H isn’t content with the “answer” that being is the will to power “within” the eternal return. When he talks about being he’s stepping back from his most immediate predecessor and wondering, Are you so sure that’s what it is? He doesn’t give us such an easy answer as the W2P/ER. He repeatedly meditates on what the “answer” is.
the pure dispassion of thought is at bottom only the most rigorous maintenance of the highest disposition, the one open to the uniquely uncanny fact: that there are beings, rather than not.
If you approach the question already believing “It’s the W2P” then you’re probably going to find the W2P.
And through this “highest disposition” that H maintained he eventually determined that the W2P was only part of the “machination” I’ve mentioned. And he thought that despite there being a beingness to machination there was also something besides this.
This dynamic between truth and power is prominent in Wagner’s dramas, and Nietzsche literally was being a hipster and “doing the opposite for its own sake”, so it’s not too difficult to reach this adjustment that H did in my opinion. And it goes without saying said dramas were antisemitic, thus N had jewish elements in his thought which I’ve discussed before. (Megalomaniacally identifying as Yahweh himself at one point for instance.)
So currently I am studying one of H’s courses he conducted during the time he was writing the Contributions, a text which is his equivalent of the Zarathustra, hence my sustained attentiveness to it lately. I just figure talking to students he would put it in easier to understand language.
Note- anyone indifferent to the question of what Being is, almost without fail has a fuzzy if not blatantly ignorant idea of what it is. So ignore their opinion. “Let’s get outta here, Cleetus, he’s not talkin bout gas prices rite now s’I don’t see the point.”
Something to be weary of also is that our time the question of Being tends to be asked THROUGH a “post-Marxist” lens. That’s a form of utilitarianism. The aim is to ask the question without expecting any “use-value” out of it. Maybe we once we have the truth THEN we can speculate how it can be “used”.
In the years surrounding this 1937-8 course (generically titled Basic Questions of Philosophy) he was also lecturing on Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Nietzsche, and Hölderlin
Will WE do this HERE? We can try. THAT H puts the INTENTION in our mind, that’s one of the most important things about him.
The purest soaring…
I was knocked for a loop when I reread Hölderlin’s poem “The Rhine” last night for the first time in a while. The best translation begins on page 141 here. This is Dionysus speaking. And you might be tempted to see how H interprets that poem after you read it. For some years I thought he couldn’t possibly match his Hölderlin courses in his other ones, so I avoided most of them, and I was wrong. The same thinker is present in those other courses as well. Though any corpus has its peaks and valleys.
I don’t care if I’m talking to only one person here who understands the gravity of these things. We’re trying to prepare the way for understanding Heidegger’s version of Phenomenology of Spirit… It isn’t Being and Time. And one needs to study 40 some courses before being able to grasp it. Carry on, nothing to see here.
What could one “do” with the “purest soaring” anyway? Well you’d probably first have to be “up there” to know.
I don’t have to repeat my critiques of the academy- I doubt the secondary texts on the Contributions are the purest soaring.
What do you seek?
“None of your business! Besides, I already KNOW what Being is!”
I highlight what I take to be the greatest danger of the three
H read the Sophist through Aristotle by the way, so this is another example of courses that can only be understood as “interwoven”.
And to zoom-out, or “soar” if you will, I make note of this because I still have not found a bird’s-eye-view account of ALL of the courses. So I take it into my own hands.
Be careful that what you seek isn’t what prevailing opinion wants you to seek.
I for one only try to seek what the purest soarers seek.
I think lefties will like what I say next- the Goal seems to be for all of humanity to attain the purest soaring. I.e. for THAT to be the new “prevailing opinion”.
So the question is where to begin toward that.
Is this experience possible for you?
Is it just another day of reading words on a screen?
Disorientation is necessary. Sometimes it’s better to be out and about in the world for this. It happened to me a few days ago. It’s eerie when it happens. There’s almost a horror to it. I saw someone walking and I thought “Why is there existence?” Why were their arms moving as they walked? I was baffled. We are all alive together?
Believing you have “the answer” to why this is all real impedes realizing the answer to why this is all real.
Let’s just not mince words- the reason there are golems is because people never have genuine experiences of wonder. They perceive the world they’re told to perceive. It seems to me that even our intelligentsia in the ivy leagues do not have this experience of wonder. They think they know what Being is.
Poems like Hölderlin’s that I linked to above are able to put one into this state of wonder. However! one also needs to already be somewhat in that state in order to read them. This is true for all of the writers that H covers.
There IS a politics to wonder. Because if you are displaced from prevailing opinion and see Being anew, certain people will not like how you see it. Wonder is an anti-Stalinist concept so to speak. They do not want “pure soaring”. The geniuses of history teach us how to fly. The State not only wants your wings clipped, it wants THEIR wings clipped. H has no such intention, and quite the contrary. And the current events retards are identical to the State in this regard. They don’t do this because they’re wrong, they do it because they’re right. They are hostile to objective “read-outs” about Being.
Talking ABOUT wonder isn’t the best way to facilitate the experience of wonder, hence I link to Hölderlin. Nevertheless, in this above meditation I’ve personally had the experience, and Being reveals itself to me as this Stalinist hatred for wonder. This is another way of speaking of “the machination”. They’re not true Being, the wonderers are the true ones. If you are stuck in prevailing opinion you will not see this.
Just a glance at another one of the 40. Synchronously, H discusses Hölderlin in this too
This is an allusion to the Greeks- you probably remember the titans from Disney’s Hercules. H is a Herculean figure (hence we’re here)- you just need the wonder to see it, a faculty that’s dead in America but one that might be able to be healed.