(ἀληθές) have an eminent relation to ἔπος, μῦθος, λόγος, i.e., to the word. Saying and legend are essentially related to φαίνομενον, to that which shows itself in unconcealedness. The disclosive utterance in an assertion is therefore still for Aristotle ἀποφαίνεσθαι—a bringing into appearance. Instead of ἀποφαίνεσθαι Aristotle often says, as did Plato and the earlier philosophers, δηλοῦν—to place into the open.1 In speaking of unconcealedness (ἀλήθεια), φύσις (emergence into the unconcealed), φαίνεσθαι (appearing and letting appear), κρύπτεσθαι (concealing), and λανθάνειν (being-hidden), what is always named, though for the most part only incidentally, is τὸ δῆλον, that which stands out into the open and therefore is the open.
The essence of unconcealedness provides a directive toward the open and openness. But what are these? Here the Greeks are silent. We find ourselves without support or assistance when it becomes necessary to reflect on the essence of the open pervading ἀλήθεια. This reflection will seem strange to the ordinary view, especially because it shows that the open is by no means first and only a result or consequence of disclosure but is itself the ground and the essential beginning of unconcealedness. For, to disclose, i.e., to let appear in the open, can only be accomplished by what gives in advance this open and thus is in itself self-opening and thereby is essentially open, or as we may also say, is of itself already "free." The still concealed essence of the open as the primordial self-opening is "freedom."
By identifying openness with freedom we are linking it with something familiar and thus seem to be making the essence of the open comprehensible. But in fact this is mere semblance, and is even doubly so, insofar as the "identification" of openness and freedom, correctly thought of, grounds a still obscure openness in the essence of freedom, the origin of which is in turn equally obscure. In all metaphysics, the essence of "freedom" is understood in essential relation to the "will" and the freedom of the will is understood as the distinguishing mark of a power of the soul i.e., understood in terms of human comportment. But for us now it is a question of thinking the essence of freedom in essential unity with the most primordial concept of ἀλήθεια, and indeed with a view to elucidating the essence of the open. Thereby we might grasp the freedom man must first attain, in accord with his essence, if he is to be able to let beings be in the open what they are as beings.
The free is the guarantee, the sheltering place, for the Being of beings. The open, as the free, shelters and salvages Being. We ordinarily think of the open, the free, and the vast as conditions of scattering, dispersion, and distraction. The open and its extension into the vastness of the
1 Cf. Sein und Zeit, §7, which has to be thought in conjunction with §44