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Journal of Continental Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2020

On the Turning Against

Reiner Schürmann, Francesco Guercio
Pages 284-303

Heidegger and the Mystical Tradition

The text presented here is an edited transcription of a thirteen-page unpublished typescript titled “Heidegger and the Mystical Tradition” by Reiner Schürmann. It dates back to the time following the completion of Schürmann’s book on Meister Eckhart and exhibits the preliminary conception of the former’s famous ‘practical a priori.’ Focusing on the relation between Heidegger’s meditative thinking and a mystical tradition inaugurated by Meister Eckhart, the text retrieves the steps of the latter’s path to Releasement as a practical transformation of existence (Part I). In so doing, it provides a detailed account of Releasement as the condition for a peculiar experience of thinking “in which one fundamental attitude manifests itself throughout an itinerary of human existence and which tends to make this itinerary the very condition for the understanding of truth.” By hinging on Heidegger’s different acceptations of ‘letting-be’—as well as on his verbal understanding of Being as Anwesen (presencing) and Ereignis (appropriation-event)—the text indicates Releasement as the coincidence of Being’s and man’s ways to be and shows how it is in the very “urgency of a new existence and thought” that the proximity between Heidegger and Meister Eckahrt’s mystical tradition comes to the fore.