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Meister Eckhart and the Later Heidegger: The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought: Part Two
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Meister Eckhart and the Later Heidegger:
The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought Part Two
John D. Caputo
Villanova University


32. We have chosen "transcendent" as a neutral term to refer indifferently to Heidegger's "Sein" and Eckhart's "God."

33. Joan Stambaugh's translation of "Ereignis" as "Event of Appropriation" takes into account both senses of the word which Heidegger intends, viz., "coming to pass" and "appropriation" (cf. Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, trans. Joan Stambaugh [New York: Harper, 1969], p. 14, n. 1). Schürmann quite rightly stresses that Heidegger and Eckhart articulate the Gottesgeburt and the Ereignis in the language of "Event" and "happening," and not of substance (see Schürmann, pp. 66, n. 46; 201, n. 94).

34. Zygmunt Adamczewski, "On the Way to Being," in Heidegger and the Path of Thinking, ed. John Sallis (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1970), pp. 13-18.

35. In assigning such importance to the poet Heidegger is anticipated by Shelling, not by Eckhart.

36. Since Heidegger uses Gelassenheit to emphasize the necessity of "letting" Being be, his English translators have rendered it as "releasement," a convention we shall adopt as well (cf. William Richardson, Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought [The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1963], p. 504. See supra, n. 28).

37. Cf. FND, 76 where Heidegger discounts the possibility of beginning "modern" philosophy with Eckhart instead of Descartes. This is because Eckhart repudiates the "ego" as the highest principle of philosophy, placing the value of the subject matter before that of the self (DS, 7).

38. In this context Eigentlichkeit sounds more like Eigenwille than its opposite, which raises the question of the compatibility of the later notion of Gelassenheit with Being and Time's view of Eigentlichkeit.

39. Jeffrey L. Sammons, Angelus Silesius, Twayne's World Authors Series (New York: Twayne's Publishers, 1967), pp. 44-45. On Eckhart and this saying of Silesius, see Ueda, pp. 38 ff.

40. How is the later Heidegger to be reconciled with the author of Being and Time, for whom the essence of Dasein consisted in raising the question of Being? See my "The Rose is Without Why: An Interpretation of the Later Heidegger," Philosophy Today, 15 (Spring 1971), 3-15.

41. In ordinary German, of course, es gibt means "there is" (French: il y a). But Heidegger takes it literally as "It gives" (cf. SZ, §43, p. 212; HB, 78 ff.; SD, 1-25).

42. Lossky, pp. 307-320.

43. See the controversy surrounding this text in Richardson, pp. 562-565.

44. Cf. Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955), pp. 139-140; Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism (New York: Dutton & Dutton, 1961), pp. 439-440.

45. I have explained the "play of Being" more carefully in my "Being, Ground and Play in Heidegger," Man and World, 3 (February, 1970), 26-48. Using Heidegger's "play" of the foursome and Angelus Silesius (CW, II, no. 198) as a basis, Schürmann (pp. 204 ff.) construes a "play"—the word is not Eckhart's—between God and the soul in Eckhart. Even so, there is nothing of the ominous wager which belongs to Heidegger's play of Being in Schürmann's hypothesis.

46. Heraclitus, Fragment 52, in Kathleen Freeman, Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962), p. 28.

47. Adamczewski's translation of Ereignis as "bearing" would therefore be misleading (cf. Zygmunt Adamczewski, "Martin Heidegger and Man's Way To Be," Man and World, 1 (1968), 369 ff.).

48. Laszlo Versényi has pointed out such difficulties (cf. Versényi, pp. 152-158).

49. This seems to mean that the poet experiences Being but he does not express it in the language of the thought of Being (Seinsdenken). Hence it is up to the thinker to "translate" the poet.

50. One can hardly close the question of Heidegger and mysticism with an examination of Heidegger's relation to Eckhart. The whole area of his affinities to Eastern mysticism needs to be discussed. Cf. "Heidegger and Eastern Thought," Philosophy East and West, 20, 3 (July, 1970). See also Peter Kreeft, "Zen in Heidegger's Gelassenheit," International Philosophical Quarterly...