Saturday, March 03, 2012
Heidegger on Hölderlin's dictum: “For us everything is concentrated upon the spiritual, we have become poor in order to become rich.”
Man abides in a relation to that which surrounds him – a relation that is exalted above the relation of a subject to an object. Here, “exalted” does not just mean “hovering over” but rather reaching for the high, about which Hölderlin once said, man – especially the poet – could also “descend” into the high. Thus, the height of this apogee of the exalted is in itself at the same time the deep. The exalted relation refers to that which towers over all objects and man and at the same time sustains all these. And what is that? Hölderlin does not say it; therefore, we must specifically think it and that means append it via poetizing. What surrounds us normally, what individually stands over against us (= the objects), we also call a being that is. But this “is” on beings is itself not something that again is a being, but rather that which in the first place lets all beings be be-ings (Seyendes) and thus shelteringly encloses and surrounds them. We call it be-ing (das Seyn). The exalted relation wherein man abides is the relation of be-ing to man, namely so that be-ing itself is this relation that draws to itself the ownmost of man as the ownmost that abides in this relation and preserves and inhabits this relation by abiding within it. We experience “the spirit” in the openness of this relationship of be-ing to human beings – it is that which sways from out of be-ing and presumably for be-ing.

Hölderlin’s dictum reads: “for us everything is concentrated upon the spiritual.” Given the preceding, this means: a concentration, a gathering, is enowned as the gathering upon the relationship of be-ing to our ownmost, a relationship that is the center, the midpoint, that is everywhere as the midpoint of a circle whose periphery is nowhere.

The dictum “for us everything is concentrated upon the spiritual” is not a historical identification of a fact pertaining to the situation of that time, but a thinking poetizing invocation of an enowning that is hidden-sheltered in be-ing itself – an enowning reaching out into what is coming from afar and intimated by only a few, or perhaps only by the one who can say and think that enowning.

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