The Principle of Reason [113-115]

a self-concealing. With this he in no way says being is nothing other than self-concealing; rather, being essentially comes to be as φύσις, as self-revealing, as what is of itself overt, but to this there belongs a self-concealing. Were concealing to fall off and away, then how could revealing still happen? Today we say: being proffers itself to us, but in such a way that at the same time it, in its essence, already withdraws. This is what the term "history of being" means. Nothing has been arbitrarily concocted under this term, but what has already been thought is thought more decisively. When one recollectively thinks upon the history of being, a history that is difficult to bring into view, this history of being first comes to light as such. When we say that being proffers itself to us while it, in its essence, also withdraws, then of course this means something still different than what Heraclitus' fragment and Aristotle's sentences designate. But first it is necessary for us to examine to what extent being can be brought into view as the Geschick of being by recollectively thinking upon the history of Western thought.

The talk of an incubation of being now sounds less strange. For the word "incubation" is only another name for the self-withdrawal of being into concealment, a concealment which remains the source of any revealing. Where the last trace of the concealing of being vanishes, namely in the absolute self-knowing of absolute spirit in the metaphysics of German Idealism, the revealing of beings respective of their being, that is, metaphysics, is complete and philosophy at an end.

The incubation period of the principle of reason stems from the incubation of being and the epochs of this incubation, provided that this principle is in truth a principle of being, and that the way in which this principle speaks is determined by the Geschick of being.

However, the end of the incubation of being as such in no way coincides with the end of the incubation period of the principle of reason. Rather, what occurs with the latter is that the principle of reason proves to be a supreme fundamental principle and thus first unfolds its claim into something all-mighty; what is uncanny here is that being as such more and more decisively withdraws. This is not contradicted when, with the mounting claim of the principle of reason as a supreme fundamental principle of thinking and knowledge, a new interpretation of the being of beings evolves. Subsequently, being reveals itself as abjectness for consciousness, and this at once says: being brings itself to light as will.

It would be a delicate task, and one really quite difficult for today's representational thinking to grasp, to show the extent to which the molding of being into objectness and will say the same thing. After the preparation of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, Kant's philosophy carries out the decisive step in the fleshing out of being as abjectness and will. If we hear the principle of reason in the second tonality, then the principle of reason speaks as a principle of being. The mounting claim of the principle of reason to sovereignty accordingly implies