Das Da begegnen
Ekstatisch hält sich die Zeitlichkeit schon in den Horizonten ihrer Ekstasen und kommt, sich zeitigend, auf das in das Da begegnende Seiende zurück.
— SZ 366
Recently in a Sein und Zeit Facebook study group the question was asked why the use of das Da (acc.) instead of dem Da (dat.). To answer this question let’s analyze. First we remove everything but the parts referencing das Da. The resulting sentence is:
Die Zeitlichkeit kommt auf das in das Da begegnende Seiende zurück.
On the most upper level there are three parts:
1. Noun phrase: die Zeitlichkeit ‘temporality’
2. Verb phrase: kommt zurück auf, auf etw. zurückkommen ‘comes back to’
3. Object phrase: das in das Da begegnende Seiende
Our interest is in 3, the object phrase, which consists of two parts.
1. Object: das Seiende ‘the thing that is’
2. Adjective phrase: in das Da begegnende ‘meeting in the there’
Let’s shortly look at the sentenced filtered down without the object phrase: Die Zeitlichkeit kommt auf das Seiende zurück. ‘Temporality coming back to the thing that is.’ We can understand easily the basic meaning without the second part, that is the objective phrase. A finding that can later be used to understand that we can put the sentence separately.
Back to the center, the adjective phrase: in das Da begegnende ‘meeting in the there’ (adjective phrase). The phrase is in the present so applied here is the present participle. We have to analyze what cases the verb begegnen takes. According to Grimm the accusative is used here in the sense of rencontre. Therefore transforms Die Zeitlichkeit kommt auf das in das Da begegnede Seiende zurück. to Die Zeitlichkeit kommt auf das in das Da antreffende Seiende zurück.
Without any lose of meaning one could then translate the condensed sentence with ‘Temporality comes back to the thing being, which meets in the there.’ And here a translation of the whole thing:
Temporality stays ecstatically in the horizons of its ecstasies. It comes back to the thing being, which meets in the there.
Heidegger is hard to understand even for Germans. But it is also because even for us the past is a foreign country. Those usages of begegnen are not that current and the meaning not that obvious. Rendering this sentence in our mind creates unnecessary irritation. One should first extract the core of the meaning according to our contemporary understanding.