picking-up that conserves, insofar as harvesting is oriented from the beginning toward such a bringing-in and conserving, and is constantly determined from out of it. Harvesting contains safeguarding within itself as its prevailing fundamental trait. At the same time, there is yet another feature of harvesting that must be examined. Harvesting is not a haphazard and slipshod snatching-up, hastily moving from one thing to the next. Rather, the taking-up and bringing-in of harvesting is always a careful drawing-in. But this only becomes possible on the foundation of a prior, prevailing drawing-out, a drawing-out whose breadth and limitedness are granted by what is in need of being conserved, and concerning which care must be taken. All of the above-named features and relations must be thought as one if we wish even to approximate a thinking of harvesting in its full sense.

Instead of ‘to harvest’ [lesen] in the sense just illuminated, we could also say: ‘to gather’ [sammeln]. This word is even more unambiguous in relation to what is now being meant by the word lesen, for otherwise we are prone to understanding lesen as ‘reading,’ thereby associating it with ‘script.’ On the other hand, this talk of ‘gathering’ all too easily seduces one to take ‘harvesting’ in a superficial way as a mere bundling together. The harvest, however, is the drawing-in/drawing-out gathering, whose gathering is already being held together by what is to be conserved and has been designated as what is to be conserved. That is why all proper gathering must already have pulled itself together: that is, it must have already gathered itself and be forgathered in its determination. In the harvest, this originally gathered for-gathering prevails toward what is to be conserved. For-gathering, so understood, is the originary gatheredness and ‘gathering’ that already prevails in every gathering that takes up.

Today, this wonderful word ‘for-gathering’ is only known to us in its very limited and everyday meaning. Presently, however, we are thinking it in the just elucidated sense of the harvest, and in doing so we are most attuned to gathering now not meaning a mere additive bringing-together, [269] but rather the originary gatheredness of what is to be conserved, from out of which all gathering springs up and in which it remains held, i.e., for-gathered, i.e., gathered from out of originary gathering and secured within it. If we think this ‘forgathering’ that prevails throughout and within all gathering and harvesting, then we grant this word a unique dignity and determinateness. Forgathering is the originary retaining within a gatheredness, a retaining that first determines all drawing-out and drawing-in, but also is that which allows all scattering and dispersal. Forgathering, thus understood, is the essence of harvesting and of the harvest. The harvest and the gathering, thought in this way, are more originary than what is scattered and the act of dispersal. Just as all ‘concentration’ is only possible from out of an already prevailing and concentrating center, so too is all typical gathering sustained and conjoined by a forgathering that thoroughly prevails in the totality of drawing-out, picking-up, bringing-in, and drawing-in—i.e., what is here being called ‘gathering.’ Indeed, at first it is not so easy for us to think ‘gathering’ in its fullest, originary,

204    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos