126 • The Restriction of Being

What is an inexhaustible source of wonder is not only the mature sureness of this fundamental orientation to Being, but also the richness of its formation in word and stone.

We conclude our elucidation of the opposition—and this also means the unity—of Being and seeming with a saying of Heraclitus (fragment 123): φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ: Being [emerging appearance]21 intrinsically inclines toward self-concealment.22 Being means: to appear in emerging, to step forth out of concealment—and for this very reason, concealment and the provenance from concealment essentially belong to Being. Such provenance lies in the essence of Being, of what appears as such. Being remains inclined toward concealment, whether in great veiling and silence, or in the most superficial distorting and obscuring. The immediate proximity of φύσις and κρύπτεσθαι reveals the intimacy of Being and seeming as the strife between them.

If we understand the formulaic phrase “Being and seeming” in the undiminished force of the separation for which the Greeks inceptively struggled, then we can understand not only how Being differs from and is delimited against seeming, but also how Being and seeming intrinsically belong to the separation between “Being and becoming.” What maintains itself in becoming is, on the one hand, no longer Nothing, but on the other hand it is not yet what it is destined to be. In accordance with this “no longer and not yet,” becoming remains shot through with not-Being. However, it is not a pure Nothing, but no longer this and not yet that, and as such, it is constantly something else. So now it looks like this, now it looks like that. It offers an intrinsically inconstant view.


21. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

22. Conventional translation: “Nature loves to hide.”


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

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