them instead for the beings to which they must comport themselves. Therefore he will not be disturbed when the cave-dwellers laugh at him and his words, and when they, adopting a superior attitude, make cheap objections to him. On the contrary he will remain firm, putting up with the fact that the cave-dwellers despise him. He will even go over to the attack and will lay hold of one of them to try to make him see the light in the cave. He will not deny that the cave-dwellers comport themselves to something unhidden, but he will try to show them that this unhidden is such that, precisely in its showing, the beings hide themselves. He will attempt to make them understand that something does indeed show itself on the wall, but only looks like beings, without being so, that here on the wall there occurs instead a constant concealing of beings; and that they themselves, the prisoners, are utterly carried along and dazzled by this.

What happens, then? A conflict between different basic standpoints, each with its own historical origin, a confrontation involving beings and illusion, what is manifest and what is covered up. But beings and what seems to be are not simply juxtaposed. Instead, they are set over against each other, because both do raise and can raise the claim to unhiddenness.

This antagonism between what is manifest and what is covered up, shows that the matter at issue is not the mere existence of unhiddenness as such. On the contrary, unhiddenness, the self-showing of the shadows, will cleave more firmly to itself without knowing that it is a concealing, without knowing that the manifestness of beings occurs only through the overcoming of concealing. Truth, therefore, is not just unhiddenness of beings such that the previous hiddenness is done away with, but the manifestness of beings is in itself necessarily an overcoming of a concealment. Concealment belongs essentially to unhiddenness, like the valley belongs to the mountain.

But why are we going over all this again? Surely we have heard enough of this during the interpretation of the first and second stages! No. It is only now that we understand why we could interpret the first and second stages as we did, such that we always had to inquire back and had to say too much compared with what the prisoners have before them. Only now do we understand that the liberation which occurs from the first through to the third stages already presupposes a being-tree; that the one who does the freeing is not just any arbitrary kind of person.

There is something else that we now understand. Whoever comes out of the cave only to lose himself in the 'appearing' [Scheinen] of the ideas would not truly understand these, i.e. he would not perceive the ideas as

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