Before you play with fire, whether it be to kindle or extinguish it, put out first the flames of presumption, which overestimates itself and takes poor measure because it forgets the essence of Λέγειν.

The translation of λέγειν as gathered-letting-lie-before, and of Λόγος, as the Laying that gathers, may seem strange. Yet it is more salutary for thinking to wander into the strange than to establish itself in the obvious. Presumably Heraclitus alienated his contemporaries at least as much, although in an entirely different way, by weaving the words λέγειν and λόγος, so familiar to them, into such a saying, and by making ὁ Λόγος the guiding word of his thinking. Where does this word ὁ Λόγος—which we are now attempting to think as the Laying that gathers—lead Heraclitus' thought? The word ὁ Λόγος names that which gathers all present beings into presencing and lets them lie before us in it. Ὁ Λόγος names that in which the presencing of what is present comes to pass. The presencing of present beings the Greeks call τὸ ἐόν, that is, τὸ εἶναι τῶν ὄντων in Latin, esse entium. We say the Being of beings. Since the beginning of Western thought the Being of beings emerges as what is alone worthy of thought. If we think this historic development in a truly historical way, then that in which the beginning of Western thought rests first becomes manifest: that in Greek antiquity the Being of beings becomes worthy of thought is the beginning of the West and is the hidden source of its destiny. Had this beginning not safeguarded what has been, i.e. the gathering of what still endures, the Being of beings would not now govern from the essence of modern technology. Through technology the entire globe is today embraced and held fast in a kind of Being experienced in Western fashion and represented on the epistemological models of European metaphysics and science.

In the thinking of Heraclitus the Being (presencing) of beings appears as ὁ Λόγος, as the Laying that gathers. But this lightning-flash of Being remains forgotten. And this oblivion remains hidden, in its turn, because the conception of Λόγος is forthwith transformed. Thus, early on and for a long time it was inconceivable that the Being of beings could have brought itself to language in the word ὁ Λόγος.

What happens when the Being of beings, the being in its Being, the distinction between the two as a distinction, is brought to language?