that time-space is "pre-spatial; only for this reason can it [time-space as "the clearing reaching-to-one-another of future, beenness and presence"] space, make room for, i.e. give space" (vor-räumlich; nur deshalb kann es [der Zeit-Raum als "das lichtende Einander-sich-reichen von Zukunft, Gewesenheit und Gegenwart"] Raum einräumen, d.h. geben, ZS:15(6)). The pre-spatiality of the time-clearing means that it 'has' and 'is' no 'where', but rather is the open clearing for every 'where' to take place, i.e. presence as a locality (see below 3 Space spaced by places). This pre-spatial nature of time-space, for some, is a cause for alarm, since it assertedly "prioritizes"(7) or even "privileges" time over space. Heidegger's term 'time-space' (Zeit-Raum) is also misleading insofar as it easily suggests that there is some kind of conjunction of time and space (see preceding footnote), and Heidegger does indeed vacillate profusely in this direction. It is therefore preferable to speak of the time-clearing (Zeitlichtung) instead (a word not used by Heidegger) insofar as it avoids a possible (fatal) misunderstanding, i.e. misinterpretation of the phenomena of time and space themselves.
Such a misunderstanding and misinterpretation thoroughly permeates today's Heidegger scholarship, even in the direction of a bias toward foregrounding space, spatiality and place, in particular in relation to sculpture and architecture. Thus, for example, John Russon and Kirsten Jacobson baldly assert at the beginning of their article on space, "The Da, the 'there,' is space...".(8) When discussing Heidegger's concept of Zeit-Raum later on in their article, there is no elaboration of time's modes of presencing and absencing, nor any mention of presence and absence, An- und Abwesenheit, at all. Instead, at first there is reference to Sein und Zeit: "The meaning [Sinn] of Dasein is temporality," which the authors then take as justification to write, "This inseparability of time and space — of 'meaning' and 'extension', so to speak — invites us to recognize a source for each that precedes their apparent separability. This is the 'time-space' [Zeit-Raum] of Contributions to Philosophy." Time thus disappears erroneously behind "meaning" that gives sense of direction to Dasein's existing. The passage the authors cite from the Contributions to Philosophy reads in part: "But, measured against the usual ideas of time and space, here they are more originary, and even more so time-space [Zeit-Raum], which is not a coupling of time and space but their more originary belonging-together" (Aber Zeit und Raum sind hier, an der gewöhnlichen Vorstellung von ihnen gemessen, ursprünglicher und vollends der Zeit-Raum, der keine Verkoppelung, sondern das Ursprünglichere ihrer Zusammengehörigkeit, GA65:189, translation corrected). This conception of Heidegger's in 1936-38 contradicts his employment of the term in his late 1962 lecture on 'Zeit und Sein' in which four-dimensional time itself is named the "pre-spatial" Zeit-Raum.
So an issue of the 'phenomena themselves' is at stake to decide how they show themselves, i.e. presence, and not merely an occasion for scholars to quibble blindly over what Heidegger 'really meant' by citing and comparing various passages from his writings. Russon and Jacobson do not draw attention to the preceding paragraph in the section of the Contributions they cite, which is entitled "95. The First Beginning". Heidegger notes here that in the First Beginning with the Greeks, "... 'time' itself and time as the truth of being are not at all appraised as being worthy of questioning and experiencing. And just as little is it asked why time as presence and not also as past and future come into play for the truth of being" (...'die Zeit' selbst und sie als die Wahrheit des Seins gar nicht des Fragens und Erfahrens gewürdigt werden. Und ebensowenig wird gefragt, warum die Zeit als Gegenwart und nicht auch als Vergangenheit und Zukunft für die Wahrheit des Seins ins Spiel kommt. GA65:189). The First Beginning, he goes on, unquestioningly takes for granted "solely the un-canniness of upsurgence, of standing presence in the openness (a)lh/qeia) of beings themselves" (einzig das Un-geheure des Aufgehens, der ständigen Anwesung in der Offenheit (a)lh/qeia) des Seienden selbst, GA65:189), thus missing the temporal nature of the clearing of being itself — which applies also to the two authors.
As I have already pointed out, the pre-spatiality of time is not a matter of Heidegger himself setting priorities, but of a binding to and a hermeneutic recasting of the tradition of Western thinking that has itself implicitly understood being all along as temporal without, however, having ever made this explicit. In so doing, the tradition itself has implicitly, although truncatedly, remained true to the phenomena themselves. Heidegger is 'just' questioning more deeply, unearthing something unheard-of, thus bringing into the light of the historical clearing something somehow known all along, albeit not without encountering savage resistance from those defending well-worn metaphysical habits of thought. Presumably, this resistance stems from the historical necessity of a step back from the metaphysical will to control or explain all kinds of movement knowingly from the present, which depends crucially on time being cast as the linear time necessary for the very idea of effective causality.
Much occurs without taking place.
Vieles kommt vor, ohne stattzuhaben.
What a pudder and racket in Councils about ou)si/a and u(po/stasij;
and in the Schools of the learned about power and about spirit;
—about essences and about quintessences;
—about substances, and about space.
Vol. II Ch. 2.
Heidegger himself gives a clue in 'Zeit und Sein' on how to approach the question of space (Raum, which can mean also 'room' in English). Similarly to both being and time, the task is to think space from the It that gives (cf. ZS:24). Space itself can only be given within the 3D time-clearing, for this is the sole clearing for any presencing at all, encompassing the presencing and absencing of all presents and absents (i.e. anything that occurs, or occurrents, to employ an old word), including those that are spread out and hence require space. (Presents such as mathematical entities like triangles and natural numbers, or hermeneutically subtle, intangible, mooded phenomena like love, trust, justice and their privative modes, presence without in themselves requiring place or space.) Moreover, when attention is paid to the ongoing participial-verbal action of the verbs, absencing and presencing themselves are nothing other than the reaching-bestowing-clearing of the time-clearing itself. Space, in turn, is spaced (eingeräumt, i.e. ordered and conceded, made room for) by certain spread-out presents and absents taking place within the time-clearing bestowed on human being, which is thus also implicitly spatial because human being is always already out there also with tangible, solid things. This implicit spatiality now has to be explicated. There is (It gives) not first of all an abstract space in general that is then filled with occurrents taking place in different places within space, but rather conversely: certain extended, built presents and absents take their places, thus spacing space with local spots and paths among them. Human being's ecstatically stretched exposure to the 3D time-clearing amounts to being out there with the presents and absents in the clearing of the world, including those which have always already taken their places and given local spots in the now spaced (eingeräumt) clearing. This being-with spatially needs some elaboration, which I shall do drawing first of all on 'Bauen Wohnen Denken' (Building Dwelling Thinking(9)) that Heidegger himself references in 'Zeit und Sein' as a clue to thinking through the origin of space "from the adequately thought peculiar character of place" (aus dem zureichend gedachten Eigentümlichen des Ortes, ZS:24).
Dwelling is the way of being of human beings on the Earth (Erde). This term (dwelling, Wohnen) thus replaces Heidegger's earlier usage of existence in the world. Such dwelling is not only on the Earth that bears it with its mountains, valleys, plains and waters, plants and animals, i.e. a natural environment with its landscape, but also beneath the sky (Himmel) with its seasons, the course of the sun, moon, planets and stars, its wind and weather, light and darkness. Earth and sky are thus two poles of human dwelling. A third pole is the divine ones (Göttlichen), messengers of the godhead (Gottheit) who is either present or has absconded. The fourth pole is the mortals (Sterblichen) in their togetherness with one another. The basic trait of mortals is that they are capable of dying their own death as death. These four poles are folded together into the simplicity (Einfalt) of the fourfold (Geviert). Mortals dwell on the Earth beneath the sky with one another and before the divine messengers by sparing (schonen) the fourfold. They spare the simple fourfold by saving (retten) the Earth in freeing it non-exploitatively to its own essence (Wesen), by receiving (empfangen) the sky, going along with its celestial movements, its seasons, weather, day and night, by expecting (erwarten) the divine messengers, waiting for a sign even in the calamity (Unheil) of withdrawn salvation (Heil), and by escorting (geleiten) their own dwelling into the customs of their own capacity to die. The sparing of the fourfold is thus a saving, receiving, expecting and escorting of its respective poles.
Into the middle of this fourfold, Heidegger then introduces a fifth element, namely, the things (Dinge) with which mortals dwell and claims, surprisingly, that the stay (Aufenthalt) with things is "the only way" (die einzige Weise) in which the stay in the fourfold is consummated in a unified manner. "Dwelling spares the fourfold by bringing its essence into things." (Das Wohnen schont das Geviert, indem es dessen Wesen in die Dinge bringt. VA:145) This elaboration of the fourfold sets the stage for introducing those special things, namely, built or erected things (Bauten, gebaute Dinge) that are erected (errichten). These include erected structures of all kinds, from houses to buildings to structures such as power plants and bridges. Erected things are only appropriately erected things insofar as they accord with a sparing of the fourfold in the fourfold sense of sparing by taking instructions (Weisung VA:153) for what and how to erect, i.e. to build.
Heidegger adduces the famous example of the bridge. The bridge gathers (versammelt) the four poles of the fourfold in its own way. The very word 'thing' in old German or English means originally 'gathering' (Versammlung) in the sense of 'assembly' (cf. OED). It gathers the Earth as a landscape on the banks of the river it bridges. It is prepared for the sky's weather in its changeability. It bears the mortals on their paths to and from one another in taking care of their daily business, and it escorts the mortals also on their path to death and the "last bridge" that brings them "before the salvation of the divine" (vor das Heil des Göttlichen, VA:147).
What is special about the bridge as a built or erected thing is that it itself takes place (Ort) occupying a point (Stelle) in the Earth's landscape that grants (verstattet) the fourfold a site (Stätte) at which space (Raum) is spaced (eingeräumt) with its local spots (Plätze) and paths (Wege). Places are thus not given place in space, but rather conversely, space is spaced by places gathering the fourfold at a site which they do by taking place at a site. Places thus make room for — i.e. space, einräumen — space. Any space in general, including above all three-dimensional Euclidian or Cartesian space, or abstract, mathematical space with any number of dimensions, is only attained by abstracting from the space that is spaced by the gathering-sparing taking-place of erected things. In this way, Heidegger thinks space as spaced, via erected things taking place as sites for the fourfold, from mortals' dwelling on the Earth, sparing the fourfold. In particular — and this is a point that Heidegger does not make — the Earth's landscape itself is spaced via the built things that, in taking place, give rise to the paths and routes along which mortals pass in their everyday dwelling and also to the natural landmarks toward which they orient their travels.
Those other smaller tangible, extended things that are not erected have their spots (Plätze) in rooms and spaces (Räume) that are given room, or spaced, by erected things of the nature of places. In English one could also say that within places in the sense of erected things, especially buildings, rooms are given room (Räume eingeräumt), but Heidegger does not draw attention to this twofold possibility of understanding and translating German 'Raum' as either 'space' or 'room'. In general it could be said that extended things, both erected and not, take place and have their places. Non-erected extended things such as jugs, brooms, scissors, toilets and rolling-pins have their spots in spaced rooms, thus forming an interrelated network of spots in which manifold things have their proper spots and thus are arranged 'in place', where they belong. This remark aligns with the discussion of the "manifold of places" (Platzmannigfaltigkeit; SZ § 22) for "things" (Zeug) in §§ 22-24 of Sein und Zeit. Heidegger does not discuss how non-erected, extended things take place, thus occupying their spots, in 'Bauen Wohnen Denken', nor in another talk, 'Das Ding',(10) to which I shall now turn to find out more about the thing and how it gathers.(11) eventuation of the fourfold in the mirror-play is the worlding of the world.
Likewise, the It that gives being by sending it and gives time by reaching it through to, thus bestowing it on human being is the enpropriating event, i.e. the Ereignis, which simply eventuates groundlessly. The event enpropriates human being itself to the three-dimensional time-clearing within which erected things take place, occupying vacant points, thus spacing space. This manifold giving holds onto itself in giving and thus expropriates itself in enpropriating in the sense that the enpropriating event, in giving, conceals itself. Hence Ereignis is Enteignis (ZS:23), i.e. expropriation, although in giving, the enpropriating event does not give itself up; rather, it "preserves its property" (bewahrt sein Eigentum, ibid.). Being, time, and now also space, can be seen to be the property given by enpropriation in different ways, each in its own, appropriate way. This giving has an impact (Angang) on human being itself which is thus enpropriated to the play of presencing and absencing in the three-dimensional time-clearing and thus also to the mirroring play of the world mediated by things. Conversely, being, time and space need human being for their eventuation. Otherwise they would have no impact whatsoever and remain without witness. Hence, modern science's postulation of and insistence on the 'objective reality' of space and time is an illusion(12) insofar as there is (i.e. It gives) objectivity only for subjectivity, and human being cast as subjectivity is only one particular historical casting of human being that still holds sway in our own epoch.
It will be noticed that there is a discrepancy between the eventuation of time, on the one hand, and space, on the other, since time as time-clearing is bestowed directly from enpropriation, whereas space is spaced only via the eventuation of world through its gathering by things into a mirror-play. Is this deviation from traditional metaphysical ways of thinking time and space symmetrically on the same plane, as it were, problematic? Not if Heidegger's paths of thinking in the three talks referred to show up the phenomena of time and space appropriately and simply in a way that we can follow in careful, slow thought.
Heidegger further elaborates the mirror-play of the fourfold of the world as the "round dance of enpropriation" (Reigen des Ereignens, VA:173) that "lightens the four into the shine of their simplicity" (lichtet ... die Vier in den Glanz ihrer Einfalt). With this and other formulations, he is attempting to show the simplicity of the worlding of a simple world that needs to be 'spared' (geschont). This simple worlding through the mediation of thinging things that gather the fourfold is to be achieved, if at all, by a "step back" (Schritt zurück, VA:174) from ways of thinking that are bent on dominating and controlling the movements of everything. Heidegger's thinking that steps back casts a world that may arrive historically when "the thing things world" (Das Ding dingt Welt, VA:173). Heidegger is only making preparations for this eventuality, which include thinking human being itself as enpropriated to the bestowal of the three-dimensional time-clearing in which the presencing and absencing of presents play. Such a recasting of human being as enpropriated is not merely Heidegger's Utopia, but an attempt to see the phenomena of being and human being more clearly and simply. No one can say today whether one day these unheard-of insights will take root historically and become 'self-evident', just as today the subject-object split is 'self-evident' but historically relatively recent and today philosophically obsolete.
Furthermore, mortals dwell in the world of the fourfold both with one another and with things, but this dwelling-with remains remarkably underdetermined in Heidegger's cast of world insofar as things assume the special role of gathering and thus mediating among the poles of the fourfold. Is this not a second deficiency? How can the interplay among mortals be further determined, and also their interplay with things?
These two desiderata will be handled in reverse order.
Mortals dwell, valuing both things and each other. Their relations to anything and anyone, i.e. to all that is present and presents itself in the world, are always those of valuing, estimating, esteeming, including all the deficient modes of these.(13) Thus you value your rolling-pin and flour-sifter when making a home-made pizza. I value my tailor for the suits he designs for his collection. She values her cobbler who skilfully repairs her fine shoes. He values his bicycle for riding to the woods to enjoy nature. We esteem each other in an encounter for what each of us has achieved or treasure how each of us has an open ear for the other. I am envious of an author who has attained fame. You disparage a song you hear on the radio as shallow and commercial. He was treated like dirt because of the colour of his skin. As far as presents and absents in the world go, we mortals are continually estimating value in a mutually mirroring play.
In commerce, too, goods come together (com-merci), reflecting and estimating their value in each other, mostly quantitatively through the mediation of money, which is reified value. Price is an ongoing, fluctuating, quantitative valuing of merchandise. In this way, things and mortals reach out to each other and change places, circulatinge among each other, mirroring and estimating each other's value in various respects and degrees. Dwelling is thus an ongoing round dance of mutual estimation, an incalculable, unpredictable, groundless interplay that has countless different phenomenal forms, both positive and negative. Thus, for instance, the round dance can be a conflict, a struggle, bitter rivalry or even a war, or the estimation among things may amount to a blockage or monopolistic distortion or collapse of certain markets. The round dance takes place also in space via the places that give spaces to space along with its local spots and paths. A bridge, for instance, enables the circulation of commercial goods, the meeting of friends, the parting of lovers, etc. A store or market-place enables the meeting and exchange of goods.
This round dance, as already noted, is not without its frictions and fragilities. Not only are there many deficient modes of estimating the value of other goods and mortals that hinder smooth circulation, but there is a vieing among mortals for the estimation of both their personal powers and their derived powers such as wealth, political office, social influence, etc. This renders the round dance of estimation as a power play. What is at stake in this power play is first of all how highly you are estimated and esteemed, in order to enjoy the shine of mirrored value. Your very self-esteem is also not something you find in your interior, but is itself a mirroring from the world in which you have cast and shaped who you are, i.e. your identity, thus gaining a stand in the world for a time. The power play must not be seen only in a perniciously rivalrous light, for mortals also dwell well in valuing and appreciating each other's powers in the sense of abilities, skills, experience, mutually benefiting from them. Hence mortals' dwelling in the world can be regarded insofar as an affirmative power round dance of mutual estimation danced on the Earth and under the sky. They spare the thus eventuating world insofar as their power round dance is fair and equitable. In addition to saving the Earth, receiving the sky and escorting to death, world is spared by mortals' estimating and valuing each other and things fairly. The power play is then fair play rather than foul play, which is ugly.
With regard to the divine pole of Heidegger's casting of world as fourfold, the divine messengers and the has-been god must be seen as a cover-up for the mystery (Geheimnis) of the world, a cover-up that has been successively exposed over the past few centuries. The mystery is concealed and is also the lack of any ground, i.e. an Ab-Grund or abyss. A basic trait of mortals is that they are impacted (angegangen), affected by the abyss itself. Already the mutually estimating power play among mortals and things, as groundless, is affine to the abyss. The mysterious abyss has many names that name various uncanny, uplifting or downcasting, perhaps even calamitous, existential possibilities of mortals' dwelling that eventuate without ground, without reason, that remain hidden in mystery. These include your own death, my own nothingness, the overwhelming, inexplicable mystery that there is anything at all, your gift of freedom to grasp and shape your own singular identity (if you are brave enough to hazard it), my falling in love, our shared commitment to creating artistically out of nothing something hitherto unheard-of, your being sucked inexplicably into depression, the politician's blind hubris, the banker's boundless greed, and so on. The abyss is the mysterious central source for all mortal dwelling in the world that is free, creative, uncannily unsettling, deathly, exuberantly vital, etc. Death's worth living for. Moods that inexplicably envelop us are also abyssal. Mortals spare the world in this regard by holding in awe the mysterious abyss.
With these two modifications, Heidegger's casting of world as fourfold is recast, with a twist, as a free power play of mutual estimation among mortals and things danced around the abyss, on the Earth and beneath the sky. This is the abyssal carousel of the world. In English 'carousel' first signified a tournament in which knights on horseback tried to bring down a suspended ring with their lances, hence a rivalrous, perhaps even friendly, power play which now is given a philosophical meaning in another setting. Later, the carousel became a kind of mechanical round dance of painted wooden horses for children and adults learning to ride the ups and downs. Thus does each of us play his or her part in the round dance of the world.
Mortals belong to the world thus cast as an abyssal carousel in which presents present themselves and absents absent themselves, both revealing and concealing what and who they are. All these presentations in the time-clearing of the Da are open to Dasein in modes of mooded understanding that are always already modes of estimating and valuing. The play of estimation thus extends beyond that among mortals and things, to the Earth and sky and death. Saving the Earth, receiving the sky and escorting to death are, each in its own way, also modes of valuing and estimating. Even a fear of death, for instance, is a privative mode of valuing it. There is no 'value-free' opening to the world, and the value-freedom prized by the modern scientific, 'objective' stance toward the world is only an abstraction from an originary estimating, valuing identity between mortal Dasein itself and the time-clearing within which the play of the world takes and is given place. All presencing is always already a valuing, so that value itself can be seen as a name for being itself. In this there is a resonance with Anaximander's famous saying, the oldest philosophical fragment we have.(14)3 Space spaced by places to approach the phenomena of Dasein's bodying in the world whilst taking care not to reduce the extended body to a corporeal thing. The key to the distinction between the two is given by that between the ontological dimensions of whatness and whoness.
I love the Pythagoreans (much more than ever
I dare tell my dear Jenny) for their
'xwrismo\n a)po\ tou= Sw/matoj, ei)j to\ kalw=j filosofei=n'—
their 'getting out of the body, in order to think well.'
No man thinks right, whilst he is in it;
blinded as he must be, with his congenial humours...
Vol. VII Ch. 13.
Human existing is bodily. This is self-evident. Therein lies the problem, because existing and the human body have to be understood as modes of being, i.e. as ways of presencing in the time-clearing that is the Da of Dasein. The bodily presencing of human being in the world has to become a question, thus losing its self-evidence. 'Existing' and 'existence' already signify Dasein's mode of presencing in the world, so that other things in the world, strictly speaking, do not exist, although they presence in their own modes of presencing and absencing. This can be said concisely by making the distinction between who and what, i.e. between existential whoness (quissity) and traditional metaphysical whatness (essentia, quiddity). Bodiliness then has to be conceived as an aspect of Dasein's existing as somewho in the world, viz. that aspect concerning its being in the world with extended things that take their places in the world, thus spacing the world spatially within the time-clearing (cf. 3 Space spaced by places above). To say this bodily existing of Dasein in the world, it is meet to distinguish between the human body in connection with whoness and the human corpus in connection with whatness, i.e. when the human body is conceived as an extended thing and treated accordingly, as in medicine where the physician treats the body physically in accordance with physical, chemical, biological, anatomical, physiological, pathogenic and other medical knowledge of the human body considered as a somewhat.
I therefore reintroduce the term 'corpus' for the latter, which was adopted from the Latin into English and signified from the 15th century on the body of a man or an animal, and not simply a dead body, as 'corpse' signifies. Hence body and corpus are two names for the same extended, sensuously experienceable, physical human frame, but seen hermeneutically through the As of whoness and the As of whatness, respectively. It is also useful to coin a neologism, namely, 'to body' as a verb to signify the bodily aspects of Dasein's existing in the world with extended things, especially Dasein's bodily movements and bodily resting, i.e. its bodily bearing. This signification of 'to body' as a verb differs from the dictionary signification, which is 'to give body to' (cf. OED). 'Bodying' thus signifies here the bodily aspects of Dasein's life-movements as Dasein, i.e. as being exposed as somewho to the three-dimensional, ecstatic time-clearing for presencing and absencing. This 'out-standing' ex-sistence in the time-clearing enables Dasein to see and understand a world cast in an epochal cast of being, i.e. the hermeneutic As of an historical age that comes to language in a, likewise historical, apophantic As through which the phenomena are addressed and spoken of as such-and-such, e.g. a house's roof spoken of scientifically as consisting of atoms held together by physical forces.(15)
Dasein's existing in the world is not only always essentially also a bodying, but this bodying is individual, that is, each individual Dasein is an individual who having its own body which, in turn, is an essential aspect of its individuality as existing. Each individual Dasein is exposed individually to the play of revealing and concealing, presencing and absencing playing out in the time-clearing, some of which happens sensuously. Existential bodying must rely on sense organs to perceive what is going on with extended things and others sensuously in the world, and such sense perception is always in the present. Absents presence for Dasein not through the senses, not sensuously, although it cannot be said that the presencing of absents is not also bodily; your remembering and anticipating, for instance, also involve modes of bodying, especially with regard to the resonant moodedness of such remembering and anticipating. If you are worried about some upcoming, expected confrontation, and are somewhat downcast, for instance, this worry will affect also how you bear (comport, deport, conduct) yourself bodily in the world.
Your bodily bearing, including posture and gestures, is not the expression of something inside you that comes out into manifestation. Your bearing may show that you are, say, self-confident, or at least present the look of self-confidence to the world, but this is not the expression of an interior subjective feeling of self-confidence, whether genuine or play-acted. Rather, your moods are how you find yourself momentarily out there in the world in a given situation, which is an attunement with the world at large, presenting and absenting itself holistically in the time-clearing as its resonant quivering,(16) and this moodful attunement will inevitably show itself somehow also in your bodily bearing, your bodying. Otherwise, your present mood may well be hidden to others, and you may play it down and disguise it, but that does not mean it is a feeling inside you as an encapsulated subject which may or may not then be expressed outwardly in bodily posture and gestures. The distinction is between disclosure and hiddenness rather than between the inside and outside of a subject vis-à-vis an objective world. A thought or a mood does not have to be inside you to be hidden; nor does it have a spatial location at all, nor is it confined within your extended body.
Your self-presentation in the world is also never the showing of a body-object, i.e. a what with certain properties that can be read off in an objective, scientific manner and perhaps even quantified in some way. This, of course, does not stop modern scientific psychology from setting up pseudo-scales that 'objectively measure' human behaviour over sets of experimental object-subjects in given, standardized, controlled situations, thus attempting to emulate the 'exactness' of mathematical physics through quantitative generalization from many subjects. Your self-presentation in the world is always your showing-off as who you are, and others will always understand you as somewho or other, even if they try to treat you degradingly 'like an animal' or in an 'objective', scientific manner, i.e. like a somewhat viewed through the scientific As of the present age.
Not only will the others implicitly understand you ineluctably as somewho (albeit that they will not explicitly understand that they are understanding you as somewho), but in doing so they will also estimate who you are, appreciating or depreciating your self-presentation. In presenting yourself bodily as who you are to others, you are exposing yourself to the dimension of esteem in which your showing-off of self is evaluated and valued in some fashion, including in all the many possible shades of depreciation. Your attire, for instance, will be instantly seen and evaluated as an indication of your who-status and who-quality in the world (what kind of person you are), and you will dress for the occasion according to as who you want to present yourself and be accordingly evaluated. There is no such thing as a value-free self-presentation, since whoness is eo ipso the dimension of mutually esteeming and estimating who-stands in the world, including the sensuously perceptible bodily posture each of us adopts, the gestures made and also the clothes each of us presents to view from within a certain bodily bearing.
Taking your bearings in the world, however, does not stop with direct bodily orientation, for you are always in certain surroundings. You can take your orientation generally from the sky, i.e. from the position of the sun and stars, thus determining whether you are facing north, east, south or west. Or you can take your bearings from certain landmarks such as a mountain or a tall building. In this way you can decide which path to take in moving bodily through the world of extended things. In your more immediate surroundings, you know where the shops or the next homestead or the nearby forest are located, and when you are at home or at work, you know where things are to be found, for each has its place in a manifold of places which structures your extended domestic or vocational world. These things are not abstractly objects with certain properties, but useful, and thus valuable, practical things which you use one way or another in various applications. They present themselves to you from the start as useful for a certain use, and you generally know the place where they are to be found and where they belong, even and especially when this place is not sensuously present. You know, for instance, where the kitchen scissors are in a certain drawer in the kitchen and on the right-hand side of that drawer even when you're not bodily in the kitchen. In your mind, it is easy for you to be in the kitchen whenever you want, for your mind encompasses also the spatially spaced world.
This shows that orientation in the world is not necessarily directly sensuous and also not tied to the present. Rather, you know where things are in your familiar surroundings, and you get to know where things are in unfamiliar surroundings. You can only orient yourself with maps because your orientation in the world is originarily an orientation toward the places of extended things both large (e.g. a bridge, a mountain, a church spire) and small (your bedroom, your paper perforator) that have already taken their places in the world, thus spacing space and rendering the world spatial. This structured manifold of places in the world presents itself to your mind as a manifold of interconnected 'theres' or 'somewheres' from which you take your bearings 'here' in bearing yourself bodily in the world. At any present moment, most of the 'theres' are not sensuously present to you, but present themselves nevertheless as soon as you think of them, i.e. re-call them into presence. They are readily available for presencing as needed for your habitual, daily life-practices. For instance, you are not constantly thinking where the milk is to be found on your local supermarket, but you can re-call where it is non-sensuously when you go shopping, and this orientation enables you then to grasp the milk sensuously with your hand from the refrigerated compartment and put it in your shopping cart.
So much motion, continues he [Bishop Hall],
(for he was very corpulent)—is so much unquietness;
and so much of rest, by the same analogy, is so much of heaven.
Now, I (being very thin) think differently;
and that so much of motion, is so much of life, and so much of joy,
and that to stand still, or get on but slowly,
is death and the devil—
Vol. VII Ch. 13.
Orienting yourself bodily in the world is complemented, of course, by your bodily movements, i.e. your bodying, through the world. Orientation within a manifold of places of extended things in the world, however, is a presupposition for your moving bodily. This manifold of places can be called to presence in your mind. For instance, you may recall places where you have been in order to plan another trip to that locale. These places then come presently to mind from both foregoneness and the future whilst remaining absent. When you go on your trip, the absent places then become sensuously present to you within bodily range, and you move yourself through this placed environment, orienting yourself toward the larger places that space the space of that locale. In this way, you near or approximate yourself to certain places whilst distancing yourself from others. Orientation is thus complemented by nearing and farring yourself.
Even with the advent of electric, electronic and digital means of communication that can overcome great distances by using some form of electromagnetic waves, bodily orientation and nearing is not obviated, although places may be reduced to mere numbers such as a telephone number or an IP address. Nevertheless, when you dial a telephone number with your finger or point your pointing device's cursor at a certain internet address with your hand or place your finger on a touch-screen, you are orienting yourself by 'fingering' within an arithmo-geometrically abstracted space and bodily nearing an abstract place, or position, within that space. This abstract mathematical position is usually connected with some place in the world, such as a company's location. Moreover, your body is also involved in this nearing, even if minimally, through the fingering movements of your fingers.(17)
You bodily perform such nearing and distancing also with the many smaller extended useful things you use in your daily living, usually by walking toward or away from them, or reaching for them or putting them aside. You understand these practical things as useful for this or that, and this is how they present themselves to you as useful-for... . Very many of them you take into your hand bodily, thus grasping and manipulating them according to their practical use. They are thus handy and also made for the hand, such as a knife for cutting, or a TV remote control device to switch channels, or dashboard buttons to control your car's functions, or a keyboard to type a message. Many practical devices have displays for the eye to see settings and practically relevant measurements. A staircase is a practical thing designed for walking up and down its steps in order to near domestic or business places. Each of these practical things has to be understood as useful for such-and-such to be used, and so they offer the look of being useful for such-and-such. Confronted with a new, unfamiliar practical device, you fail to understand its use properly, its practical look, although you nevertheless understand it abstractly as practically useful for something or other (or as 'totally useless', a privation of usefulness) in which your bodily movements are involved.
The things surrounding you within bodily reach are thus always already understood as useful for this or that, and in this sense as having a use-value. Again, they are not first of all value-free objects with certain properties but are always already valuable. Their value is not stuck onto them subjectively by a human subject; rather, from the start they present themselves in the look of usefulness and thus as practically valuable for some use or other in daily living. This is how they are esteemed practically. (Insofar, traditional metaphysics from the start has misunderstood whatness by skipping over the value dimension of things to fixate on an underlying substrate with properties.) Bodily movements of some kind or other are required to use these practical use-values in practices. Hence these bodily movements are practical actions. Most of your daily bodily movements are such habitual practical actions or associated with them. Even getting undressed for bed at night is a practical action associated with using the bed as a place for sleeping, which is one of your useful habits of living that is duly valued.
Extended things present themselves not only as valuable in use but, by virtue of their use-value, and derived from it, also valuable in exchange. Aristotle saw this distinction and introduced it already in the fifth book of his Nicomachean Ethics. Exchange-value is how things are estimated and thus 'esteemed' in the context of what they can be exchanged for, i.e. on some kind of market. Once commerce is introduced, bodily movements in the world gain an added aspect and ambit, because going to market for all sorts of goods is an essential part of daily living for everybody.
On the individual, personal level, going to market is usually called shopping. Goods present themselves with monetary-value price-tags according to which they are estimated quantitatively. They present themselves in the look of price. Many goods are required to fulfil the usages of everyday living, starting with the most basic through to the most luxurious and discretionary. All these things are purchased to be used in your own usages of daily life that also define as who you understand and estimate yourself to be and what is needed for daily living. This set of habitual practices could be said to constitute your quotidian ethos. Who you understand yourself to be, including bodily, is how you estimate and value yourself in your existence, i.e. your self-esteem. Hence an intimate interconnection between self-esteem and exchange-value is apparent in the sense that what you purchase is a mirror reflecting whom you estimate yourself to be. Such purchases include those extended goods which you handle also bodily, such as the car you drive or the cart you push or the overcoat you wear in winter. Such bodily usage is never value-free, but always also a reflection of your self-esteemed whoness.(18)
...for no mortal ... could have dissented from so much,
at least, of my uncle Toby's opinion,
'That mayhap his sister might not care to let
such a Dr Slop come so near her ****.'
Vol. II Ch. 10.
I return now to the distinction between corpus and body introduced at the beginning of this appendix. Some aspects of bodily existing as somewho have been unfolded in the meantime, but what about corporeal living as a somewhat? You and I are both living, breathing organisms and as such have something in common with living, breathing animals and plants. A living organism consists of a set of organs each performing a life-function that keeps the whole of an organism alive, i.e. capable of kinds of self-movement. If some organ is malfunctioning, you don't feel well. You feel lousy and sick, rather than fit and healthy. Often you can pin-point also why you're not feeling well. You ate something that didn't agree with you, or you drank too much, or you may have twisted you ankle. In feeling ill, your corpus draws attention to itself, showing itself in the present, whereas when you're feeling well, your corpus fades into the background and is hidden, out of mind, although constantly here spatially with you. For instance, you normally walk without paying any attention at all to your feet, but if you have a blister on your heel, your foot will make itself noticed, and present itself as a part of your corpus causing you pain. If you put a band-aid on your heel to remedy the hurting blister, you are treating a part of your corpus as a something, as a somewhat, and not as part of who you are as a somewho. Your normal walking is not done looking at your feet, and it is doubtful whether you could walk doing so.
It is necessary also to make some distinction, not present in normal linguistic usage, between your corporeal feelings and your moods that affect also your body in rendering you uplifted or downcast, and also your sentiments, such as hatred and love, that are your affective attitude toward particular things, people and issues. If you're feeling nauseous in your stomach, you can speak quite properly of a feeling inside, simply because your stomach is something located inside your corpus, which is an extended thing with an inside and an outside that can be 'seen' also, say, anatomically. Not so with a good or bad mood that colours your world momentarily as a whole, having an affect also on how you bear yourself bodily as somewho. Moods are enveloping, encompassing, atmospheric, holistic, not located within your body, whereas corporeal feelings are usually locatable somewhere specific in your corpus. Sentiments are pin-pointed in being directed toward something or someone in particular, but they are likewise not inside you; rather they are affective, value-laden ways of being out there resonantly with the something or someone concerned themselves.
Medicine is the science and practice that understands your body not as a body, but as a corpus, i.e. as a corporeal, living organism that can be treated when ill through medical knowledge and therapies. You become a patient, patiently allowing yourself to be treated (note the so-called passive voice) by a medical doctor who sees your corpus as a sómewhat, as a highly complex, organic, extended thing. That the doctor also treats you with respect is his seeing you as a somewho with personal dignity. The one hermeneutic As of whoness dovetails seamlessly with the other hermeneutic As of whatness, and the doctor can slip without friction between the two modes of understanding. A major issue for today's medical practice is that the human body is confused with the human corpus because the hermeneutic As of whoness is not seen clearly as such (an und für sich) in our present age, but only implicitly, an sich.
As a living, breathing organism with a corpus, you have an intimate relationship with the air around you on which you rely to survive. All living organisms, including also plants and aquatic organisms, breathe in some fashion. If you can't breathe easily, you're ill and you don't feel well. You may learn to breathe better through, say, yoga exercises. Yoga is a kind of knowledge and a set of practices for the human corpus that can enhance corporeal well-being. Yoga may also make claims to enhance also the 'spiritual' side, which translates here as the mind and how you conceive yourself mentally, i.e. in the time-clearing, as who you are in the world. Here the mind is not regarded metaphysically as the seat of rational cognition, but is the same as the time-clearing that each who inhabits in his or her own individual way. The mind (or soul) is human openness to being, i.e. to the time-clearing, whereby 'soul' perhaps may be reserved to signify more the attuned resonating with this 3D ecstatic, temporal opening. In this sense it could be said that yoga can enhance both your corporeal and mental well-being, and such mental well-being affects also how you bear yourself bodily as somewho.
Corporeal well-being as a living organism has an intimate relationship with your eating and drinking habits, your gastronomic ethos. Here, too, the hermeneutic As of whatness commingles with that of whoness, easily confusing the view. In deciding to become a vegetarian, for instance, you may be motivated by corporeal well-being, say, in cutting down on fat in your diet, and also by how you see and present yourself to yourself and the world as, say, concerned with animal welfare. Cutting down on fat in your diet, in turn, itself invariably has the dual aspects of improving your corporeal health and also enhancing your bodily self-presentation to the world.
With sex, the confusion of corporeal and bodily aspects is likely to become even greater for, if on the one hand, your sexual behaviour can be regarded as driven by instinct directed toward propagation of the species, on the other, your erotic, bodily bearing has everything to do with as who you cast your self to be and also with the erotic play you play out with certain chosen others in games of mutual or one-sided erotic estimation. Your bodily bearing may be either sexy or modest, depending on your self-casting and the situation. Whatever the sexual instincts may be that drive your behaviour at any stage of life, this is always shaped and reshaped in the dimension of whoness to such an extent that the two aspects are scarcely inextricable. The erotic, bodily bearing of men towards women in a given historical world, for instance, is not merely instinctual, sexual corporeal behaviour, but multiply overlaid and sublimated into the who-game.
Having sex, excreting and other expulsions are all corporeal what-behaviours that are heavily overlaid with significance as bodily who-bearings. All these bodily movements of whos are regarded as to some degree shameful if performed openly, thus reflecting on the who-standing of the one performing them in different ways and to different degrees depending on the social context, milieu and also the culture. A whole range of bodily activities is deemed to be private, i.e. to be kept concealed from general public view. Since medicine has to deal with the ailing corpus, it has developed its own vocabulary to name these corporeal behaviours (and organs) in such a way as to void them of their shameful connotations. Thus fucking becomes coitus, shitting becomes excretion, pissing becomes urination, burping becomes eructation, farting becomes crepitation, and in polite company euphemisms must be employed, such as making love, easing oneself, making water, hiccuping and breaking wind, respectively, to hide these private activities linguistically. Often, asterisks and dashes are resorted to in order to avoid explicitly spelling out shameful words pointing to shameful bodily activities. Much humour is based upon saying explicitly or by innuendo those activities deemed to be properly kept private and unsaid.
Today the cultural significance of corporeal behaviours is a well-studied area, say, in the sociology of mores, even though the present age is blind to whoness as such. The distinction is usually made in terms of that between nature and culture, or nature and society, thus entirely skipping over the deeper-lying ontological distinction between whatness and whoness as modes of presencing. Thus, for example, modern feminism makes the distinction between sex and gender, accounting for the latter merely ontically in terms of certain culturally specific social practices that 'produce' a gendered woman or a gendered man in various identity-variants.(19) Social practices are understood merely ontically as some kind of effective causal factors that can be influenced by cultural critique to change them. This gender-studies thinking remains blind to existential bodying, whilst drawing on so-called feminist body theory that fixates on the female corpus and the male corpus, merely embedding them in cultural practices rather than posing the question concerning masculine and feminine modes of whoness. Such a question would free the view from stolidly attributing masculinity to men and femininity to women, thus opening up insight into masculinity as a phallic mode of self-presencing as who and into femininity as a mode of presencing as who that lets presence.
Existential bodying and corporeal living remain open philosophico-phenomenological questions, depending as they do not only on cultural historical changes but, more deeply, on the hermeneutic As of whoness and the hermeneutic As of whatness, respectively, casting an age. Both hermeneutic castings have to be brought to mind and kept in mind for a complete view. A hermeneutic casting defines as what or who presents present and absent themselves in the time-clearing of an historical age. The philosophical task consists in attempting to see as clearly as possible as what or who presents present themselves, by letting them presence.
The view is always obscured by the traditions of previous hermeneutic castings that have to be patiently deconstructed and cleared away to gain a simpler view, without the intervention of theoretical constructions such as theologically based cosmologies and moral doctrines, or today's scientific models. The task is open-ended, since there are always aspects of the phenomena that are overlooked which need to be brought to light. Such bringing-to-light is always also a more or less ugly power struggle among human beings, because invariably there are vested interests in traditional castings. Beyond human power struggles, however, the presencing of presents as what and who they are, remains an historical sending eventuating from the It that sends (cf. 4 The It that gives: propriation above), which can be recast, for which the human mind can only be receptive.