measure (i.e., the ‘span’) in which a being appears as such. The perpetually emerging fire does not conform itself ‘according’ to measures: rather, it gives the measure in the correctly understood sense of μέτρον. The inceptual adornment, κόσμος, is the measure-giving; the measure that κόσμος gives is κόσμος itself as φύσις. It bestows, as φύσις, “a measure,” an expanse. κόσμος, as perpetually emerging, can only bestow these measures because “fire”—i.e., πῦρ (φάος) as φύσις—unfolds in itself as the favor in which emerging and occluding reciprocally grant their essential ground.


b) ἀλήθεια as essential inception, and as the essential ground of φύσις. The essential relation between unconcealment and self-concealment in φύσις, thought inceptually. ἀλήθεια as the unconcealment of the self-concealing


τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε—“the not ever submerging”: thus sounds the first saying of Heraclitus’s to which we attempt to listen. We have asked what this means. The answer has now been won, at least with regard to some principal features. τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε is φύσις : this is the reciprocal favor of emerging and self-occluding; this favor is the ἁρμονία ἀφανής, the inconspicuous jointure that shines over all things. It shines thusly only because it, as the precious, is the originary adornment: ὁ κόσμος ὅδε—“this adornment,” the one thought in that thinking that thinks φύσις. This κόσμος, as the perpetually [172] lightening inconspicuous jointure, is ‘the fire’ that gives measure to all coming-forth and all submerging. τὸ πῦρ ἀείζωον is τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε.

But why is the perpetually lightening-joining emerging called in the first saying by the name “the not ever submerging”? Because the saying is spoken in the manner of a question which, while asking about what unfolds as the essence of φύσις, also at the same time asks it in such a way that the essence of φύσις is seen with regard to τίς—“someone.” πῶς ἄν τις λάθοι;—“how may anyone be concealed (from it)?”

The never submerging is questioningly beheld as what decides on the possibility and impossibility of being-concealed: namely, the concealability and nonconcealability of that being whom we address as τίς (“someone”) and not as τί (“something”). The first saying names φύσις in its relation to τίς: the saying is the questioning regarding this relation. The question of ‘who’ is meant by this τίς, this “anyone,” had to remain open. Certainly, it is natural to think of human beings here, especially since the question of the saying and the saying itself are bespoken


The essence of φύσις    129

Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger