ANAXIMANDER'S SAYING


government. This same defiant man is incapable of saying simply what is; of saying what this is, that a thing is.

The totality of beings is the single object of a singular will to conquer. The simplicity of being is buried under a singular oblivion.

What mortal can fathom the abyss of this confusion? In the face of this abyss one can try to shut one's eyes. One can erect one illusion after another. The abyss does not retreat.

Theories of nature, doctrines about history, do not remove the confusion. They further confuse things until they are unrecognizable, since they themselves are nourished by the confusion which surrounds the difference between beings and being.

Is there any rescue? It comes first and only when the danger is. The danger is when being itself reaches its extremity and when the oblivion which issues from being itself turns about.a

But what if being, in its essence, needs to use [braucht] the essence of man? What if the essence of man rests in thinking the truth of being?

Then thinking must poeticize on the enigma of being. It brings the dawn of thought into proximity to that which is to be thought.


a First edition, 1950. The set-up [das Gestell] as the utmost oblivion and, at the same time, an intimation of the Event.


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