The Magus of Messkirch: Martin Heidegger (1989) - full transcript

A documentary about the life and work of Martin Heidegger, born and raised a Roman Catholic in Messkirch, Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

Philosophy today

- You claimed that Heidegger realized
that his theory had been wrong..

Heidegger is probably the most
important philosopher of this century.

But definitely the most controversial...

because he came to an agreement
with the National Socialism.

Mrs Dormin's question was:

I said, she claimed
that Heidegger got so upset about R?hm

because he realized that his expectations

regarding the intellectual renewal of Europe
were a mistake.

So how come he didn't get upset
about the extermination camps

that were so much worse
and so incredibly shameful for us?



My reply was: He was so upset that
he couldn't even open his mouth about it.

Heidegger became a political issue.

After the historians' debate,
now the Heidegger debate.

The most important thing is imminent
to fall by the wayside:

Heidegger's philosophy.

Given that it still has something
to tell us,

should it still allowed to tell us something?

Hannah Arendt in 1969 on Heidegger:

"The storm that passes through Heidegger's
thinking does not arise in this century.

It arises in the age-old and what it
leaves behind is something complete,

which like everything complete
returns to the age-old."

Here lived the philospher Martin Heidegger.

THE MAGICIAN OF MESSKIRCH

Everysince the philospher's 80th birthday



the repertoire of the brass band
of Messkirch includes a "Heidegger march".

That a prophet is not honoured in his own
country, seems to be untrue in Messkirch,

where Heidegger was born in 1889.

Martin grew up in the face of
the powerful catholic church,

where his father worked as a sacristan.

He rang the bells, the church
kept an eye on him and encouraged him.

Martin was supposed to become a priest.

But he wants to go out into the open,

on the square between the
cowered house and the church.

Later he'll call it "the clearing".

Also his thinking will be opening,

leading out of the granted
and therfore out of the homely.

His passion was asking questions,
not giving answers.

- Mr Professor, for decades
you've reflected on the essence of man.

What insights did you gain?

- The key experience of my thinking

and that means also for Western philosophy,

the reflection on the
history of Western thinking,

has shown me that one question
had never been asked:

namely the question of Being.

And this question is of importance because in
Western thinking we define the essence of man

as relating to Being
and existing by corresponding to Being.

That means by corresponding,
man is the creature that has language.

And in contrast to buddhistic teachings,
western thinking draws

an essential distinction between man
and the other creatures, animals and plants.

Man is characterized by language,

that means by bearing
an aware reference to Being.

And this question of Being hasn't been asked
in the hitherto history of western thinking,

or to be more precisely: In this regard,
Being itself has been hidden so far from man.

And that's why in my opinion
this question has to be asked now

in order to also find out
what and who man is.

One gets closer to someone
if one knows where he's from.

Messkirch is a small town on the Swabian Alp,
between Lake Constance and upper Danube;

a meager, formerly poor region

on the border between the Alemannic
and the Swabian.

The Alemannic temperament is rather
cumbrous, subtle, but also contemplative.

The Swabian one is more
cheerful and open, but also sly.

Heidegger has some of both.

Memories at the regulars' table
at an inn in Messkirch:

- Whenever he was here,
he was easily recognizable.

He was always wearing
his brown coat and his round cap.

He was never to be seen
in something else, as long as i can recall.

- I can still remember how he told me..

He stayed at his brother's
whenever he was in Messkirch.

So once he walked along the "Grabenstra?e"

when Emma Brunner turned up, you all knew her..

Well nowadays you'd call her the "pearl",
back then we said charwoman.

I only knew her with a pinafore
and two buckets.

So she went down the street
and Heidegger walked behind her

and they actually went to school together.

So she was thinking,
how should i address my famous classmate?

We just say: "You're also here?"

But she thought, no i can't do that...

So she said, Martin used to tell that story
every now and then:

"So you are here aswell?"

But you are the oldest, most known person
in Messkirch who still knew Heidegger.

- Yes yes, i am the oldest...

- Yes, as former mayor or not.

- Yes, i knew him.
When i was still mayor and even as a boy.

My parents, my father once gave me a sabre,
about this long.

Usually they're longer.
But itt was made of steel, not of sheet.

And the sheath was solid aswell..
with laces for hanging.

Sometimes he played with it,
he was the captain then.

Heidegger had a younger brother,
Fritz Heidegger, here talking to his cousin.

Fritz stayed all his life in Messkirch.

- At school he was always the boldest and smartest.

But he was still little
and the others didn't have any real respect.

Did Fritz, the banker and solo entertainer
in pubs in Messkirch,

ever philosophize with his brother?

- I even gave him advice sometimes.
- What about?

- Well not much stuff, that's...
- I mean what in particular?

- Well, for example when collating.
Every now and then I said something.

Sometimes he had put several truths
into a single sentence.

Then I said: "Martin, you can?t do that,
you have to divide this!"

Fritz typewrote 30.000 pages of manuscript
for his brother and kept it in a bank safe.

Disaster-proof as he hoped.

Martin dedicated one of his to him:
"For my only brother".

The brothers in a video recording, kept in
the private archive of the Heidegger family.

- He came again 8 days before my mother?s
death and brought her an annotated copy,

a very special binding of "Being and Time"
and put it on her deathbed.

The Heideggers have been living in
the Messkirch region for generations.

Their ancestors were little people,
craftsmen, farmers.

His parents and the church
had bigger plans for Martin.

Martin was a good student, it seemed like
he didn't even need to make an effort.

Therefore he only recieved hushed praise
in his academic reviews.

But already as a little boy he got a key role
in the church history of Messkirch.

- During the last century

the church had to be left for usage
to the Old Catholics for two decades.

But on December 1, 1895 it was handed back.

Here at this history-charged place
the then-sacristan handed this key over

to the 6 year old Martin Heidegger,
son of a sacristan.

Martin Heidegger usually returned in autumn,

at the time of the feast
of St. Martin on 11.11. to Messkirch.

Then he took part in the festivities
here in the church and every now and then

he sat down in his old ancestral seat in the
choir stalls where he used to sit as altar boy.

Very early Martin wanted
to leave something lasting.

He cut his initials into the wood
of the church gallery.

Martin is first sent to the catholic course
of lectures in Constance and then to Fribourg

where he at first studies theology in 1911
and afterwards philosophy and mathematics.

During his holidays
he always returns to Messkirch.

Until old age he keeps his ritual:

The walk on the field path from gate of the
castle's courtgarden to a bench and further.

"Itinerant in thinking" he calls this later.

Itinerant but without a goal,
in motion but unhurried.

The field path became
an unforgettable symbole to him.

"From the field cross it bends towards the forest.

Past its edge it greets a tall oak
under which a roughly timbered bench stands."

- Martin Heidegger reads from "The Fieldpath" -

"On it lay occasionally one or another
writing of the great thinkers

which a young unwieldiness tried to decipher.

Whenever the riddles pressed upon each other
and no way out was in sight,

the field path helped.

The vastness of all grown things which dwell
around the field path bestows the world.

It is only in the unspoken of their language

that - as the old master of philosophy
and life, Eckhart says - God is God.

But the message of the field path speaks
only as long as there are human beings

who, born in its air, are able to hear it.

They are slaves of their origin,
but not servants of machinations.

Man in vain attempts to put the globe
in order through his planning,

if he is not subordinate
to the message of the field path.

So man becomes absentminded and pathless.

To the absentminded the simple
seems monotonous.

The simple has escaped.

Its silent power is exhausted."

During World War I a whole generation
got to know an experience which Heidegger

will later call in his chief work:
the throwness of existence.

Thrown to the war front;
used as fuel in the battles;

fallen from the sky;
Heidegger was lucky, he survived.

He returned to his desk in Fribourg
from short combar missions.

In the meantime he got married,
to a protestant woman.

This wan't liked much
by Heidegger's catholic milieu.

He didn't return to the scholastic subjects
of his dissertation and state doctorate.

No longer he defined himself
as a catholic philosopher.

Edmund Husserl put him on the track of the
everyday adventure of our Being-in-the-World.

Since 1923 Heidegger teaches in Marburg;
students start gathering around him;

in youthful anti-bourgeoisie
and with the passion of a new start.

Rumors spoke of the secret king of philosophy
in Germany, a king dressed in Swabian loden.

Some that came to him,
got renowned later on.

- During the year when I was not yet
with Heidegger, our circle contained

these F?rtha people; there was a local
group in Marburg for the F?rtha movement.

They had a table in the canteen
and everyone stopped talking

whenever at the next table
a very strikingly dressed young woman,

a student - very attractive, was speaking.
Everybody was listening.

Only later i got to know that
she had been Hannah Arendt,

who at that time had a relationship
with Heidegger and loved him.

- Did he love her aswell?

- That i do not know.

In complete secrecy Heidegger visited his student
Hannah Arendt in her tiny room under the roof.

Of course she wrote him poems.

After a few months Hannah Arendt left
Heidegger, that's how he wanted it.

Nothing incalculable and
irrevocable should happen.

Hannah Arendt said later,
that the encouter with Heidegger

had helped her discovering
herself and her world.

She went to Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg.

Jaspers felt at the same time attracted to
and repelled from Heidegger.

Jaspers on Heidegger in 1949:

"Among the coevals the most thrilling thinker:
imperious, compellent, mysterious.

But then again empty, disengaging."

When Jaspers died in 1969, his notes about
Heidegger lay like all the years before

ready to hand on his desk.

Heidegger's "Being and Time" was published in 1927.

The work is dedicated to Husserl
who was later ostracised by the Nazis.

In 1938 Heidegger withdraws the dedication on
the front cover on request of the publisher.

But the dadication in the text stays.

"Being and Time " was considered
immediatly as an epoch-making work.

In it one could feels a passionate thinking
that anwered to the challenges of modernity.

Heidegger refers to experiences of everyday life.

In the 1920s, those experiences
are mainly experiences of crises.

Because just like Nietzsche predicted,

the revaluation of all values
took place in the meantime.

The value that governs
all other values in life,

is money.

Human relationships and fates depend on it.

The whole life of man should be
expressable as monetary value.

So if money itself becomes a victim
of inflation, also life gets worthless.

Heidegger analyses how this worthlessness
of life could happen in the first place.

He goes back to the
existential base situation.

Man has to act according to his Being.

He can also run away from himself,

into the inflationary gear
of public opinion for example.

Everyone is just like the others and noone is oneself.

That's what Heidegger calls
the non-authenticity, the "one".

In this everyday scenery of non-authenticity,
affected by the engineered mass society,

Heidegger asks his mysterious
question of the Being of the essent.

We are oblivious of Being, says Heidegger.

That's why we escape into distraction,
but we can't escape our fate.

We're dancing on top of the volcano.

What is that... "Being"?

"Being" is no object that can
be looked at from the outside.

We experience it in the moods,
in particular in the mood of fear.

Fear looks into the abyss of nothingness

and fear can be astonished
that anything exists at all.

We come from the nothingness
and go into the nothingness.

We are a finite event of Being.

Through the resolution
of our own finiteness,

Being makes itself accessible to us,
which we are ourselves.

Heidegger calls this resolution "authenticity".

Authenticity is the courage to Be.

Heidegger speaks of this with heroic
and culture-criticizing undertones.

But what's the sense of Being?

- Well, the sense is not something
entirely different from pure Being,

like a value or some other aspect
that has to be added;

but Being in its own directionality.

It's best illustrated if you think of
the German expression

"a movement in the sense of the clock hand".
(clockwise)

Here "sense" doesn't mean anything
different than the direction

in which the clock hand is moving.

Not the opposite direction,
but this direction.

And so time in the sense of being born
and dying, this movement of time

between birth and death
is itself the movement or the path

or the sense of the duration
of our existence in time.

Heidegger quotes in "Being and Time"
the medieval poet whose poetry

is known as "Ploughman of Bohemia".

In it death tells the ploughman:

"As soon as a man is born into this world,
he's old enough to die."

This is the happening of an existence
between birth and death.

Death enters Heidegger's philosophy because
it's part of life, of Being, from the start.

So not just the "last hour" or certain
manners of death that have to be fought,

but appendant death that belongs to life
like the valley to the mountain.

The word mountain wouldn't have
any meaning without the word valley

and so the word existence, life has no
meaning without the affiliation of death.

In this sense is the temporality
between birth and death

the expression for the sense
of our existence itself.

In 1923 Heidegger had built himself a hut
in Todtnauberg, southern Black Forest.

There and in the farmhouse on the
hillside he wrote "Being and Time".

Heidegger seeked silence in the hut,
but he also received visitors.

For his students, Todtnauberg turned
almost into a place of pilgrimage.

One had to ascend to him, was allowed to get
water, cut wood and above all ski with him.

One of his guests kept a diary.

Hermann M?rchen wrote this unpublished
note about the turn of the year of 1931/32:

"The reception was friendly and calm,
we arrived just at lunchtime.

In the afternoon we went out for skiing and
Heidegger gave us the first instructions.

One sleeps very extensively up there,
at 8:30 pm is already sleeping time.

Yet in winter it's long enough dark
to have some time for chats;

of course we didn't talk about philosophy,
but above all about the National Socialism.

The formerly liberal devotee Gertrud B?umers
became a national socialist

and her husband follows her.

I didn't expect it.

And yet it's actually not very surprising.

He doesn't know much about politics
and it seems that it's mainly

his dislike of all mediocre half measures
that makes him expect something of this party

which promises to do something determined
and by doing so counter communism effectively.

Democratic idealism and Br?ningesque
preciseness can't change anything

where things came to this point.

Therefore nowadays a dictatorship that doesn't
shy at Boxheimer means, has to be approved.

Only through such a dictatorship
can the worse one, the communistic one,

that would destroy all culture
of individual personality

and therefore all western culture in general,
be avoided.

He doesn't seem to think about
single political questions.

Who lives up here, sets different
standards for all those things..

Never before we got to know him
as privately as here,

where he acts very naturally and doesn't
have anything tense and cool about him.

Heidegger was unpolitical, but during
the mood of crisis in the early 30's

his thinking about authenticity and
non-authenticity turns political and against

the parliamentary democracy that he counts
among the field of the non-authentic and weak.

He's attracted by the anti-bourgeoisie, the
revolutionary, the unwillingness to compromise.

He thinks nothing of the rationality
of majority decisions.

Heidegger had talked about resolution
in his philosophy.

It refered to the individual
that wants his existence.

Now he applies this resolution to a whole
nation, that should want its existence.

And that can only happen if there's someone
who drags the others along,

a leader figure in which a common will
gains charismatic shape.

Through the federal youth movement
he's familiar with the leader myth

and also his philosophy
contains an authoritative manner.

He once said:

"When everything collapses,
that is the great time of philosophy."

The philosopher of the venterous existence,

the philosopher of Being and of
nothingness needs a catastrophe.

And that's why Heidegger, like the
majority of intellectuals at the time,

belongs to the gravediggers
of the Weimar democracy.

And that's why he considers a collapse
as the only chance for a new start.

And that's why he lets himself be elected
rector of the University of Fribourg

shortly after the national socialist takeover.

That was a great public act of partisanship
towards the Nationals Socialism.

But Heidegger had made up his own
private National Socialism;

without racism and biologism.

National Socialism meant to him resolute
action, instead of irresponsible talk;

a national community instead of an
anonymous competitive society;

the reestablishment of the
Ancient Greek science ethos

instead of scientific one-track specialisation.

Was Heidegger pushed into rectorship
or did he push himself forward?

- The prehistory of Heidegger's
candidature definitely permits the conclusion

that Heidegger was pushed into rectorship.

Which doesn't exclude
that Heidegger wanted to have

an indirect impact on the political
circumstances through the university.

- I'll read from the directorate's speech,
which was given here in this auditorium.

High-ranking national socialists are
sitting here, official representatives;

the national socialist revolution was taking
place in the streets and in parliament,

partially with gory terror.

And here Heidegger stands and announces
an apparent upheavel in philosophy.

And speaks sentences like:

"And the intellectual world of a nation
is not the superstructure of a culture,

but it's the power of the innermost
preservation of earthly and bloodly strength

as the power of the innermost excitement
and farthest tremor of its existence."

Or he says that "the first bond is the one
into the national community."

- Well, the sentence you quoted first is
immediately neutralized by the one that follows.

It says:

"An intellectual world alone forfeits a nation's greatness."

Of course Heidegger later on rejects
the thought of blood and race.

Heidegger says: "Every leadership has
to grant its followers their own strength.

But every act of obedience carries resistance.

This polarity between leading and obeying
must neither be blurred, nor eliminated."

One has to realize that this is
his definition of leading and obeying.

And that this definition of obedience,
with the terms strengh and resistance,

is in direct contrast to the national
socialist definition of this relationship.

- Did the national socialists notice
this discrepancy, if it was one?

- At first they overlooked it.

Although right after Heidegger's speech,
it was critizised by the national socialists.

The minister himself, Wacker, critizised
the directorate's speech a lot,

not because of the quote,
but because basic elements

of the national socialist world view
were missing, like race.

Nevertheless one has to admit
that it was the most subtle speech

and Heidegger's opposition towards the national
socialist world view was overheard at first.

Indeed, a newspaper article from 1934 shows:

They used Heidegger's prestige and
ignored his private national socialism.

After his retirement from rectorship
in 1934 the ministry thanked him

for pervading the university
with the national socialist spirit.

Also a book by Victor Farias deals with the
subject "Heidegger and the National Socialism";

it caused a big stir in France
and by now got published also in Germany.

According to the Chilean Farias, who was
driven into exile by Pinochet's dictatorship,

Heidegger's national socialist commitment
wasn't only an episode.

He doesn't see any signs that Heidegger
really turned his back to the National Socialism.

- Of course Heidegger's critisism
is very sharp and firm,

for example in his lectures on Nietzsche,

against the official thinkers
of the National Socialism,

meaning the people that had won
the fight against the other faction.

But on the other hand Heidegger thought
of himself as the true national socialist

and Rosenberg and the others as the
false one, as those who wanted to define

a wonderful metaphysical factum like the
German nation through biological categories.

On the other hand there are reports,
also by Karl Jaspers,

that Heidegger started those lectures
with the Hitler salute.

And that although in 1936 the Hitler salute had
been abolished in the University of Marburg,

he tried in 1938 to reestablish this salute.

Especially during his lectures abroad
Heidegger wears the party badge.

Farias doesn't want to accept Heidegger's
private National Socialism as a discharge.

- Every attempt to join a movement with
one's own head is a private attempt.

So he couldn't start a mass attempt,
he was only one,

but he was a great "one",
like the "one" of Heraclid or Permedines.

And what he did is indeed
a kind of existential heroic suggestion

to give this movement
a philosophical foundation.

In this sense he remained loyal, and
not only during the national socialist period

but according to my interpretation
also afterwards.

The Document Center in Berlin
keeps Heidegger's personnel file.

It reveils: Heidegger joined the NSDAP
on May 1, 1933

and stayed a member of the party until the end.

He always paid his fees on time.

He had opponents within the party,

for example Rosenberg resent him
for abolishing racism and biologism.

Also the state security service was suspicious,
they sent spies to Heidegger's lectures.

But Heidegger also had friends within the party.

He was granted a research semester in 1943,

because the application of the philosophical
faculty in Fribourg says that

"through more publications by Heidegger,
the status of the German spirit in the world

would experience a significant
fortification and boost."

The chapter "Heidegger and the National
Socialism" won't be closed for a long time.

Also because Heidegger himself didn't
contribute much to its clarification in public.

Like in the famous interview with "Spiegel" in 1966.

It lacks words of shame and horror.

In letters and private conversations
that was different.

- We spoke very frankly about it,
although as a younger person

one gets into difficulties, because today
it's very hard to understand that time.

I had a second, in my opinion just
as important teacher, Ernst Bloch

and Ernst Bloch got involved
in other directions aswell.

He thought that Moskow was the new Jerusalem

and that Stalin was the reincarnation
of a new Jesus Christ.

So for us the question was always about the
involvement in a particular period of time.

There were clear-sighted, farsighted
analysts like Thomas Mann

that knew exactly where things went.

But Heidegger stood rather offside
of all the political debates,

then he got more or less pushed
into this rectorship

and thought he could now realize his vision
of a reformation of the University of Fribourg.

It was very naive...

But he realized that very quick and retired
and focused on his philosophical work.

All the important people
gathered in the Auditorium Maximum.

Party uniforms, uniforms of all kinds, and
I think the students were in the minority.

Then Heidegger entered,
had to pave his way to the lectern

and stood up there
and began, chanting every word:

"I read logic."

? That?s how I remember it! -

"I read logic, logic comes from logos.
So said Heraclid."

It was immediately clear to me
that the change in subject

was a renunciation
from the political intrigues.

And that he, the thinker
reclaimed his very own work.

"Why do we stay in the province?"

Under this headline in a newspaper
article from 1934

Heidegger explains why he rejected
the call from the Berlin University in 1933.

It was the refusal to become a political
philosopher in a national socialist metropolis.

In the article he declares the province
the proper place of philosophy.

But at the same time he distances himself

from the "the false talk of the writers
about folklore and solidity."

After 1934 Heidegger withdraws
from practical philosophy.

But his thinking remains political.

Its subject is now nihilism.

"The desert grows." said Nietzsche.

In his lecture on Nietzsche in 1937
Heidegger asked for the origin

of a power-mindedness
that brings the devastation.

Indirectly it's also a clearance
of his own power trip.

And yet to him national socialism is only
an episode in a longlasting process

of devastation through the power-mindedness.

He blaims his general process and not

the criminal policy of the Nazis in particular
for the war.

And that's why even in 1934 he can still say
that Germany as the heart of the Occident

has to be defended against Bolshevism
and Americanism.

Heidegger in his lecture on Heraclid in 1943:

"The planet is on fire.
The essence of man is going to pieces.

Only from the Germans can derive
the world-historic consciousness,

if they find and preserve the German essence."

At this point of time the Nazis don't
represent for him anymore that German essence

from which the consciousness
is supposed to derive.

In the Nazis he saw the most brutal
expression of the will to power.

He explains in 1943:

"The value-thinking of metaphysics of the
will to power is in an outmost sense deadly."

This is spoken against the National Socialism.

This took courage.

But he didn't have the courage
to leave the party of the crime.

He remains indirectly responsible for
what happened when the national socialist

drew the most cruel consequences
from the will to power.

Heidegger in a letter to Karl Jaspers in 1950:

"I was dreaming and was basically only
thinking about the university i had in mind.

What i tell you can't excuse anything.

It can only explain how from year to year,
when evil emerged, also my shame increased,

of contributing to this directly and indirectly."

In November 1944 Heidegger
was recruited for the home guard.

There was disagreement at the NS-office.

Some wanted to get rid of the philosopher,
others wanted to protect him.

Men work for survival.

Heidegger gets permission to collect his
manuscripts and move them to a safe place.

In late 1944 Fribourg relocates its
central facilities to safer retreat areas,

amongst them the university.

The philosophical faculty moves
with 20 students and 10 professors,

amongst them Martin Heidegger,

to the idyllic upper Danube valley;
to Beuron and up to Wildenstein castle.

This is Heideggers region.
Messkirch is near.

The Heideggers lived at the foot of
Wildenstein castle in the 18th century.

While the surrounding towns
were reduced to ashes,

Heidegger is occupied
with the essence of the artwork.

Language is the house of Being, he teaches.

He delves into H?lderlin, who sung about
the upper Danube in the Ister hymn.

"Now come, fire! Eager are we

To see the day,
And when the trial

Has passed through our knees,
May someone sense the forest's cry.

Here, however, we wish to build.
For rivers make arable the land.

This one, however, is called the Ister.
Beautifully he lives.

The pillars' foliage burns, and stirs.
Wildly they stand supporting one another;

above, a second measure, juts out the roof of rocks."

Through H?lderlin Heidegger asks:
How did we end up in foreign places?

How can we get back home?

On June 27, 1945 Heidegger gives a speech
about H?lderlin at Werenwag castle.

For many years his last official appearance.

Because back in Fribourg he was classified
a Nazi by a "clean up" committee

and banned from teaching

...until 1951.

Heidegger's post war philosophy resumes
the criticism of power-mindedness.

The activist and heroic undertones
of the philosophy of the 20's vanish.

The focus is put on another way
of correspoding to Being: equanimity.

Equanimity is a reply
to the unavailability of Being.

Heidegger finds his Tao.

Letting be what lets us be.

He tries to translate Laotse.

His philosophy orbits with growing intensity
around the problem of technology,

more precisely the problem that man gets more
and more like the instruments he produces,

the problem of man's self-instrumentalisation.

- Well, first is to say
that I am not against technology.

I have never spoken against technology,
neither about the so-called

demonic side of technology; instead I try
to understand the essence of technology.

By quoting this thought about
the dangerousness of the atomic bomb

and an even greater dangerousness
of technology,

I think of what is now developing
as biophysics,

that in the foreseeable future
we?ll be able to construct man,

that is in his purely organic essence,
as needed.

Skillful and clumsy, smart and stupid ones.

It will come to that.

The technical options are nowadays available
and were mentioned by Nobel Prize winners

at a conference in Lindau, what I cited
in a lecture already years ago in Messkirch.

So especially the misunderstanding has to
be rejected, as if I was against technology.

On the contrary,
I see in the essence of technology

that man is under a power that challenges him
and opposite which he?s no longer free.

That something is announced,
namely a reference of Being to man

and that this reference,
hidden within the essence of technology,

will perhaps one day
come to light in its unconcealment.

Whether that will happen, I do not know.

So I see in the essence of technology
the first glimpse

of a much deeper occurrence,
which I call the event.

Heidegger avoids the public
as much as possible.

He retires to his hut in Todtnauberg.

It was Heidegger's wish that after his death
the hut remains closed to the public.

So only souvenir pictures provide
a glimpse on the inside of the hut.

A video from the private archive
of the Heidegger family,

one of the philosopher's birthday
parties in Todtnauberg.

Farmers from the are come to congratulate.

Stagings are part of great philosophy.

Diogenes for example
didn't leave behind one single line,

but only the staging
of his life as philosophy.

And also the hut in Todtnauberg
is not just life-form,

it's also a deeply symbolic staging which
is supposed to give pause for thought.

Doesn't a knowledge flow here
from an archaic spring?

The hut, doesn't it stand close
to the forgotten origin?

Are we close to the simple things here?

Does the herdsman of Being live here?

Or is Todtnauberg also a philosophical general?

In any case is the hut a kind of reserve.

Heidegger in 1959:

"Today the real thinking
that explores the record of Being,

only lives in reservations."

Heidegger differs this explorative
thinking from any science.

This differentiation caused his students
and critics a lot of headache.

- About the sentence with the headaches,
I think that is quite healthy.

There?s still too little headache
in today?s world,

instead there?s a great unthoughtfulness
that is linked to the oblivion of Being.

And this sentence: "Science does not think."
which caused quite a stir when I uttered it

in a lecture in Freiburg means that science
does not move in the dimension of philosophy.

But without knowing,
it relies on this dimension.

For example, physics moves in the field
of space and time and motion.

What motion, what space, what time are,
can?t be decided by this science as a science.

Therefore science does not think,

that means it can?t even think in
the sense of the word, with its methods.

I can?t, for example physically or
by physical methods say what physics is.

What physics is, I can only tell
by thinking, philosophising.

The sentence "Science does not think."
is not a criticism.

It?s just a statement of the internal structure
of science, which is part of its essence,

that on the one hand
it relies on what philosophy thinks,

forgets and disregards this fact though
on the other hand.

Did Heidegger's thoughts about science
have any influence on scientists?

- I think one has to admit

that there is no direct effect of Heidegger's
thinking on contemporary science.

But i also think that this shouldn't be too
surprising because the relationship

between science and philosophy
seems to be something like this:

Heidegger occasionally said,
and he upset scientist by doing so,

but he said something very important:
science does not think.

That means that unlike philosophy,

science doesn't doubt, question
its own preconditions.

That's what he means here.

And a science that doesn't question
its own preconditions

will of course not be influenced
by a philosophy that does.

But acutally it's a fact that whereever
modern science and all science in general

takes really big steps, it does
exactly that: it thinks.

And does so in the sense of Heidegger,
namely by questioning its own preconditions.

It's what happened in the theory of relativity
and in the quantum theory in our century.

But this happened
without any influence of Heidegger,

but not without any influence of philosophy.

In 1955 Martin Heidegger is asked to give
a commemorative speech on his compatriot

the composer Konradin Kreuzer;
but he doesn't speak about the composer.

Under the headline "Man in the Atomic Age"
he speaks about equanimity,

the great subject of his late philosophy.

- We can make use of technical objects
but at the same time,

while using them appropriately, we can keep
enough distance let them go at any time.

We can make use of technical objects
in the way that they have to be used,

but we can also let these objects be,

as something that doesn't regard us
in its innermost.

Our relationship to the technical world becomes
simple and quiet in a wondrous manner.

We let technical objects enter our daily world
and keep them out at the same time,

meaning we let them stay things
that are nothing absolute

but remain dependent on something superior.

I want to name this attitude of the
simultaneous Yes and No towards

the technical world with one term:
the equanimity towards things.

Such equanimity is only achieved by someone
who doesn't want to reach a goal.

He can't get lost either.

He always gets home,
because he stays with himself.

- He wrote on October 15, 1975:

"Dear Karli, i thank you and your family
deeply for remembering my birthday.

I often think back to our adolescence
and with it also to your childhood home

with all the animals on the terrace,
amongst others an eagle owl."

Heidegger on philosophy:

"Philosophy is actually homesickness,
a drive to be at home everywhere."

- The older he got, the more he wanted
to be back in his homeland

and for that reason he uttered the wish to
be burried in the graveyard in Messkirch.

And that wish he got granted.

Once Heidegger started a lecture on
Aristotle with the sentence:

"Aritoteles was born,

he philosophized,

and died."

Also Heidegger wanted to be talked about
in such a way,

because this was probably his biggest dream:

Living for philosophy
and maybe even disappearing in it.

Subtitles by Fuchsiarga