OFF THE BEATEN TRACK


The setting up of a world and the setting forth of earth are two essential traits belonging to the work-being of the work. Within the unity of that work-being, however, they belong together.a This unity is what we seek when we reflect on the self-sufficiency of the work and try to express in words the closed, unitary repose of this resting-in-itself.

But, in the essential traits just mentioned, if our account is anywhere near the mark, what we have made visible in the work is by no means a repose but rather a happening: for what is rest if not the opposite of movement? It is, at any rate, not an opposite which excludes, but rather one which includes movement. Only what moves can rest. The mode of rest is determined by the mode of movement. In motion that is the mere change of place of a body, rest is, admittedly, only the limiting case of motion. When rest includes motion, there can be a rest which is an inner collection of motion. Such rest is, therefore, a state of extreme agitation - presupposing that the kind of motion in question requires such rest. The repose of the work that rests in itself is, however, of this sort. We will come, therefore, into the proximity of this repose if we can manage to grasp the movement of the happening in the work-being of the work as a unity. We ask: what relationship do the setting up of a world and the setting forth of the earth exhibit in the work itself?

The world is the self-opening openness of the broad paths of simple and essential decisions in the destiny of a historical people. The earth is the unforced coming forth of the continually self-closing, and in that way, self-sheltering. World and earth are essentially different and yet never separated from one another. World is grounded on earth, and earth rises up through world. But the relation between world and earth never atrophies into the empty unity of opposites unconcerned with one another. In its resting upon earth the world strives to surmount it. As the self-opening it will tolerate nothing closed. As the sheltering and concealing, however, earth tends always to draw the world into itself and to keep it there.

The opposition of world and earth is strife. We would, to be sure, all too easily falsify the essence of the strife were we to conflate that essence with discord and dispute, and to know it, therefore, only as disruption and destruction. In essential strife, however, the opponents raise each other into the self-assertion [Selbstbehauptung] of their essences. This self-assertion of essence is, however, never a rigid fixation on some condition that happens to be the case, but rather a surrendering into the hidden originality of the


a Fifth edition, 1957. Only here? Or here, rather, only in the mode of construction?


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