Heidegger’s Call To Conscience

Existentialism And Mysticism continued
Jan. ’78

In Martin Heidegger’s book, “Being And Time,” a comparative concept to
Kierkegaard’s “despair over the despair of willing to be oneself” is found.
“Conscience calling us back to our own most potentiality for being” became,
for Heidegger, the angst-ridden call of conscience that called a person back to
a freer, richer, existence, an existence not without its share of struggle. Even
though Heidegger didn’t call his journey– a journey out of despair,
“getting authentic” shared much in common with Kierkegaard’s “getting faith;”
so much so, that I believe Kierkegaard’s statement: “To become is
a movement from the spot, but to become oneself is a movement at the
spot” is just another way of saying (as quoted from Heidegger): “In the field of ontology any springing from is degeneration.”

In the ethical world, universals were extremely important (what was
good for everybody else was also good for me, but not necessarily the
other way around). For Heidegger, another universal, an existential
universal, was extremely important–the universal of death. Everybody
died and because death was a certainty, Heidegger considered it a part
of the structural whole of Dasein. When Dasein fully anticipated its
Being-towards-death, the darkness hitherto cloaking Dasein’s ownmost
potential Being, lifted, and Dasein became free for authenticity.
Dasein’s death-not-yet was a real part of Dasein’s Being-a-whole, but,
to state the obvious, Dasein was also alive. (The similarity between
the human being’s contradictory aspects for both Heidegger and
Kierkegaard cannot be denied.)

Dasein opened to authenticity only after Dasein’s anticipation of
death and the nullity that Dasein was in its thrownness merged. Thrown
Dasein had a past, present, and future, but in the “moment of vision,”
time stopped. In that moment, Dasein was brought back before its
concern in the rapture that preceded all possibilities, in the rapture
that only Being-in-the-world could produce. In the they-self, Dasein
spent all its time identifying with itself. In authenticity, Dasein
was brought back before time (it’s own) in Being-in-the-world. Put in
slightly different terms, in Heidegger, as in Kierkegaard, in order to
get it all, one had to first give it all up.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to Heidegger’s Call To Conscience

  1. frizztext says:

    Heidegger has not a high reputation in Germany – because he made some wrong things during the third Reich in Nazi Germany. After 1945 Karl Jaspers, Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt showed, how angry Heidegger made them…
    – just found my list of German philosophers at
    greetings by frizztext, Germany

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