146 • The Restriction of Being

For the capricious, life is just life. For them, death is death and only that. But the Being of life is also death. Everything that comes to life thereby already begins to die as well, to go toward its death, and death is also life. Heraclitus says (fragment 8): “What stands in opposition carries itself over here and over there, the one to the other, it gathers itself from itself.”37 What strives in opposition is gathering gatheredness, λόγος. The Being of all beings is what is most seemly <das Scheinendste>, that is, what is most beautiful, what is most constant in itself. What the Greeks meant by “beauty” is discipline. The gathering together [101|140] of the highest opposed striving is πόλεμος, struggle in the sense of the confrontation, the setting-apart-from-each-other <Aus-einander-setzung> that we have discussed. In contrast, for us today, the beautiful is the relaxing, what is restful and thus intended for enjoyment. Art then belongs in the domain of the pastry chef. Essentially it makes no difference whether the enjoyment of art serves to satisfy the refined taste of connoisseurs and aesthetes, or serves for the moral elevation of the mind. Ὄν and καλόν <“in being” and “beautiful”> say the same thing for the Greeks [coming to presence is pure seeming].38 Aesthetics is of a different opinion; it is as old as logic. For aesthetics, art is the display of the beautiful in the sense of the pleasant, the agreeable. And yet art is the opening up of the Being of beings. We must provide a new content for the word “art” and for what it intends to name, on the basis of a fundamental orientation to Being that has been won back in an original way.

37. A more conventional translation of the fragment is: “That which is opposed is in agreement, and from things that differ comes the most beautiful harmony.” Heidegger appears to be glossing only the opening of the fragment (to antixoun sumpheron). Etymologically, sumpheron means “carrying together,” and it can also mean “gathering.”

38. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

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