‘Being’ is at the heart of Philosophical Inquiry.
Heidegger circled in the vicinity of Shūnyam but never broke through. And he had to invent a whole new terminology with achingly looped language [‘the possibility whose probability it is solely to be possible’] to bridge the sharp divide between where his readers stood and what he saw at the cliff’s edge.
Martin Heidegger’s roots were in Phenomenology, from Phainomenon, ‘what shows itself in itself’. And he was arguably the dominant influence on Academic Philosophy and high cafe- speculation for most of the last century. [I’ll take Les Deux Magots over a library any sunny day.]
Here is Martin Heidegger: ‘The indefinability of Being does not dispense with the question of its meaning but forces it upon us. Being..is the self-evident concept..in all our knowing and predicating.
Everyone understands ‘The sky is blue’, ‘I am happy’.. but this average comprehensibility only demonstrates the incomprehensibility. An enigma lies a-priori..
We do not know what Being means but already when we ask: ‘What is Being?’, we stand in an understanding of the ‘is’ without being able to determine conceptually what the ‘is’ means..‘
I knew an artist once in New York’s Greenwich Village, seeking fulfillment in the shades of beige and brown, and utterly dismissive of all philosophical rant. But he always kept a hard-cover edition of ‘Being and Time’, Heidegger’s most unreadable 600 pages, a strained translation from a nuanced High-German, on his Naguchi coffee-table.