The Need and the Necessity of the First Beginning [183-84] 158

unquestioned, the most unquestioned, but only as what is of the highest indifference within the age of the complete questionlessness of the essential. The question of truth is without necessity. This is an essential cognition which emerges only in genuine reflection. This knowledge, the taking seriously of the situation of philosophy, is alone decisive. The concern over philosophy as a cultural asset can be left to itself.

The question of truth is without necessity. In view of the reflection we have carried out on the beginning, that means that the question of truth is without need; the basic disposition, which would primordially displace man again into beings as a whole, is absent and is denied us.

Is the need absent, or is contemporary man already so enchanted by his contrivances, and so carried away by his lived experiences, that he is no longer equal to the need, assuming the essential need is not something miserable, to which we could only be ill-disposed, but is precisely the greatest?

What if the fact that we feel no need, this lack of need, would precisely express our need, one still denied us? What if our need arises out of this lack of need?

But these questions, which are not supposed to say anything and are thought rather to keep silent about everything, lead us into the place of our greatest danger: that we today bring up this need in idle talk, scarcely having mentioned it, and even convince ourselves that it is a "lived experience," without ever having been compelled by it, let alone having carried out its necessity. To encounter this danger here, we would have to reflect on the necessity of the beginning of Western thought, at whose end we are now standing.

§40. The abandonment of beings by Being as the concealed ground of the still hidden basic disposition. The compelling of this basic disposition into another necessity of another questioning and beginning.

From this reflection we now know that the essential need, which, as a basic disposition, compelled the primordial questioning, sprang forth from beings themselves as a whole, insofar as beings