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Lecture Thirteen [184-186]

this meant: being and ground/reason: the same. Simultaneously this meant: being: the a-byss.

In terms of the Geschick, being "is" the same as ground/reason, as being's more original name, λόγος, says. Insofar as being essentially comes to be as ground/reason, it has no ground/reason. However this is not because it founds itself, but because every foundation—even and especially self-founded ones—remain inappropriate to being as ground/reason. Every founding and even every appearance of foundability has inevitably degraded being to some sort of a being. Being qua being remains ground-less. Ground/reason stays from being, namely, as a ground/reason that would first found being, it stays off and away. Being: the a-byss.

Now, does all we have just said simply stand next to all we said earlier: being and ground/reason : the same? Or does one even exclude the other? In fact, it seems so if we think according to the rules of ordinary logic. According to these "being and ground/reason: the same" amounts to saying: being = ground/reason. Then how could the other one hold: being: the a-byss? This is what shows itself as what is to be thought now, namely, being "is" the a-byss insofar as being and ground/reason: the same. Insofar as being "is" what grounds, and only insofar as it is so, it has no ground/reason.

If we think about this, and if we persist in such thinking, then we notice that we have leaped off from the realm of previous thinking and are in the leap. But do we not fall into the fathomless with this leap? Yes and no. Yes—insofar as now being can no longer be given a basis in the sense of beings and explained in terms of beings. No—insofar as being is now finally to be thought qua being. As what is to be thought, it becomes, from out of its truth, what gives a measure. The manner in which thinking thinks must conform to this measure. But it is not possible for us to seize upon this measure and what it offers through a computing and gauging. For us it remains that which is immeasurable. However, so little does the leap allow thinking to fall into the fathomless in the sense of the complete void that in fact it first allows thinking to respond to being qua being, that is, to the truth of being.

If we hear the principle of reason in the other tonality and think about all we hear, then this thinking-about is a leap, indeed a far-reaching leap that brings thinking into a play with that wherein being qua being finds its repose; that wherein being finds its repose is not the sort of thing upon which it depends for its ground/reason. Through this leap, thinking enters into the breadth and depth of that play upon which our human nature is staked. Humans are truly capable of playing and of remaining in play only insofar as they are engaged in this play and thereby at stake in the play. In which play?

So far we have barely experienced this play and have not yet considered its nature, which means, what the play plays and who plays it, and how the playing is to be thought here. If we aver that this play wherein being qua being


The Principle of Reason (GA 10) by Martin Heidegger