to ζωή and φύσις, to ‘life’ and ‘nature.’ However, referring the ψυχή [298] back to ζωή and φύσις would also not bring us into proximity with what is essential, if at the same time and before all else we did not also think ζωή and φύσις in a ‘Greek’ way. If we are everywhere emphasizing that what is named in these foundational Greek words should be thought in a ‘Greek’ way, we are not being driven by the intention of accurately reproducing a past world in a historiographical way: rather, in the constantly emphasized ‘Greek,’ we are simply seeking what is the hidden essential, i.e., what bears and decides both our history and the history of the future. The fundamental feature of φύσις and ζωή is an emerging from out of itself that is, at the same time, a self-occluding withdrawal back into itself. Under the protection of these names, Greek thinking, experiencing, building, and dwelling in beings already possessed something in advance, something that at some point only those yet to come will found and build into the immovable truth to which, as the proper ground, what is named in the foundational words φύσις, ζωή, and ψυχή already makes reference in inconspicuous ways. That is why we today, no matter how oft en we repeat these foundational words, only have preliminary names with which to make what is essential in φύσις and ζωή visible, albeit in a distant and faint way. And in order to assure even this, what is precisely not necessitated is a broad marshalling of learnedness and the display of partially understood connections within intellectual history, but rather only the ever newly begun and ever-simpler consideration of, and thinking-through, what sounds-forth in these foundational words like a prelude. What we initially hear there is always the same and, indeed, almost monotonous. Yet, it is the foundational tone of the inceptual thinking of the Greeks. In the thinking through of foundational words we continuously experience the limitations of thinking, but also the pent-up grace of the still-buried treasures of our own language. The latter is not ours as our tool: rather, we are the ones to belong to it as those who are either at home in it or made homeless by it. If we therefore now attempt to clarify the translating interpretation of the foundational words φύσις and ζωή, then we will easily [299] find ourselves off-track, while nevertheless perhaps still, at the same time, providing a rough clue to be subsequently taken up by a recapitulating thinking-after.

If we are attentive to the fact that φύσις means the emerging that from itself is a withdrawing into itself, then the two determinations are not only to be thought as simultaneous and existing alongside one another, but rather as designating one and the same fundamental feature of φύσις . φύσις contains within itself the following dimensional character which must, nevertheless, be thought of as one with the above: namely, that φύσις is the arising-from-out-of-itself and the self-occluding. Therefore, ‘dimensional’ does not simply mean the extent of a thing, the way in which, for example, we could speak of the breadth of a wall: rather, the dimensional is in itself self-opening and self-occluding. What has the characteristics of φύσις—i.e., the ‘natural’—is thereby never something with the characteristics of an object which is the source of object-like effects in other objects. φύσις is also

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