Heidegger on Being and Thinking
I like small books that are well thought-out. Heidegger’s book The Question Concerning Technology is like that. He says the most amazing things, for example:
The essence of technology is by no means anything technological.
Any technical person can understand that intuitively – but cannot explain it. To do that, we have to back off and deal with something more basic, which for Heidegger is Being. From page xiv of the Introduction:
Genuine thinking is, rather, man’s most essential manner of being man. Rigorously demanding and but rarely attained, it manifests the relation between man and Being, which needs man as the openness that provides the measure and bounds for Being’s manifesting of itself in whatever is. Man in thinking is called upon to lend a helping hand to Being.
Indeed, Heidegger can refer to thinking as handicraft. As such, thinking is man’s fundamental responding to whatever offers itself to him. Informed by recollection, it brings forth into awareness and efficacy whatever is presented to it to know. It is the caretaking hand that receives and holds and shapes everything that truly comes to be and to be known.
Through that receiving and shaping of whatever is present, thinking, as belonging to and needed by Being, cooperates in the handing out of limits and the setting of bounds.
He goes on to say more about Being - which is similar to the Buddhist concept of the Fertile Void – that which is nothing itself, but that which from all things come.