The Principle of Reason [96-98]
period of the principle of reason included the following question: "Where and how did the principle of reason sleep for so long and presciently dream what was unthought in it?" We let the question go without an answer.
But now we are already looking, even if still vaguely, in the direction from which an answer can come. Namely, if the principle of reason is a principle of being, then the incubation of the principle of reason is connected with what the principle in truth says, namely, that being is really still sleeping. With this we in no way mean to say that there was no being during the incubation period of the principle of reason. The history of Ancient and Medieval metaphysics testifies to the fact that being has always already come to light in the questioning of beings as such. What we said about the sleeping of being means to say that being as such has not yet awakened so that It looks upon us from out of its wakened essence. So long as the essence of being withdraws, we also cannot bring into view what it presciently dreamed. However, if we experience the principle of reason in the sense of a leap into being as such, then we are afforded another perspective. What we called the incubation period of the principle of reason now reveals itself as an epoch in which being qua being withdraws. The essence of being conceals itself in this withdrawal. This in no way means that being simply remains concealed. For the shining of being is in play in the appearing of beings as soon as beings as such appear in their being. This can be made clear through any randomly chosen everyday experience. There is no need for a hand-picked case to show this. If, for example, the meadows turn green in the spring, then in the appearing of the greening meadows, that is, in the appearing of this being, there comes to shine the prowess and rule of nature. Yet, we wander through the greening meadows without nature qua nature expressly bringing itself to shine forth. And even if we thereby have an inkling of the essence of nature and grasp what we have inkling of in a definitive representation or even in a concept proper, then the essence of nature still keeps itself concealed, as does being. Yet the self-concealing of the essence of being at the same time is precisely the manner that being bestows itself, proffers itself to us in beings. From this proffering comes the Geschick, by virtue of which there is the incubation of the principle of reason.
The second of the five main points was mentioned when we showed that and how Leibniz brought the principle of reason into the strict formulation of the principium reddendae rationis sufficientis. By being explicitly elevated to one of the supreme fundamental principles, the principle of reason first came to the fore and, so to speak, blossomed as a principle having the character of a Principle. The incubation period of the principle of reason thereby came to an end. The incubation of the principle of reason happens by virtue of the Geschick of being, a Geschick in which being as such withdraws. Now if the incubation of the principle of reason finds its end with the setting up of the principle of reason as one of the supreme fundamental principles, then· this ending of the