Time and Being

The following lecture calls for a few words of introduction. If we were to be shown right now two pictures by Paul Klee, in the original, which he painted in the year of his death—the watercolor "Saints from a Window," and "Death and Fire," tempera on burlap—we should want to stand before them for a long while—and should abandon any claim that they be immediately intelligible.

If it were possible right now to have Georg Trakl's poem "Septet of Death"· recited to us, perhaps even by the poet himself, we should want to hear it often, and should abandon any claim that it be immediately intelligible.

If Werner Heisenberg right now were to present some of his thoughts in theoretical physics, moving in the direction of the cosmic formula for which he is searching, two or three people in the audience, at most, would be able to follow him, while the rest of us would, without protest, abandon any claim that he be immediately intelligible.

Not so with the thinking that is called philosophy. That thinking is supposed to offer "worldly wisdom" and perhaps even be a "Way to the Blessed Life." But it might be that this kind of thinking is today placed in a position which demands of it reflections