In understanding the world, Lefebvre thinks that Heidegger also has an important role to play, particularly in the suggestion he makes in the 1929 essay “On the Essence of Ground” that the “world never is, but worlds.”7This phrase is often reduced to the shorthand the “world worlds,” die Welt weltet, and is intended to understand the way in which the world operates independently of an external cause or trigger. The standard French translation is “le monde n’est jamais, le monde se mondifie”;8 an alternative is that “le monde se mondialise.”9 For Lefebvre, this is close to a tautology, but “has great sense.” He takes it to mean that

But the heritage goes back much further, and it is therefore no surprise that Marx’s doctoral dissertation was on pre-Socratic thought, and that Heidegger’s reflections often return to such ancient sources.11 Indeed, the spur for Lefebvre and Heidegger here is Heraclitus, and in particular his fragment that suggests that eternity, or time (aion), standing as a cipher for the world, is “like a child playing a game.”12 In a 1973 piece Lefebvre declares that this fragment is the first beacon or marker; the second is Heidegger.13