Selfhood and Destiny: On Heidegger’s Call for Poetic Self-Renewal in the Contemporary Age of Devastation

Marc Oliver D. Pasco

Abstract

This essay aims to map out the path of devastation that has left ushomeless and, as the thinker Martin Heidegger says, frantically andthoughtlessly seeking for our identity. The first part of the paper will bean exposition on Heidegger’s ideas concerning the history of oblivionand how this may aid us to see where we have to be at present. Thesecond part will use for its point of departure Heidegger’s insights onforgetfulness to explain how he perceives the possibility of salvation fromsuch a threat by expounding on his ideas concerning the “fourfold” andits relationship with selfhood. The last part of the paper will then discusshis idea of poetic dwelling and how this is in fact the path towards anauthentic re-building of the self in the midst of Being’s withdrawal anddevastation. Given Heidegger’s contention that the destiny of the selfis tied up with the destining of Being, this paper will show that it isonly by thoroughly examining the destining of absence, oblivion andwithdrawal issued by history itself that we may build ourselves oncemore. This time, we shall do so in a more essential way, more heedful ofthe directives inscribed in our very beings as the ones tasked to recoverourselves from the mire of forgetfulness, and as mortal dwellers on theearth, under the sky, awaiting the divinities.

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