The Thing [910]

actual in its actuality. Second, the pretense that the thing could just as well be a thing regardless of scientific research into the actual, which presupposes that there ever were essencing things at all. If the things had ever shown themselves as things, then the thinghood of the thing would have been evident. It would have laid claim to thinking. In truth, however, the thing remains obstructed as thing, nullified and in this sense annihilated. This occurred and occurs so essentially that the things are not only no longer admitted as things, but the things have not yet ever been able to appear as things at all.

What is the basis for the non-appearing of the thing as thing? Has the human simply neglected to represent the thing as thing? The human can only neglect what has already been allotted him. The human can represent, regardless of the manner, only that which has first lit itself up from itself and shown itself to him in the light that it brings with it.

But what now is the thing as thing such that its essence has never been able to appear?

Did the thing never come into the nearness enough such that the human could adequately learn to attend to the thing as thing? What is nearness? We asked this already. We asked in order to experience the jug in the vicinity.

What is the jughood of the jug? We have suddenly lost it from view and indeed at the very moment of intrusion by the pretense that science would be able to provide us with information as to the actuality of the actual jug.

We represented what is effective of the vessel, its holding—the empty—as a cavity filled with air. This is the empty thought as actual, in terms of physics, but it is not the empty of the jug. We do not let the empty of the jug be its empty. We did not attend to what does the holding in the vessel. We did not consider how the holding itself essences. For this reason, what the jug holds must also escape us. Wine becomes for the scientific representation a mere liquid, a universally possible aggregate state of matter. We left off considering what the jug holds and how it holds.

How does the empty of the jug hold? It holds in that it takes what is poured into it. It holds in that it retains what is taken up. The empty holds in a twofold manner: taking and retaining. The word “holding” is thus ambiguous. The taking of what is poured in and the retaining of the pour nevertheless belong

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