PATHMARKS


ἄλγος, would first come to speak for us. Presumably, ἄλγος is related to ἀλέγω, which as the intensivum of λέγω means intimate gathering. In that case, pain would be that which gathers most intimately. Hegel's concept of the "concept" and, when correctly understood, the "strenuous effort" it entails say the Same on the transformed soil of the absolute metaphysics of subjectivity.

[233] That you have been led on other paths to the metaphysical relations between work and pain is a fine testimony to the fact that, in the manner of your metaphysical representing, you are attempting to hear the voice that becomes audible from out of those relations.

In what language does the fundamental outline of that thinking speak that prefigures a crossing of the line? Is the language of the metaphysics of the will to power, of Gestalt, and of values to be saved over beyond the critical line? What if the language of metaphysics and metaphysics itself, whether it is that of the living god or of the dead god, in fact constituted, as metaphysics, that limit which prevents a transition over the line, i.e., the overcoming of nihilism? If this were the case, would not crossing the line then necessarily have to become a transformation of our saying and demand a transformed relation to the essence of language? And is not your own relation to language of such a kind as to demand of you a different characterization of the conceptual language of the sciences? In frequently representing such language as nominalism, one continues to remain entangled in the logical-grammatical conception of the essence of language.

I write all this in the form of questions; for, as far as I can see, thinking can today do no more than to continually ponder what is evoked in the said questions. Perhaps the moment will come when the essence of nihilism wiU show itself more clearly in other ways and in a brighter light. Until that point, I remain content to presume that the only way in which we might reflect upon the essence of nihilism is by first setting out on a path that leads to a discussion of the essence [Wesen] of being. On this path alone can the question concerning the nothing be discussed. But the question concerning the essence of being dies off if it does not relinquish the language of metaphysics, because metaphysical representation prevents us from thinking the question concerning the essence of being.

[234] It ought to be evident that the transformation of that saying which gives thought to the essence of being is subject to other demands than exchanging an old terminology for a new one. The fact that an endeavor to undertake such transformation will presumably remain tentative for a long time to come is not an adequate reason for failing to do so. Today we are especially tempted to evaluate the thoughtfulness of thinking according to


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