‘logical’ and ‘illogical’) comes to a standstill, can the other, essential thinking perhaps come to pass in such a way that the understanding that is standing still, with all of its vindictive and vainglorious presumptuousness, no longer interferes with it.

We would certainly be going directly against the way of thinking of this lecture, and more generally against every attempt toward an essential thinking, if only on the basis of what was heard in earlier sessions we now thought ourselves to be above conventional thinking, which continues to retain its undiminished law within its sphere. It was said previously that essential thinking thinks, for example, the light as the dark and the dark as the light. That is a thinking which, in the era of the absolute metaphysics of German Idealism, developed the form of a ‘dialectic.’ With a little effort and practice it is not all that hard to acquire the ‘flair’ of this dialectic; and with the implementation of this ‘flair,’ all windows can be opened. Yet, it nonetheless remains questionable [117] whether this mere cleverness is able also to look through the opened windows into the rooms that are wandered through by the dialectical speculative thinking of Schelling and Hegel. It also remains questionable whether the person who possesses solely this flair is actually able to see and to hear.

Phrased otherwise: it is far better for us if we do not know the flair of dialectics, and that we, in our initial attempt to ponder the saying of Heraclitus’s, only make it so far that our understanding truly stands still.

b) The standing-still of conventional thinking in the face of the ‘irreconcilable,’ and the leap into essential thinking. Philological translations as flight in the face of the claim of the saying

When our thinking imagines and juxtaposes ‘the emerging’ and ‘the submerging,’ and then finds itself in a situation where it is supposed to understand these juxtaposed terms not (simply) as differing, but also as the same, it seizes up: for obviously emerging is not submerging. If this were not the case, then why do they have different names? The one is not the other; they do not tolerate each other. However, if we take Heraclitus’s saying in its most obvious sense—“emerging loves submerging”—then conventional understanding can still find something understandable here with which it can calm itself: we do not need to let it go so far as our understanding having to come to a standstill, because something previously understandable has ceased to be so. Let us ponder, however, what the saying says: “emerging loves submerging”; emerging inclines itself toward submerging and thus merges into it. We observe the workings of such a merging constantly and for the most part annually in ‘nature.’ What in the spring sprouts and blooms ripens

88    The Inception of Occidental Thinking