solely upon Heraclitus, but also ponders what the other two early thinkers, Anaximander and Parmenides, say about the being of beings. All of this cannot be presented here. However, it is the case that two other sayings by Heraclitus are cited, sayings that, while they may appear similar to fragment 108 in their language and content, what is thought in them seems to point to other perspectives.
We now consider fragment 72. Incidentally, it should be remarked that we use the term ‘fragment’ solely in deference to the conventional designation. In this case, ‘fragment’ is the designation for a philological and literary term. Otherwise, as happened in the earlier lectures,6 the words of Heraclitus’s cited in each case would be named a ‘saying.’ Given this, we must surely take care not to treat the thoughtful sayings of Heraclitus’s as a form of ‘aphorism.’
By considering the guiding notion of saying 72, we will try to gain some clarity for ourselves regarding how and in what sense the Λόγος, according to the knowledge granted by Heraclitus, is constantly present to the human, while being at the same time for the most part absent. To this strange presence of the Λόγος, humans correspond through their own, strange relation to the Λόγος. Humans are toward the Λόγος in an exceptional way: they are the most turned toward it. At the same time, however, they are turned away from it, insofar as they rend themselves asunder from that toward which they are most turned. The saying states this in its first part:
ὧι μάλιστα διηνεκῶς ὁμιλοῦσι λόγωι τούτωι διαφέρονται …
That to which they are most turned in a manner of bearing—namely, the Λόγος—is precisely that from which they rend themselves asunder.
6 See The Inception of Occidental Thinking in this volume.