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The Apocalypse of Being : The Esoteric Gnosis of Martin Heidegger [Hardcover]

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Pages   146
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.78" Width: 6.86" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 10, 2002
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  1890318043  
EAN  9781890318048  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Heidegger intended to replace metaphysics by a new kind of thought about that which he called Sein, but in his works this noun is very far from meaning the act of being such as it has been traditionally conceived by Western philosophy. His explanations as to what he does mean by Sein underline his departure from traditional metaphysics. Sein is no longer to be understood as the act of the things that exist in the eternal world, but as something revealed to the human mind in an esoteric way. The association of this esoteric revelation of Sein with Holderlin's theosophy led Heidegger to put forward a new gnosis organized as a substitute of metaphysics and of Christian theology as well.

Buy The Apocalypse of Being : The Esoteric Gnosis of Martin Heidegger by Mario Enrique Sacchi, Ralph M. McInerny & Gabriel Xavier Martinez from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781890318048 & 1890318043

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More About Mario Enrique Sacchi, Ralph M. McInerny & Gabriel Xavier Martinez

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Sacchi is a member of the Pontifical Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas and of the Catholic Religion.

Mario Enrique Sacchi was born in 1945.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great title but a disappointing book.  Jul 11, 2007
This is a much needed, well written, and finely translated defense of metaphysics in the light of Heideggerian and postmodern criticism. However it fails ultimately because of some bad choices in terminology, light scholarship, and a narrow understanding of metaphysics. The author doesn't quote any work by anyone written in the last 30 years and focuses only on a few lines of Heidegger ignoring some clear statements by Heidegger that would have resolved issues that trouble Sacchi. Not only that, but a more careful reading of Heidegger would show that his views are not as radically opposed to metaphysics as Sacchi understands it. Sacchi rejects the metaphysycs of "pagans" like the pre-Socratics, and while it would seem he represents Scholasticism, he will further claim that medieval Scholasticism is decadent. What we are left with is Aquinas's metaphysics alone, perhaps some Aristotle by extension. Not a word on whether Plato's ontology is to be rejected as well.

What is most frustrating about this book is how the word "being" is used. The ontological difference is clear and simple. There are beings and there is Being. Sacchi transforms this into "being and Sein". One has to read then the word "being" as "beings" most of the time I think. For Sacchi, Sein is a fabrication of Heidegger's mind and a replacement for god. So there are beings (being in Sacchi's terminology) and god. Fine. He also speaks of "being as such" and it is unclear if this means beings as such or something else. Then he introduces the act/process of entification which he later terms the act of being. Presumably one is to read this as "act of beings". The problem is that Sacchi assignes as the source of this act sometimes beings and sometimes something else, (god?). Beings, the act of being, and that which is by virtue of itself and nothing else all relate by participation-- reminding us of that pagan Plato. While I don't know Aquinas as well as Heidegger or ancient Greeks, Aquinas does not seem as complex as Sacchi makes him to be. Heidegger's phenomenology would be a great resource the think about this curious and almost Platonic in-between: the act of being. Chapter V is the most metaphysical but it's almost unintelligible by virtue of Sacchi's interpretation of Aquinas. Had this work been better organized it would have started by elucidating what the metaphysics that Sacchi defends looks like. Instead he starts immediately with criticising Heidegger and giving us only bits and pieces of what his "scientific" metaphysics is. When we finally get there in chapter V, it turns out to be more convoluted that anything Heidegger would devise.

Although Sacchi knows of Heidegger's Being of beings, he claims that Heidegger's Being is extra-entitative and has nothing to do with beings. Moreover, he is completely unaware of Dasein's fundamental ontology or doesn't want to accept Dasein as a being. He wants analytic scientific metaphysics to study beings to get to god syllogistically (no leap required) but he is silent on Heidegger's method of studying Dasein first instead of tables and chairs. Rather, he claims that Heidegger is an immanentalist idealist (and a transcendentalist at once) and neo-pagan for concerning himself with Dasein's thinking to get to the "essence of Sein" (according to Sacchi) and for accepting Parmenides's notion of the identity of Being and thinking.

This book has a great title, but it turns out that Sacchi claims that Heidegger saw himself as the only prophet to manifest in history the revelation of the essence of Being. A strange notion since Heidegger is not concerned with the "essence" of Being but with the meaning of it. Further, as far as I know, he never claimed to be the only human to reveal anything about Being, let alone its essence, especially when Heidegger shows such deference to Greek thought. Finally, the difference between history and historiography escapes Sacchi entirely, for he believes that Heidegger's Sein will reveal its essence in a specific event in human history.

For anyone worried that Heidegger is a Catholic thinker trying to introduce God in the guise of Being, Sacchi sets the record straight, in his mind, and claims that Heidegger removes God and introduces Sein instead! Moreover, he labels Heidegger as a Lutheran, atheist, agnostic, neo-pagan, barbarian, idealist, immanentalist, transcendentalist, poet, nominalist, gnostic, non-philosopher influenced by madmen like Nietzsche and Hoelderlin and who succumbed to his own affects.

Frankly, it behooves those like Sacchi who think that god belongs in metaphysics to make a case for it and explain what is gained by such a move. His answer is to repeat Aquinas that the uncaused cause is what "everyone calls God" , which clearly is not the case. Either that move brings a host of problems that are unresolvable by metaphysics and have lead to what Heidegger described as the history of philosophy, or it turns metaphysics into theology and answers all questions and thus constitutes the end of philosophy, for all loving search for wisdom has concluded.

It also noteworthy that the back cover of this book promises that Sacchi will address the issue of Nationalsocialism. Fortunatly for the reader and unfortunately for the reputation of the publisher, this topic doesn't arise at all.
Heidegger's Esoteric Gnosis: Sein Revealed in Being.  Apr 18, 2004
_The Apocalypse of Being_ by Thomist philosopher Mario Enrique Sacchi is an attempt to come to terms with Martin Heidegger's thinking on being and his revilement of classical Western metaphysics and to provide a critique of that thinking in terms of Scholastic philosophy. Heidegger regarded himself as a thinker on being, and made use of the term Sein (a German word translated roughly as "the act of Being") which he believed was concealed in being. To Heidegger, the Western metaphysical tradition had forgotten about Sein and it was to this forgetting that he turned his attention, in for example his greatest work _Sein und Zeit_. According to Sacchi, this revilement of classical metaphysics and first philosophy in fact rests upon a misunderstanding of Heidegger's. Thus, much of this work is spent defending the classical tradition from the light of Thomistic philosophy against Heidegger's radical critique. Sacchi argues that Heidegger's understanding of Sein degrades reason (calling to mind Luther's remark that reason is "the devil's prostitute" - recall that Luther was an important influence on Heidegger) as a means for ascertaining truth and turns towards a revelation in the thinking of Martin Heidegger himself. Heidegger rejects metaphysics as onto-theology (echoing the critique of Kant in his _Critique of Pure Reason_); however, Heidegger's thinking itself would come to reembrace metaphysics. Sacchi argues that Heidegger attempted to revise the paganism of Parmenedes against the Christian understanding of classical metaphysics in the form of Thomism and that Heidegger's insistence that his Sein is not to be understood as God, makes his thinking fundamentally atheistic. Here, the idealist/realist divide comes into play, and Sacchi will argue that Heidegger's thinking turns invariably towards idealism (e.g. Hegelianism) as against the realism of classical metaphysics and first philosophy. Heidegger's later thinking under the influence of poetics (ranging from Rilke to Holderlin's pantheistic neopaganism) becomes increasingly convoluted, and Heidegger himself will begin to emerge as an esoteric gnostic proclaiming a special revelation and un-concealment of Sein within history. Sacchi makes some interesting parallels between Heidegger's particular formulations of language and those of apocalyptic (apocalypsis: meaning "to reveal") writers of the first and second centuries AD and BC. This book is interesting in that it provides a fascinating critique at a figure who has remained problematic for many. Sacchi maintains a Thomistic outlook and thus shows that although Heidegger's thinking must ultimately be rejected (as possibly incoherent as well) it does contain some interesting insights into the un-concealment of Sein.
I was quite disappointed.  Feb 11, 2003
I waited at least 6 months for this book to finally become available. My anticipation was magnified by the remarkably cogent and faithfully Thomistic essays written by Mario Enrique Sacchi and posted at the Jacques Maritain Center. I still consider him to be one of a handful of the sharpest Thomists out there.

But, alas, the book fell far short of my expectations. The previous reviewer mentioned in a review of Caputo's Book on Aquinas and Heidegger that Thomists might prefer this more polemical work by Sacchi. Unfortunately, I think that the only people who will wade through this book at all are dyed-in-the-wool Thomists, which, given the capacities of the Argentine author, is a real disappointment. In fact, I now wish I had rated Caputo's book more highly, so that I would not equate the level of argumentation in the two by a common three-star rating.

This book, short as it is, could have been a lot shorter still. It seems to circle about in the same polemical tracks without showing for this any significant gain in understanding. In fact, Dr. Sacchi really missed the point on which the debate between Aquinas and Heidegger turns. Using Heidegger's terminology of the "ontological difference" between "being" and beings and the "theological difference" between the First Being (God) and beings, the two thinkers give a different priority to them. Aquinas makes the "ontological difference" subordinate to the "theological difference"; Heidegger does the opposite. So the burden of refuting Heidegger is to show that the "ontological difference" is indeed subordinated to the "theological difference". And that would require a deep investigation of the meaning of the "analogy of being" in Saint Thomas. That really does not take place, and I do not recall so much as a single productive reference to Thomas' "analogy of being". Rather, there is too much circular reasoning of the sort which says that Heidegger's mistake was that he was not a Thomist and did not understand the centrality of the act-of-being ("esse"). I think that Caputo in his own work showed decisively that repeating this word like a mantra does not really get at Heidegger's critique, because act-of-being ("esse") and essence ("essentia") would be another pair of poles in which "being" reveals itself, but in no way capture "being" exhaustively. Esse/essentia would merely be a temporally conditioned revelation of "being", but "being" itself withdraws from us.

Perhaps I will read the book again at some point to further sift his arguments. But I am far more inclined to reread Caputo at this point.

Apologia pro metaphysica  Feb 8, 2003
Sacchi's learned and erudite critique of Heidegger amounts to a complete rejection of Heidegger's insights based on the thesis that Heidegger's system does not allow for fruitful philosophic reflection, whereas the Scholastic-Thomist system does allow for deep reflection on the science of being.

I picked up this book expecting that Sacchi would thematize both the "Apocalptic" or revelatory aspect of Heidegger's thought as well as explicating the "esoteric" and "gnostic" aspects of Heidegger's early and later works. I was sadly disappointed, for Sacchi offers neither.

Instead Sacchi offers a sustained polemic (or more properly an apologia) in favor of Scholastic methods of metaphysics and against Heidegger's seemingly illogical and confusing attempts at approaching the question of being. It seems to me that Heidegger is saying something like: if we thinking about being using the tools and methods of Scholastic thought, we are already looking for a certain kind of being; whereas if we suspend one or more of these methods perhaps another kind of being will disclose itself to us. While this might be a radically different kind of investigation, I find Heidegger's claim not to be entirely disconnected to traditional philosophy as Sacchi wants to claim.

A more troubling quibble, Sacchi repeatedly argues that Heidegger follows in a line of idealistic thinkers from Parmenides to Kant to Hegel. Heidegger himself thought his system completely escaped the realism/idealism debate (we can dispute his claim, but we would need to understand why Heidegger thinks he can claim this).

Moreover, I particularly want to object to the claim that Parmenides is an "univocist monist" (p. 27). Some contemporary Parmenidean scholars (I'm thinking in particular of P. Curd: The Legacy of Parmenides) argue that the charge of monism is without foundation. Long before our modern debates about monism, dualism and pluralism, Parmenides articulated an original and altogether logical exposition of the meaning of being. I would be very interested if Sacchi or other Thomists could articulate a Scholastic response or commentary on the extant fragments of the Eleatic as it seems that Parmenides might have a lot to offer to philosophers who are rigorously and systematically trained.

Sacchi's claim that Heidegger is an alter Parmenides (p. 35) stands in tension with Sacchi's claim that Heidegger rejects traditional logic. If Heidegger rejects logic, then he would reject Parmenides too, for Parmenides relies above all else on the principle of non-contradiction as the first law of thought and of being to unfold his entire exposition of being. If however Heidegger is to be our alter Parmenides (in the line of idealistic monism as Sacchi claims), then Heidegger cannot reject logic. This tension seems to strike at the heart of Sacchi's treatment of Heidegger as both anti-philosophical and the end of a long line of idealist thinkers.

Stanley Rosen's The Question of Being: a Reversal of Heidegger is a much more sympathetic articulation of what's wrong with Heidegger, and I recommend Rosen's book very highly.

The Inadequacy of Heidegger's Thought on Being  Jan 2, 2003
Sacchi competently shows how Heidegger's use of the term "Being" is so nebulous that it cannot function as a sufficiently refined notion for a truly penetrating "thinking on being". By contrast, Sacchi explains, Aquinas' doctrine of "esse" (the act of existence) serves well for deep metaphysical reflection on God and His creatures (angels, man, animals, plants, minerals). Heidegger erred in departing from the traditional Scholastic machinery of potency/act, essence/existence, matter/form, substance/accidents. Only with these concepts ready at hand can one lay a firm philosophical foundation for theology and apologetics.
It seems to me that Heidegger's "critique" of the so-called "oblivion of being" by the Scholastics can be answered with a mere shoulder-shrug. I don't see how it is really a negative criticism (at least not anything devastating or monumental) to point out that they are "guilty" of promoting a congealed ontology of "sheer presence" rather than Heidegger's favored "emergence" or "unconcealment" or "presencing within absencing". It is doubtful whether this sort of "thinking about being" goes anywhere that is relevant for either philosophy or theology; it seems to lead to a dead-end, by contrast with the richly honed tools of Thomistic metaphysical analysis.

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