122 • The Restriction of Being

The one: how it is (what it, Being, is) and also how not Being (is) impossible.

This is the pathway of grounded trust, for it follows unconcealment.

But the other one: how it is not, and also how not-Being is necessary.

So this one, I declare, is a footpath that cannot be recommended at all,

for neither are you able to cultivate acquaintance with not

Being, for it cannot be brought near, nor can you declare it with words.17

Here, to begin, two paths are set out sharply against each other:

1. The path to Being, which at the same time is the path into unconcealment. This path is unavoidable. [85|119]

2. The path to not-Being; it cannot be traveled, of course, but precisely because of this, the path must be recognized as unviable, for it leads into not-Being. The fragment at the same time gives us the most ancient document in philosophy that shows that, together with the path of Being, the path of Nothing must expressly be considered, that it is consequently a misunderstanding of the question about Being if one turns one’s back on Nothing with the assurance that Nothing obviously is not. (That Nothing is not a being, however, by no means prevents it from belonging to Being in its own manner.)

But meditation on the two paths mentioned entails a confrontation with a third, a path that runs counter to the first in its own manner.

17. A more conventional translation would have “truth” instead of “unconcealment”; “is wholly unknowable” instead of “cannot be recommended at all”; and “is impracticable” instead of “cannot be brought near.” This fragment is numbered 2 in later editions of Diels and Kranz’s Fragmente der Vorsokratiker.

Page generated by IntroMetaSteller.EXE