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Lecture IV [145–46]

mean that the world of ancient India, China, and Japan would remain thought-less. Much more, the reference to the λόγος- character of Western thinking contains for us the behest that before touching upon these foreign worlds, should we risk it, we first ask ourselves whether we at all have the ear to hear what is thought there. This question becomes all the more burning as European thinking also threatens to become planetary, in that the contemporary Indians, Chinese, and Japanese in many cases report their experiences to us only in our European way of thinking. Thus from there and from here everything is stirred up in a gigantic mishmash wherein it is no longer discernible whether or not the ancient Indians were English empiricists and Lao Tzu a Kantian. Where and how is there supposed to be an awakening conversation calling each back into its own essence, if on both sides substancelessness has the final word?

The univocality pondered just now in the talk of thinking “as such,” however, first becomes complete when it clarifies to what extent this thinking is not only dependent upon basic principles, but at the same time is itself likewise directed to properly heed these basic principles as such, to meditate [meditieren] on them. Meditare is the same word that stands in our loan word Medizin [medicine]; medear means to attend to something, to healingly care. One of the oldest pronouncements of a Greek thinker, that of Periander, runs: μελέτα τὸ πᾶν.9 Take into care the whole of beings: Consider being!

Thinking holds itself to the basic principles and considers these properly because the simple jointure of the λόγος already has the character of a grounding-principle. This proclamation loses what is bewildering about it only when we think the word “basic-principle” in a Greek manner and that means from the intact essence of the λόγος as λόγος ἀποφαντικός.

Principle [Satz] is called in Greek θέσις. We are familiar with the word from the language of speculative idealism whose dialectic can be characterized by thesis, antithesis,


9. Hermann Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, ed. Walther Kranz, vol. I, 5th ed. (Berlin: Weidmann, 1934), 65. “The Seven Wisemen,” Periander, Fragment 10 (73a),ζ. English translation: Diogenes Laertius, “Periander,” ch. 7 of Lives of Eminent Philosophers, vol. 1, ed. and trans. R. D. Hicks (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991), 103. Hicks’s translation reads “Practice makes perfect” (103).