Only so far as the human being, ek-sisting into the truth of being, belongs to being can there come from being itself the assignment of those directives that must become law and rule for human beings. In Greek, to assign is νέμειν. νάμος is not only law but more originally the assignment contained in the dispensation of being. Only this assignment is capable of enjoining humans into being. Only such enjoining is capable of supporting and obligating. Otherwise all law remains merely something fabricated by human reason. More essential than instituting rules is that human beings find the way to their abode in the truth of being. This abode first yields the experience of something we can hold on to. The truth of being offers a hold for all conduct. "Hold" in our language means protective heed. Being is the protective heed that holds the human being in his ek-sistent essence to the truth of such protective heed — in such a way that it houses ek-sistence .in language. Thus language is at once the house of being and the home of the human essence. Only because language is the home of the essence of the human being can historical humankind and human beings not be at home in their language, so that for them language becomes a mere container for their sundry preoccupations.

But now in what relation does the thinking of being stand to theoretical and practical comportment? It exceeds all contemplation because it cares for the light in which a seeing, as theoria, can first live and move. Thinking attends to the clearing of being in that it puts its saying of being into language as the home of eksistence. Thus thinking is a deed. But a deed that also surpasses all praxis. Thinking permeates action and production, not through the grandeur of its achievement and not as a consequence of [192 {GA 9 361}] its effect, but through the humbleness of its inconsequential accomplishment.

For thinking in its saying merely brings the unspoken word of being to language.

The usage "bring to language" employed here is now to be taken quite literally. Being comes, clearing itself, to language. It is perpetually under way to language. Such arriving in its tum brings ek-sisting thought to language in its saying. Thus language itself is raised into the clearing of being. Language thus is only in this mysterious and yet for us always pervasive way. To the extent that language that has thus been brought fully into its essence is historical, being is entrusted to recollection. Ek-sistence thoughtfully dwells in the house of being. In all this it is as if nothing at all happens through thoughtful saying.

But just now an example of the inconspicuous deed of thinking manifested itself. For to the extent that we expressly think the usage "bring to


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Letter on Humanism - Pathmarks