Arvindus

Academic Philosophy

Heidegger's Play of Being

  • For the master course 'intercultural philosophy' of the Radboud University Nijmegen

INHOUD

INTRODUCTION

1st ACT: IMMINENT DANGER
1.1 Plato (c. 427-ca. 347 B.C.)
1.2 Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

2nd ACT: DANGER MANIFEST
2.1 Descartes (1596-1650)
2.2 Leibniz (1646-1716)
2.3 Nietzsche (1844-1900)

INTERMEZZO: HOPE
A. Originality
B. Possibility
C. Hope

3rd ACT: DELIVERANCE?
3.1 Hölderlin (1770-1843)
3.2 Heidegger (1889-1976)

CONCLUSION

Notes

Bibliography

INTRODUCTION

The title of this essay 'Heidegger's Play of Being knows an ambiguity which throughout the whole of this essay shall be kept and cherished. It then is for this reason that is chosen for the English title, which is better able to express this ambiguity than a Dutch title could have done. Through two readings of the title we are able to trace the ambiguity. The first reading is as we probably shall read the title in first instance. We read; 'Heidegger's – Play of Being'. 'Play of Being' translated into Dutch is 'game of Being'. And this game of Being then it is that according to the title belongs to Heidegger. Now this game of course regards the game of Being as it is thematised in Heidegger's thought. For therein is a play [Spiel] of Being [Sein] perhaps not as such one of the most mentioned, but certainly one of the most important concepts. Now this game of Being is a game of concealing, unconcealing and covering of itself. It is in this game that Being gives itself covered or not to man, individually and collectively. Heidegger here also speaks of the Seinsgeschick that plays like a child.1 This game Being plays through and as history, 2 and thus Heidegger speaks in this frame also of the 'history of Being' [Geschichte des Seins].3 'Play' from the title of this essay has thus in this first reading reference to the game of Being. In the chapters that will follow then shall the game as Being according to Heidegger plays it as its history be elucidated in content and in a certain form.

The question for which form then makes us arrive at the second reading of the title. Now we read; 'Heidegger's Play – of Being'. 'Play' we now don't read as 'game' but as 'drama'. In this second reading we read that there is a drama or performance, which is about Being and which is ascribed to Heidegger. Now Heidegger was, despite his as drama to be read work, certainly not a play writer in the traditional sense of the term. Traditionally he is gathered among the philosophers. Probably fairly so, because Heidegger did indeed philosophise, but this on common ground with other disciplines, like for instance poetry4 and perhaps also mysticism.5 This he did however without engaging fully in one of those disciplines.6 It are these kinships with other disciplines without belonging to one of them that keeps his thought almost ungraspable for philosophers and which also makes it possible to read his thought as a drama. Thus shall in this essay the game of Being in Heidegger's thought be thematised in content and this in the form of a drama.

Now a drama of course has its own characteristic aspects. There are the curtains, there is the stage, there is the décor, and most essentially of all; there are the characters. Among the characters we then find main characters, side characters and figurants. When we thus want to read Heidegger's game of Being in the form of a drama we must read this especially through the drama actors who in the end give the game form. Further specified it shall thus be that in this essay the game of Being in Heidegger's thought shall be considered, and this through the drama characters which we are able to recognize. This may sound in first instance somewhat farfetched, but Heidegger has his thought about historicity and the game of Being richly elucidated through known historical figures from different disciplines. Now it are these figures which in this essay shall be read as the characters and figurants in Heidegger's Play – of Being. Due to the limited length of this essay only the most important of the main characters shall be treated (and even these in the larger lines), however this shall nevertheless be sufficient in form to let the content of Heidegger's – Play of Being stand out. Conclusively it must be remarked that because this essay is written at the faculty of philosophy the style of writing shall be philosophically contentual, and not so much dramatically formal. Also in this essay we aim to philosophise. Let afer having said all this the curtains open and 'let the play begin'.

1st ACT: IMMINENT DANGER

The title of the 1st act sounds 'imminent danger' and indicates therewith a nearing danger which although making itself already known still is not fully manifest. In this 1st act there is still safety, but also already danger, a danger that is nearing imminently and shall soon cast its dark shadows over history. Here a dusk is the case; light nor dark are prevalent here. Soon the dark shall however dominate, however not yet in this 1st act. The dark danger that imminently is nearing here is the metaphysical or onto-theological thought.7 This thought is a danger because it forgets the question for Being by considering Being itself as a being [a thing].8 As large dark thunder clouds this thought is gathering above history of Western philosophy to thus veil and cover Being as Being. The question which we ask ourselves here is through which characters it is that Being plays its game, in this case of a imminent veiling and covering of itself. In any case it shall be characters which on the one side are still standing in the light of the day, but who on the other side already belong to the dark of the night, or said with other and more philosophical words; who on the one side still keep their thought free for the pre-metaphysical thought, but who's thought on the other side is already affected by the metaphysical thought. We shall see that it are the characters of Plato and Aristotle that fulfil this role.

1.1 Plato (c. 427-c. 347 B.C.)

Heidegger lets the metaphysical era run from Plato to Nietzsche,9 whereby the beginning of this era is thus thought to lie at Plato. Heidegger here also speaks of the 'first beginning.10 This era of Plato to Nietzsche is of course a very long era, for it runs from c. 427 B.C. to 1900. Thus shall most characters in Heidegger's Play of Being be bringers of danger. A danger which thus in the 1st act is initiated, and which starts with the character of Plato. Plato plays as beginning of the metaphysical thought such an important role because he so to speak with one leg still stands in the pre-metaphysical thought and with the other leg already steps into the metaphysical thought of the onto-theology. That step then is especially taken in Plato's well known allegory of the cave.11 For there so to speak is being stepped from one conception of truth (namely truth as unconcealment) to the other conception of truth (namely truth as correctness or correspondence).12 In the thought of the per-Socrates (thus in the thought of before Plato and in the thought of before metaphysics) the thinking of truth as unconcealment still ruled,13 and in Plato's allegory of the cave then the first shift takes place to thought of truth as correctness or correspondence. This shift takes place in the third stage of the mentioned allegory. For there Plato comes to speak of the sun (which symbolizes the original truth and Being) as highest idea. With that it then is that the metaphysical thought comes into play. For the idea is here understood as highest reality and also as the most being.14 Truth is from there understood as the correspondence of the idea with the case.15 Something is true when a case corresponds to the higher idea. Being has become with this thematising of the highest idea a being [a thing] and the danger in the form of the era of metaphysical thought has commenced.

1.2 Aristoteles (384-322 B.C.)

It is known that Aristotle was a student of Plato and thus lived in the same period. A period which we metaphorically and perhaps also poetically describe as a dusk. Thus it may be expected that just as in Plato's thought we shall also find with Aristotle that play of dark with light, that play of the metaphysical thought with the pre-metaphysical thought. Now we don't find'in the character of Aristotle the key role of initiator of the first beginning, which was reserved for Plato, although Aristotle has been very important for Heidegger's (earlier) thought.16 But then what is the role that Aristotle is getting in Heidegger's Play of Being?

The era of metaphysics has commenced and also Aristotle belongs to the era, although he stands still closer to the pre-Socratic thought than Plato.17 In this way also Aristotle, as said, is still standing with one leg in the pre-Socratic thought and with the other in the metaphysical thought. In Aristotle's thought this ambiguity is according to Heidegger expressed in his metaphysics which regards both an ontology where the question for Being is asked and a theology where Being is considered as a highest being [thing].18 This dual conception in Aristotle's first philosophy is in the end decided in the advantage of the latter, and this through Aristotle's search for causes and laws.19 Aristotle searches in his theology in which everything has a cause for the first ground, and eventually finds this in the first and highest being, which is cause of itself; the unmoved mover.20 This inclination of the searching for grounds is an important aspect of the metaphysical thought, as we shall see later with our considerations on Leibniz. Therewith Aristotle fulfils implicitly still a rather important role, because he also sows seeds for germination in the era of metaphysics.

2nd ACT: DANGER MANIFEST

In the 1st act we saw how the danger came in play. Threatening it neared to cast its dark shadows over the history of Being. Plato and Aristotle were the characters who enacted this imminent danger in their thought. After that it becomes dark. The middle ages are in that respect in Heidegger's thought indeed also dark middle ages. Although the dark night in those middle ages also knows stars we cannot give attention to that in this short essay. The middle agers were mainly directed to the metaphysical elements of Plato and Aristotle, without thereby keeping a leg in the pre-Socratic thought. The age of metaphysics has truly become reality and although characters like Agustine and Thomas Aquinas do get attention from Heidegger, they don't play a role of such breaking importance that they must be taken along in this essay.

The danger is however not only manifest in the era of metaphysics. This era ends as mentioned after Nietzsche, however the danger continues. The name that Heidegger gives to the danger of after metaphysics regards 'technology'.21 Thus we shall give attention to the characters which play roles of a special importance within the manifest danger of metaphysics, and shall we also consider the character which plays the key role in the bringing to an end of the era of metaphysics and the commencing of the era of technology. To the first Descartes and Leibniz belong. Although the roles of Kant and Hegel should not be neglected in Heidegger's Play of Being there is here only space to give attention to the most important characters. The third and last character which then under this 2nd act is awaiting his appearance is of course the one with the mentioned key role; Nietzsche.

2.1 Descartes (1596-1650)

René Descartes plays as well known a key role in the history of Western philosophy as it is generally (and thus not so much by Heidegger) sketched. It is especially also for this reason that Descartes is taken in consideration in this essay. As Copernicus (1473-1543) initiated the turnaround from a geocentric to a heliocentric view of the world, so is to Descartes a similar Copernican turnaround ascribed in Western philosophy. For where in the middle ages God as the highest being was considered as the first ground of everything, there would from Descartes' thought onwards the human subject come to stand central as such.22 In his experiment of doubt Descartes intends to doubt everything until he shall arrive at an absolute first evidence. This evidence he then finds conclusively within himself as thinking substance; 'I think, therefore I am', 'cogito ergo sum'.23 Despite the key role that is thus given to Descartes in the general considerations on Western philosophy Heidegger doesn't seem to be primarily occupied with the elaborate thematising thereof.24 Thus it seems that in first instance for Descartes in Heidegger's Play of Being a side role remains. For the contribution which Descartes according to Heidegger makes to the game of Being stays simply within the metaphysical thought. There is indeed a turnaround from God as highest being and first ground to the subject as highest being and first ground (namely the famous res cogitans), however with the thematising of the thinking subject as thinking substance the question for the existence and the Being of man is not raised, the question for Being as such is not raised.25 Thought keeps metaphysically forgetting the question of Being. With that Descartes' role is indeed of primary importance within the metaphysical thought itself, however rather secondary when considered in the context of the entire history of Being.

2.2 Leibniz (1646-1716)

The reason why Heidegger considered the role of Leibniz of importance regards Heideggers assumption that Leibniz with a certain axiom made explicit what until then in metaphysical thought had stayed implicit. The axiom here regards 'the principle of (sufficient) ground' [Der Satz vom Grund]. This principle says that nothing is without ground26 and we saw it already earlier being wielded by Aristotle; it was in the end this principle which decided the ambiguity of Aristotle's first philosophy in the advantage of the metaphysics of the unmoved mover. Since then the principle had always been implicitly present in Western philosophy. Slumbering, sleeping, until it would be explicitly awakened. And this is what happened in Leibniz' axiom 'nothing is without ground'.27

From out of the since Descartes ruling subjectivism this principle means that reality is not sufficient in itself to be reality, but that it needs a with logic justified ground which guarantees the subject true knowledge.28 This is connected to the metaphysical conception of Being and truth. Nothing is without (logical) ground,29 and the with this conception of Being corresponding truth then lies in the correspondence of the logical explication with the case.30 It is in the end this by Leibniz explicated principle which would become responsible for the nature of the so called technological era,31 an era that follows the era of metaphysics and that commences after Nietzsche.

2.3 Nietzsche (1844-1900)

One of the most famous explications in Western philosophy is from Nietzsche; 'God is dead'. De explication is made in the context of 'the foolish man' [Der tolle Mensch], a passage which is included in the in 1882 published work 'the happy science' [Die fröhliche Wissenschaft].32 This explication does not in the first place refer to the arisen process of secularisation in Nietzsche's time, but resounds first of all a powerfully explicated metaphysics criticism. We saw that since Plato history was ruled by a metaphysical thought. Plato came to the thought of the idea as the highest being. With that not only Being as Being was covered and the question for Being as such forgotten, this also meant a doubling of worlds. On the one side there is the true world, the world of the idea, and on the other side then the sensuous world, the visible world which in this scheme is transcended by the for man difficult reachable true world of ideas.33 It is this difference that characterizes metaphysical thought34 and which also is subject of Nietzsche's criticism. Nietzsche recognizes how from this Platonist thought the entire Western thought has been dominated by this difference. This not only goes for Western philosophical thought but also for Western religious thought (Christianity), which Nietzsche calls 'Platonism for the people'.35 To solve this metaphysical problem of the double world Nietzsche in his criticism simply crosses out the higher true world, Plato's world of ideas, Aristotle's unmoved mover, the Christian God, Descartes' res cogitans, and all other higher worlds which once were thematised in Western thought.36

With this thus the end of the era of metaphysics is commenced. However although Nietzsche thus commences the end of that era he subsequently does not succeed according to Heidegger to therewith step himself outside the metaphysical thought.37 For when the higher world for the sensuous world as first ground and point of orientation falls away, then for the sensuous world also the values fall away, which the sensuous world previously still received from the now fallen away higher world.38 A nihilism seems the result. Nietzsche wants to overcome this so to speak with his famous concepts of 'overman' [Übermensch] and 'will to power' [Wille zur Macht].39 For the disappearance of these meanings which were given by the higher world means for Nietzsche a chance for man to give himself meaning to the left over sensuous world.40 With this is however also in Nietzsches thought the question for the Being of the (senseous) beings not at all asked, and stays also this thought in this way hanging in subjectivistic metaphysics.41 Namely a metaphysics which considers the overman with his will to power as the first cause.42 Thus it is that in the metaphysics of Nietzsche the metaphysical era comes to an end to subsequently make space for the era of technics,43 with which the danger of the oblivion of Being continues.

INTERMEZZO: HOPE

Although it may start to seem to the reader that Heidegger's thought is fully characterized by a heavy and depressing nature this is certainly not the case. There is indeed a hundreds and even thousands years of continuing darkness, indeed do most characters in Heidegger's Play of Being bring in one way or the other this dark danger in play, however there is always still hope. Namely the hope that things do not necessarily have to be the way they are, that man can also remember Being and that another thought than the metaphysical thought is possible. What perhaps brings forward most hope in Heidegger's on first sight dark story line of history is the given that he puts the possible very central in his thought. The possible is for Heidegger higher than reality.44 Heidegger understands Being not from actuality but from possibility.45 Not the actual but the possible is the truth, but then not the truth understood in a metaphysical way, because then the possible could be thought as something actual. Perhaps better than to speak about the possible as the truth can be spoken of the possible as the original (although through Leibniz' principle that too can provoke a metaphysical thought). The original is the possible and it is that from which hope can be derived. This hope, which is a hope for thought of Being in an original way, is in Heidegger's Play of Being especially brought into play by the pre-Socratic Greeks. There are several characters, like Anaximander, Heraclites and Parmenides, who do play defined roles in Heidegger's Play of Being, but mostly the pre-Socratic Greeks enter the stage faceless as figurants. Almost every time where the main characters from the first two acts enter the stage the pre-Socratic Greeks are also present. Figuratively, as background against which the main characters can work out their defined metaphysical nature. It is therefore also that this part of the essay cannot be framed as 3rd act, but can better be worked out as an intermezzo. The figurative presence of the pre-Socratic Greeks as background makes that it is thus not possible to elucidate in this intermezzo the pre-Socratic Greeks and the role which they fulfil through individual characters. Nevertheless they bring hope in play through the original possibility. Thus shall here not through characters but figuratively the relation be worked out between originality, possibility, hope and the pre-Socratic Greeks. This then must give insight into how the pre-Socratic Greeks as figurants bring hope in play.

A. Originality

The concept of originality is very primary in Heidegger's thought. However this must be understood in the right, Heideggerian way. Perhaps the best way to explain the originality and the structure in which it stands is through the old Greek concepts of 'alètheia' [άλήϑεια], 'lèthè' [λήϑη] and 'pseudos' [ψεΰδος]. 'Alètheia' means on itself 'truth'.46 Because according to Heidegger 'alètheia' as 'a-lètheia' however would be derived from 'lèthè', meaning 'concealment', the pre-Socratic Greeks understood according to Heidegger 'truth' as 'unconcealment'.47 And 'Being' is therewith equal-originally understood as 'unconcealment'.48 The Being of the beings gives itself to man in the unconcealment of those beings, however in the everydayness it does this in a covering way. This covering way of unconcealment is what according to Heidegger was indicated by the pre-Socratic Greeks with 'pseudos'.49 Here Being doesn't give itself in its originality but on a covered and diverted manner.

Now this same structure is applicable to the thought of the pre-Socratic Greeks in relation to the metaphysical thought. The metaphysical thought of truth as correspondence of an idea or proposition with the case is eventually a covered conception which is grounded in a more original conception which experiences truth as unconcealment or publicness.50 This structure whereby the originality always stays as ground present in the covering is characteristic for Heidegger's thought. And it were the pre-Socratic Greeks who lived in that originality, for Being does not necessarily have to give itself covered. They saw through the covering as thought in metaphysics where Being is taken covered as a being and did not at all forget the question of Being.51 Their passed down original use of language testifies this. Secondary in importance they were original because they were chronologically seen at the cradle of Western civilization, and primary in importance they were original because they experienced Being and truth in their originality.

B. Possibility

We saw that Heidegger with regards to Plato's initiating of the Being forgetting thought speaks of a 'first beginning'. Heidegger however also indicates what he calls 'the other beginning' [anderen Anfang].52 This other beginning will occur when it is realized that Being since the first beginning is forgotten,53 when thus Being is again kept in mind.54 Keeping Being in mind means that Being is not understood as a being, but that with Being is lived as temporality and possibility. For in its originality Being is temporality and possibility, where Being in the era of metaphysical thought has given itself covered as being itself a being. The other beginning is thus a return to the original experience of Being, as with the pre-Socratic Greeks. The structure of Being in its originality as possibility is the most clearly worked out in Sein und Zeit. Usually man (Heideggerian: 'Dasein')55 designs his possibilities in a covered way. He is lost in the general ruling opinions and is as such himself in a covered way.56 When however he understands himself as temporal at the moment that he anticipates his own death then he is thrown back on his own wholeness or fullness (for death is the fulfilment of himself)57 and with that on his very own possibilities (for death is at the same time the boundary of his possibilities).58 It is in this occurrence that Being is also not understood covered in the general ruling opinions as a being but that Being is taken on oneself as possibility.59

C. Hope

The under A. and B. worked out structures are also of importance for hope. Hope is brought into play by the pre-Socratic Greeks. They show us through their original use of language that an experience of being as Being belongs to the possibilities and that a covered metaphysical thought of Being as being is not necessary. However the hope which is in this way experienced is itself affected by metaphysical thought. For the possibility of an uncovered experience of Being is here understood as a point lying on a linear timeline which simply has not yet come to actualisation.60 Hope is here derived from a potency as typical metaphysical opposition of actuality. This is comparible to the way in which Heidegger sees hope; namely corresponding with fear [Furcht] which is always a fear for something.61 Heidegger sees thus in Sein und Zeit hope as a covered way of being. We may question ourselves however whether this notion of covered hope cannot be experienced in an original manner. For fear grounds in the original anxiety [Angst]62 and the covered thought of possibility in terms of potency and actuality grounds in the possibility as most original way of being. When in this way equal-original with possibility and anxiety also hope is understood (and Heidegger's thought definitely allows this possibility) then the pre-Socratic Greeks do not so much bring hope in play because they show the potencies of human think-possibilities; hope as original way of being then is inherent to the pre-Socratic Greek thought because this is an original thought. Hope then is always present in the danger of metaphysics as original ground of that danger. Thought in this way the pre-Socratic Greeks bring a covered hope in play when they show that an original thought is possible, but are as original hope always present as ground of the metaphysical danger.

3e ACT: DELIVERANCE?

In the intermezzo the basic structure of Heidegger's thought was bared. A structure which appeared to be characterized by an always present though usual (not not always) covered originality. Through Heidegger's early work 'Sein und Zeit' we traced that originality as possibility through the temporality of Dasein. This structure and interconnection of originality, temporality and possibility is however also brought to the fore in a work from Heidegger's later period, namely 'Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)'. That same structure therein is however more difficult to discover because Heidegger there makes much use of mystic appearing conceptions. Some elucidation shall help us to continue Heidegger's Play of Being in the 3rd act.

In the 1st act we saw how Plato initiated the commencing of metaphysical thought. Heidegger spoke here about a 'first beginning'. In the intermezzo under B. it was thematised that Heidegger also indicates 'another beginning'. This other beginning would be the commencing of an original experience of Being. Now the time in which Heidegger lived was according to him characterized by a transition between those two. Heidegger's time does not belong anymore to the metaphysical and technologiscal thought, but doesn't belong either to the era in which Being is kept in mind.63 What then characterises that time? To express it in the terminology of Sein und Zeit Heidegger's time is the moment in which one is taken back from the lostness of covering, and is thrown back on the very own possibilities to design oneself in that moment resolved towards those possibilities.64 This moment, thought from the collective and the history of the people, is by Heidegger in Beiträge zur Philosophie named 'the last God' [der letzte Gott].65 This one must thus be understood as a phenomenon of temporality and not as some high metaphysical being. Now those to which this phenomenon of the last God occur as a resolved taking on oneself of the authentic temporality and a designing oneself towards the very own possibilities Heidegger calls 'the futurists' [die Zukünftigen].66 It are they who have to prepare the way for the other beginning to commence.67 Now the two main characters that play such a role of futurist are Hölderlin and also Heidegger himself.

3.1 Hölderlin (1770-1843)

Hölderlin is one of the futurists and he plays that role as a poet. For poetry has according to Heidegger a special relation to the essence of truth and Being. Language is according to Heidegger the house of Being.68 This means that the beings derive their Being from language. No being is where the word lacks.69 With that the same structure of originality and covering which characterized Being turns out to be equal-originally valid for language. The Being of the beings as original experience turned out to give itself usually in a covered way. This had led to a preoccupation with beings in metaphysical and technological thought. However an original experience of Being turned out to also belong to the possibilities. Now it turns out that this structure goes equal-orignally for language. Language brings the Being of the beings in the unconcealement, but does this usually in a covered way. This means that there thus have to be a covering and an original use of language. Heidegger here then discerns between 'speaking' [Sprechen] as covered use of language and 'saying' [Sagen] as original use of language.70 Sage is for Heidegger therewith also the essence of language, like Being is the essence of the beings.71 Sage then should not be understood as a concrete sequence of words, like Being should not be understood as a being or a sequence of beings. Sage shows itself in the words, usually covered, but not necessarily covered. When man wants to find the words that do not cover but bring Being as Being in the unconcealment then he must listen to the Sage which can, but not necessarily will, give him the right words therefor.72 Now it is among other things poetry that says from the experience of Sage and Being.73 It is therefore that the poet belongs to the futurists. In the saying of the words that are given to him he is able to bring Being as Being again in the unconcealment. If and how the words are given thereby remains the play of Being.74 That Heidegger works out this role of the poet especially through the character of Hölderlin has according to his own saying to do with the given that Hölderlin not only poetizes, but also poetizes the essence of poetry itself.75

3.2 Heidegger (1889-1976)

Under the futurists we find among others poets like Hölderlin, however not only poets. For not only poetry but also what Heidegger calls 'denken' [thinking] takes place from an experience of Sage and Being.76 With this poetry and thinking have a close kinship to each other, although they are not the same.77 They are rather neighbours that need each other.78 Then what does Heidegger mean with 'thinking', for this concept has a special meaning for Heidegger and should definitely not be understood in the way we use the word in the everydayness. 'Thinking' does with Heidegger not relate to the ratio as means to come to knowledge; "the thinking draws slots in the acre of Being".79 This seems to refer to a thinking which initiates the opening to an experience of Being, but that should then not be understood as a subjective act. Thinking is rather the listening to the Sage as it is poetized by poets and a letting being said by what is think-worthy.80 Being is not a product of thinking (that would be subjectivistic metaphysics) but in contrary an occurrence of Being.81 The essence of thinking is determined from the Being of beings.82 And here the play of Being shows itself, playing for the sake of the play and without why.83 For the thinking which brings openness for Being and with that steps outside the metaphysic philosophical thought turns out to be itself only possible when already a being home in Being is the case.84 Thinking opens a home in Being, however this thinking is only possible when a being home in Being is the case. Summarized; whether Being is thought or not is fully dependent upon a play of Being. It is probably therefore that Heidegger speaks about a 'leap' [Sprung] from the first beginning to the other beginning.85 It occurs, in its totality and in one movement, or not.

Now the character through which Being brings this thinking in play regards a masked man who at the same time however is recognized by all spectators as Heidegger himself. The mask which is worn refers to the given that Heidegger in his works did not explicate that the thinking which he thematises would refer to his own thinking. Implicitly this is however generally accepted. It is very recognizable Heidegger who enters the stage as thinker, however it is not concretely provable. It does however give a salient turn to Heidegger's Play of Being. It is the writer of the play himself who enters the stage to fulfil there the role of the writing of the play. And then also herein the structure of Heidegger's thought can be recognized. For it is in this role of the writing and describing of the entire Play of Being that is anticipated on the entirety of the history of Being (Play of Being) and that thus a designing thereof towards the very own possibilities takes place. This is in fact what takes place in Heidegger's philosophy of thinking. There an anticipation takes place on the very own and not covered possibilities of the history of Being. When Heidegger in this way appears on stage he wears a mask and he plays a role. And the role he plays and the mask he wears are in the end that of the last God.

CONCLUSION

Only a few words remain and these will be well used for the summarizing of Heidegger's Play of Being as we just saw it being performed.

In the 1st act we saw how the danger arose in the characters of Plato and Aristotle. Through them it was that the metaphysical thought sneaked into Western civilization. Being was not anymore kept in mind as Being but since the first beginning by Plato thought as a highest being. The 2nd act subsequently was characterized by a manifest danger. The act regarded the era where the metaphysical thought ruled fully. In the middle ages still as a thought of God as highest and first being, since Descartes as a thought of the human subject as the highest and first being. With Leibniz we saw an explication of the until then implicit stayed characteristic of metaphysics, namely the searching for grounds as causes. Conclusively after Nietzsche the era of metaphysics ended, however the danger continued in the era of technology. There was however also hope, and that hope was throughout the acts being brought into play by the figurative pre-Socratic Greeks. We saw how they from their ambigious to consider originality maintained possibility and hope. Conclusively in the 3rd act the moment between the technological era and the other beginning was thematised. This transference was by Heidegger mystically named 'the last God', and we saw two characters in this in between moment in which was resolved decided for a design towards the very own possibilities. The one character was a poet; Hölderlin, the other character was a thinker; Heidegger. As writer of 'Play of Being' he himself entered the stage, and this as writer of 'Play of Being'. This he did masked, however nevertheless well recognizable. In his philosophy of thought it was thus that anticipating on the whole of the history of Being a design towards the very own and original possibilities of the history of Being took place. The mask that Heidegger wore was unmistakable. Heidegger played, as the thinker who thought and wrote the play of Being, himself the main role in the drama. Heidegger played masked the role of the last God in 'Heidegger's Play of Being'.

Notes
  1. Martin Heidegger, Der Satz vom Grund, Gesamtausgabe, Band 10, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1997, p. 168. "Das Seinsgeschick: ein Kind, das spielt."
  2. Michael Inwood, A Heidegger Dictionary, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Oxford / Massachusetts, 1999, p. 96. "In the 1930s, when Heidegger began to use the expression Geschichte des Seins, the history of being is not initiated or promoted primarily by men, but by being itself."
  3. Martin Heidegger, citaat naar: Michael Inwood, A Heidegger Dictionary, p. 69. "Activity first becomes historical [geschichtlich] as fateful [geschickliches] activity […]."
  4. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, Duquesne University Press, Pittsberg, 2007, p. 265. "It is my view that Heidegger's thinking on religion occupies a place between the forms of poetic and philosophical speaking."
  5. John David Caputo, The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought, Ohio University Press, Athens / Ohio, 1978.
  6. Ibidem, p. 261, 262. "It shows us clearly how Heidegger has remained throughout faithful to his own path of thought, how he has remained his own man. For each thinker has his own appointed path to travel. The confrontation with Eckhart shows us how Heidegger has overcome metaphysics without thereby becoming mystical, even as he overcomes metaphysics without becoming a poet.
  7. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 95. "In this earliest presentation from 1922, Heidegger sees the metaphysical tradition as an ontotheological tradition that follows from the tendency for philosophy to forget its original motive."
  8. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 1927, uitgave: Max Niemeyer, Tübingen, 1967, p. 2. "Die genannte Frage ist heute in Vergessenheit gekommen, obzwar unsere Zeit sich als Fortschritt anrechnet, die »Metaphysik« wieder zu bejahen." En: Ibidem, p. 6. "Das Sein des Seienden »ist« nicht selbst ein Seiendes."
  9. Frans van Peperstraten, Sublieme Mimesis, Kunst en politiek tussen nabootsing en gebeurtenis: Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Lyotard, Damon, Budel 2005, p. 134. "Het betreft in Heidegger's visie weliswaar een groot tijdperk, namelijk grofweg van Plato tot en met Nietzsche, maar niettemin een tijdperk: het tijdperk van de metafysica."
  10. John Sallis, 'Plato's other beginning', in: Drew A. Hyland and John Panteleimon Manoussakis (editors), Heidegger and the Greeks, Interpretive Essays, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 2006, p. 179. "What then, does Heidegger mean by First beginning? In Contributions to Philosophy this expression designates the beginning of philosophy, of what later comes to be called metaphysics."
  11. Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Disclosure and Displacement, Truth and Language in the Work of Heidegger, Ricoeur, and Derrida, Proefschrift, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, 2008, p. 34 en verder.
  12. Ibidem, p. 34. "This allegory is the place of a final battle (Kampf), Heidegger argues, between two concepts of truth in Greek thought: truth as alētheia or unconcealment and truth as orthotes or correctness."
  13. Alfred Denker, Historical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy, Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham / London, 2000, p. 177. "The early Greek thinkers understood 'alètheia' as the unconcealment of Being."
  14. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Wahrheit, Gesamtausgabe, Band 36/37, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2001, p. 174. "Im dritten Stadium wird das Unverborgenste angesprochen, das άληθινόν, das, was durch und durch unverborgen ist, was keiner Rest mehr von Verborgenheit hat; die Idee als das Seiendste, was eigentlich das Seiende ausmacht."
  15. Alfred Denker, Historical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy., p. 177. "Plato transforms 'alètheia' into truth, that is, the correctness of the correspondence between idea and entity."
  16. Ibidem, p. 51. "The famous Greek philosopher [Aristotle] was probably the greatest influence on Heidegger's early thought."
  17. Carol J. White, 'Heidegger and the Greeks', in: Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall (editors), A Companion to Heidegger, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Malden / Oxford / Carlton, 2005, p. 137. "Heidegger thinks that Aristotle is "more Greek" than Plato because his thinking is closer to that of the pre-Socratics than is Plato's."
  18. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 98. "In Aristotle's Metaphysics, the question of being is formulated and worked out normatively. This first philosophy is characterized in two ways as both a science of being (ontology) and as a science of the highest and most authentic being (theology)."
  19. Ibidem, p. 99. "Aristotle develops this idea of the highest entity against the background of his search for causes and principles."
  20. Ibidem, p. 100. "Aristotle characterizes this telos as the first mover, which cannot be moved by something else because then it would be incomplete and imperfect."
  21. Alfred Denker, Historical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy, p. 157. "His [Nietzsche's] philosophy is thus both the final completion of the history of metaphysics and the beginning of the dominance of technology."
  22. Martin Heidegger, Geschichte der Philosophie von Thomas von Aquin bis Kant, Gesamtausgabe, Band 23, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2006, p.138, 139. "Man laβt mit Descartes die neuere Philosophie einen grundsatzlich neuen Anfang und Ansatz nehmen: Orientierung auf das Subjekt."
  23. Wallace Matson, A New History of Philosophy, Volume 2: From Descartes to Searle, Second Edition, Harcourt College Publishers, Orlando, 2000, p. 321. ""This proposition: I am, I exist, is necessarily true every time I pronounce it or conceive it in my mind." In the more famous phrase employed in the Discourse on Method, "Cogito ergo sum" – "I think, therefore I am.""
  24. Jean-Luc Marion, 'Heidegger and Descartes', in: Christopher Macann (editor), Martin Heidegger, Critical Assessments, Volume II: History of Philosophy, Routledge, London and New York, 1992, p. 178. "Although it is more or less taken for granted that Heidegger never ceased to be concerned with Nietzsche or Aristotle, his relation to Descartes can very easily appear to be secondary."
  25. Martin Heidegger, Geschichte der Philosophie von Thomas von Aquin bis Kant, p. 138. "Entspricht dieser Umwendung auf das Subjekt auch die ontologische Bestimmung dieses Seienden, der res cogitans? Keineswegs. Wird im Zusammenhang dieser Umstellung des Fragens iiberhaupt nach dem Sein gefragt? Keineswegs. Kommt der Zusammenhang zwischen Wahrheit überhaupt und Sein überhaupt zu einer Klarung oder auch nur Befragung? Keineswegs. […]. Was das ego sum selbst besagt, wie das Sein des sum zu umgrenzen, ja auch nur zum Problem zu machen ist, wird fur Descartes keine Frage. Es genügt das unbezweifelbare Mitvorhandensein des ego im cogitare. Ist damit das Sein des ego bestimmt? Nein! Es ist nicht einmal nach der Existenz des Menschen gefragt!"
  26. John David Caputo, The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought, p. 51. "What is said by Leibniz is evident to everyone: nothing is without ground."
  27. Martin Heidegger, translation: Reginald Lily, The Principle of Reason, Indiana University Press, Bloomington / Indianapolis, 1996, p. 118. "During this period the principle of reason slept so to speak. […].For it was only in the seventeenth century that Leibniz recognized the long-since commonplace idea "nothing is without reason" was a normative principle and described it as the principle of reason."
  28. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 120. "Thus, once the ground of knowledge is found in the modern thinking subject, a gap appears with regard to reality. Reality itself is no longer the criterion for knowledge; rather, a subjective logic becomes the ground from which reality is understood."
  29. Martin Heidegger, citaat naar: John David Caputo, The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought, p. 56. "… that the principium reddendae rationis – apparently only a principle of knowledge – becomes precisely and simultaneously as a principle of knowledge the principle for everything which is."
  30. Martin Heidegger, translation: Reginald Lily, The Principle of Reason, p. 118. "A reason is a rendered reason, quod omnis veritatis redid ratio potest, "because a truth is only the truth if a reason can be rendered for it." For Leibniz, truth is always – and this remains decisive – proposition vera, a true proposition, that is, a correct judgment."
  31. Ibidem, p. 121. "Modern technology pushes toward the greatest possible perfection. Perfection is based on the thoroughgoing calculability of objects. The calculability of objects presupposes the unqualifies validity of the principium rationis. It is in this way that the authority characteristic of the principle of reason determines the essence of the modern, technological age."
  32. Martin Heidegger, Holzwege, Gesamtausgabe, Band 5, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1977, p. 214. "Wir hören zunächst den vollständigen Wortlaut des Stückes Nr. 125 aus der Schrift 'Die fröhliche Wissenschaft'. Das Stück ist betitelt: 'Der tolle Mensch' […]."
  33. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 137. "Plato separates the true world – the intelligible world of the ideas – from the sensible, visible world. This true world is placed beyond the visible world and is not attainable by everyone."
  34. Ibidem, p. 138. "The difference between the true and the apparent world is the basic condition for metaphysics."
  35. Ibidem. "[…], Heidegger agrees with Nietzsche's statement that Christianity is Platonism for the people."
  36. Ibidem, p. 137. "In his loyalty to this earth he [Nietzsche] rejects the supersensible world and preaches the death of god as the highest entity."
  37. Hans Sluga, 'Heidegger's Nietzsche', in: Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall (editors), A Companion to Heidegger, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Malden / Oxford / Carlton, 2005, p. 117. "Nietzsche is for him [Heidegger], in fact, both a diagnostic and a symptomatic thinker. He reveals the nihilistic condition of modern, technological man and shows how the history of metaphysics from Plato onwards leads inevitably to a now imminent denouement. At the same time, however, he also exemplifies what he analyzes."
  38. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 140. "This devaluation, this pulling-down or reduction of the supersensible, ends for man in a world without meaning."
  39. Martin Heidegger, Holzwege, p. 231. "Der Wille zur Macht ist daher als dieses erkannte und d.h. gewollte Prinzip zugleich das Prinzip einer neuen Wertsetzung."
  40. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 144. "Nietzsche thinks that human beings will inevitably assign new values. Now that the highest values have fallen down, a revaluation of all values will occur."
  41. Ibidem, p. 152. "So in Heidegger's analysis, Nietzsche appears within the paradigm of the metaphysics of modernity. It is the metaphysics of subjectivity as causa sui."
  42. Martin Heidegger, Holzwege, p. 252. "Nietzsches Gedanke, der den Übermensch denkt, entspringt aus dem Denken, das ontologisch das Seiende als das Seiende denkt und sich so dem Wesen der Metaphysik fügt, ohne doch dieses Wesen innerhalb der Metaphysik erfahren zu können. Darum bleibt auch wie in aller Metaphysik vor Nietzsche für ihn verborgen, inwiefern sich das Wesen des Menschen aus dem Wesen des Seins bestimmt. Darum verhüllt sich in Nietzsches Metaphysik notwendig der Grund des Wesenszusammenhanges zwischen dem Willen zur Macht und dem Wesen des Übermenschen."
  43. Hans Sluga, 'Heidegger's Nietzsche', p. 117. "There is, however, no doubt of the profound seriousness with which Heidegger reads Nietzsche as the philosopher of modern technology."
  44. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 38. "Höher als die Wirklichkeit steht die Möglichkeit."
  45. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 178. "But in opposition to the metaphysical understanding of being as actuality, Heidegger's offers his counterparadigm of the possible: […]."
  46. Alfred, Denker, Historical Dictionary of Heidegger's Philosophy, p. 44. "'Alètheia' is the Greek word for truth."
  47. Ibidem, p. 221. "Unconcealment is the word Heidegger uses to translate the Greek word for truth, 'alètheia'."
  48. Martin Vedder, Sein und Zeit, p. 230. "Sein – nicht Seiendes – »gibt es« nur, sofern Wahrheit ist. Und sie ist nur, sofern und solange Dasein ist. Sein und Wahrheit »sind« gleichursprünglich."
  49. Martin Heidegger, Parmenides, Gesamtausgabe, Band 54, Vittorio Klostermann, Franfurt am Main, 1982, p. 45. "Bereits unter dem Zwang des Wesenszusammenhänge, die das griechische ψεΰδος nennt, haben wir jetzt 'wie von selbst' von 'Verdecken' und 'Verhüllen', zugleich aber von 'Erscheinenlassen' gesprochen."
  50. Martin Heidegger, Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1943, p. 11. "Die Aussage hat ihre Richtigkeit zu Lehen von der Offenständigkeit des Verhaltens; denn nur durch diese kann überhaupt Offenbares zum Richtmaβ werden für die vor-stellende Angleichung."
  51. Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Disclosure and Displacement, Truth and Language in the Work of Heidegger, Ricoeur, and Derrida, p. 34. "[…] his [Heidegger's] claims that the Greeks once had an explicit understanding of truth as unconcealment and that the essence of truth has changed in the history of philosophy."
  52. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 159. "The third section [of Heidegger's work 'Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)'] is concerned with the transition from the first beginning to 'the other beginning.'"
  53. Ibidem, p. 160. "The transition from the first to the other beginning is achieved by means of a leap (Sprung) in which the realization dawns that being has been forgotten."
  54. Ibidem, p. 159, 160. "Thinking the question of being from the other beginning means dispensing with thinking about being in terms of entities or substance. It means not interrogating entities, but rather posing what Heidegger calls the "Grundfrage": the ground or fundamental question. This fundamental question asks the question of the truth of being, namely, 'Wie west das Seyn?' (How does Being essence?), as opposed to "What is Being?""
  55. Walter Biemel, 'Heidegger's Concept of Dasein' in: Frederick Elliston (editor), Heidegger's Existential Analytic, Mouton Publishers, The Hague / Paris / New York 1978, p.112. "In his chief work Being and Time Heidegger avoids the concepts I, subject, person, consciousness, man. Instead of these we find the concept Dasein."
  56. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 128. "In den genannten Modi seiend hat das Selbst des eigenen Daseins und das Selbst des Andern sich noch nicht gefunden bzw. verloren. Man ist in der Weise der Unselbständigkeit und Uneigentlichkeit."
  57. Ibidem, p. 234. "Dieses Ende, zum Seinkönnen, das heißt zur Existenz gehörig, begrenzt und bestimmt die je mögliche Ganzheit des Daseins."
  58. Ibidem, p. 262. "Das Sein zur Möglichkeit als Sein zum Tode soll aber zu ihm sich so verhalten, daß er sich in diesem Sein und für es als Möglichkeit enthüllt. Solches Sein zur Möglichkeit fassen wir terminologisch als Vorlaufen in die Möglichkeit."
  59. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 176. "But just as in Being and Time death opens the appearance of being as possibility, […]."
  60. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p.329. "Das Charakteristische der dem vulgären Verständnis zugänglichen »Zeit« besteht u. a. gerade darin, daß in ihr als einer puren, anfangs- und endlosen Jetzt-folge der ekstatische Charakter der ursprünglichen Zeitlichkeit nivelliert ist."
  61. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, p. 345. "Aber auch ein Phänomen wie die Hoffnung, das ganz in der Zukunft fundiert zu sein scheint, muß in entsprechender Weise wie die Furcht analysiert werden."
  62. Ibidem, p. 344. "Die Furcht hat ihre Veranlassung im umweltlich besorgten Seienden. Die Angst dagegen entspringt aus dem Dasein selbst."
  63. Martin Heidegger, Beiträge zur Philosophie (Zum Ereignis), Gesamtausgabe, Band 65, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1989, p. 5. "Die Zeit der »Systeme« ist vorbei. Die Zeit der Erbauung der Wesensgestalt des Seienden aus der Wahrheit des Seyns ist noch nicht gekommen."
  64. Ibidem. "Das ubergangliche Denken leistet den gründenden Entwurf der Wahrheit des Seyns als geschichtliche Besinnung. Die Geschichte ist dabei nicht der Gegenstand und Bezirk einer Betrachtung, sondern jenes, was das denkerische Fragen erst erweckt und erwirkt als die Stätte seiner Entscheidungen."
  65. Ibidem, p. 411. "Der letzte Gott ist nicht das Ende, sondern der andere Anfang unermeβlicher Moglichkeiten unserer Geschichte."
  66. Ibidem, p. 395. "Die Zu-künftigen sind jene Künftigen, auf die als die rückwegig Er-wartenden in opfernder Verhaltenheit der Wink und Anfall der Fernung und Nahung des letzten Gottes zu kommt."
  67. Ibidem. "Diese Zukünftigen gilt es vorzubereiten."
  68. Martin Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache, Gesamtausgabe, Band 12, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1985, p. 156. "[…]:Die Sprache ist das Haus des Seins."
  69. Ibidem, p. 154. "Kein Ding ist, wo das Wort, d. h. der Name fehlt. Das Wort verschafft dem Ding erst das Sein."
  70. Ibidem, p. 241. "Sagen und Sprechen sind nicht das gleiche. Einer kann sprechen, spricht endlos, und alles ist nichtsagend. Dagegen schweigt jemand, er spricht nicht und kann im Nichtsprechen viel sagen."
  71. Ibidem, p. 242. "Das Wesende der Sprache ist die Sage als die Zeige."
  72. Ibidem, p. 254. "Die Sage braucht das Verlauten im Wort. Der Mensch aber vermag nur zu sprechen, insofern er, der Sage gehörend, auf sie hört, um nachsagend ein Wort sagen zu können."
  73. Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Disclosure and Displacement, Truth and Language in the Work of Heidegger, Ricoeur, and Derrida, p. 124. "[…] poetry speaks out of an experience of language as saying."
  74. Martin Heidegger, Erläuterungen zu Hölderlins Dichtung, Gesamtausgabe, Band 4, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1981, p. 34, 35. "Das Dichten erscheint in der bescheidenen Gestalt des Spiels."
  75. Ibidem, p. 34. "Hölderlin ist nicht darum gewählt, weil sein Werk als eines unter anderen das allgemeine Wesen der Dichtung verwirklicht, sondern einzig deshalb, weil Hölderlins Dichtung von der dichterischen Bestimmung getragen ist, das Wesen der Dichtung eigens zu dichten. Hölderlin ist uns in einem ausgezeichneten Sinne der Dichter des Dichters. Deshalb stellt er in die Entscheidung."
  76. Note 71.
  77. Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Disclosure and Displacement, Truth and Language in the Work of Heidegger, Ricoeur, and Derrida, p. 52 "This surmised kinship between poetry and thought, which needs to be experienced itself, guides Heidegger's reflection on the essence of language and of thought in Unterwegs zur Sprache."
  78. Martin Heidegger, Unterwegs zur Sprache,p. 163. "Beide, Dichter und Denken, brauchen einander, wo es ins Äuβerste geht, je auf ihre Weise in ihrer Nachbarschaft."
  79. Ibidem. "Das Denken ist kein Mittel fur das Erkennen. Das Denken zieht Furchen in den Acker des Seins."
  80. Ibidem, p. 224. "Sich das Denkwürdige sagen lassen, heiβt -Denken. Indem wir das Gedicht horen, denken wir dem Dichten nach. Auf solche Weise ist: Dichten und Denken."
  81. Martin Heidegger, citaat naar: John David Caputo, The Mystical Element in Heidegger's Thought, p. 25. "Being is no product of thinking. On the contrary, indeed, essential thinking is an event (Ereignis) of Being."
  82. Martin Heidegger, Was heisst Denken?, Gesamtausgabe, Band 8, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2002, p. 247. "Inzwischen aber lernten wir sehen: das Wesen des Denkens bestimmt sich aus dem, was es zu bedenken gibt: aus dem Anwesen des Anwesenden, aus dem Sein des Seinden."
  83. Martin Heideger, Der Satz vom Grund, p. 169. "Das Spiel ist ohne 'Warum'. Es spielt dieweil es spielt. Es bleibt nur Spiel: das Höchste und Tiefste."
  84. Martin Heidegger, Aus der Erfahrung des Denken, Gesamtausgabe, Band 13, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 1983, p. 82. "Den Schritt zurück aus der Philosophie in das Denken des Seyns dürfen wir wagen, sobald wir in der Herkunft des Denkens heimisch geworden sind."
  85. Ben Vedder, Heidegger's Philosophy of Religion, From God to the Gods, p. 160. "The transition from the first to the other beginning is achieved by means of a leap (Sprung) in which the realization dawns that being has been forgotten.
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