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Seminar in Le Thor 1969 [104–106]


ontological difference also vanishes. Looking ahead, one would likewise have to view the continual references to the ontological difference from 1927 to 1936 as a necessary impasse [Holzweg].

—With enowning, it is no longer an issue of Greek thought at all, and what is most astonishing here is that Greek continues to retain its essential signification, while it is at the same time no longer able to speak as a language. Perhaps the difficulty lies in that language speaks too quickly. Hence the attempt to remain On the Way to Language.

—In enowning, the history of being has not so much reached its end, as that it now appears as history of being. There is no destinal epoch of enowning. Sending is from enowning [Das Schicken ist aus dem Ereignen].

—Certainly one can say: enowning enowns being [ das Ereignis ereignet das Sein ] but it is to be noted that for the Greeks, being as being was neither thought nor raised as a question. The return to the Greeks only has meaning as a return to being.

—The “step back” (the step that retreats from metaphysics) has the sole meaning of enabling, in the gathering of thinking upon itself, a glance ahead to what comes. It means that thinking begins anew, so that in the essence of technology it catches sight of the heralding portent, the covering pre-appearance, the concealing pre-appearing of enowning itself.

We will now attempt to bring into the open this pre-appearing of enowning under the veil of positionality.

The beginning must be made by a return to the history of being. The various epochs of the history of being—the various and successive self-withdrawals of being in its destiny—are the epochs of the various ways in which presence destines itself to western man. If one considers one of these sendings, as it was destined to man in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, what does it consist of?

The manner of this sending is objectivity [Gegenständlichkeit] (as the objective being of the object). Now the further that modern technology unfolds, the more does objectivity transform into standing reservedness (into a holding-at-one’s-disposal). Already today there are no longer objects (no beings, insofar as these would stand against a subject taking them into view)—there are now only standing reserves (beings that are held in readiness for being consumed). In French one could perhaps say: there are no longer any substances [substances], but rather only subsistances [means of subsistence] in the sense of “supplies.” Hence the energy politics and the politics of agriculture, which indeed no longer have anything to do with objects, but rather with the systematic ordering of a space within a general planning, directed towards future exploitation. Everything (beings as a whole) from the outset arranges itself in the horizon of utility, the dominance, or better yet, the orderability of what is to be seized. The forest ceases to be an object (as it was