Thursday, January 13, 2011
Heidegger on lighting versus clearing spaces.
The lightening in the sense of brightness and the lightening of the clearing are different not only regarding the matter, but regarding the word as well. To lighten [Lichten] means: to render free, to free up [freigeben], to let free. To lighten belongs to light [leicht]. To render something light, to lighten something means: to clear away obstacles to it, to bring it into the unobstructed, into the free. To raise [lichten] the anchor says as much: to free it from the encompassing ocean floor and lift it into the free of water and air.

Presence is referred to clearing in the sense of the granting of the free. The question is posed: What is cleared in the clearing that frees up presence as such?

Is not this talk about the clearing also only a metaphor, read off from the forest clearing? Nevertheless, this forest clearing is itself something present in the presencing forest. The clearing, however, as the granting of the free for presencing and lingering of what-is-present, is neither something that is present nor a property of the presence. But the clearing and that which it clears remain of concern for thinking as soon as thinking is affected by the question as to how the matter stands with presence as such.

To consider that and how clearing grants presence belongs to the question concerning the determination of the matter for thinking, which, if thinking is to correspond to this matter and to its proper issues, will recognize itself compelled to a transformation. Space and time appear as just such issues for they have always been connected in thinking with the presence of what-is-present. Yet the proper character of space and time and of their relation to presence as such becomes determinable only in terms of the clearing.
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