Da-sein is the possibility of Man to outgrow his necessary death as animal rationale, thus outgrows himself as a rational being that only aspires for the truth of truth at the expense of the awareness of its essential opposite in its essential sway, untruth. To reach this possibility, this Da-sein as his utmost possibility, Man must abide in the essential sway of truth, which requires him to accept, among others, the fact that he is not the starting point, that he sustains himself as Man only to the degree that he is incomplete, unfinished, that he knows nothing, that he is not, that he is Man only because Da-sein enjoins him, calls him (a reciprocation of the call, indeed, for Man also calls and seeks Da-sein) to participate in the “pure preservation and guardianship” of the truth of Being, that is, “if indeed understanding of being is what is still fundamental.”
As if abiding in the aura and tone of the unfinished conception of this historical possibility called Da-sein—that is, the Da-sein that is now raised as an essential possibility from the objective presence of this possibility in everydayness (which means to say also that Da-sein is properly raised into the phenomenological, into the analysis of Da-sein that has both ontic and ontological possibilities rather than the mere possibility of it being a being-in-the-world, which is always the starting point of the analysis on the same basis that it must be reached by awareness, otherwise it will remain unrecognized, taken for granted which all the more fuels the indifference of the everyday)—Heidegger insinuates the greater uncertainty, contingency and paradox involved in such expression ‘if indeed mindfulness is still considered necessary’! In any case it is a call to conscience.
Finally, that which calls this Da-sein in Man—so far Man’s figurative abidingness in the necessity of understanding being that is yet to be reached by the full essential swaying of truth attributable to stammering, hesitating, and indecision before the truth of Being, or the awareness that even nothing ‘is’—calls as a call for Being, that is, for the autonomous determination of awareness, a mode of free projection. Suffice it to say that this demand strikes at the heart of Da-sein’s conscience, that is, a conscience beleaguered by painful, often absurd choices.
Excerpts from Philosophy and the Continuing Quest for Being
Copyright 2010 (V. Rivas/ Ateneo De Manila University)