Lecture Five [71-72]

belongs to the genuine and great mystics. This is also true. Meister Eckehart proves it.

The second verse in the saying of Angelus Silesius reads:

It pays no attention to itself, asks not whether it is seen.

The first part of the second verse tells us how the "without" in the first pan of the first verse is to be understood: the rose is a rose without its having to pay any attention to itself. It doesn't need to expressly take itself into consideration. Because of the way in which the rose is, it is not in need of expressly considering itself, and that means of considering all that belongs to it, inasmuch as it determines the rose, which means, founds it . It blooms because it blooms. An attention to grounds does not insert itself in between its blooming and the grounds for blooming, thanks to which grounds could first be as grounds. Angelus Silesius does not want to deny that the blooming of the rose has a ground. It blooms because—it blooms. Contrary to this, in order to be in the essential possibilities of their existence, humans must pay attention to what grounds are determinative for them, and how they are so. But the fragment of Angelus Silesius does not speak about this, indeed because he has something still more concealed in mind. The grounds that essentially determine humans as having a Geschick stem from the essence of grounds. Therefore these grounds are abysmal [22] (cf. what is said below about the other tonality of the principle of reason). But blooming happens to the rose inasmuch as it is absorbed in blooming and pays no attention to what, as some other thing—namely, as cause and condition of the blooming—could first bring about this blooming. It does not first need the ground of its blooming to be expressly rendered to it. It is another matter when it comes to humans. How humans relate to grounds comes to light in the second verse of the fragment.

Here is what is said about the rose:

It pays no attention to itself, asks not whether it is seen.

Humans live so differently from the rose that, as they go about doing things in their world, they glance sidelong at what the world makes and requires of them. But even where such sidelong glancing is absent, we humans cannot come to be who we are without attending to the world that determines us—an attending in which we at the same time attend to ourselves. The rose has no need of this. Thought from the point of view of Leibniz, this means that in order for the rose to bloom, it does not need reasons rendered in which its blooming is grounded. The rose is a rose without a reddere rationem, a rendering of reasons, having to belong to its rose-being. Nevertheless the rose is never without a ground.

The Principle of Reason (GA 10) by Martin Heidegger