Lecture 4: Heidegger Pt. 1

WESEN: as a noun, it would mean essence. As a verb, it would be essence and as a way of being.


  1. Essence is a way of being that is historical. It is in time and in place
  2. One essence that belongs to being human across time and history, is that humans are thinking beings. 
  3. The humans being in time are the ones who question their own being. 
  4. How someone “is”: that’s being. 
  5. We’ve forgotten about being and forgotten about asking the question of being in this age, instead we calculate and strive for efficiency. 
  6. Our calculative thinking discloses something about who we are in this technological age. 
  7. No thinking, or reflection is demanded on what concerns each one of us immediately and continuously in their very being. 
  8. To be thought poor means we are capable of thinking, but we are not thinking
  9. Thoughtlessness is an uncanny visitor who comes and goes everywhere in today’s world. We are not at home when we are thoughtless
  10. Human’s today are in flight from thinking. The flight is from the ground. Part of this flight is that humans will neither see nor admit it, even will flatly deny it. 
  11. Calculative thinking is thinking that plans, researches, organizes, and reckons
  12. Meditated thinking contemplates the meaning of being
  13. Heidegger states that calculative thinking is now taken as the only kind of thinking, while meditative is not valued. 
  14. The meaning of being in this age, is this urge to calculate and plan efficiently
  15. Meditative thinking is hard to do and we need to practice
  16. Humans can be meditative beings as they are always thinking. It doesn’t have to be a work of a philosopher. 
  17. For human works to flourish, they must be able to mount from the depth of their home ground up into the ether. 
  18. A genuine work of art is a work that engages the being of the age in which it is rooted. 
  19. In our age, we have a loss of rootedness. It comes from the spirit of the age. Instead of being ground from a homeland, things are rather attached to the calculation and organization. Wonders if we will lose our ability to think. 
  20. The world appears as an object open to the attacks of calculative thought. Nature becomes a gigantic gasoline station etc. 
  21. The age of technology actually holds its origins in the 1600s.
  22. The power concealed in modern technology determines the relation of humans to taht which exists. It rules the whole earth. 
  23. We think we are in control of technology, but we actually arent. 
  24. To Heidegger, having access to knowledge is not the same as thinking about it and trying to understand what it means. 
  25. A chemist being able to synthesize, split, and change living substance at will (humans can now be in control of life)
  26. Instead of the danger being the hydrogen bomb or the splitting of the atom, the danger is losing the capacity to think. 
  27. We are only victims to technology if we abandon our meditative thinking. 
  28. Meditative thinking demands of us not to cling one-sidedly to a single idea, nor to run down a one track course of ideas. 
  29. We depend on technology and should not fully give it up, but we do become shackled to them. We fall into a bondage
  30. We can use technology and also leave it alone so it doesn’t affect our inner being in our inner core. We let it be, letting be. 
  31. That which shows itself and at the same time withdraws is the essential trait of mystery. 
  32. We have to open to the mystery that we don’t fully know our being, as well as technology 
  33. By Letting be and open to the mystery of being that is of not knowing and being able to control everything should allow us to start on a path that will lead to a new ground and foundation of relating to the world.


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