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Philosophy carries on this way, as if there were nothing at all here to be questioned.

That thinking hitherto nonetheless consists in representing and representing in representation has its own long lineage [Herkunft]. This lineage conceals itself in an inconspicuous event [unscheinbarem Ereignis]: the being of what-is appears at the beginning and for the whole course of Western history as presence [Präsenz], as presencing [Anwesen]. This appearing of being as the presencing of what presences is itself the beginning of Western history, granted that we do not only represent history [die Geschichte] according to incidents [die Geschehnisse],36 but rather think it beforehand according to that which is destined [geschickt] in advance by history and prevails throughout everything that happens [alles Geschehende].

Being means [heißt] presencing. This easily enunciated fundamental trait of being, presencing, now becomes mysterious, however, in the moment that we awaken and attend [not to] what we call presence [Anwesenheit] [but] to that to which our thinking refers [it].37

What presences is what endures [Währendes], which enters into unconcealment and essences within it. Presencing only takes place [ereignet sich] where unconcealment already prevails. But what presences is present [gegenwärtig] insofar as it endures into [hereinwährt] unconcealment

Therefore, not only unconcealment but also the present [Gegenwart] belong to presencing. This present that prevails in presencing is an aspect of time – one whose essence, however, never admits of being grasped by the traditional concept of time.

In being, which has appeared as presencing, the unconcealment that prevails in it nevertheless remains unthought in the same way [gleiche Weise] as the essence of the present that prevails in it and time. Presumably, unconcealment and the present as the essence of time belong together. To the extent that we perceive what-is in its being, insofar as, to say it in a modern manner, we represent objects in their objectivity, are we already [bereits] thinking? We have thought in such a way for a long time. But all the same we are not yet thinking



36 Third edition, 1967: Representation and reflection

37 [Syntax rearranged for clarity.]


What Does Thinking Mean? - Lectures and Essays (GA 7)