Lecture Seven [95-96]

In a certain sense these points are well taken, but they do not justify our holding the path traversed till now as being unnecessary. To what extent would we have been able to bring forward immediately, at the beginning of the lecture course, the principle in the other tonality after only a short introduction of the principle of reason in the ordinary tonality? To the extent that the second tonality is not derived from the first. The second tonality rings out on its own without having any support in the first tonality. The change of tonality is sudden. Behind the change in tonality is concealed a leap of thinking. Without a bridge, that is, without the steadiness of a progression, the leap brings thinking into another realm and into another manner of speaking. Therefore, we admit that the course of the previous sessions did not chart a transition from the realm of the principle of reason into the realm of a principle of being.

As was frequently and intentionally noted, we followed detours around the principle of reason. These detours have brought us closer to the leap. Of course these detours can not replace the leap, much less execute it. But in a certain regard they have their place, namely, as a preparation for the leap. Therefore, let us now briefly recall the main points we came upon on the detour around the principle of reason. They are five in number. Recalling the five main points is intended to do more than report on what has already been said. Recalling them is intended to afford us a view into the inner connection of the five main points. This inner connection points to something unitary and unique upon [an] which we must think [denken] after the leap. In fact, we only reach such a recollective thinking-upon [Andenken] through the leap. With this it will then become noticeably clearer to what extent the leap from the principle of reason into the principle of being was prepared by what we have gone through up till now.

The path of the previous sessions leads us to and through a field which the leap needs for the leap-off. The leap itself hangs in the air. In what air, in what ether? We only learn this through the leap. The principle of reason is not only a principle in the sense of a supreme fundamental principle. The principle [Satz] of reason is a Satz in the eminent sense of being a leap. [The German] language knows the form of speech: With a vault, that is, with a sudden leap he was out the door. The principle of reason is a vault into the essence of being in the sense of such a leap. We really ought not any longer say the principle of reason is a principle of being; rather, we should say that the principle of reason is a leap into being qua being, that is, qua ground/reason.

The first of the five main points was fleetingly touched upon when we were talking about the incubation period of the principle of reason. What the principle of reason states in its ordinary formulation has in some fashion always resounded in Western thought. Yet measured historiographically, two thousand three hundred years were needed until the principle of reason came to light and let itself be set up as a fundamental principle. Our reference to the unusual incubation