Relevant symbols are abounding in this story, from setting to names to objects. It is that glimpse of our own lives, that flash we see briefly but completely right before our eyes when faced with the unexpected reality of our own death. But is Heidegger in fact playing God by giving these poor souls this elixir of life?
The dim room that the five occupy is a symbol of death, the death that they will soon face. God sees this folio also, but in a manner more thoroughly than we would.
But Sloterdijk both laments and admonishes Heidegger for his own evil.
Because Heidegger was afraid to move forward, he therefore had to justify his own failures within this Augustinian-Satanic paradigm, which also allows Heidegger to posit that there are classes of human beings: God and human, rulers and ruled, and breeders and bred.
Hawthorne himself provides the narration, although he does not identify his character, nor is his character present during the experiment.
The narrator appears to be telling this story based on events relayed to him by other people, and there are times throughout the story when Hawthorne admits that the events are sometimes unbelievable.
But Sloterdijk goes further to demonstrate that Heidegger’s retreat into Augustinian solipsism is actually a perversion of Augustine’s own emphasis on movement through mediation.
Heidegger selfishly adheres to the retraction part, which is where, according to Sloterdjk, Heidegger’s fear of expansion leads him to fall into the ignorance of the Augustinian-Satanic figure.
In this book of essays, lectures, and excerpts, Peter Sloterdijk presents the reader with a collection of thoughts which all swirl around two main concepts: 1.
That Heidegger is a fallen soul whose inability to venture from the provincial into the cosmopolitan led him to retreat from the human world; and 2.