Insight Into That Which Is [72–73]

But where the danger is, there grows
also what saves.2

Let us think this saying even more essentially than the poet poetized it, let us think it through to its most extreme, for then it says:

Where the danger is as danger, that which saves is already there. The latter does not insert itself alongside the former. What saves does not stand next to the danger. When it is as the danger, the danger itself is what saves. The danger is what saves insofar as, from out of its essence, it brings what saves. What does “to save” mean? It says: to let loose, to disengage, to free [freyen], to spare, to shelter, to take under protection, to guard. Lessing still uses the word “salvation” [Rettung] in an emphatic manner with the sense of justification: to restore something to its right, the essential, and to guard it therein.3 What genuinely saves is what guards, guardianship.

But where is the danger? What is the place for it? Insofar as the danger is beyng itself, it is nowhere and everywhere. It has no place. It itself is the placeless location of everything that presences. The danger is the epoch of beyng, essencing as positionality.

If the danger is as the danger, then its essence properly takes place. But the danger is the pursuit by which beyng itself, in the manner of positionality, sets after the guardianship of beyng with forgetfulness. What essences in pursuit is that beyng

2. Friedrich Hölderlin, “Patmos,” in Sämtliche Werke, historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. 4: Gedichte 1800–1806, 2nd ed., ed. Norbert von Hellingrath (Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, 1923), 227–30, 227. English translation: Friedrich Hölderlin, “Patmos,” in Poems & Fragments, ed. and trans. Michael Hamburger, 3rd ed. (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1994), 483–97, 483, translation modified.

3. Translator’s Note: Lessing titled a series of short essays in defense of forgotten or condemned figures in the history of ideas “Rettungen” or “Vindications.” See, for example, the “Rettungen des Horaz,” “Rettung des Hier. Cardanus,” “Rettung des Inepti Religiosi und seines ungennanten Verfassers,” and the “Rettung des Cochläus aber nur in einer Kleinigkeit,” in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Sämtliche Schriften, ed. Karl Lachmann and Franz Muncker, vol. 5 (Stuttgart: G. J. Göschen’sche Verlagshandlung, 1890; reprinted, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1968), 272–367.

Martin Heidegger (GA 79) The Turn - Bremen and Freiburg Lectures

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