110 • The Restriction of Being

The essence of seeming lies in appearing. It is self-showing, setting-itself-forth, standing-by, and lying-at-hand. The long-awaited book has now appeared—that is, it lies at hand, it is present at hand and available. We say the moon shines; this does not just mean that it has a shine, it casts a certain brightness, but that it stands in the heavens, it is present, it is. The stars shine: in glowing they come to presence. Seeming means exactly the same as Being here. [Sappho’s verse, ἄστερες μὲν ἀμφι κάλαν σελάνναν … and the poem by Matthias Claudius “Ein Wiegenlied bei Mondschein zu singen” offer a suitable opportunity to reflect on Being and seeming.]4

If we pay attention to what has been said, then we will discover the inner connection between Being and seeming. But we can grasp this connection fully only if we understand “Being” in a correspondingly original way, and here this means in a [77|108] Greek way. We know that Being opens itself up to the Greeks as φύσις. The emerging-abiding sway is in itself at the same time the seeming appearing. The roots φυ- and φα- name the same thing. Φύειν, the emerging that reposes in itself, is φαίνεσθαι, lighting-up, self-showing, appearing. The definite traits of Being that we have cited, if only as a list, and the results of our reference to Parmenides have already given us a certain understanding of the fundamental Greek word for Being.

4. In parentheses in the 1953 edition. See Sappho, Lobel and Page no. 34, in Greek Lyric, trans. David A. Campbell (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982), 83: “The stars hide away their shining form [εἶδος] around the lovely moon when in all her fullness she shines (over all) the earth”; Matthias Claudius (1740–1815), “Ein Wiegenlied bei Mondschein zu singen” (“A Lullaby to Sing by Moonlight”), in Sämtliche Werke (Munich: Winkler-Verlag [1968]), 75–77.

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