Being and Time

Being and Time, a translation by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson of Martin Heidegger's Sein und Zeit: Harper & Row (New York and Evanston, 1962)


inside the front cover Ven. Ñāṇavīra Thera has inscribed the passage from Camus' Le Mythe de Sisyphe quoted (in English translation) in LC II, 13.ii.64 and LC VIII, 8.v.65.


p. 17/13-14

[Einführung in die Metaphysik] u/l: This book gets fairly rough handling by Jean Wahl (Professeur à la Sorbonne) in his study of it, entitled Vers la Fin de l'Ontologie (SEDES, Paris, 1956). Heidegger is right, in that there is more of a problem of Being than Wahl will admit; but he goes too far, in that he takes Being as a Good Thing. It is necessary to account for the difference between 'I am! (or 'he is') and 'it is', and Being and Time does not quite succeed, and does in fact volatilize the core of Dasein' (see p. 153). Bet Heidegger's latter efforts (as in this Einführung in die Metaphysik) still fail to account for the apparently 'eternal' element in Being (which, for Heidegger, is essentially temporal). Cf. M. Wyschgrod, Kiergegaard and Heidegger (Kegan Paul, London, 1954). Where Sartre disagrees with Heidegger (see L'Être et le Néant), Heidegger's view is nearly always to be preferred.


p. 32/21-33/3

[Here “Being-ontological” is not yet tantamount to “developing an ontology”. So if we should reserve the term “ontology” for that theoretical inquiry which is explicitly devoted to the meaning of entitles, then what we have had in mind in speaking of Dasein's “Being-ontological” is to be designated as something “pre-ontological”. It does not signify simply “being-ontical”, however, but rather “being in such a way that one has an understanding of Being”.

That kind of Being towards which Dasein can comport itself in one way or another, and always does comport itself somehow, we call “existence”. And because we cannot define Dasein's essence by citing a “what” of the kind that pertains to a subject-matter, and because its essence lies rather in the fact that in each case it has its Being to be, and has it as its own, we have chosen to designate this entity as “Dasein”, a term which is purely an expression of its Being.]: Dasein is potentially reflexive—pre-reflexive. See Notes on Dhamma, SN DHAMMA (b).


p. 33/22

[exist] u/l.


p. 34/13-19

[But the roots of the existential analytic, on its part, are ultimately existentiell, that is, ontical. Only if the inquiry of philosophical research is itself seized upon in an existentiell manner as a possibility of the Being of each existing Dasein, does it become at all possible to disclose the existentiality of existence and to undertake an adequately founded ontological problematic]: A double reflexion.


p. 34/39-40

[...a vicious subjectivizing of the totality of entities.]: (Idealism)



p. 65/2

[Higher than actuality stands possibility.]: Cf. Kierkegaard, C.U.P., p. 282 sq.1


p. 86/27-28

[It would be unintelligible for Being-in-the-world to remain totally veiled from view,] 'to remain' u/l: i.e. that [it] should remain (?)


p. 97n.1/7-10, concerning the term Zeug, which has no precise English equivalent, [For the most part H. uses the term as a collective noun, so that he can say that there is no such thing as 'an equipment'; but he still uses it occasionally with an indefinite article to refer to some specific tool or instrument—some item or bit of equipment.]: utensil.


p. 101/14-31

concerning utensils (p. 97), [The kind of being which belongs to these entities is readiness-to-hand. But this characteristic is not to be understood as merely a way of taking them, as if we were talking such 'aspects' into the 'entities' which we proximally encounter, or as if some world-stuff which is proximally present-at-hand in itself were 'given subjective colouring' in this way. Such an Interpretation would overlook the fact that in this case these entities would have to be understood and discovered beforehand as something purely present-at-hand... But... to lay bare what is just present-at-hand and no more, cognition must first penetrate beyond what is-ready-to-hand in our concern. Readiness-to-hand is the way in which entities as they are 'in themselves' are defined ontologico-categorially. Yet only by reason of something present-at-hand, 'is there' anything ready-to-hand. Does it follow, however, granting this thesis for the nonce, that readiness-to-hand is ontologlcally founded upon presence-at-hand?]: Present-to-hand entities are, each absolutely and alone. Immediate intention, taking any one, posits (as it were)a that there is 'another'—and hence 'others' (see NOD, FS). The others, being there already, new appear as others—i.e. appear in relation to the present entity as absent entities. At the same time; now that they all appear 'together', preference takes place, raising the pleasant absents and lowering the unpleasant. The whole is new a ready-to-hand entity. Further intention (in depth) spreads this scheme horizontally, and a hierarchy of (closed) worlds of ready-to-hand entities then appears. But intention is equiprimordial with present-to-hand entities in so far as they are.

(a) More precisely: to say of a present-to-hand entity that it is, is simply to say that it is present; which is also to say that there is consciousness of it. But consciousness, being at two removes from matter (perception and feeling are at one remove)—see Notes, SN RŪPA (c)—, ipso facto generates a lateral vacancy for other matter. A further remove from the original matter fills this vacancy. Intention is simply the relation between the other (or absent) and the this (or present). In so far, then, (to answer H’s question) as the present-to-hand is present it is the ontological foundation of readiness-to-hand. All consciousness (or presence) entails intention (or in-order-to).


p. 114/8-9

[Reference is not an ontical characteristic of something ready-to-hand.] u/l: In which case reference would be confined to some only (i.e. signs) of the ready-to-hand.


p. 119/14-34

[Dasein always assigns itself from a “for-the-sake-of-which” to the “with-which” of an involvement; that is to say, to the extent that it is, it always lets entities be encountered as ready-to-hand. That wherein Dasein understands itself beforehand in the mode of assigning itself is that for which it has let entities be encountered beforehand. The “wherein” of an act of understanding which assigns or refers itself, is that for which one lets entities be encountered in the kind of Being that belongs to involvements; and this “wherein” is the phenomenon of the world. And the structure of that to which Dasein assigns itself is what makes up the worldhood of the wor1d...] noted.


p. 124/11 and 16

[shapes] and [Shape] u/l: Gestalt.


p. 138n.2

noted: De-severance fixes the perspective or point of view; directionality fixes the organization or arrangement of things amongst themselves (regardless of point of view)—l'agencement des choses-ustensiles en choses-ustensiles (weightage or distance within the perspective). For de-sever, perhaps de-ploy (display, unfold) might be better.


p. 145/30-36

[With anything encountered as ready-to-hand there is always an involvement in a region. To the totality of involvements which makes up the Being of the ready-to-hand within-the-world, there belongs a spatial involvement which has the character of a region. By reason of such an involvement, the ready-to-hand becomes something which we can come across and ascertain as having form and direction.] noted.


p. 147/3

[shapes] u/l: Gestalt.


p. 150/15

[The answer to the question of who Dasein is,]: The mistake is to ask the question.


p. 150/17

[constantly] u/l: absolutely.


p. 152/36

[constancy] u/l: absoluteness.



['failure to stand by itself'] u/l: 'non-absoluteness'. See p. 369.


p. 153/4-9

[But if the Self is conceived 'only' as a way of Being of this entity, this seems tantamount to volatilizing the real 'core' of Dasein. Any apprehensiveness however which one may have about this gets its nourishment from the perverse assumption that the entity in question has at bottom the kind of Being which belongs to something present-at-hand, even if one is far from attributing to it the solidity of an occurrent corporeal Thing.]: Yes—but how does this 'perverse assumption' arise? And how does it cease? Answer: it arises in asking the question Who? It ceases in seeing that it arises in asking the question Who?


p. 165/27

['them'] u/l: i.e. one.


p. 171/5-16

[The entity which is essentially constituted by Being-in-the-world is itself in every case its 'there'. According to the familiar signification of the word, the 'there' points to a 'here' and a 'yonder'. The 'here' of an 'I-here' is always understood in relation to a 'yonder' ready-to-hand, in the sense of a Being towards this 'yonder'—a Being which is de-severant, directional, and concernful. Dasein's existential spatiality, which thus determines its 'location', is itself grounded in Being-in-the-world. The “yonder” belongs definitely to something encountered within-the-world. 'Here' and 'yonder' are possible only in a 'there'—that is to say, only if there is an entity which has made a disclosure of spatiality as the Being of the 'there'. This entity carries in its ownmost Being the character of not being closed off. In the expression 'there' we have in view this essential disclosedness, this entity (Dasein), together with the Being-there of the world, is 'there' for itself.]: For the dependence of 'here' (idha) & 'yonder' (huraṃ) upon 'there' (tattha), see Udāna i,10.2


p. 173/15

[cognition] u/l: knowing.


p. 173/12-17

[Being has become manifest as a burden. Why that should be, one does not know. And Dasein cannot know anything of the sort because the possibilities of disclosure which belong to cognition reach far too short a way compared with the primordial disclosure belonging to moods, in which Dasein is brought before its Being as “there”.]: for H, in other words, bhavataṇhā is primordial. There is no escape to be seen.


p. 174/6

[in] c/o: as to.


p. 174/9-11

[The expression “thrownness” is meant to suggest the facticity of its being delivered over.]: dereliction.


p. 175/1

[would] c/o: should.


p. 175/12, 19, 21, and passim

[cognition] u/l: 'knowing'.


p. 175/14-16

[When irrationalism, as the counterplay of rationalism, talks about the things to which rationalism is blind, it does so only with a squint.] noted.


p. 176/25-34

[But to be affected by the unserviceable, resistant, or threatening character of that which is ready-to-hand, becomes ontologically possible only in so far as Being-in as such has been determined existentially beforehand in such a manner that what it encounters within-the-world can “matterto it in this way. The fact that this sort of thing can “matter” to it is grounded in one’s state-of-mind; and as a state-of-mind it has already disclosed the world—as something by which it can be threatened, for instance.]: Yadabhinendati taṃ bhayaṃ (Udāna iii,10 [Ud.33])3


p. 177/4-14

[Under the strongest pressure and resistance, nothing like an affect would come about, and the resistance itself would remain essentially undiscovered, if Being-in-the-world, with its state-of-mind, had not already submitted itself to having entities within-the-world “metter” to it in a way which its moods have outlined in advance. Existentially, a state-of-mind implies a disclosive submission to the world, out of which we can encounter something that matters to us. Indeed from the ontological point of view we must as a general principle leave the primary discovery of the world to 'bare mood'. Pure beholding, even if it were to penetrate to the innermost core of the Being of something present-at-hand, could never discover anything like that which is threatening.]: 'Bare mood' is more or less asmīti. (See Notes, SN PHASSA (b). Things concern me or matter to me because 'I am'.—This is the puthujjana's view.)


p. 182/16

[Understanding always has its mood.] u/l: Not with the arahat.


p. 194/4-p. 195/27



p. 194/6-9

[All interpretation, moreover, operates in the fore-structure, which we have already characterized. Any interpretation which is to contribute understanding, must already have understood what is to be interpreted.] double noted.


p. 195/22-24

[An entity for which, as Being-in-the-world, its Being is itself an issue, has, ontologically, a circular structure.] double noted.


p. 207/27-32

[Admittedly, when what the discourse is about is heard 'natura1ly', we can at the same time hear the 'diction', a the way in which it is said, but only if there is some co-understanding beforehand of what is said-in-the-talk; for only so is there a possibility of estimating whether the way in which it is said is appropriate to what the discourse is about thematically.]: Cf.;Kierkegaard, C.U.P., pp. 151-2.4


p. 217/6-8

[Curiosity is everywhere and nowhere. This mode of Being-in-the-world reveals a new kind of Being of everyday Dasein—a kind in which Dasein is constantly uprooted.]: The antithesis of Repetition. 'Whoever wills repetition proves himself to be in possession of a pathos that is serious and mature.'—S.K., Repetition.5


p. 220/34

[would]: read 'should'


p. 222/10, 13, 14, 17, 26, 30, and passim,

[tranquility] [tranquillizing] [tranquillization] and [tranquillized] read: complacency, complacification, etc.


p. 223/16-19

[Since the understanding is thus constantly torn away from authenticity and into the “they” (though always with a sham of authenticity), the movement of falling is characterized by turbulence.]: A vicious spiral?


p. 226/10

[would] c/o: should.


p. 228/10-12

[Entities are, quite independently of the experience by which they are disclosed, the acquaintance in which they are discovered, and the grasping in which their nature is ascertained.]: See note, p. 101.


p. 250/17-19

[Shrinking back in the face of what fear discloses—in the face of something threatening—is founded upon fear; and this shrinking back has the character of fleeing.] 'this' u/l.


p. 231/5-13

[That in the face of which one is anxious is completely indefinite. Not only does this indefiniteness leave factically undecided which entity within-the-world is threatening us, but it also tells us that entities within-the-world are not 'relevant' at all. Nothing which is ready-to-hand or present-at-hand within the world functions as that in the face of which anxiety is anxious. Here the totality of involvements of the ready-to-hand and the present-at-hand discovered within-the-world, is, as such, of no consequence; it collapses into itself;] noted 'Nothing ... itself' double noted: This does not (or should not) mean that the ready-to-hand and present-at-hand lose all involvement—see p. 393.


p. 231/13-15

[it collapses into itself; the world has the character of completely lacking significance. In anxiety one does not encounter this thing or that thing which, as something threatening, must have an involvement.] 'the world...significance' u/l: The general world-determination 'mine' or 'for me' is undermined in each individual entity within the world.(To be 'mine' is to be privileged: it is to claim for sole recognition as what 'I am'. To see that whatever 'I' now 'am' could be other (which 'I' as das Man do not see) is to suspect that there is no privilege and to experience angst.) Thus the (significant) world, in angst, lacks significance—'mine' is 'not-mine'. In other words 'I am' is unjustifiable. What 'matters' (what 'I am') threatens to be 'not mattering' (to be not what 'I am') by its possibility of being other. Yena yena hi maññanti tato taṃ hoti aññathā.6 See also the Uddesavibhaṅga Sutta of the Majjhima (No. 138, quoted in Notes, SN SAÑÑĀ) where angst is said to arise when what is (more explicitly) identified as 'self' is seen to be other. (Angst = paritassanā).


p. 231/35-36

[What oppresses us is not this or that, nor is it the summation of everything present-at-hand; it is rather the possibility of the ready-to-hand in general; that is to say, it is the world itself.] 'the general' u/l .


p. 232/1-2

[But this “nothing ready-to-hand”, which only our everyday circumspective discourse understands, is not totally nothing.] 'only' u/l: i.e. is all?


p. 232/8-14

[Being-anxious discloses, primoridally and directly, the world as world. It is not the case, say, that the world first gets thought of by deliberating about it, just by itself, without regard for the entities within-the-world, and that, in the face of this world, anxiety then arises; what is rather the case is that the world as world is disclosed first and foremost by anxiety, as a mode of state-of-mind. This does not signify, however, that in anxiety the worldhood of the world gets conceptualized.] noted.


p. 232/15-18

[Anxiety is not only anxiety in the face of something, but, as a state-of-mind, it is also anxiety about something. That which anxiety is profoundly anxious about is not a definite kind of Being for Dasein or a definite possibility for it. Indeed the threat itself is indefinite, and therefore cannot penetrate threateningly to this or that factically concrete potentiality-for-Being.] 'Anxiety...possibility for it' noted: Dasein is anxious with anxiety about its ownmost potentiality-for-Being (p. 321) since that potentiality-for-Being threatens not to be.


p. 232/21-26

[That which anxiety is anxious about is Being-in-the world itself. In anxiety what is environmentally ready-to-hand sinks away, and so, in general, do entities within-the-world. The 'world' can offer nothing more, and neither can the Dasein-with of Others. Anxiety thus takes away from Dasein the possibility of understanding itself, as it falls, in terms of the 'world' and the way things have been publicly interpreted.] noted: Camus.


p. 232/27-33

[Anxiety individualizes Dasein for its ownmost Being-in-the-world, which as something that understands, projects itself essentially upon possibilities. Therefore, with that which it is anxious about, anxiety discloses Dasein as Being-possible, and indeed as the only kind of thing which it can be of its own accord as something individualized in individualization.] Cf. Notes, Preface, 'Every man...relieve him of anxiety.'


p. 232/36-38

[Anxiety brings Dasein face to face with its Being-free for (propensio in...) the authenticity of its Being, and for this authenticity as a possibility which it always is.] changed to read: Anxiety brings Dasein face to face with its Being-free for... (propensio in...) the authenticity of its Being as a possibility that it always is.


p. 233/6

[disclosure] and [disclosed] u/l: read 'anxiety in the face of' and 'anxiety about'.


p. 233/20, 23, 35 and passim,

[uncanny'], [“uncanniness”], ['uncanniness'] all u/l: read 'strange', 'strangeness'


p. 233/23

[“not-being-at-home”] u/l: read 'estrangement' or '“exile”'.


p. 234/24-26

[From an existential-ontological point of view, the "not-at-home" must be conceived as the more primordial phenomenon.] noted.


p. 237/9-12

[The formally existential totality of Dasein’s ontological structural whole must therefore be grasped in the following structure: the Being of Dasein means ahead-of-itself-Being-already-in-(the-world) as Being-alongside (entities encountered within-the-world).] double noted: Das Sein des Daseins besagt: Sich-vorweg-schon-sein-in-(das-Welt) als Sein-bei (innerweltlich begegnen dem Seinden).


p. 237/13-32

[This Being fills in the signification of the term “care”, which is used in purely ontologico-existential manner.... Because Being-in-the-world is essentially care, Being-alongside the ready-to-hand could be taken in our previous analyses as concern, and Being with the Dasein-with of Others as we encounter it within-the-world could be taken as solicitude.... Care does not characterize just existentially, let us say, as detached from facticity and falling; on the contrary, it embraces the unity of these ways in which Being may be characterized...] noted: 'Care' is more or less (bhava)taṇhā—except that Heidegger does not quite see it that way (since he has no conception of taṇhānirodha).


p. 239/14-20

[As something factical, Dasein's projection of itself understandingly is in each case already alongside a world that has been discovered. From this world it takes its possibilities, and it does so first in accordance with the way things have been interpreted by the “they”. This interpretation has already restricted the possible options of choice to what lies within the range of the familiar, the attainable, the respectable—that which is fitting and proper.] 'This...proper' noted.


p. 239/28

[tranquillized] u/l: complacent.


p. 239/28-240/5

[All the same, this tranquillised 'willing' under the guidance of the "they", does not signify that one's Being towards one's potentiality-for-Being has been extinguished, but only that it has been modified. In such a case, one's Being towards possibilities shows itself for the most part as more wishing. In the wish Dasein projects its Being upon possibilities which not only have not been taken hold of in concern, but whose fulfilment has not even been pondered over and expected. On the contrary, in the mode of mere wishing, the ascendancy of Being-ahead-of-oneself brings with it a lack of understanding for the factical possibilities. When the world has been primarily projected as a wish-world, Being-in-the-world has lost itself inertly in what is at its disposal; but it has done so in such a way that, in the light of what is wished for, that which is at its disposal (and this is all that is ready-to-hand) is never enough. Wishing is an existential modification of projecting oneself understandingly, when such self-projection has fallen forfeit to thrownness and just keeps hankering after possibilities. Such hankering closes off the possibilities; what is 'there' in wishful hankering turns into the 'actual world'. Ontologically, wishing presupposes care.]: A hierarchy of increasing intensity with care at the base.


p. 247/20-23

[Kant calls it 'a scandal of philosophy and of human reason in general' that there is still no cogent proof for the 'Dasein of Things outside of us' which will do away with any scepticism. He proposes such a proof himself....]: See p. 249.


p. 248/34-36

[The Being-present-at-hand-together of the physical and the psychical is completely different optically and ontologically from the phenomenon of Being-in-the-world.] noted.


p. 249/9-10

[The 'scandal of philosophy' is not that this proof has yet to be given, but that such proofs are expected and attempted again and again.]double noted: Yes, yes, yes!


p. 249/10-41

noted: N.B. The index xv seems to have been omitted.


p. 251/3-15



p. 254/39-41

[The experiencing of resistance—that is, the discovery of what is resistant to one's endeavours—is possible ontologically only by reason of the disclosedness of the world.] noted.


p. 254/1

[The character of resisting is one that belongs to entities with-the-world.] 'with' u/l: within.


p. 255/4-18

[Reality is referred back to the phenomenon of care. But the fact that Reality is ontologically grounded in the Being of Dasein, does not signify that only when Dasein exists and as long as Dasein exists, can the Real be as that which in itself it is.

Of course only as long as Dasein is (that is, only as long as an understanding of Being is ontically possible), 'is there' Being. When Dasein does not exist, 'independence' 'is' not either, not 'is' the 'in-itself'. In such a case this sort of thing can be neither understood nor not understood. In such a case even entities within-the-world can neither be discovered nor lie hidden. In such s case it cannot be said that entitles are, nor can it be said that they are not. But now, as long as there is an understanding of Being and therefore an understanding of presence-at-hand, it can indeed be said that in this case entities will still continue to be.] noted: Cf. notes on p. 101, and also Notes, SN CETANĀ (e).


p. 262/3-29

noted: Heracleitus's use of λόγος is skin to the word dhamma.


p. 264/23-p. 265/15



p. 268/15-20

[If the 'truth' which we encounter proximally in an ontical manner is considered ontologically in the way that is closest to us then the λόγος (the assertion) gets understood as λόγος τιυςas an assertion about something, an uncoveredness of something; but the phenomenon gets Interpreted as something present-at-hand with regard to its possible presence-at-hand.] 'but...-at-hand.' noted: i.e. statistically (theory of probability).


p. 271/5- 6

[Because this presupposing of itself belongs to Dasein's Being, 'we' must also presuppose 'ourselves' as having the attribute of disclosedness.] noted.


p. 272/34-35

[Being (not entities) is something which 'there is' only in so far as truth is.] double noted.


p. 273 bottom:

24.5.65. Nāṇavīra.


p. 276/19

[Everydayness is precisely that Being which is 'between' birth and death.] noted: This is true of everydayness, but see note below.


p. 276/41-p. 277/3

[But to that which is thus outstanding, the 'end' itself belongs. The 'end' of being-in-the-world is death. This end, which belongs to the potentiality-for-Beingthat is to say, to existencelimits and determines in every case whatever totality is possible for Dasein.] noted: It is true only within limits to say that Dasein is at an end in death. But it is probably true enough to support H's following argument.


p. 281/11-15

[When Dasein reaches its wholeness in death, it simultaneously loses the Being of its “there”. By its transition to no-1onger-Dasein, it gets lifted right out of the possibility of experiencing this transition and of understanding it as something experienced. Surely this sort of thing is denied to any particular Dasein in relation to itself.] 'Surely...itself.' noted: Actually not—except for the arahat. But such refinements are out of H's range. Perhaps it is of no great consequence for his discussion.


p. 281/27-37

[Even the Dasein of Others, when it has reached its wholeness in death, is no-longer-Dasein, in the sense of Being-no-longer-in-the-world. Does not dying mean going-out-of-the-world, and losing one’s Being-in-the-world? Yet when someone has died, his Being-no-longer-in-the-world (if we understand it in an extreme way) is still a Being, but in the sense of the Being-just-present-at-hand-and-no-more of a corporeal Thing which we encounter. In the dying of the other we can experience that remarkable phenomenon of Being which may be defined as the change-over of an entity from Dasein's kind of Being (or life) to no-longer-Dasein. The end of the entity qua Dasein is the beginning of the same entity qua something present-at-hand.] noted: The Other's body has changed its significance. It is no longer the point of view that I am not.


p. 283/33-34

['One is' what one does.] noted! Notes, SN KAMMA.


p. 285/29-30

[the 'variations' in which we are chiefly interested are those of end and totality;] 'of' u/l: i.e. belonging to (not: that are).


p. 287/29

[Dasein must, as itself, become—that is to say, be—'what it is not yet.] noted.


p. 288/1-5

[When we speak of the “not-yet” of the unripeness, we do not have in view something else which stands outside, and which—with utter indifference to the fruit—might be present-at-hand in it and with it. What we have in view is the fruit itself in its specific kind of Being.] last sentence noted: A fruit is as a coming-to-ripeness.


p. 288/5

[The sum which is not yet complete] 'The sum' is circled: i.e. not 'the sum of the fruit' but 'a sum as such'. Read 'a sum that is not yet...'.


p. 288/25

[“not-yet” (of unripeness)] changed to: “not-yet” (i.e. of



p. 288/35

[by] u/l: omit 'by'.


p. 289/6-8

[The road stops. Such an ending does not make the road disappear, but such a stopping is determinative for the road as this one, which is present-at-hand.] noted: as (this one, which is) present-at-hand.


p. 189/31-36

[just as Dasein is already its “not-yet”, and is its “not-yet” constantly as long as it is, it is already its end too. The “ending” which we have in view when we speak of death, does not signify Dasein's Being-at-an-end, but a Being-towards-the-end of this entity. Death is a way to be, which Dasein takes over as soon as it is. “As soon as man comes to life, he is at once old enough to die.”] noted: Sartre (L'Être et le Néant, pp. 615-638) criticizes H.'s Sein zum Ende (or Tode), not altogether in good faith. But both H. and S. assume that death is annihilation, an assumption that they do not attempt to justify. (But see p. 292.) Granted this assumption, S.'s argument has some weight; but since in fact the assumption is mistaken, H.'s argument turns out in practice to be more effective. We do not and cannot shrink from the possibility of an absolute blank (which is wholly unimaginable)—and here S. is right—, but we can and do shrink from change, and a fortiori from the possible radical change of death (which to some degree is imaginable)—and here H. is right, in that he says that we shrink from 'our death'. But H. is wrong in supposing that we shrink from an absolute blank, and S. is wrong in supposing that we do not shrink from 'our death'. If we shrink, says S. (in effect), it is not from our death that we shrink. It is our death that we shrink from, says H. (in effect), and our death is complete blankness. (S. actually says that we do shrink from death, but not from our death. But if death is not in some way 'ours', why should we shrink? S.'s concept of what constitutes 'my possibility' is also inadequate.


p. 292/16-21

[Only when death is conceived in its full ontological essence can we have any methodological assurance in even asking what may be after death; only then can we do so with meaning and justification. Whether such a question is a possible theoretical question at all will not be decided here. The this-worldly ontological Interpretation of death takes precedence over any ontical other-worldly speculation.] noted: Perhaps so; in which case, modify marginal note on p. 289. But to what extent is it justifiable to define death as the 'end' of Dasein if it is 'not the end'? In this existence it is the end, and perhaps that is enough for H.'s purpose. Possibly, even, he escapes almost completely from S.'s criticism by not—at least explicitly—assuming annihilation. How far is the assumption implicit? Or perhaps is the implicit assumption towards eternalism? Heidegger's later change of orientation perhaps suggests a shift from the one to the other—yet even so, Being, for him, is still temporal.

Perhaps, on p. 289, it would be better to say that Sartre assumes that death is annihilation, and assumes that Heidegger assumes it.

Confusion arises in this way: (i) we cannot have an idea of total blankness. (ii) We can have an idea of a radical change. (iii) An idea of change, and a fortiori the idea of a radical change, can be anxious. (iv) It is anxious because it is the idea that 'I' have always the possibility of being otherwise than 'I' am—in other words, that 'I' am not the eternal entity 'I' take myself for—in other words, that 'I', as such, am not. (v) Thus the 'nothingness' that I face in anxiety is not the (presumed) blankness of death, but the possibility that I do not exist—i.e. a personal nothingness, but not an individual nothingness (see Notes, SN SAKKĀYA). H. cannot distinguish between these. There is no anxiety for the arahat in the face of death.


p. 292/30-38

[Methodologically, the existential analysis is superordinate to the questions of a biology, psychology, theodicy, or theology of death. ...If Dasein in general never becomes accessible as something present-at-hand, because Being-possib1e belongs in its own way to Dasein's kind of Being, even less may we expect that we can simply read off the ontological structure of death, if death is indeed a distinctive possibility of Dasein.] noted: Necessary precautions! Are they sufficient?


p. 292/39-p. 293/1

[On the other hand, the analysis cannot keep clinging to an idea of death which has been devised accidentally and at random.] 'which' u/l: The idea, presumably, not the death.


p. 294/18-19

[Dasein's...death is the possibility of no-longer being-able-to-be-there.] noted: Yes—because it is the possibility of having-to-be-elsewhere (unspecified).


p. 297/31-p. 298/9

noted (and 'itranquillization' and 'tranquillity', altered to 'complacification' and 'complacency')


p. 298/13-16

[It is already a matter of public acceptance that 'thinking about death' is a cowardly fear, a sign of insecurity on the part of Dasein, and a sombre way of fleeing from the world. The “they” does not permit us the courage for anxiety in the face of death.] noted.


p. 298/19- 21

[In anxiety in the face of death, Dasein is brought face to face with itself as delivered over to that possibility which is not to be outstripped.] noted: A bugbear.


p. 298/24-28

[What is 'fitting' according to the unuttered decree of the “they”, is indifferent tranquillity as to the 'fact' that one dies. The cultivation of such a 'superior' indifference alienates Dasein from its ownmost non-relational potentiality-for-Being.] noted (and 'tranquillity' changed to 'complacency'): Cf. Camus, Noces, 'Le Vent à Djéwila'.


p. 302/26-27

[Thus the “they” covers up what is peculiar in death's certainty—that it is possible at any moment.] noted.


p. 309/31-p. 310/1

[Holding death for true (death is just one's own) shows another kind of certainty, and is more primordial than any certainty which relates to entities encountered within-the-world; or to formal objects; for it is certain of Being-in-the-world. As such; holding death for true does not demand just one definite kind of behaviour in Dasein, but demands Dasein itself in the full authenticity of its existence.] noted: Camus.


p. 310/1-11

[In anticipation Dasein can first make certain of its ownmost Being in its totality—a totality which is not to be outstripped. Therefore the evidential character which belongs to the immediate givenness of Experiences, of the “I”, or of consciousness, must necessarily lag behind the certainty which anticipation includes. Yet this is not because the way in which these are grasped would not be a rigorous one, but because in principle such a way of grasping them cannot hold for true (disclosed) something which at bottom it insists upon 'having there' as true: namely, Dasein itself; which I myself am, and which, as a potentiality-for-Being, I can be authentically only by anticipation.] noted: That I am (that Dasein exists) as a totality—disclosed in anticipation—is taken for granted when any question about the 'I' is raised. Asmimāna underlies attavāda, 'I am' before 'myself exists'. Cf. Notes, SN MAMA.


p. 312/24-26

[Dasein makes no choices, gets carried along by the nobody, and thus ensnares itself in inauthenticity. This process can be reversed only if Dasein specifically brings itself back to itself from its lostness in the “they”.] last sentence noted: Camus.


p. 321/27-28

[in the face of this “nothing”, Dasein is anxious with anxiety about its ownmost potentiality-for-Being.] noted: I.e. lest it should not be.


p. 325/8-10

[we cannot seek to delimit any concrete single possibility of existence as long as we correctly understand the methodological possibilities and tasks which such an Interpretation implies.] noted: I.e. ...we shall not seek...provided...


p. 326/35-39

[Guilty!' turns up as a predicate for the 'I am'. Is it possible that what is understood as 'guilt' in our inauthentic interpretation lies in Dasein's Being as such, and that it does so in such a way that so far as any Dasein factically exists, it is also guilty?] noted.


p. 329/34-330/1

[Dasein's Being is care. ...As being, it has taken the definite form of a potentiality—for-Being which has heard itself and has devoted itself to itself, but not as itself.] 'but not as itself' u/l: No, but as a basis.


p. 330/1-12

[ long as Dasein is, Dasein, as care, is constantly its 'that-it-is'. To this entity it has been delivered over, and as such it can exist solely as the entity which it is; and as this entity to which it has been thus delivered over, it is, in its existing, the basis of its potentiality-for-Being. Although it has not laid that basis itself it reposes in the weight of it, which is made manifest to it as a burden by Dasein's mood.] noted: Viññāṇa = Being; Nāmarūpa = basis; Saṅkhārā (or Cetanā) = possibilities.


p. 330/22-23

[It itself, being a basis, is a nullity of itself.] noted: Because basis is not Being-basis.


p. 330/26-28

[in being its Self, Dasein is, as a self, the entity that has been thrown. It has been released from its basis, not through itself but to itself, so as to be as this basis.] 'released from its basis' u/l: i.e. in authenticity?


p. 330/28-30

[Dasein is not itself the basis of its Being, inasmuch as this basis first arises from its own projection; rather as Being-its-Self, it is the Being of its basis.] noted: I = viññāṇa rather than nāmarūpa (this is the usual existential view).


p. 331/8-10

[Not only is the projection, as one that has been thrown, determined by the nullity of Being-a-basis, as projection it is itself essentially null.] noted: This may mean that Dasein must resign itself to a double limitation: to be something definite, and to be only one definite possibility. (Grimsley confirms.)


p. 331/17-24

[In the structure of thrownness, as in that of projection, there lies essentially a nullity. This nullity is the basis for the possibility of inauthentic Dasein in its falling; and as falling, every inauthentic Dasein factically is. Care itself, in its very essence, is permeated with nullity through and through. Thus “care”—Dasein's Being—means, as thrown projection, Being-the-basis of a nullity (and this Being-the-basis is itself null). This means that Dasein as such is guilty, if our formally existential definition of “guilt” as “Being-the-basis of a nullity” is indeed correct.] noted: This is not enough unless Being is taken in the assertive sense of the conceit (māna) 'I am'. Guilt is the undermining of this conceit by a nullity. This conceit is more than what H. has in mind. (The evidence is, that with the arahat there are still these nullities, but no guilt, because no conceit or assertion.) In H.'s later writings (particularly What Is Metaphysics?) he goes too far in the other direction. He bases anxiety (and therefore guilt) on a Nothing that is not simply a negation of all that is. There is such a Nothing, but it depends on avijjā. See Notes, SN ATAKKĀVACARA (a). See Wyschgrod, p. 73. See note on p. 292.


p. 332/19-27

[Not only can entities whose Being is care load themselves with factical guilt, but they are guilty in the very basis of their Being; and this Being-guilty is what provides, above all, the ontological condition for Dasein's ability to come to owe anything in factically existing. This essential Being-guilty is, equiprimordially, the existential condition for the possibility of the 'morally' good and for that of the 'morally' evil—that is, for morality in general and for the possible forms which this may take factically. The primordial “Being-guilty” cannot be defined by morality, since morality already presupposes it for itself.] noted: If we allow (against H.) that Being is not merely 'I am' but the conceit (māna) or desire (chanda) 'I am', then this § is absolutely correct. (There are entities 'whose Being is care', and they are the puthujjanas; and there are entities whose Being is cessation of care, and these are the arahats. Taṇhāpaccayā... bhavo, and taṇhānirodhā... bhavanirodho.)


p. 332/39-p. 333/1

[The call is the call of Care. Being-guilty constitutes the Being to which we give the name of “care”.] '“care”' u/l: (bhava)taṇhā.


p. 333/4-6

[To the extent that for Dasein, as care, its Being is an issue, it summons itself as a “they” which is factically falling, and summons itself from its uncanniness towards its potentiality-for-Being.]: ...summons itself from out of its strangeness...


p. 334/6-10

[The common sense of the “they” knows only the satisfying of manipulable rules and public norms and the failure to satisfy them. It reckons up infractions of them and tries to balance them off. It has slunk away from its ownmost Being-guilty so as to be able to talk more loudly about making “mistakes”.] last sentence noted.


p. 334/25-31

[Factically, however, any taking action is necessarily 'conscienceless', not only because it may fail to avoid some factical moral indebtedness, but because, on the null basis of its null projection, it has, in Being with Others, already become guilty towards them. Thus one's wanting-to-have-a-conscience becomes the taking-over of that essential consciencelessness within which alone the exietentiell possibility of being 'good' subsists.] noted: In 'being good' inauthentically the damage is already done. In 'being good' there is no question of having a 'clear conscience' since I am already guilty—I am guilty of being 'good'. Goodness is s mode of Being; Being is Being-guilty.


p. 336/2-3

['Life' is a 'business', whether or not it covers its costs.] noted: Schopenhauer—“'Life' is a 'business' that does not cover its costs.”


p. 337/19-20

[Dasein is an interconnected sequence of successive Experiences,] noted, u/l.


p. 337/29-30

[The order of the sequence in which Experiences run their course does not give us the phenomenal structure of existing.] noted.


p. 337/33

[self-subsistent]: read 'absolute'.


p. 348/5-7

[Resoluteness, however, is only that authenticity which, in care, is the object of care, and which is possible as care—the authenticity of care itself.] altered to read: ...which, in care, cares, and which possibilizes itself as care...


p. 350/4-45

[What if it is only in the anticipation of death that all the factical 'anticipatoriness' of resolving would be authentically understood] 'if death' corrected to: of death.


p. 351/fn 1.3-6

[In this sentence Heidegger has used no less than five words derived from the Indo-European base 'stā-'....] noted: Pali 'tiṭṭhati'.


p. 352/3-14



p. 353/12-16

[The 'Guilty!' which belongs to the Being of Dasein is something that can be neither augmented nor diminished. It comes before any quantification, if the latter has any meaning at all.] noted: It can be removed altogether—by the removal of asmimāna.


p. 353/14-16

[Moreover, Dasein is essentially guilty—not just guilty on some occasions, and on other occasions not.] noted: Cf. Kierkegaard, C.U.P., p. 468 ff.1


p. 354/24-29

[When the call of conscience is understood, lostness it the “they” is revealed. Resoluteness brings Dasein back to its ownmost potentiality-for-Being-its-Self. When one has an understanding Being-towards-death—towards death as one's ownmost possibility—one’s potentiality-for-Being becomes authentic and wholly transparent.] noted: Camus.


p. 359/36-38

[Ontological Interpretation projects the entity presented to it upon the Being which is that entity's own, so as to conceptualize it with regard to its structure.] noted: I.e. instead of projecting this or that, it projects itself.


p. 362/17-19

[Dose it not then become altogether patent in the end that this problem of fundamental ontology which we have broached, is one which moves in a 'circle'?] noted: Naturally—and that is its justification. It is self-justifying.


p. 363/4-7

[What common sense wishes to eliminate in avoiding the 'circle'; on the supposition that it is measuring up to the loftiest rigour of scientific investigation, is nothing less than the basic structure of care.] noted: Quite!


p. 363/15-28



p. 363/39-40

[If we make a problem of 'life', and then just occasionally have regard for death too, our view is too short-sighted.] noted: Yes!


p. 367/24-26

[the ontological concept of the subject characterizes not the Selfhood of the “I” qua Self, but the selfsameness and steadiness of something that is always present-at-hand.] noted: It characterizes neither. (Granted that the 'subject' is selfsame and steady, it is not present-at-hand or it would be an object. This, of course, is a contradiction, since to be selfsame and steady a thing has to be an object. We might say that a 'subject' is a 'trying-to-be-an-object'.)


p. 368/32

[one is that with which one concerns oneself.] noted: If this were so, there would be no possibility of concern.


p. 369/35-38

[...In terms of care the constancy of the Self, as the supposed persistence of the subjectum, gets clarified. But the phenomenon of this authentic potentiality-for-Being also opens our eyes for the constancy of the Self, in the sense of having achieved some sort of position. The constancy of the Self, in the double sense of steadiness and steadfastness, is the authentic counter-possibility to the non-Self-constancy which is characteristic of irresolute falling. Existentially, "Self-constancy" signifies nothing other than anticipatory resoluteness. The ontological

structure of such resoluteness reveals the existentiality of the Self's Selfhood.]: 'Constancy of the Self' = 'absoluteness'. This seems to indicate that H. takes 'self' in the sense of 'self-reflexion'. This is confirmed with the identification of 'self-constancy' as resoluteness, which is essentially a reflexive phenomenon. But, after all this, why should I care? If 'self' (i.e. 'reflexion') is the absoluteness of care, we still do not know why care should be care—that is, suffering. See Notes, SN ATTĀ. See note on p. 153.


p. 370/18-19

[it is as care that Dasein's totality of Being has been defined.] u/l: Yes, it is defined as care, but when we come to seize care reflexively, we find ourselves asking 'Who cares?' H.’s answer is 'Care cares', i.e. 'self cares'; but this 'self', according to H., is the reflexion of resoluteness, and this still does not answer the question. The nullity (or notness) of care (p. 331) is the reason for guilt; and guilt is the reason for fleeing guilt in fallenness; and fallennees is the reason for hypostatising this self revealed by resoluteness into a self-thing;—but this cannot be so, unless there is already a hypostasis lurking in the phenomenon of care. Where does this hypostasis come from? (See note on p. 155.)

Go back to p. 173 and we find that Dasein is a burden, and 'why that should be, one does not know'.


p. 371/4-5

[Projecting discloses possibilities—that is to say, it discloses the sort of thing that makes possible.] noted: Projection discloses determinations (cetanā, sakhārā). '...thing that makes possible—i.e, that determines.'


p. 371/20

[makes possible] changed to: determines.


p. 393/16-24

[Environmental entities no longer have any involvement. The world in which I exist has sunk into insignificance; and the world which is thus disclosed is one in which entities can be freed only in the character of having no involvement. Anxiety is anxious in the face of the “nothing” of the world; but this does not mean that in anxiety we experience something like the absence of what is present-at-hand within-the-world. The present-at-hand must be encountered in just such a way that it does not have any involvement whatsoever, but can show itself in an empty mercilessness.] noted: This goes too far. Things do not lose all involvement whatsoever, but rather the involvement itself shows itself as 'to no purpose'. The teapot is still 'for tea'—but of what use is that? But see p. 403.


p. 396/11-24

noted: Camus.


p. 403/15-17



p. 407/30-37



p. 415/6- 7

[We shall not trace further how science has its source in authentic existence.] noted: It does not seem to follow from this that science offers a particularly authentic way of existing; 'The main objection, the whole objection' says Kierkegaard, 'to natural science may simply and formally be expressed thus, absolutely: it is incredible that a man who has thought infinitely about himself as spirit could think of choosing natural science (with empirical material) as his life's work and aim.'—Journals, No. 619. And Nietzsche: 'Science as self—anaesthetic—do you know that?' —The Geneology of Morals, Third Essay. But it must be remembered that Heidegger is speaking of 'science' as it ought to be, not as it necessarily is. See p. 447.


p. 426/36-37

[Factical Dasein exists as born; and, as born, it is already dying, in the sense of Being-towards-death.] u/l: Jātipaccayā jarāmaranṇaṃ.


p. 433/28-33

[if the 'tempora1' distance from “now and today” is of no primary constitutive significance for the historicality of entities that are authentically historical, this is not because these entities are not 'in time' and are timeless,] 'entities...historical' u/l: Dasein.


p. 435/27-32

[Once one has grasped the finitude of one's existence, it snatches one back from the endless multiplicity of possibilities which offer themselves as closest to one—those of comfortableness, shirking, and taking things lightly—and brings Dasein into the simplicity of its fate.] 'and taking things lightly' u/l: 'Taking things lightly' is not at all the same as 'not taking things seriously'—cf. Kierkegaard, C.U.P. pp. 450-1.2


p. 436/9-14

[If Dasein, by anticipation, lets death become powerful in itself, then, as free for death, regain understands itself in its own superior power, the power of its finite freedom, which 'is' only in its having chosen to make such a choice, it can take over the powerlessness of abandonment to its having done so, and can thus come to have a clear vision for the accidents of the Situation that has been disclosed.] 'its having done so' u/l: i.e. its having made a choice.


p. 438/fn.1

[...The idea seems to be that in resolute repetition one is having, as it were, a conversation with the past, in which the past proposes certain possibilities for adoption, but in which one makes a rejoinder to this proposal by 'reciprocating' with the proposal of other possibilities as a sort of rebuke to the past, which one new disavows....] noted: What is disavowed is surely the value (or anti-value) of the past as such (i.e. in comparison with the present). See pp. 445-4.


p. 445/17-19

[That which is familiar pre-scientifically in Dasein as disclosed Being-in-the-world, gets projected upon the Being which is specific to it.] noted: I.e. it is not projected upon this or that possibility (as it is in the normal way), i.e. as for this or for that; but upon its own specific mode of Being, i.e.; as for being what it is. It thus appears as an object for science. See second note on p. 447.


p. 446/3-18

[Remains, monuments, and records that are still present-at-hand...can turn into historiological material only because, in accordance with their own kind of Being, they have a world-historical character. And they become such material only when they have been understood in advance with regard to their within-the-world-ness.] last sentence noted: See note on p. 445.


p. 446/11-14

[Our going back to 'the past' does not first get its start from the acquisition, sifting, and securing of such material; these activities presuppose historical Being towards the Desein that has-been-there—that is to say, they presuppose the historicality of the historian’s existence.] noted.


p. 446/19-23

[The delimitation of the primordial theme of historiology will have to be carried through in conformity with the character of authentic historicality and its disclosure of “what-has-been-there”—that is to say, in conformity with repetition at this disclosure. In repetition the Dasein which has-been-there is understood in its authentic possibility which has been.] 'that is to say...has been' noted: As now, so then.


p. 447/1-2

[If historiology, which itself arises from authentic historicality, reveals by repetition the Dasein which has-been-there and reveals it in its possibility, then historiology has already made manifest the 'universal' in the once-for-all.] noted: See last note.


p. 447/17-21



p. 447/24-27

[the Objectivity of a science is regulated primarily in terms of whether that science can confront us with the entity which belongs to it as its theme, and can bring it, uncovered in the primordiality of its Being, to our understanding.] noted: Science, in this sense, does not deal with 'laws'.


p. 448/3-8

[If the historian 'throws' himself straightway into the 'world-view' of an era, he has not thus proved as yet that he understands his object in an authentically historical way, and not just 'aesthetically'. And on the other hand, the existence of a historian who 'only' edits sources, may he characterized by a historicality which is authentic.] noted, ''aesthetically'' u/l: In the Kierkegaardian sense? See C.U.P., passim. But also, a preoccupation with 'Buddhist Art' or 'Buddhist Culture' conceals the Buddha and his Teaching. See Notes, Preface (c), where the careful editor of texts comes off better than the scholar as higher critic.


p. 451/32-34

[To the natural scientist, there remains, beside his science, as a kind of human tranquillizer, only aesthetic enjoyment.] noted.


p. 455/23

[holds it fact] 'fact' u/l: 'fast'? or 'holds it as fact'?


p. 462/7-13

[a further peculiarity of the time which has been 'assigned' shows itself. Not only does the 'during' have a span; but every 'now', 'then', and 'on that former occasion' has, with its datability-structure, its own spanned character, with the width of the span varying: 'now'—in the intermission, while one is eating, in the evening, in summer; 'then'—at breakfast, when one is taking a climb, and so forth.] noted.




1 Aristotle remarks in his Poetics that poetry is higher than history, because history merely tells us what has happened, while poetry tells us what might have happened and ought to have happened, i.e. poetry commands the possible. From the poetic and intellectual standpoint, possibility is higher than reality, the aesthetic and the intellectual being disinterested. There is only one interest, the interest in existence; disinterestedness is therefore an expression for indifference to reality. This indifference is forgotten in the Cartesian cogito ergo sum, which infects a disturbing element into the disinterestedness of the intellectual and affronts speculative thought, as if it were instrumental to something else. I think, ergo I think; but whether I exist or it exists in the sense of an actuality, so that “I” means an individually existing human being and “it” means a definite particular something, is a matter of infinite indifference. That the content of my thought exists in the conceptual sense needs no proof, or needs no argument to prove it, since it is proved by my thinking it. But as soon as I proceed to impose a teleology upon my thought, and bring it into relation with something else, interest begins to play a rôle in the matter. The instant this happens the ethical is present, and absolves me from any further responsibility in proving my own existence. It forbids me to draw a conclusion that is ethically deceitful and metaphysically unclear, by imposing upon me the duty of existing.

2 Ud. i,10 is quoted at LC V,

3 Ud,iii,10: When one delights, there is fear.

4 And furthermore, it is evident that when the subject thinks his own death, this is a deed. For a-man in general, for an absent-minded individual like Soldin or a systematic philosopher, to think death in general is indeed no act or deed; it is only a something in general, and what such a something in general really is, is at bottom a very difficult thing to say. But if the task of life is to become subjective, then the thought of death is not, for the individual subject, something in general, but is verily a deed. For the development of the subject consists precisely in his active interpenetration of himself by reflection concerning his own existence, so that he really thinks what he thinks through making a reality of it. He does not for example think, for the space of a passing moment: “Now you must attend to this thought every moment”; but he really does attend to it every moment. Here then everything becomes more and more subjective, as is quite natural when the task is to develop the subjectivity of the individual. In so far it might seem as if communication between man and man were abandoned to an unhampered freedom in lying and deception, if anyone so desires; for one need only say: “I have done so and so,” and we can get no further with him. Well, what of it? But suppose he has not really done it? What business is that of mine? Such a deception would be worst for himself. When we speak about something objective it is easier to exercise a control over what is said; when, for example, a man says that Frederick the Sixth was an Emperor of China, we answer that this is a lie. But when a man speaks about death, and of how he has thought it and conceived its uncertainty, and so forth, it does not follow that he has really done so. Quite so. But there is a more artistic way of finding out whether he lies or not. Merely let him speak: if he is a deceiver, he will contradict himself precisely when he is engaged in offering the most solemn assurances. The contradiction will not be a direct one, but consists in the failure of the speech to include a consciousness of what the speech professes directly to assert. Objectively the assertion may be quite straight-forward; the man's only fault is that he speaks by rote. That he also perspires and pounds the table with his fists, is not proof that he does not merely patter; it only goes to show that he is very stupid, or else that he has a secret consciousness that he is guilty of ranting. For it is exceedingly stupid to think that reciting something by rote could properly stir the emotions: since the emotion is the internal, while ranting is something external, like making water....

5 Kierkegaard's text is misquoted. It actually reads: 'Repetition is reality, and it is the seriousness of life. He who wills repetition is matured in seriousness.'

6Whatever they conceive, it is other than that.


1 The dialectical reader will easily perceive that the investigation goes backward instead of forward.... In existence the individual is a concretion, time is concrete, and even while the individual deliberates he is ethically responsible for his use of time. Existence is not an abstract sport but steady striving and a continuous meanwhile; even at the instant when the task is clearly set there has been some waste, for meanwhile time has passed, and the beginning was not made at once. Thus things go backwards: the task is presented to the individual in existence, and just as he is ready to out at once a fine figure (which only can be done in abstracto and on paper, because the loose trousers of the abstractor are very different from the strait-jacket of the exister) and wants to begin, it is discovered that a new beginning is necessary, the beginning upon the immense detour of dying from immediacy, and just when the beginning is about to be made at this point, it is discovered that there, since time has meanwhile been passing, an ill beginning is made, and that the beginning must be made by becoming guilty and from that moment increasing the total capital guilt by a new guilt at a usurious rate of interest. The task appeared so lofty, and one thought, “Like for like; as the task is, so surely must be he who is to realize it.” But then came existence with one “but” after another, then came suffering as a more precise determinant, and one thought, “Oh, yes, a poor exister must put up with that, since he is in existence.” But then came guilt as the decisive determinant—and now the exister is in thorough distress, i.e. now he is in the medium of existence.

And yet this backward movement is a forward movement, in so far as going forward means going deeper into something. In abstracto and on paper the deception is to be off like Icarus, soaring up to an ideal task. But this progress, being chimerical, is sheer retrogression, and every time an exister makes a beginning at anything of that sort, the inspector of existence (the ethical) takes note of him that he is rendering himself guilty, even though the man himself takes no note of it. On the other hand, the more deeply an individual in dealing with his task plunges into existence, the more he goes forward, even if the expression, if one cares to say so, goes backward. But since all deliberation means “going back to fundamentals,” so to recall the task back to a more concrete expression, means precisely a deeper absorption in existence. In comparison with the totality of the task, the fact of realizing a little of it is a retrogression, and yet it is progress in comparison with having the whole task in view and accomplishing nothing at all....

...Precisely because it is an exister who is to relate himself, while guilt is at the same time the most concrete expression of existence, the consciousness of guilt is the expression for the relationship. The more abstract the individual is, the less he is related to an eternal happiness, and the more remote he is from guilt; for abstraction assumes the indifference of existence, but guilt is the expression for the strongest self-assertion of existence, and after all it is an exister who is to relate himself to an eternal happiness. ...Therefore when in s particular case a person casts from him the blame and thinks that he is without guilt, at that very instant he makes the concession that on the whole he is one who is essentially guilty, only possibly in this particular he is not guilty. But here indeed we are not dealing with a particular case in which a man casts guilt from him and precisely by this denounces himself as essentially guilty, but it is a question of one's essential relation to existence. But to will essentially to throw off guilt from oneself, i.e. guilt as the total determinant, in order thereby to become innocent, is a contradiction, since this procedure is precisely self-denunciation. It is true of guilt, if it is of any other determinant, that there is a catch to it; its dialectic is so crafty that he who justifies himself totally, denounces himself; and he who justifies himself partially denounces himself totally.... In everyday life the total guilt, as a thing which is generally presupposed, is gradually so taken for granted that it is forgotten. And yet it is this totality of guilt which makes it possible that in the particular instance one can be guilty or not guilty. He who totally or essentially is guiltless cannot be guilty in the particular instance; but he who is totally guilty can very well be innocent in the particular instance....

The priority of the total guilt is not to be determined empirically, is no summa summarum; for no determination of totality ever results from numerical computation....

The consciousness of guilt is the decisive expression for existential pathos in relation to an eternal happiness. As soon as one leaves out the eternal happiness, the consciousness of guilt also drops out essentially, or it results in childish definitions which are on a part with a schoolboy's report for conduct, or it becomes a defence of civil order. Therefore the decisive expression for the consciousness of guilt is in turn the essential maintenance of this consciousness, or the eternal recollection of guilt, because it is constantly put together with the relationship to an eternal happiness. So here there can be no question of the childish thing of making a fresh start, of being a good child again, but neither is there any question of the universal indulgence that all men are like that. One guilt is enough, as I have said, and with that the exister who along with this is related to an eternal happiness, is forever caught. ...But still he is related to an eternal happiness, and the consciousness of guilt is a higher expression of this than is suffering. And in the suffering of guilt-consciousness, guilt at once assuages and rankles. It assuages because it is an expression of freedom as this is found in the religious sphere, where the positive is recognizable by the negative, freedom by guilt, but not directly recognizable aesthetically: 'freedom' recognizable by freedom.

So it is that things so backward....

2 Irony is a specific culture of the spirit, and therefore follows next after immediacy; then comes the ethicist, then the humorist, and finally the religious individual. But why does the ethicist use irony as his incognito? Because he grasps the contradiction there is between the manner in which he exists inwardly, and the fact that he does not outwardly express it. For the ethicist does indeed reveal himself, in so far as he pours himself forth in the tasks of the factual reality in which he lives; but this is something that the immediate individual also does, and what makes him an ethicist is the movement of the spirit by which he sets his outward life inwardly in juxtaposition with the infinite requirement of the ethical, and this is something that is not directly apparent. In order not to be distracted by the finite, by all the relativities in the world, thereby insuring himself against becoming comical... (rest of passage is to be found at LC V, 18.v.65)