the Greeks would never have been able to see Apollo in a statue of a young man or, to put this in a better way, they would never have been able to see the statue in and through Apollo. There was a thought familiar to the old Greek thinkers, a thought that one all too crudely portrays thus: like is only known through like. What is meant is that what speaks to us only becomes perceivble through our response. Our hearing is in itself a responding. In the introduction to his Theory of Colors,29 Goethe refers to that Greek thought and sought to express it in German rhyme in the following manner.
Were not the eye a thing of sun,
How could we ever glimpse the light?
If in us God's own power'd not run
Could we in the divine delight?
It seems that up till today we have not yet sufficiently pondered what the sunliness of the eye consists of and where in us God's own power is to be found, to what extent both belong together and give the directive to a more profoundly thought human being, to humans who are the thinking creatures.
But here the following consideration suffices. Because our hearing and seeing is never a mere sensible registering, it is therefore also off the mark to insist that thinking as listening and bringing-into-view are only meant as a transposition of meaning, namely as transposing the supposedly sensible into the nonsensible. The idea of "transposing" and of metaphor is based upon the distinguishing, if not complete separation, of the sensible and the nonsensible as two realms that subsist on their own. The setting up of this partition between the sensible and nonsensible, between the physical and nonphysical is a basic trait of what is called metaphysics and which nonnatively determines Western thinking. Metaphysics loses the rank of the nonnative mode of thinking when one gains the insight that the above-mentioned partitioning of the sensible and nonsensible is insufficient.
When one gains the insight into the limitations of metaphysics, "metaphor" as a normative conception also becomes untenable-that is to say that metaphor is the norm for our conception of the essence of language. Thus metaphor serves as a handy crutch in the interpretation of works of poetry and of artistic production in general. The metaphorical exists only within metaphysics.
What's going on with these references that look more like digressions? They are intended to make us wary so that we don't precipitously take the talk of thinking as a listening and a bringing-into-view to be mere metaphors and thus take them too lightly. If our human-mortal hearing and viewing doesn't have its genuine element in mere sense reception, then it also can't be completely unheard of that what can be heard can at the same time be brought into view, if thinking views with an ear and hears with an eye. This son of thing happens