The Principle of Reason [118-120]

Angelus Silesius, from whom we have already heard, can in his own way indicate Mozan's essence and hean through an ancient thought. Fragment 366 from "The Cherubic Wanderer" says:35

A heart that is calm in its ground, God-still, as he will, Would gladly be touched by him: it is his lute-play.[42]

The saying carries the heading: "The Lute Piece of God." That is Mozart .

We can hear the principle of reason in a twofold manner: on the one hand, as a supreme fundamental principle about beings, and, on the other hand, as a principle of being. In the second case we are pointed towards thinking ground/reason as being and being as ground/reason. When this is the case, we begin trying to think being qua being. This means: No longer explaining being by way of some sort of being. Only an attempt to say being qua being can show how far such a beginning can go and to what limits it leads. But the path into such a thinking is nothing but the hearing of the principle of reason as a principle of being. Indeed we reach the path of such a hearing only by way of a leap. The leap leaps off of and out of a leaping-off realm. The leap relinquishes this realm and nevertheless does not leave it behind. Through this relinquishing the leap regains the leaping-off realm in a new manner, and indeed not just incidentally, but necessarily. The leap is essentially a backward-glancing leap. What we bring into view in the glance back is, according to the main points, what we are trying to grasp in a unified way when we characterize the chief trait of the realm from which one leaps.

This realm showed itself to us as the history of Western thinking. In reference to it we spoke of the Geschick of being. What there is to hear in the second tonality of the principle of reason as a principle of being is hardly the son of thing about which we have no sense. Rather, its nature is such that it lays claim to us in our essence. Take notice: in our essence. This is to say that the claim of being first ushers humans into their essence. Only in the Geschick of being and from out of it are we Geschick-like, and as beings that are Geschick-like, we are compelled to find what is fitting—and that means at the same time to be enmeshed in missing what is fitting.

Yet in view of what there is to think, all thinking must remain acquainted with an experience that is never only an experience of particulars and thus never lets itself be briefly articulated: seldom enough do we find ourselves expressly addressed by that which lays claim to us in our essence—and that means needs us. Being proffers itself to us in this claim-laying. The way in which it lasts as this proffering is by simultaneously withdrawing into its essence. Withdrawal is a basic trait of the Geschick in the sense we have discussed. If we spoke of "the history of being," then this way of speaking only makes sense if we think of history in terms of Geschick qua withdrawal,· but not if we reverse