§3 [10-11]


§3. Beings in the relation of compliance and noncompliance

a) Stepping forth and receding as giving way before, and against, each other

διδόναι γὰρ αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀκικίας—they (viz., the beings as such) reciprocally bestow compliance and correspondence in consideration of the noncompliance. Reciprocally—the one to the other and the other to the one.

This is supposed to supply the grounds explaining why what was said earlier constitutes the Being of beings. With that intention, beings are characterized anew—indeed while the previous declarations are still held fast. Stepping forth and receding are not arbitrarily now this, now that; instead, in stepping forth and receding, beings are interrelated.

Where is the evidence for such a reciprocal relation in arrival and departure? We do not need to lose ourselves in roundabout ways of artificial investigations; it is excessively extravagant to contrive anything like that. What is required is this: we should merely hold clear and open the broadest and simplest life view in order to experience that night gives way to day, and day to night: σκότωι φάος ἀντίμοιρον (Aeschylus, Choephoren, 320).4 To darkness, light is the counter-destiny, a rising (of the day) and a disappearing (of the night), and conversely. This is an appearance, which for the Greeks (above all others!) stood in an inconceivably clear importance in the broadest expanse of their experience. And no less: winter and summer, tempest and calm, sleep and waking, youth and age, birth and death, fame and disgrace, shine and pallor, curse and blessing (cf. Sophocles, Ajax, 670f.).5 The one gives way reciprocally to the other, and this giving way is at once arrival and departure, i.e., appearance. Appearance oscillates in such giving way before, and against, each other of the stepping-forth and receding .—We want to cast this simple and yet great and free glance at beings, for thereby appears what is properly closest and constant. From this, Anaximander can say what beings are. We of today must first be educated to this glancing. Instead of: subject-object and the like. Only insofar as the “things” are appearance in all this are they present at hand. Not by any

4. {Aeschyli Tragoediae. Recensuit G. Hermannus. Editio altera. Tomus primus. Berlin: Weidmann, 1859.}

5. {Sophoclis Fabulae. Recognovit brevique adnotatione critica instruxit A. C. Pearson. Impressio altera. Oxford 1924.}

The Beginning of Western Philosophy (GA 35) by Martin Heidegger