EARLY GREEK THINKING


There is the Λόγος. It has something to relate. Then there is also that which it relates, to wit, that everything is one.

However, the Ἓν Πάντα is not what the Λόγος relates as a maxim or gives as a meaning to be understood. Ἓν Πάντα is not what the Λόγος pronounces; rather, Ἓν Πάντα suggests the way in which Λόγος; essentially occurs.

Ἓν is the unique One, as unifying. It unifies by assembling. It assembles in that, in gathering, it lets lie before us what lies before us as such and as a whole. The unique One unifies as the Laying that gathers. This gathering and laying unifying assembles all uniting in itself, so that it is this One, and as this One, is what is unique. Whatever is named Ἓν Πάντα in Heraclitus' fragment gives us a simple clue concerning what the Λόγος is.

Do we wander off the path if we think Λόγος as Λέγειν prior to all profound metaphysical interpretations, thereby thinking to establish seriously that Λέγειν, as gathering letting-lie-together-before, can be nothing other than the essence of unification, which assembles everything in the totality of simple presencing? There is only one appropriate answer to the question of what Λόγος is. In our formulation it reads: ὁ Λόγος λέγει. Λόγος lets-lie-together-before. What? Πάντα. What this word means Heraclitus tells us immediately and unequivocally in the beginning of fragment B 7: εἰ πάντα τὰ ὄντα. "If everything (namely) which is present." The Laying that gathers has, as Λόγος, laid down everything present in unconcealment. To lay is to shelter. Laying shelters everything present in its presencing, from which whatever lingers awhile in presence can be appropriately collected and brought forward by mortal λέγειν. Λόγος lays that which is present before and down into presencing, that is, it puts those things back. Presencing nevertheless suggests: having come forward to endure in unconcealment. Because the Λόγος lets lie before us what lies before us as such, it discloses what is present in its presencing. But disclosure is Ἀλήθεια. This and Λόγος are the Same. Λέγειν lets ἀληθέα, unconcealed as such, lie before us (cf. B 112*).


*Fragment B 112, Diels-Kranz I, 176 reads:

τὸ φρονεῖν ἀρετὴ μεγίστη καὶ σοφίη ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν ἐπαΐοντας

Healthful thinking is the greatest perfection: and wisdom consists in saying the truth and acting in accordance with nature, listening to it.

If we may venture another translation: "Thinking is the greatest areté, for what is fateful comes to pass when, in dedicated hearkening, we let unconcealment lie before us and bring forth [what is present] along the lines of self-disclosure."—TR.


70


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