such habituation in spite of his otherwise original grasp of pre-Socratic philosophy.

In the popular view, and according to the common notion, Nietzsche is the revolutionary figure who negated, destroyed, and prophesied. To be sure, all that belongs to the image we have of him. Nor is it merely a role that he played, but an innermost necessity of his time. But what is essential in the revolutionary is not that he overturns as such; it is rather that in overturning he brings to light what is decisive and essential. In philosophy that happens always when those few momentous questions are raised. When he thinks "the most difficult thought" at the "peak of the meditation," Nietzsche thinks and meditates on Being, that is, on will to power as eternal recurrence. What does that mean, taken quite broadly and essentially? Eternity, not as a static "now," nor as a sequence of "nows" rolling off into the infinite, but as the "now" that bends back into itself: what is that if not the concealed essence of Time? Thinking Being, will to power, as eternal return, thinking the most difficult thought of philosophy, means thinking Being as Time. Nietzsche thinks that thought but does not think it as the question of Being and Time. Plato and Aristotle also think that thought when they conceive Being as ousia (presence), but just as little as Nietzsche do they think it as a question.

If we do ask the question, we do not mean to suggest that we are cleverer than both Nietzsche and Western philosophy, which Nietzsche "only" thinks to its end. We know that the most difficult thought of philosophy has only become more difficult, that the peak of the meditation has not yet been conquered and perhaps not yet even discovered at all.

If we bring Nietzsche's "will to power," that is, his question concerning the Being of beings, into the perspective of the question concerning "Being and Time," that does not at all mean that Nietzsche's work is to be related to a book entitled Being and Time and that it is to be measured and interpreted according to the contents of that book. Being and Time can be evaluated only by the extent to which it is equal or unequal to the question it raises. There is no standard other than the question itself; only the question, not the book, is essential. Furthermore,