stood there in consternation — above all because he encouraged them, the astounded ones, and called to them to come in, with the words, "For here too the gods are present."

The story certainly speaks for itself, but we may stress a few aspects.

The group of foreign visitors, in their importunate curiosity about the thinker, are disappointed and perplexed by their first glimpse of his abode. They believe they should meet the thinker in circumstances that, contrary to the ordinary round of human life, everywhere bear traces of the exceptional and rare and so of the exciting. The group hopes that in their visit to the thinker they will find things that will provide material for entertaining conversation — at least for a while. The foreigners who wish to visit the thinker [186 {GA 9 355}] expect to catch sight of him perchance at that very moment when, sunk in profound meditation, he is thinking. The visitors want this "experience" not in order to be overwhelmed by thinking but simply so they can say they saw and heard someone everybody says is a thinker.

Instead of this the sightseers find Heraclitus by a stove. That is surely a common and insignificant place. True enough, bread is baked here. But Heraclitus is not even busy baking at the stove. He stands there merely to wann himself. In this altogether everyday place he betrays the entire poverty of his life. The vision of a shivering thinker offers little of interest. At this disappointing spectacle even the curious lose their desire to come any closer. What are they supposed to do here? Such an everyday and unexciting occurrence — somebody who is chilled warming himself at a stove — anyone can find any time at home. So why look up a thinker? The visitors are on the verge of going away again. Heraclitus reads the frustrated curiosity in their faces. He knows that for the crowd the failure of an expected sensation to materialize is enough to make those who have just arrived leave. He therefore encourages them. He invites them explicitly to come in with the words εἶναι γὰρ καὶ ἐνταῦθα θεούς, "Here too the gods come to presence."

This phrase places the abode (ἦθος) of the thinker and his deed in another light. Whether the visitors understood this phrase at once — or at all — and then saw everything differently in this other light the story does not say. But the story was told and has come down to us today because what it reports derives from and characterizes the atmosphere surrounding this thinker. καὶ ἐνταῦθα, "even here," at the stove, in that ordinary place where every thing and every circumstance, each deed and [187 {GA 9 356}] thought is intimate and commonplace, that is, familiar [geheuer], "even there" in the sphere of the familiar, εἶναι θεούς, it is the case that "the gods come to presence."