The Restriction of Being • 157

and psychology or epistemology. This happens even if we do not explicitly invoke such representations.

Apprehending and what Parmenides’s statement says about [108|149] it is not a faculty of the human being, who is otherwise already defined; instead, apprehending is a happening <Geschehen> in which humanity itself happens, and in which humanity itself thus first enters history <Geschichte> as a being, first appears, that is [in the literal sense]46 itself comes to Being.

Apprehending is not a way of behaving that the human being has as a property; to the contrary, apprehending is the happening that has the human being. Thus, Parmenides always simply speaks only of νοεῖν, apprehending. What is fulfilled in this saying is nothing less than the knowing entrance-into-appearance of the human being as historical (preserver of Being).47 This saying is the determination of Being-human that is definitive for the West, and just as decisively, it contains an essential characterization of Being. In the belonging-together of Being and the human essence, their disjunction comes to light. The separation between “Being and thinking,” which has long since become pale, empty, and rootless, no longer allows us to recognize its origin unless we go back to its inception.

The type and direction of the opposition between Being and thinking are so unique because here the human being comes face to face with Being. This happening is the knowing appearance of humanity as historical. Only after humanity became familiar as such a being was the human being then also “defined” in a concept, namely as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον, animal rationale, rational living thing.

46. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

47. The word Verwahrer (preserver) carries an important echo of wahr (true, unconcealed) that is lost in translation. It has the sense of someone who “holds true” or “proves true” to something that manifestly demands preservation.

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