to convey anything decisive yet about the essence of the Λόγος.) The translation is as follows:

If you have not listened merely to me, but have listened (in obedience to the Λόγος) to the Λόγος, then knowledge (which subsists therein) is to say the same as the Λόγος: one is all.

This saying speaks of a listening. This listening, in order to be a proper one, should not be directed toward the vocalizations of the thinker, but rather toward the Λόγος. Therefore, and inarguably, Λόγος, because it is related to a listening (i.e., to something that can be listened to), is indeed a kind of saying and a kind of word. From out of this proper listening to the Λόγος emerges and exists rigorous [260] knowledge—σοφόν. This rigorous knowledge exists because it is grounded upon a relation to the Λόγος—it is grounded in ὁμολογεῖν: we are translating this ‘literally’ as ‘to say the same as what the Λόγος says.’ It would be difficult to argue that here the Λόγος and ὁμολογεῖν are not being thought from out of the realm of saying and listening. But what is it that one calls saying and listening? Listening is a matter concerning the ears. Whosoever has ears to hear, hears. But what are the ‘ears’? The ears, when considered solely in terms of their anatomical and physiological presence, do not perform or cause hearing, not even when we understand listening merely as the hearing of noises and sounds. Apprehending cannot be detected anatomically, nor can it be proven physiologically, or even grasped biologically. What would the ear and the entire hearing apparatus be without the ability to apprehend? Listening understood as the perception of noises always takes place on the basis of that listening which is a listening to something in the sense of a hearkening. Our hearkening, however, is always in and of itself already in some way a hearkening to what-is-to-be-heard, either prepared for it or not, and in some way obedient to it. The ‘ear’ that is necessary for proper hearing is this obedience. That which can be heard, that to which one actively listens, need not be anything akin to sound or noise. What makes up this obedience cannot easily be said. From the saying of Heraclitus’s we only learn that knowledge emerges from out of the hearkening listening to the Λόγος, which in distinction to the human speech of the thinker is not an auditory phenomenon. And this knowledge consists of ὁμολογεῖν—saying the same as another, which here means, saying the same as the Λόγος. Saying the same here does not mean simply to parrot, but rather to say something again so that the same is said in a different way, and in such a way that what is said after what is first said succeeds and ‘follows’ it: that is, it is tractable, a follower, obedient. Perhaps that is how obedience subsists in ὁμολογεῖν: namely, in a following, tractable saying-after. But what is being said in this saying-after, which is said to be authentic knowledge?


198    The Inception of Occidental Thinking


Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger