The “setting in order” Heidegger sees in the cultivation of the field reflects the order of a certain way of life—what he calls “dwelling.” What Heidegger is invoking with this word is not a romantically fixed image of a life lived in historical costume or superficially defined by outward conformity to old-fashioned customs. It is what we have called the attitude of mortality. He does not just take us back in time, or encourage us to take leave of our historical situation, any more than Sloane does. Dwelling is not something that can be reproduced, like a piece of antique furniture, or restored in the way people often restore old houses. These activities could be performed in the service of dwelling, but not as a means to it. Even if the work were done by hand, it would still be a mechanical production—the “bringing about” of a more meaningful life. But dwelling is precisely that which cannot be brought about by us. Try as we might, it cannot be made to happen. Preservation, restoration, and recollection are essential for dwelling, just as they are essential for gardening. Gardening is a restoring, but the life that returns to the garden every spring is not something that we ourselves restored to it. As we have seen, the gardener does not bring the garden to life, or even keep it alive; she preserves and cultivates what comes to life in it—the life that emerges around and through her but not because of her. Gardening is a preserving, but it is not like keeping something in a jar.
KeywordsModern Technology Atomic Clock Peasant Farmer Pure Possibility Coal Mining District
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