The Third Directive [88-89]

relations. They do not manifest the pre-eminent level of the essence of concealment. It is already more essential to say (Odyssey, III, 16) that the earth shelters the dead. The Iliad, XXIII, 244, speaks of Ἄϊδι κεύθωμαι, of being ensconced in Hades. Here the earth itself and the subterranean come into relation with sheltering and concealing. The essential connection between death and concealment is starting to appear. For the Greeks, death is not a "biological" process, any more than birth is. Birth and death take their essence from the realm of disclosiveness and concealment. Even the earth receives its essence from this same realm. The earth is the in-between, namely between the concealment of the subterranean and the luminosity, the disclosiveness, of the supraterranean (the span of heaven, οὐρανός). For the Romans, on the contrary, the earth, tellus, terra, is the dry, the land as distinct from the sea; this distinction differentiates that upon which construction, settlement, and installation are possible from those places where they are impossible. Terra becomes territorium, land of settlement as realm of command. In the Roman terra can be heard an imperial accent, completely foreign to the Greek γαῖα and γῆ.

The Greek words κρύπτειν and κρύπτεσθαι (whence crypta and crypt) mean sheltering concealment. Κρύπτειν applies above all to νύξ, the night. Similarly, day and night in general manifest the events of disclosure and concealment. Since to the Greeks everything that is arises, most basically, out of the essence of concealment and unconcealedness, they therefore speak of νύξ and οὐρανός, the night and the light of day, when they want to express the beginning of all that is. What is said in that way is what is primordially to be said. It is authentic legend, the primordial word. Μῦθος is the Greek for the word that expresses what is to be said before all else. The essence of μῦθος is thus determined on the basis of ἀλήθεια. It is μῦθος that reveals, discloses, and lets be seen; specifically, it lets be seen what shows itself in advance and in everything as that which presences in all "presence." Only where the essence of the word is grounded in ἀλήθεια, hence among the Greeks, only where the word so grounded as pre-eminent legend pervades all poetry and thinking, hence among the Greeks, and only where poetry and thinking are the ground of the primordial relation to the concealed, hence among the Greeks, only there do we find what bears the Greek name μῦθος, "myth." The proposition that there is only one myth, namely the μῦθος of the Greeks, can hardly be expressed, because it expresses something far too self-evident, just as is the case with the proposition that there is only a fiery fire. But "myth" does of course have to do with the gods. "Mythology" is about "the gods." Certainly. But if we ask what is meant here by "gods," the answer is that it refers to the "Greek gods." Yet it is not sufficient to use the single God of Christianity as the measure and then point out that the

Martin Heidegger (GA 54) Parmenides