EARLY GREEK THINKING


Heraclitus says what it is unequivocally at the beginning of fragment B 32: Ἓν τὸ σοφὸν μοῦνον, "the unique One unifying all is alone the fateful." But if the Ἓν is the same as the Λόγος, the result is: ὁ Λόγος τὸ σοφὸν μοῦνον. The only properly fateful matter is the Λόγος. When mortal λέγειν, as ὁμολογεῖν, is dispatched toward what is fateful, it is sent on its fated way.

But how is Λόγος the fateful, how is it destiny proper, that is, the assembly of that which sends everything into its own? The Laying that gathers assembles in itself all destiny by bringing things and letting them lie before us, keeping each absent and present being in its place and on its way; and by its assembling it secures everything in the totality. Thus each being can be joined and sent into its own. Heraclitus says (B 64): τὰ δὲ πὰντα οἰακίζει κεραυνός. "But lightning steers (in presencing) the totality (of what is present)."

Lightning abruptly lays before us in an instant everything present in the light of its presencing. The lightning named here steers. It brings all things forward to their designated, essential place. Such instantaneous bringing is the Laying that gathers, the Λόγος. "Lightning" appears here as an epithet of Zeus. As the highest of gods, Zeus is cosmic destiny. The Λόγος, the Ἓν Πάντα, would accordingly be nothing other than the highest god. The essence of Λόγος thus would offer a clue concerning the divinity of the god.

Ought we now to place Λόγος, Ἓν Πάντα, and Ζεῦς all together, and even assert that Heraclitus teaches pantheism? Heraclitus does not teach this or any doctrine. As a thinker, he only gives us to think. With regard to our question whether Λόγος (Ἓν Πάντα) and Ζεῦς are the Same, he certainly gives us difficult matters to think about. The representational thought of subsequent centuries and millennia has carried this question along without thinking it, ultimately to relieve itself of this unfamiliar burden with the aid of a ready forgetfulness. Heraclitus says (B 32):


Ἓν τὸ σοφὸν μοῦνον λέγεσθαι οὐκ ἐθέλει
καὶ ἐθέλει Ζηνὸς ὄνομα.


The One, which alone is wise, does not want
and yet does want to be called by the name Zeus.

(Diels-Kranz)


72


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


GA 7 p. 226