MajorityRights.com excerpts from Safranski's bio
The breakthrough to authentic Being thus takes place as a contingency shock, as the experience of “there is nothing behind it.” Even more clearly than in Being and Time, Heidegger formulated this initiation experience for a philosophy of authenticity in his Frieburg inaugural lecture of 1929. Philosophy, he then said, only begins when we have the courage to “let nothingness encounter us.” Eye to eye with nothing, we then observe not only that we are “something” real, but also that we are creative creatures, capable of letting something emerge from nothing. The decisive point is that man can experience himself as the place where nothing becomes something and something becomes nothing. Anxiety leads us to this turning point. It confronts us with the “being possible” that we are ourselves.