The Restriction of Being • 183

they wrested for themselves the fundamental requirement for true historical greatness.

The essence of Being-human, as thus experienced and placed back poetically into its ground, remains closed off to understanding in its character as a mystery if understanding hastily takes refuge in some moral appraisal.

The evaluation of Being-human as overweening and audacious, in the derogatory sense, takes humanity out of the urgency of its essence, namely, to be the in-cident. Such an appraisal posits the human being as something present at hand, deposits this thing into an empty space, and appraises it according to some table of values that is attached to it externally. But it is the same sort of misunderstanding to suppose that the poet’s [126|173] saying is actually an implicit rejection of this Being-human, that it covertly recommends a nonviolent resignation in the sense of the cultivation of undisturbed comfort. This opinion could even find some justification in the conclusion of the ode.

One who is in this way [namely, as the uncanniest]69 should be excluded from hearth and counsel. Nevertheless, the chorus’s concluding words do not contradict what it previously says about Being-human. Insofar as the chorus turns against the uncanniest, it says that this manner of Being is not the everyday one. Such Dasein cannot be discerned in just any ordinary activity and conduct. These concluding words are so unsurprising that we would have to be surprised if they were missing. In their defensive attitude, they are the direct and complete confirmation of the uncanniness of the human essence. With the concluding words, the saying of the ode swings back into its inception.

69. In parentheses in the 1953 edition.

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