Back to Cosmos index


It is strange the distinction Heidegger draws
between the earth and the world. The earth, perhaps,
is what we touch, and the world
what we think. Or perhaps the earth is the ground,
the world - everything, the sum total of things,
of beings. But then, what is the human?
or the gods? situated as they are, separately
from the world. Can the human be
(maybe like the gods) other
than the world, the sum
total of beings, being (as we are)
the house, the shelter of the world?
And maybe, too, of the gods, since, after all
the greatness of the human is known, but that
of the gods imagined - which, however,
is no discredit to the gods since where
is the known greatness of the human if it isn't in
imagining - the presencing of that which isn't
present. 'Presencing' of course, and not
representation, which is merely useful, thus
forming with the human a closed circle -
not opening out to whatever we think of
as our greatness which is, in a sense,
what isn't us, what stands
over against us. Heidegger talks
of the clearing, the emptiness,
the abyss, and that is where
we who, in our time, are deprived of the earth
must go, if we are to find
(however we might style it) Heaven -
the giver of gifts.