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Anxiety, at least in the form in which Heidegger is interested, is not directed towards some specific object, but rather opens up the world to me in a certain distinctive way. When I am anxious I am no longer at home in the world. I fail to find the world intelligible. Thus there is an ontological sense (one to do with intelligibility) in which I am not in the world, and the possibility of a world without me (the possibility of my not-Being-in-the-world) is revealed to me. “[The] state-of-mind [mode of disposedness] which can hold open the utter and constant threat to itself arising from Dasein’s ownmost individualized Being, is anxiety. In this state-of-mind, Dasein finds itself face to face with the ‘nothing’ of the possible impossibility of its existence” (Being and Time 53: 310).

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