EARLY GREEK THINKING


Mortals are irrevocably bound to the revealing-concealing gathering which lights everything present in its presencing. But they turn from the lighting, and turn only toward what is present, which is what immediately concerns them in their everyday commerce with each other. They believe that this trafficking in what is present by itself creates for them a sufficient familiarity with it. But it nonetheless remains foreign to them. For they have no inkling of what they have been entrusted with: presencing, which in its lighting first allows what is present to come to appearance. Λόγος, in whose lighting they come and go, remains concealed from them, and forgotten.

The more familiar to them everything knowable becomes, the more foreign it is to them—without their being able to know this. They would become aware of all this if only they would ask: how could anyone whose essence belongs to the lighting ever withdraw from receiving and protecting the lighting? How could he, without immediately discovering that the everyday can seem quite ordinary to him only because this ordinariness is guilty of forgetting what initially brings even the apparently self-evident into the light of what is present?

Everyday opinion seeks truth in variety, the endless variety of novelties which are displayed before it. It does not see the quiet gleam (the gold) of the mystery that everlastingly shines in the simplicity of the lighting. Heraclitus says (Fragment 9):


ὄνους σύρματ' ἂν ἑλέσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ χρυσόν.

"Asses choose hay rather than gold."


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Martin Heidegger (GA 7) Aletheia (Heraclitus, Fragment 16)