second personage of the divinity, and that this Word then became human in the guise of the savior God. We will also not follow up on that particularly modern opposition [332] to these initial sentences of the Gospel of John that is spoken of in Goethe’s Faust: namely, that in the beginning was not ‘the Word,’ but ‘the Deed.’ We will now only pay heed to the fact that here ‘the Λόγος’ is of equal stature with the highest cause of all that exists and all that has been made, and that this highest of beings, the Λόγος, appears in metaphysics as the absolute. And, corresponding to the manifold exegesis of the absolute, the Λόγος is interpreted at times as the Word, at times as world-reason, at times as the ‘meaning’ of the world, at times as the ‘law of the world,’ and at times as ‘absolute Spirit.’ If we consider that, over centuries this equating of the Λόγος with the absolute has calcified itself slowly within metaphysics, then it is not surprising that in the saying now cited, the Greek word κεχωρισμένον is interpreted as ‘the absolute.’

However, no matter how unanimous the tradition of metaphysics might be, no matter how unassailable the power of its thinking, and no matter how little we may actually intuit of pre-metaphysical thinking, we must nevertheless attempt, with an eye toward what is singular and incomparable in the beginning of Occidental thinking, to prevent the hasty retroactive application of metaphysical conceptions onto ‘inceptual’ thinking, and instead attempt to hear what is said in this saying from out of itself and the realm of its saying. Heraclitus thinks-after how the to-be-known unfolds in σοφόν (i.e., in authentic knowledge and precisely as this knowledge) and thus how it unfolds toward ὁμολογεῖν and thereby the human λόγος ; moreover, Heraclitus thinks-after how it unfolds in relation to the whole of beings. What is properly the to-be-known is ‘the Λόγος.’ If human λέγειν is to pay it heed and gather itself toward it (and to be able to do just this), then ‘the Λόγος’ must on its own accord forgather this human gathering within itself and be present in the whole of beings as the originary forgathering of beings. For even if ‘the Λόγος’ expressly addresses the human λόγος, this in no way means [333] that the human is thereby being addressed as a being that has been separated off: for the human only is human on the basis of human λόγος, and in the manner that he constantly comports himself toward beings as a whole by way of this λόγος. Because the human λόγος is addressed by the Λόγος, beings as a whole constantly address the human, and the presence of the Λόγος in beings as a whole ceaselessly unfolds for him in his relation to them. Of course, these relations are not expressed thematically in early thinking. We today, however, are long accustomed to experiencing and interpreting the relation of the human to beings and being from out of the subject–object relation. This is why it remains difficult for us, in every sense, to elucidate the presence of the Λόγος pre-metaphysically. The Λόγος is the sheltering forgathering which, as the One, unites beings as a whole, thereby shining as being through beings as a whole, allowing this whole to appear in its light.

However, fragment 108 says of ‘the Λόγος’ that it is πάντων κεχωρισμένον, which means, according to the conventional translation and interpretation, that it


248    Logic: Heraclitus’s Doctrine of the Logos


Heraclitus (GA 55) by Martin Heidegger