§6 Hidden counter-essence [146-148]

ἐπειδὴ οὗ ἐκβῆναι, τὴν ψυχὴν πορεύεσθαι μετὰ πολλῶν, καὶ ἀφικνεῖσθαι σφᾶς εἰς τόπον τινὰ δαιμόνιον,

his "soul," after it was elevated from the here, went with many (others) on a journey, and they arrived then at some kind of—as we say—"demonic" place; and there were two chasms (χάσματα—χάος, openings) in the earth next to one another, and there were also two others (openings) in the sky opposite to each other. δικασταί were pointing toward order but were sitting between these gaping openings in the earth and in heaven. To Er, the brave warrior, the pointing ones gave the task to become ἄγγελον ἀνθρώποις γενέσθαι τῶν ἐκεῖ (614d2), a messenger to men about "the there." Hence it was necessary for him ἀκούειν τε καὶ θεᾶσθαι πάντα τὰ ἐν τῷ τόπῳ (614d3)—to hear as well as to see everything in that place, a place said to be δαιμόνιος.

d) Ψυχή: the ground of a relation to beings. The thinker's knowledge of the daimonia. Reference to Aristotle and Hegel. Δαιμόνιον: the presence of the uncanny, the extraordinary, in the ordinary. The δαίμονες, the ones who point to and indicate what is ordinary.

Here we need to clarify what ψυχή means and what δαιμόνιον means. Ψυχή is the "soul"—that is the correct translation, just as we translate ἀλήθεια by "truth" and ψεῦδος by "falsity." But in fact the word ψυχή cannot be translated. If we try to clarify it by saying it means the essence of what is alive, the question immediately arises as to how the essence of "life" in the Greek sense is to be thought. Ψυχή refers to the ground and mode of a relation to beings. A relation of the living thing to beings, and thereby also a relation to itself, can exist: in that case the living thing must have the word—λόγον ἔχον—because Being only reveals itself in the word. It is also possible for the relation of something alive to beings not to exist: the ζῷον, the living thing, is alive nevertheless, but it is then ζῷον ἄλογον, a living thing without the word: e.g., an animal or a plant. The way a living thing is posited in relation to beings and therewith also in relation to itself, the being-posited, thus understood, into the unconcealed, the position in Being of a living thing, that is the essence of the "soul"; it has arrived at a τόπος τις δαιμόνιος.

If we render δαιμόνιος as "demonic," we obviously remain close to the word and apparently do not translate at all. In truth, it is precisely a "translation" when we "transport" the Greek δαιμόνιον into an undetermined or half-determined representation of the "demonic." "Demons" are for us "evil spirits"—in Christian thought, "the devil" and his cohorts. The demonic is then equivalent to the devilish in the sense of the Christian belief in, and profession of, the devil, or, on the other hand, in the correlated sense of an enlightened morality, where the

Martin Heidegger (GA 54) Parmenides