Insight Into That Which Is [61–62]

itself now would much more draw the human after it as its instrument, be it that the human blindly follows this wresting away, be it that he unflaggingly strives to put technology to healing and beneficial purposes. The human is even relinquished to the riddlesome self-concealing of the essence of technology when he avows that, in the end, technology would indeed be something more and something other than a means in the hand of the human.

But it is not only in the end that technology is no longer a mere instrument, but rather from its essential beginning onward it has never been a means in the hand of the human. From the outset, it has withdrawn from its treatment as a means, although the everyday appearance of technological accomplishments and effects proffers something else.

Indeed when one confusedly intimates here and there that technology could, in truth, be something other than a means, one does so with the help of grand-sounding but unthought words, and only thus draws oneself out of the influence of a dark compulsion that has befallen the human essence from the essence of technology itself. One says technology would be something demonic. One says this demonism of technology would bring the willing and acting of the human into a tragic entanglement. In so needy a time as ours, one should not drag out words that stem from the language of a great thinking age, where precisely what is loftily thought, and only this, lights up and guards the realm of appearance for the gods, the δαίμονες, and fate, τύχη. The helpless terror before what is supposedly demonic in technology and its supposedly tragic consequences is in truth anxiety before a thinking that considers what is, a thinking that, outside the artifice and acumen of the intellect, but also without sentimentality, soberly seeks its path in what is to be thought. Technology is in its essence neither a means to an end, nor is it itself an end. Its essence reigns outside of the realm of ends and means, a realm that is determined by causal effects [ursächliche Wirken] and thus circumscribed as the realm of the actual [des Wirklichen]. Technology in its essence is not at all something actual alongside other actualities. It is the concealed basic trait of the actuality of everything now actual. The basic trait of actuality is presence. Presencing belongs in the essence of being itself. The essence of technology is beyng itself

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