“Building, Dwelling, Thinking” – Heidegger

“Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. Let us think for a while of a farmhouse in the Black Forest, which was built some two hundred years ago by the dwelling of peasants. Here the self-sufficiency of the power to let earth and...

If I may follow on with the architectural theme from this morning:

“Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. Let us think for a while of a farmhouse in the Black Forest, which was built some two hundred years ago by the dwelling of peasants. Here the self-sufficiency of the power to let earth and heaven, divinities and mortals enter in simple oneness into things, ordered the house. It placed the farm on the wind-sheltered mountain slope, looking south, among the meadows close to the spring. It gave it its wide overhanging shingle roof whose proper slope bears up under the burden of snow, and which, reaching deep down, shields the chambers against the storms of the long winter-nights. It did not forget the altar corner behind the community table; it made room in its chamber for the hallowed places of childbed and the ‘tree of the dead’ — for that is what they call a coffin there: the Totenbaum — and in this way it designed for the different generations under one roof the character of their journey through time. A craft which, itself sprung from dwelling, still uses its tools and frames as things, built the farmhouse.” 

— Martin Heidegger, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” in Poetry, Language, Thought

I do not know enough about Heidegger to say anything about his philosophy in general; but I will say that – in my opinion – he is square-on in this!

Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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