vulgar sense, for it itself lets the fitting gleam forth. To open something into the splendor of its conjoined appearance—to ‘endow’ and thus to let arise—the Greeks called κοσμέω. κόσμος is ‘adornment’; the word also means “honors,” “distinction” thought in a Greek way: [164] appearing in the light, standing in the open of glory and splendor. When the word κόσμος is ‘used’ by a thinker, it surely names the to-be-thought. κοσμέω—“to adorn”—then certainly does not mean to outfit any old existing thing, nor to embellish the entirety of beings with a ‘decoration’ (something of which the human is hardly capable). “Adorning” (κοσμέω) and “adornment” (κόσμος) will then no doubt be said of being itself. Therefore, we cannot impose here our own idea of ‘cosmos,’ picked up from one place or another, onto the inceptual word of the thinker. Furthermore, we should avoid assaulting this thinking with ideas about any particular ‘cosmology’: rather, we must think the word from out of its essential unity with φύσις/ἁρμονία/μὴ δῦνόν ποτε. But even if we do so, κόσμος does not mean only the entirety of beings, but rather the jointure of the conjoining of beings, the adornment in which, and from out of which, beings gleam. This adornment, thought here in its essential sense and, at the same time, in the simple style of the inceptual, is the adorning that inceptually adorns, giving the splendor of the joints and what has been conjoined, letting them gleam and light up. This adorning does not come about as the consequence of a subsequently conjoined decoration: rather, it is, as the originary letting-gleam-forth into the splendor of emerging, solely and suddenly the adornment that strikes like lightning into the unadorned. Such lighting places into the light (and thus also produces and provides) the dark and what is opposite to the lightening. We often speak about jewelry being ‘flashy’ and say that a precious stone itself ‘flashes,’ but we do not consider the possibility that the flash itself is the originary adornment and unfolds as the precious. This originary adornment is the adornment that ordains the fitting. This adornment, thought thusly as the lightening jointure—and thus as φύσις/ζωή/ἁρμονία—is the adorning fire itself: lightning. κόσμος and πῦρ say the same.

Once we have seen these simple connections, at least some of the preconditions have been met in order [165] for us to consider the main features of that saying from which we already previously analyzed an essential word for the sake of illuminating the essence of φύσις. The fragment in question is fragment 30, in which the word ἀείζωον, which we discussed above, is said. We order the saying as the eighth, and it reads:

κόσμον τόνδε, τὸν αὐτὸν ἁπάντων, οὔτε τις θεῶν οὔτα ἀνθρώπων ἐποίησεν, ἀλλ᾽ἦν ἀεὶ καὶ ἔστιν καὶ ἔσται πῦρ ἀείζωον, ἁπτόμενον μέτρα καὶ ἀποσβεννύμενον μέτρα.

The is adornment mentioned here, the same in all that is adorned, is neither something produced by gods nor by human beings (anyone), rather it was

124    The Inception of Occidental Thinking

Heraclitus: The Inception of Occidental Thinking


GA 55 p. 163