Why are there beings at all instead of nothing? That is the question. Presumably it is not arbitrary question, “Why are there beings at all instead of nothing”- this is obviously the first of all questions. Of course it is not the first question in the chronological sense […] And yet, we are each touched once, maybe even every now and then, by the concealed power of this question, without properly grasping what is happening to us. In great despair, for example, when all weight tends to dwindle away from things and the sense of things grows dark, the question looms.
Martin Heidegger is one of the world’s most famous and important philosophers. Born in Germany in 1889, he grew to worldwide fame with the publication of his great work Being and Time in 1927.
His desire to wake us up to the idea that we are surrounded by death.
He didn’t use that word, though. He preferred the grander term: The Nothing. In German–Das Nichts. This is inexistence: the opposite of life. We live surrounded by it but deny its scary presence through elaborate means, by hiding from the truth that we are so close to death all the time.