However, within the saying of the inceptual thinker, the name φύσις is obvious. Certainly, we must at the same time also consider and marvel at the fact that in φύσις, in emerging, ἀλήθεια is thought and is near. But through the presence [158] of the alpha-privative, it is shown within ἀλήθεια that in emerging the relation to concealing and concealment originally prevails.

On the way of such considerations we gradually arrive before an enigma that no ‘logic’ and no ‘dialectic’ (the hitherto greatest power of logic) has solved, precisely because they cannot solve it, since they are not able to look the enigma in the eye. The enigma is this: that φύσις names at once emerging in distinction to submerging (i.e., φύσις in its relation to κρύπτεσθαι) and also names the unified essence of the jointure of φύσις and κρύπτεσθαι.

What does this two-fold meaning of φύσις signify? For those of us who have not managed to escape the grasp of metaphysics and therefore of logic, therein lies ready a schema by means of which to grasp the enigma ‘logically’—and through that very grasp to strangle it. Emerging and submerging stand in a relation (namely, a relation of φιλεῖν). They themselves are the links of the relation: the relata. φύσις is now the name for one of the relata and, at the same time, the name for the relation itself. φύσις is the relation itself and one of the relata. We can raise the following question to the enigma: why is it, and how does it come about, that something can and must be, at the very same time, the relation itself and one of the relata within that relation? To this question (which is posed within terms of the schema of logic), dialectic—the highest authority within metaphysical logic— might answer by pointing out that even thinking, precisely as the consummating act of the thinking ‘I’ (that is, the ‘I’ as the ‘I think’) has this essential character: that within the relation of the presentation of the object, it is at one and the same time this relation itself and one of the relata of the relation, specifically the ‘I’ that, in its representing, relates to the object.

However, we leave it entirely open here whether this dialectical-speculative answer born from out of the metaphysics of subjectivity is indeed an answer to the question raised by the above-mentioned enigma. For now, we observe only this: that φύσις [159] is in no way able to be compared with the ‘I’ and the ‘representing I’ (and thereby with subjectivity and consciousness), even though this equating in fact takes place when, for example, the famous saying of Parmenides’s concerning the relationship between νοεῖν and εἶναι is interpreted in terms of the relationship between subject and object, or of consciousness and an object of consciousness.

Were we able to say straightaway what conceals itself behind the enigma of the essential two-foldness of φύσις, then we would already have stated the essence of the inception. But perhaps it already gives us enough to ponder if we can first arrive before this enigma and attempt to look straight at it.

Even if we no longer attend to the attempted equating of the connection between φύσις and κρύπτεσθαι, emerging and submerging, with the formal/thetical/logical relation of positive and negative, then there still remains a priority

φύσις as the essential jointure    119