EARLY GREEK THINKING


As dispenser of portions of the jointure, usage is the fateful joining: the enjoining of order and thereby of reck. Usage distributes order and reck in such manner that it reserves for itself what is meted out, gathers it to itself, and secures it as what is present in presencing.

But usage, enjoining order and so limiting what is present, distributes boundaries. As τὸ χρεών it is therefore at the same time ἄπειρον, that which is without boundary, since its essence consists in sending boundaries of the while to whatever lingers awhile in presence.

According to the tradition recounted in Simplicius' commentary on Aristotle's Physics, Anaximander is supposed to have said that whatever is present has its essential origin in what presences without bounds: ἀρχὴ τῶν ὄντων τὸ ἄπειρον. What presences without bounds, not joined by order and reck, is not some present being but rather τὸ χρεών.

Enjoining order and reck, usage delivers to each present being the while into which it is released. But accompanying this process is the constant danger that lingering will petrify into mere persistence. Thus usage essentially remains at the same time the distribution of presencing into disorder. Usage conjoins the dis-.

Therefore, whatever lingers awhile in presence can only come to presence when it lets order and thereby also reck belong: with respect to usage. What is present comes to presence κατὰ τὸ χρεών, along the lines of usage. Usage is the enjoining and preserving gathering of what is present in its presencing, a presencing which lingers awhile according to each particular case.

The translation of τὸ χρεών as "usage" has not resulted from a preoccupation with etymologies and dictionary meanings. The choice of the word stems from a prior crossing over of a thinking which tries to think the distinction in the essence of Being in the fateful beginning of Being's oblivion. The word "usage" is dictated to thinking in the experience of Being's oblivion. What properly remains to be thought in the word "usage" has presumably left a trace in τὸ χρεών. This trace quickly vanishes in the destiny of Being which unfolds in world history as Western metaphysics.

The Anaximander fragment, thinking of what is present in its


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Martin Heidegger (GA 5) The Anaximander Fragment