On Reading Heidegger

After reading excerpts from Heidegger’s Being and Time, I didn’t know whether I loved the book or hated it. At first, I was intrigued by the ideas presented in the book, ideas such as existentialism and hermeneutics (interpreting texts,) but then I thought more seriously about what I had read and realized how some readers might interpret some of Heidegger’s ideas as being objectivist rather than subjectivist because of its description of human beings as vehicles that serve or do not serve a purpose. His writing is not flexible in the sense that it allows readers to speculate, it is more declarative in its nature.

What came into question when reading the book was the discussion of time and the quotidian. I read the book in Spanish, so this section would be Cotidianidad. Heidegger discusses a condition called dasein or “being there,” existing. Sometimes, I wonder how human beings deal with the mundane world and the quotidian—I find it tiring to do the same thing every day! But living in a routine is a must for many of us—it provides organization and structure. Now, for free spirits like me, this can get very tiring, but reading provides a way to explore topics that I find interesting. With the concept of dasein, Heidegger gives us an idea of the essence of being:

{Dasein does not fill up a track or stretch ‘of life’ — one which is somehow present-at-hand — with the phases of its momentary actualities. It stretches itself along in such a way that its own being is constituted in advance as a stretching-along. The ‘between’ which relates to birth and death already lies in the being of Dasein … It is by no means the case that Dasein ‘is’ actual in a point of time, and that, apart from this, it is ‘surrounded’ by the non-actuality of its birth and death. Understood existentially, birth is not … something past in the sense of something no longer present-at-hand; and death is just as far from having the kind of being of something … not yet present-at-hand but coming along … Factical Dasein exists as born; and, as born, it is already dying, in the sense of being-towards-death. As long as Dasein factically exists, both the ‘ends’ and their ‘between’ *are*, and they are in the only way possible on the basis of Dasein’s being as *care* … As care, Dasein is the ‘between’.”}
― Martin HeideggerBeing and Time (quote found on

Reading this, I still find it quite difficult to understand but the conclusion that I came to was about being present in moments of “boredom.” My concern was the following: how to rid myself of boredom when things get absolutely boring. But Heidegger makes a couple of things clear: just exist and be who you are. If we, in essence, exist in a state of “being-towards-death” and we are in the “between” than in every moment that we exist we should remember not to feel anxious or despair. We are beings in the middle of this time and this space and we just exist—we are beings in time—going with the flow.

I would love to read interpretations of Heidegger’s quote (above.)


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