EARLY GREEK THINKING
But what does "wise" mean? Does it mean simply to know in the way old "wise men" know things? What do we know of such knowing? If it remains a having-seen whose seeing is not of the eyes of the senses, just as the having-heard is not hearing with the auditory equipment, then having-seen and having-heard presumably coincide. They do not refer to a mere grasping, but to a certain land of behavior. Of what sort? Of the sort that maintains itself in the abode of mortals. This abiding holds to what the Laying that gathers lets lie before us, which in each case already lies before us. Thus σοφόν signifies that which can adhere to whatever has been indicated, can devote itself to it, and can dispatch itself toward it (get under way toward it). Because it is appropriate [schickliches] such behavior becomes skillful [geschickt]. When we want to say that someone is particularly skilled at something we still employ such turns of speech as "he has a gift for that and is destined for it." In this fashion we hit upon the genuine meaning of σοφόν, which we translate as "fateful" ["geschicklich"]. But "fateful" from the start says something more than "skillful." When proper hearing, as ὁμολογεῖν, is, then the fateful comes to pass, and mortal λέγειν is dispatched to the Λόγος. It becomes concerned with the Laying that gathers. Λέγειν is dispatched to what is appropriate, to whatever rests in the assemblage of the primordially gathering laying-before, i.e. in that which the Laying that gathers has sent. Thus it is indeed fateful when mortals accomplish proper hearing. But σοφόν is not τὸ Σοφόν, the "fateful" is not "Fate," so called because it gathers to itself all dispensation, and precisely that which is appropriate to the behavior of mortals. We have not yet made out what, according to the thinking of Heraclitus, ὁ Λόγος is; it remains still undecided whether the translation of ὁ Λόγος as "the Laying that gathers" captures even a small part of what the Λόγος, is.
And already we face a new riddle: the word τὸ Σοφόν. If we are to think it in Heraclitus' way, we toil in vain so long as we do not pursue it in the saying in which it speaks, up to the very words that conclude it.
Ὁμολογεῖν occurs when the hearing of mortals has become proper hearing. When such a thing happens something fateful comes to pass. Where, and as what, does the fateful presence? Heraclitus says: ὁμολογεῖν σοφόν ἐστιν Ἓν Πάντα, "the fateful comes to pass insofar as One All."