In this article, I explore alternative accounts of thinking via the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. In order to re-examine thinking, I focus on Heidegger’s conception of Gelassenheit. This usually is translated as ‘letting-be’ or ‘releasement’ and is a concept through which the idea of thinking in nearness comes into clearer focus. In this sense, I investigate what it means to be ‘in nearness’ to things, and seek a way to experience nearness in thinking.
After the so called ‘turn’ (Kehre) in his thinking, Heidegger specifically moves his concern away from Dasein, and towards language and poetry. It is at this point that Heidegger begins to develop ideas about being connected to the world, into the concept nearness. According to Heidegger, we experience nearness in the essence of thinking.
The term Gelassenheit has an immediate connotation of passivity.
Yet, in this article, I shall illustrate its rather active qualities in silent peacefulness. It is certainly through this conception, as will be argued, that we are afforded the chance to experience thinking in its dynamic relationship to the world. I attempt to show how Gelassenheit permits things to be seen as themselves beyond the representational view which is based on subject-object division.
In the end, I turn my attention to education, particularly to the question of what we might need if there is to be an adequate relationship between the world and the students/teachers. I shall argue that in this technological era, learning has been reduced to a possession of knowledge that is mere information or facts, and educational policy is mostly concerned with how to deliver knowledge more effectively. Accordingly, supposedly scientific ways of thinking have been encouraged both for students and teachers alongside target-oriented teaching, objective learning, and time-efficient ways of classroom management. I shall attempt to illustrate an alternative way to understand thinking in education divergent from its dominant discourse.