The Restriction of Being • 155

The statement says nothing directly about human beings, certainly nothing about the human being as subject, and nothing whatsoever about a subject that absorbs everything objective into something merely subjective. The statement says the opposite of all that: Being holds sway, but because it holds sway and insofar as it holds sway and appears, apprehending also necessarily happens along with appearance. But if human beings have a part in the happening of this appearance and apprehending, then they must themselves be, they must belong to Being. But then the essence and the manner of Being-human can be determined only on the basis of the essence of Being.

Furthermore, if appearing belongs to Being as φύσις, then the human, as a being, must belong to this appearing. And since Being-human amid beings as a whole manifestly constitutes our own distinctive way of Being, the distinctiveness of Being-human grows from its own way of belonging to Being as the appearing that holds sway. But now, insofar as apprehending belongs to [107|148] such appearing, the apprehending that takes in what shows itself, one may presume that this is precisely the basis for determining the essence of Being-human. Thus, when we interpret this statement of Parmenides, we must not proceed by reading some subsequent, or even some present-day representation of Being-human into the statement. To the contrary, the statement must first give us directions of its own accord—directions as to how Being-human is determined in accordance with the statement, that is, in accordance with the essence of Being.

Who the human being is, according to the word of Heraclitus, first comes forth (ἔδειξε, shows itself) in the πόλεμος, in the disjunction of gods and human beings, in the happening of the irruption of Being itself.44 Who the human being is—for philosophy, the answer to this problem is not inscribed somewhere in heaven.

44. See Heraclitus, fragment 53.

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