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Caputo (MEHT:159-161) – homem em Heidegger e Eckhart (II)

quinta-feira 29 de fevereiro de 2024, por Cardoso de Castro


Assim, existe em Eckhart   e em Heidegger uma distinção comparável entre o ente que entrou verdadeiramente na sua própria natureza essencial e o ente que se deixa ocupar por uma coisa ou por outra. Aquilo a que Eckhart chama o "homem exterior" é o homem que gasta todas as suas energias em coisas exteriores. É um homem "ocupado", ocupado com coisas criadas, cobrando impostos, negociando no mercado, ou mesmo "ocupado" jejuando, dando esmolas e visitando igrejas. Esse homem não está "em casa", mas fora, no meio das coisas. E quanto mais ocupado estiver, tanto mais se "esquecerá" do solo oculto e silencioso da alma, onde "nada" acontece. Pois o homem exterior vive uma vida de ação (Tun  ), empregando constantemente as suas "faculdades" (intelecto, vontade, sentido). Mas o homem interior permanece em casa, no solo da alma, que é mais profundo e anterior às faculdades. Aqui, então, não há ação (Tun), mas apenas ser (Wesen  ), que para o homem de ação não se parece com nada. Um tal terreno é facilmente esquecido e coberto.


Indeed, it is because Heidegger and Eckhart have such similar conceptions of man’s true being that they can each speak of the need for man to “return” to his innermost essence. Thus, for Heidegger, Dasein   is the very being of man by which he is always and from the start related to Being. Dasein is not   something which is to be attained but something in which man already stands. Man already is Dasein, and his task is to become what he is, i.e., to take it up again and make it truly his own. In the same way, Meister Eckhart tells the soul to stay at home i.e., to take up residence in its own inner chamber, which is the ground of the soul (Q, 170,10-1/Serm., 172; 393,32-5/Ev  ., 85). I could not leave home, Eckhart says, if I did not already dwell there. So too man’s fallenness out of his ownmost being, his Da-sein  , is itself testimony to that from which he has fallen   his inner belonging to Being.

Thus there is in Eckhart and Heidegger a comparable distinction between the being which has truly entered into its ownmost essential nature and the being which allows itself to be occupied with one thing or another. What Eckhart calls the “outer man” is the man who spends all of his energies on external things. He is a “busy” man, occupied with created things collecting taxes, negotiating in the market place, or even “busily” fasting, giving alms, and visiting churches. Such a man is not “at home”but outside among things. And the busier he becomes the more likely he is to “forget” the hidden, silent ground of the soul, where “nothing” is happening. For the outer man lives a life of action (Tun), constantly employing his “faculties” (intellect, will, sense). But the inner man stays at home in the ground of the soul, which is deeper than and prior to the faculties. Here, then, is no action (Tun), but only being (Wesen), which to the man of action looks like nothing at all. Such a ground is easily forgotten and covered over.

Heidegger too warns of the danger of becoming so preoccupied with [160] the business of everyday existence as to forget the question of Being. Indeed, the first time Heidegger made such a distinction in Being and Time   he used a religious expression to describe it: fallenness. Dasein is “fallen,” not from a state of integrity into a state of sin, but out of its ownmost way of being into a public mode of existence. In the later works, this distinction is given a different shape. He speaks there of those who are concerned with beings, with the rules which govern beings (the sciences) and with the way to control and manipulate beings (technology). He distinguishes this attitude from “thought,” a quiet, all but silent meditativeness. Thought is humble and produces no effects (SD, 66/60), hence it is easily drowned out by the noisy success of the sciences. To the sciences, thought appears to be idleness, mythology or romanticism yet the sciences themselves do not “think” in the special Heideggerian sense of that word.

Thus both Heidegger and Eckhart describe a comparable “fallenness” into everyday existence. For both, man is exposed to the danger of being lost in beings, of getting swept up by a concern with “this and that.” Both call for a return to a forgotten ground within man which is deeper than anything human, in which man is opened up to the presence of something which transcends beings altogether.

It is also important to realize, however, that neither Eckhart nor Heidegger looks upon everyday existence with contempt. For both, everydayness is not contemptible but only “derivative,” resting in deeper grounds. For Eckhart, the ground of the soul is not the opposite or contradiction of its faculties but the root from out of which they flow. What better testimony can there be to Eckhart’s belief in the unity and harmony which ought to exist between outer activity and inner stillness than his unforgettable interpretation   of the story of Mary and Martha? Eckhart does not reject the Aristotelian definition   of man as the rational animal. He simply denies that this circumscribes the entire being of man. The man who lives an outwardly holy life, and who conforms his will to God’s, is good he is simply not the best of all. By the same token, Heidegger, like Eckhart, is prepared to admit that the definition of man as the rational animal is not “false” (HB, 74-5/203). He contends that while it is a “correct” determination of man from the point of view of “representational” thought, there is a realm beyond representational thinking of which philosophical reason knows nothing. In this realm, man is comprehended as an open relationship to Being itself, and it is on the ground of this relationship that man’s relations with beings are made possible (WG, 22-3; WW, 20/314-5). [166] Thus neither Heidegger nor Eckhart wants to rid himself of everydayness, but only to see that it is not made into an absolute and allowed to cover over the deeper ground of man’s being.

Ver online : John Caputo

CAPUTO, John D.. The Mystical Element in Heidegger’s Thought. New York: Fordham University Press, 1986

Q – Meister Eckhart: Deutsche Predigten und Traktate. Hrsg. u. übers. v. Josef Quint. München: Carl Hanser, 1965.

Serm. – Meister Eckhart: An Introduction to the Study of his Works with an Anthology of his Sermons. Selected and trans. James M. Clark. London: Nelson & Sons, 1957.

Ev. – Meister Eckhart. By Franz Pfeiffer (Leipzig, 1857). Trans. with some Omissions and Additions by C. de B. Evans. London: J. M. Watkins, 1956.

SD Zur Sache des Denkens. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1969.

HB Ein Brief über den “Humanismus” in Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit. Mit einem Brief über den “Humanismus.” 2. Auflage. Bern, Switzerland: A. Francke Verlag, 1954.

WG The Essence of Reasons. A Bilingual Edition containing the text of Vom Wesen des Grundes. Trans. T. Malick. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, 1969.

WW Vom Wesen der Wahrheit. 4. Auflage. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1961.