only to its essence, that emerging gives favor to self-concealing. What would happen if the spring, emerging into the light of day, were without the favor of the water flowing to it beneath the ground? It would not be the spring. The spring must belong to the concealed water, a belonging that means that the spring in its essence is secured by means of the concealed water and only from out of it remains the spring. To be sure, this reference to the spring is only an ‘image,’ by means of which we grasp more easily the imagelessness of the essence of the coming-forth emerging that rests in self-concealing. All ‘essence’ is in truth imageless. We falsely understand this to be a lack. We forget thereby that the imageless, and thus imperceptible, first gives to the image its ground and necessity. Indeed, what could a painter be able to paint, if he were not first and continually able to see above and beyond what colors and lines represent? Everything perceptible is, without the imperceptible that it purports to reveal, merely an eyesore. The increasingly [138] shrill cry for ‘perceptibility’ passes from the comic directly into becoming a sign of the tragic—that is, the sign of a will which, while it wills itself, in fact only wills against itself and counteracts itself and thereby even perceives itself as ‘logical.’

The implementation of cinema in ‘school’ (and above all in research) is an important and beneficial development: however, this process immediately leads to disaster if through it the opinion and attitude become solidified that only what ‘shows up on film’ properly exists, an attitude not owed to cinema in and of itself, but rather to the context of contemporary reality (i.e., of the will to the will) in which it takes place. But the ‘cinematically’ un-presentable and ‘cinematically’ imperceptible is not thereby the invisible: for, indeed, it provides the view for the imperceptible, the view that our entire essence bears in its ground, inasmuch as we understand the ‘is’ and ‘being’, and thus have being itself ‘in sight.’ But the danger persists also that we will equate cinematic perceptibility with ‘reality.’ If we do not recognize this metaphysical danger belonging to our historical existence, then we do not yet know where we are and in what world-moment we stand. Even if it never becomes perceptible to the ‘cinematic’ view, the following still holds true: φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ.

Concealing guarantees to emerging the latter’s essence. And because this self-concealing thus guarantees, it must also therefore unfold in such a way that it conceals. Self-concealing guarantees [verbürgt] by concealing [verbirgt]. The two are the same and therefore sayable with the same word. This is not an empty play on words, but rather the concealed play of the word that we ourselves should not disrupt. Our crude way of dealing with language treats the communicative employment of language as its normal and therefore authoritative function. What remains—what otherwise strikes us occasionally as the prevailing of the word—is taken as the exception: attention to the [139] self-arising and self-playing wordplay that is neither contrived nor forced seems to be mere self-indulgent frivolity. In fact, it is often difficult to recognize the boundary between the wordplay that

104    The Inception of Occidental Thinking