The Restriction of Being • 111

It would also be instructive to clarify the naming power of this word through the great poetry of the Greeks. Here it may be enough to indicate that for Pindar, for example, φυά5 is the fundamental characteristic of Dasein: τὸ δὲ φυά κράτιστον ἅπαν, that which is from and through φυά is wholly and fully the most powerful (Olympian Ode IX, 100); φυά means what one originally and authentically already is: that which essentially unfolds as having been <das Ge-Wesende>, in contrast to the subsequently forced and enforced contrivances and fabrications. Being is the fundamental characteristic of the noble and nobility (that is, what has and rests upon a high, essential provenance). In this connection, Pindar coins the phrase: γένοι’ οἷος ἐσσί μαθών (Pythian Ode II, 72): “may you come forth as the one who you are by learning.” But for the Greeks, standing-in-itself means nothing other than standing-there, standing-in-the-light. Being means appearing. Appearing does not mean something derivative, which from time to time meets up with Being. Being essentially unfolds as appearing.

With this, there collapses as an empty construction the widespread notion of Greek philosophy according to which it was supposedly a “realistic” doctrine of an objective Being, in contrast to modern subjectivism. This common notion is based on a superficial understanding. We must set aside terms such as “subjective” and “objective,” “realistic” and “idealistic.”

But now, given this more adequate grasp of how the Greeks understood Being, we must take the decisive step that will open up for us the inner connection between Being and seeming. We must attain insight into a connection that is originally and uniquely Greek, but which had profound consequences for the spirit of the West.

5. The word φυά is closely related to φύσις and can be used as a poetic equivalent to it.

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