of Hegel’s adequately, we would need to clarify for ourselves [29] what Hegel means by ‘concept’ and ‘idea’ and by the designation ‘speculative.’ To accomplish this, a discussion concerning the essence of modern metaphysics would be necessary, as well as a demonstration of the essence of truth in which the modern experience of beings as a whole stands. However, for the immediate purposes of the present investigation, we can see, even without such an extensive discussion, wherein Hegel ‘primarily’ located the ground and essence of the ‘obscurity’ of Heraclitus’s thinking. The obscurity lies not in Heraclitus’s unclear style, but rather in ‘philosophy’ itself, owing to the fact that philosophy thinks in a way that is not familiar to common understanding and which is therefore always very difficult for that understanding to grasp. Philosophical thinking thereby remains, in its very essence, obscure, at least when viewed within the horizon of conventional thinking. Philosophy is thus always and necessarily obscure so long as it is regarded from within the horizon of mere understanding (i.e., of everyday imaginings and opinions). Heraclitus is thus ὁ Σκοτεινός, ‘The Obscure,’ not because he intentionally or unintentionally expresses himself in a manner that is incomprehensible, but rather because every merely reasonable thinking excludes itself from the thinking of the thinker (i.e., from essential thinking). For this reason alone, however, philosophy as such is not obscure. Its essence consists, following Hegel, precisely in bringing that which is first veiled and inaccessible into the light of the knowledge of unconditional certainty. The to-be-known places itself into the clarity of unconditional knowledge in which each and every trace of obscurity (i.e., what is still not unconditionally known) is obliterated. In regard to the essence of the truth of philosophy as the absolute ‘science,’ Hegel, on October 28, 1816, concludes his inaugural lecture at the University of Heidelberg with the following words:

The essence of the universe, at first concealed and closed-off, does not have the power to offer resistance to the courage of cognition; it (the essence of the universe) must open [30] itself up before him (the philosophical thinker) and lay its abundance and depth before his eyes and for his pleasure.2

Hegel proceeds to consider the thinking of Heraclitus in terms of modern (and of his own) speculative metaphysics, which consummates its presentation in the work that Hegel has deliberately entitled Science of Logic. Regarding how he himself understood the relationship of his Logic to Heraclitus’s thinking, and thus how he understood this thinking itself, Hegel offers the following: “There is no proposition of Heraclitus’s that I have not taken up into my Logic.”3 Nietzsche states something similar in a passage in which he enumerates his

2 Ibid., XVII, 22.

3 Ibid., XVII, 344.

24    The Inception of Occidental Thinking