comes from the word itself and the frivolous playing with words contrived by us, and thus easy to overlook completely when the wordplay degenerates into a method and a technique that becomes blindly imitated. Then it comes about that, to speak colloquially, the credit of the already deflated words becomes overdrawn.

However, the play of the word is played from out of the play of essence itself that comes to its word. φύσις is the play of emerging in self-concealing that harbors in the sense that it releases the open that emerges, i.e., the free. For if, in Heraclitus’s saying, κρύπτεσθαι is awarded to φύσις, then we must notice that κρύπτειν means to conceal in the sense of a harboring. However, ‘to harbor’ says not only to take away into inaccessibility, concealing in the sense of hiding something and making it disappear. ‘To harbor’ is to take away in the sense of a bringing under the protection of something. To harbor is, at the same time, also a preserving. Thought otherwise, emerging now shows itself at the same time as the release of what has been safeguarded into the free of the en-joining. The saying φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ—“emerging to self-concealing gives favor”—gradually reveals the sense that we would detect sooner if we were to let the meanings of harboring and preserving sound from out of the middle word of the saying, κρύπτεσθαι. Insofar as emerging gives favor to self-concealing, it does not cease to unfold as what it is: namely, as emerging. Rather, in the giving of such favor, φύσις possesses its perpetual inception; accordingly, emerging, above everything else that appears—that is, above any and every being—has already appeared. With regard to beings, and especially with regard to the objects that human exploration seeks to assay, φύσις is what never conceals itself, but is rather what has always already emerged. But this emerging itself rests [140] in the play in which emerging bestows to self-concealing the favor to remain the protector of the former’s essence. Only when we think the saying in terms of how its three words are combined, do we think it as the saying of a thinker who is an inceptual thinker.

According to Plato it is difficult to behold the “essence of things” (i.e., the ἰδέα), not because the essence of things hides itself, but rather because the eyes of the human are clouded. The essence of things by no means hides itself, but is rather what is properly luminous and shining. It speaks against everything that has been thought about the essence of φύσις, and even more so against the essence of the ἰδέα (which is only a last echo of inceptual φύσις), if one says that φύσις “likes to hide.” What is meant is: from the eyes of the human. However, this appears to be the case, since humans only seldom and with great difficulty grasp the essence of things. In the above-mentioned translation, one attributes a mood and an inclination to φύσις in its supposed incomprehensibility (of which there is no mention), instead of focusing on the human being and his distractibility; moreover, one asserts that that is the sort of thing that a thinker such as Heraclitus said. It is not necessary for φύσις to hide itself at all, since indeed, as the example shows, the ignorance of human beings ensures that they thrust their opinions in front of the vision of the always already unfolding emerging.

Emerging and submerging    105