Página inicial > Modernidade > Caputo (MEHT:141-143) – Heidegger e misticismo

Caputo (MEHT:141-143) – Heidegger e misticismo

quinta-feira 22 de setembro de 2022


The first of these consists in taking into account Heidegger  ’s occasional disclaimers that his thought is some form of mysticism   (cf. SD, 57/ 53; 79/71). Even in SG [1] itself he says that his talk of the withdrawal of Being is not to be construed as a dark, “mystical” utterance (SG [GA10], 183). Heidegger’s strongest statement in this regard, and the one that appears to be the most damaging for the present study, is to be found   in the Nietzsche   lectures, where he criticizes mysticism as “the mere antitype (Gegenbild) to metaphysics  ” (Nietzsche [GA6] II, 28). This appears to be an especially serious remark for the thesis   of this book. For if mysticism is the mere antitype to metaphysics, then it does not represent a model for the overcoming of metaphysics. Rather mysticism is itself caught up within metaphysics and represents the mere inverse of metaphysical coin. Heidegger appears then to be taking two different positions. On the one hand he criticizes mysticism as a form of irrationalism and obscurantism and as a flight from the sensible   world. But on the other hand, in SG [GA10], he suggests a positive parallel between the thinker and the mystic and lets a mystical poet be guide of the leap beyond Leibniz  ’s metaphysical principle. The solution to this dilemma is not hard to find. Heidegger writes of Silesius  ’s saying about the rose:

The whole saying is so astonishingly clearly and tightly constructed that one might come to the idea   that the most extreme sharpness and depth of thought belong to genuine and great mysticism. For that is also the truth. Meister Eckhart   proves it. (SG [GA10], 71)

In other words Heidegger is making a distinction between genuine, great mysticism (echte und grosse Mystik) and mysticism of the other sort. If mysticism means a flight from reality and the sensible world, if mysticism means irrationalism and an obscurantism which throws everything into confusion, then mysticism is devoutly to be avoided. Such mysticism clearly has nothing to do with thought. Like all irrationalism, it remains within the sphere of influence of the Principle of Ground. It continues to use propositions but it uses propositions arbitrarily and capriciously. In genuine mysticism, on the other hand, sentences are formulated “sharply” and they are “tightly constructed.” False mysticism does not give up “representations” but it prefers confusing and contradictory representations. Genuine and great mysticism does not make use of “representations” at all, but rather it lets the rose rise up in its simple presence, the way the rose ‘’is,’’ prior to the categories of representational thought.

Genuine and great mysticism participates in the sharpness and depth of thought itself. It is not irrationalistic (cf. FS [2], 352), but neither is it a matter of reason. Like thought itself, it is able to effect the step back out of reason and representations into a sphere which is simpler than that, which is prior to the distinction between reason and unreason. Great and genuine mysticism is neither metaphysics nor the mere antitype of metaphysics. And we have it on Heidegger’s own assurance that Meister Eckhart is to be numbered among the great mystics, and therefore, we take it, that Meister Eckhart’s mystical thought is, in Heidegger’s view, akin to thought itself. Our task in this chapter will be to show how this is so.

We might add one further point in this connection. Heidegger’s assurance that Eckhart’s mysticism shares in the sharpness and closeknittedness of thought itself appears to betoken a growing appreciation on his part of the significance of Meister Eckhart’s mysticism. For in his most well   known reference to Eckhartin the Discourse on Thinking (G [3], 35-6/61-2) Heidegger’s allusion to “Gelassenheit” in Eckhart is tempered by the criticism that for Eckhart “Gelassenheit” still belongs to the realm of willing, and so to metaphysics. Now I will show below that this criticism of Eckhart is unfounded. One can hardly say that the naked unity of the ground of the soul   with the ground of God  , a union which represents the utter dissolution of the relationship between “God” and “creature,” cause and effect, above and below, yonder and hither, belongs to the realm of metaphysics. But be that as it may, what is more important is that there is no hint of criticism in Heidegger’s treatment of the mystical poet Angelus Silesius or in the reference he makes to Meister Eckhart in SG [GA10]. In fact the whole tone of the work exhibits a certain reverence towards the mystic and mystic poet. Now one must recall that the discourse on “Gelassenheit” was composed in 1944-45, some twelve years before SG [GA10]. And it seems to me that in SG [GA10] Heidegger’s attitude towards Eckhart had become somewhat more appreciative, that he had come to realize more keenly the inner likeness of his thought to Meister Eckhart. We should remember too that in 1944 Heidegger had only recently completed the critique of Nietzsche and of the metaphysics of the will, and that he might therefore have been inclined to find the spectre of willing everywhere in the Western tradition  , even where willing had been overcome, as I believe is the case with Meister Eckhart.

Ver online : Martin Heidegger

[1GA10 Der Satz vom Grund. 3. Auflage. Pfullingen: Verlag Günther Neske, 1965.

[2GA1 Frühe Schriften. Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1972.

[3GA13 Gelassenheit. 2. Auflage. Pfullingen: Verlag Günther Neske, 1960.