The Third Directive [177-179]

The water of the river flowing in the field of λήθη eludes all containment and itself effectuates only the one withdrawal letting everything escape and thus concealing everything. After passage through the δαιμόνιος τόπος, everyone who is to begin again a journey on the earth must first drink from the water of the river "Carefree," and precisely a certain amount: μέτρον μὲν οὖν τι τοῦ ὕδατος πᾶσιν ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι πιεῖν, "It is necessary for everyone to drink a certain amount of this water" (621a6f.). Everyone going through the mortal journey on earth is on the earth and in the midst of beings in such a way that on account of this drink there hold sway a concealment and a withdrawal of beings, so that a being only is insofar as at the same time and in opposition to this concealment and this withdrawal there also prevails an unconcealedness in which the unconcealed is conserved. By this drink, taken in measure, the man returning to earth carries an essential belongingness to the domain of the essence of concealment. All dwell to a certain degree within the essential region of concealment—τοὺς δὲ φρονήσει μὴ σῳζομένους πλέον πίνειν τοῦ μέτρου "But the ones who were not saved by insight drank more than the measure" (621a7f.). Φρόνησις here means the insight of the intuition that looks into what is properly intuitable and unconcealed.

The look-into meant here is the looking of the gaze into the essence, i.e., the gaze of "philosophy." Φρόνησις here means the same as "philosophy," and that title means. to have sight for what is essential. He who can look in such a way is a σῳζόμενος, a saved one, "saved" namely in the relation of Being to man. The word σῴζειν, like φρόνησις and φιλοσοφία, is an essential word The Greek thinkers speak of σῴζειν τὰ φαινόμενα—"to save what appears"; that means to conserve and to preserve in unconcealedness what shows itself as what shows itself and in the way it shows itself-that is, against the withdrawal into concealment and distortion He who in this fashion saves (conserves and preserves) the appearing, saves it into the unconcealed, is himself saved for the unconcealed and conserved for it. The ones, however, who are not like that, who thus lack the gaze into the essence, are ἄνευ φιλοσοφίας, "without philosophy." "Philosophy" is accordingly not a mere dealing with universal concepts on the part of thinking, to which one can dedicate oneself or not without there occurring anything essential. Philosophy means to be addressed by Being itself. Philosophy is in itself the basic mode in which man comports himself to beings in the midst of beings. Men who lack philosophy are without insight. They deliver themselves over to what happens to appear and likewise to what happens to disappear. They are at the mercy of the withdrawal and the concealment of beings. They drink beyond the measure of the water of the river "Carefree." They are the careless ones, who feel content with the thoughtlessness that has withdrawn from