§8 Significance of dis-closure [209-211]

and conceal in oneself. This is the way χρόνος, "time," conceals. "Time" is primordially for the Greeks in every case only the "right" or "wrong" time, the appropriate or inappropriate time. That means each being has its time. "Time" is in every case the "time in which" this or that occurs; i.e., it is the "time point," which does not mean the "punctual now" but "point" in the sense of the place, the locality, to which an appearance in its appearing belongs temporally at any "time." "Time" is here not a "series" or "sequence" of indifferent "now-points." Instead, time is something that in its way bears beings, releasing them and taking them back.

"Time" understood in the Greek manner, χρόνος, corresponds in essence to τόπος, which we erroneously translate as "space." Τόπος is place, and specifically that place to which something appertains, e.g., fire and flame and air up, water and earth below. Just as τόπος orders the appurtenance of a being to its dwelling place, so χρόνος regulates the appurtenance of the appearing and disappearing to their destined "then" and "when." Therefore time is called μακρός, "broad," in view of its capacity, indeterminable by man and always given the stamp of the current time. to release beings into appearance or hold them back. Since time has its essence in this letting appear and taking back, number has no power in relation to it. That which dispenses to all beings their time of appearance and disappearance withdraws essentially from all calculation.

The fact that the Greek god who is older than the highest of the Olympic gods. the "ancient father" of Zeus. is called "Chronos," "time," can be appreciated by us only if we realize that the Greek divinities consist in general in a looking and appearing and that "time" is what lets appear and conceals. In the securing essence of the immemorial god "Chronos" repose the "ancient friends" from whom "all power arises" (Hölderlin, "Nature and art, or Saturn and Jupiter," IV, 47).1 So the primordial essence of time is essentially remote from number, from calculation, and from all "artifices": ἀναρίθμητος.

Admittedly, already among the Greeks, in Aristotle's Physics, the essence of time was understood precisely on the basis of "number" That is certainly food for thought, above all because the Aristotelian determination of the essence of χρόνος has dominated the Western understanding of time ever since. Not only in the mathematical formulae of modern physics but in general in all human comportment towards time, time becomes a "factor," i.e. a "worker," that "works" either "against" or "for" man, namely "against" or in "favor" of the calculation by means of which man makes plans to master beings and secure himself in them. In modern terms, time is something man takes into account, and precisely

1 Cf. Hölderlin WW (Hellingrath). IV. p 47

Martin Heidegger (GA 54) Parmenides