The Restriction of Being • 125

The way to Being is unavoidable.

The way to Nothing is inaccessible.

The way to seeming is always accessible and traveled, but it can be bypassed.


So the man who truly knows is not the one who blindly runs after a truth, but only the one who constantly knows all three ways, that of Being, that of not-Being, and that of seeming. Superior knowing—and all knowing is superiority—is granted only to one who has experienced the sweeping storm on the way of Being, to whom the terror of the second way to the abyss of Nothing has not remained foreign, and who has still taken over the third way, the way of seeming, as a constant and urgent need.

To this knowing belongs what the Greeks in their great age called τόλμα: to dare everything with Being, not-Being, and seeming all at once, that is, to raise Dasein above itself into the de-cision about Being, not-Being, and seeming. On the basis of this fundamental orientation to Being, one of their greatest poets, Pindar (Nemean Ode III, 70), says: ἐν δὲ πείρᾳ τέλος διαφαίνεται: [87|121] in the daring test in the midst of beings, fulfillment makes itself manifest, the delimitation of what has been brought to stand and has come to stand, that is, Being.20

Here speaks the same fundamental orientation that shines forth from the saying of Heraclitus we have cited about πόλεμος <fragment 53>. Con-frontation, that is, not mere quarreling and feuding but the strife of the striving, sets the essential and the unessential, the high and the low, into their limits and makes them manifest.


20. Conventional translation: “In the test, the end shines through.”


Introduction to Metaphysics, 2nd ed. (GA 40) by Martin Heidegger

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