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It is difficult to see what the interest of all this is - why it constitutes a 'new beginning' - if it is not a matter of laying the foundations for the intellectual credibility of an experience we may call - using a term Heidegger would have avoided like the plague - 'religious'. It is important to stress that by 'intellectual credibility' I do not mean 'rationality'. One might perhaps sum up the whole of Heidegger's work as an attempt to show that 'thinking' - the Greek noein - is a matter of apprehending, not of what we mean when we talk of 'logic' or 'reason'. (25) The Introduction to Metaphysics blames Plato and Aristotle for what Heidegger sees as a distortion of the earlier understanding of the Greek logos (and in passing - p.149 - stresses that this has nothing to do with the Logos of the first verse of the Gospel of John - 'in the New Testament from the start logos does not mean as in Heraclitus the Being of beings, the gatheredness of what strives in opposition, but logos means one particular being, namely the Son of God ...' (26)). But in the earlier commentary on The Sophist and the account of Plato's cave analogy and the Theaetetus in The Essence of truth he gives a more sympathetic account of Plato and indeed of Aristotle and of their understanding of how we might apprehend ... what?

(25) It may be worth noting here that the publisher of Dugin's book - Radix - specialise in books arguing for a correlation between IQ and race. But if we accept Heidegger's argument we will surely recognise that IQ is poor criterion of human intellectual worth.

(26) Though this 'one being' is a being whose Body and Blood has been eaten by millions of people over two thousand years which implies a concept of what a being can be rather different from anything to be found either in Platonism or Judaism.  

Well, of course, 'Being.' Being understood as - and again I'm using terms that Heidegger would have avoided - an infinitely mysterious reality. But perhaps instead of 'being' with all the metaphysical/philosophical baggage that word carries, we might say 'phenomena', a word that carries from the Greek original an implication of revelation. In the very first instance it seems to me Heidegger is establishing an awareness that the world - using that term to mean everything we experience without any distinction between inside and outside, subject and object - is awesome and that it is a gift, a revelation. 'Awe' is the state of mind in which it should be encountered. And gratitude. Not rationality. The rationality which the Western philosophical tradition has inherited from Plato and Aristotle has eventually, after sustaining what Heidegger presumably regards as a rather superficial religiosity for some two thousand years, collapsed, with Nietzsche, into nihilism, the death of God and machination - the universe as a repository of resources to be exploited for the purpose of ministering to our bodily comfort.

It is important to stress that Heidegger's 'Being' is not God, certainly not the Christian God as Heidegger understands Him within the Western tradition. We might suggest that this western God is a rather feeble being, subject to the vagaries of something greater than Himself, namely human rationality. But Heidegger's Being might better be thought of as a place - Heidegger might say a 'clearing' - in which the encounter with phenomena can occur, including such phenomena as 'the gods'. Or God. He makes a point of leaving open which is the  more appropriate word:

'To speak of the "gods" does of course not mean that a decision has been made affirming the existence of many gods instead of one; rather it is meant to indicate the undecidability of the being of gods, whether one or many. This undecidability carries within it the question of whether something like being can be attributed to gods at all without destroying everything divine ... The thinking in advance ... does not presuppose the existence of any gods whatever ... The denial of being to "the gods" means at first only that being does not stand "above" the gods and that they also do not stand "above" being ... it is because there must be philosophy if "the gods" are once again to come into decision and if history is to attain its essential ground. As determined on the basis of the gods, the thinking of the historicality of beyng is that thinking of beyng which grasps the neededness of beying as what is first and never seeks the essence of beyng in what is godly itself as supposedly what is most eminently. The thinking of the historicality of beyng stands outside every theology and is equally removed from every atheism, whether in the sense of a "worldview" or of a doctrine having some other character.' (27)

(27) Contributions to philosophy, pp.345-6.

The reader will see from all the lacunae that I have cut a lot from a very dense passage. The main point I have wanted to convey is Heidegger's tentativeness. Dugin quotes somewhat more from the same passage with his usual breezy confidence that he knows just what Heidegger means, then goes on to a quite pretty evocation of the gods, at least of the gods as they appear in the geviert, as if he is well acquainted with them:

'Indifferent to men's problems, gods occasionally encroach on the sphere of men (and this intrusion is blessed (28)), visit them at home, find themselves in the oven, in the icon corner, at the home's hearth, in bread, wine, the wind's blow, the sacred tree' (pp.218-9) (29) and later, drawing a contrast between the gods as he believes they were conceived by Heidegger in the geviert and the Christian, or rather the scholastic God, he says: 'These gods were a part of the world; it was impossible to calculate their number; they were mobile, volatile and fragile; it would be more accurate to say that they are not, but at the same time, they are not not...' (p.246).

(28) Dugin doesn't seem to be well acquainted with the encroachments of gods in the sphere of men as they occur in Greek tragedy.

(29) The Irish reader will recognise that he is not talking about the gods, but about the fairies, quite a different sort of being.

Again I think he is attributing knowledge to Heidegger that Heidegger does not claim for himself. He sketches the beginnings of an effort to reconcile Heidegger's schema with traditional Christianity but he surely falls flat on his face when he says (p.249) about the Christian event of the incarnation of Christ's and Heidegger's ereignis 'we cannot avoid noting this parallel, even though its accurate interpretation would require an in-depth course in theology.' (30)

(30) In case the reader doesn't understand why Dugin has 'fallen on his face' with this I should stress first of all Heidegger's contempt for theology as an intellectual discipline - he sees it as a false quest for truth since according to the theologian the truth has already been given in the teachings of the Church. The philosophical quest for truth in Heidegger's view has to be free and open. But the type of theology that could be taught in an 'in-depth course' is also scorned within Orthodox Christianity, the particular Christianity to which Dugin claims to be attached. Here the word 'theology' refers not to anything that can be known through reading or study but uniquely through the experience of prayer, following the dictum of Evagrius of Pontus: 'If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian.' The comparison between the incarnation of God and Heidegger's ereignis also seems to me to be inept. In the Christian understanding the incarnation of God is an absolutely unique event. Heidegger's ereignis occurs every time a determination of Being (for example 'the unique, unifying One ... the gathering that preserves the All ... idea ... perceptio ... the monad ... the will to will in the recurrence of the same' - Time and being, p.7) is clarified.

But I feel I am getting into deep water and that I should leave this question over for a further article in which, following the lead of my earlier article On Orthodoxy, I shall hope to look more closely at the meaning of the Greek words nous, noein, logos, and perhaps at some Orthodox writers - notably Christos Yannaros, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon and Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos - who have had things to say about Heidegger. (31)

(31) The reader will get a foretaste of what this article might contain in the article on 'The Illness and Cure of the Soul' to be found elsewhere in the 'Politics and Theology' section of this website.