EARLY GREEK THINKING


For its part, the selection is determined by whatever within the crop to be sorted shows itself as to-be-selected [Erlesene]. The most important aspect of the sheltering in the essential formation of the vintage is the sorting (in Alemanic [the southwestern German dialect]: the fore-gathering [Vor-lese]) which determines the selection, arranging everything involved in the bringing together, the bringing under shelter, and the accommodation of the vintage.

The sequence of steps in the gathering act does not coincide with the order of those far-reaching, fundamental traits in which the essence of the vintage [die Lese] consists.

It is proper to every gathering that the gatherers assemble to coordinate their work to the sheltering, and—gathered together with that end in view—first begin to gather. The gathering [die Lese] requires and demands this assembly. This original coordination governs their collective gathering.

However, lesen [to gather] thought in this way does not simply stand near legen [to lay]. Nor does the former simply accompany the latter. Rather, gathering is already included in laying. Every gathering is already a laying. Every laying is of itself gathering. Then what does "to lay" mean? Laying brings to lie, in that it lets things lie together before us. All too readily we take this "letting" in the sense of omitting or letting go. To lay, to bring to lie, to let lie, would then mean to concern ourselves no longer with what is laid down and lies before us—to ignore it. However, λέγειν, to lay, by its letting-lie-together-before means just this, that whatever lies before us involves us and therefore concerns us. Laying as letting-lie-together-before [beisammen-vorliegen-Lassen] is concerned with retaining whatever is laid down as lying before us. (In the Alemanic dialect legi means a weir or dam which lies ahead in the river, against the water's current.)

The λέγειν or laying now to be thought has in advance relinquished all claims—claims never even known to it—to be that which for the first time brings whatever lies before us into its position [Lage]. Laying, as λέγειν, simply tries to let what of itself lies together here before us, as what lies before, into its protection, a protection in which it remains laid down.


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Martin Heidegger (GA 7) Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50)