only being, insofar as it is what is thought by the human and remains for him the to-be-thought, that first lets beings be accessible and approachable for the human. The human finds in beings what is sufficient for him, in the way in which they display themselves to his most cherished needs and wishes, almost appearing to supplicate themselves to him. And it is from these beings, appearing to impose themselves on the human, that he believes to have taken the measure of his thinking and doing. However, insofar as being itself is the only measure of beings, and the human indeed forgets being, he is mistaken in his measure and presumptuously mismeasures. Within the ambivalent and two-folded sojourn of the human, this presumptuous mismeasurement comes to dominate.

If the human is to be able to attend to being and perceive the Λόγος, then the flames of this presumptuous mismeasurement must constantly be extinguished in advance. (In Greek, “beyond” something, “namely and essentially beyond measure,” is ὑπέρ. It is from ὑπέρ that ὕβρις derives.) Regarding all of this, Heraclitus states (in fragment 43):

ὕβριν χρὴ σβεννύναι μᾶλλον ἤ πυρκαϊήν.

(The) presumptuous mismeasurement it is necessary to extinguish, even before (the) conflagration.

This saying becomes clearer to us, if we do not take it as a moral directive, but rather take what it names—i.e., the blazing flames of this presumptuous mismeasurement—and think it back into the already defined essence of the human. (ψυχή—ζωή—πῦρ—φάος—φύσις; see αὔη, “dry fire”; see fragment 118.) The drawing-in drawing-out is borne and channeled through a λόγος, a gathering that is far-reaching in such a way that its expansiveness is determined by the Λόγος (i.e., being), which is initially and most [327] often absent, but is at the same time always presencing. By way of that λόγος which the human soul has, the essence of the human is forgathered in a manner that reaches out toward being, is opened and cleared for it. However, the light of this clearing is darkened by the blazing flames of presumptuous mismeasuring, which only ever derives its measure from beings. The restive flickering of the flames of ὕβρις tears apart the gaze, the posture, and the comportment of the human, thereby tearing apart the gathering while fostering the dispersal through which he misplaces the extremities by which he, in following the far-reaching λόγος, arrives at being by letting it be the sole measure. The flickering and thus darkening fire of presumptuous mismeasuring stands in intimate connection with the calm light of the lightened and the open, into which the soul reaches through its λόγος. Even if we do not yet grasp this connection with sufficient clarity here, it should nevertheless be mentioned in view of what follows. The light, the calm, and the measure belong together with the dark, the flickering, and the presumptuous mismeasuring. This connection clarifies for us the essence of the

244    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos