Lecture Thirteen [187-188]

and finery which, as flash and luster, brings about a shining; finally, that which hails him as λόγος, as the sameness of being and ground/reason, Heraclitus names αἰών. The word is difficult to translate. One says: "world-time." It is the world that worlds and temporalizes in that, as κόσμος,48 it brings the jointure of being to a glowing sparkle. According to all that is said in the names λόγος, φύσις, κόσμος, and αἰών we may hear that Unsaid we name "the Geschick of being."

What does Heraclitus say about αἰών? Fragment 52 runs: αἰών παῖς ἐστι παίζων πεσσεύων· παιδὸς ἡ βασιληίη. The Geschick of being, a child that plays, shifting the pawns: the royalty of a child-that means, the ἀρχή, that which governs by instituting grounds, the being of beings. The Geschick of being: a child that plays.

In addition, there are also great children. By the gentleness of its play, the greatest royal child is that mystery of the play in which humans are engaged throughout their life, that play in which their essence is at stake.

Why does it play, the great child of the world-play Heraclitus brought into view in the αἰών? It plays, because it plays.

The "because" withers away in the play. The play is without "why." It plays since it plays. It simply remains a play: the most elevated and the most profound.

But this "simply" is everything, the one, the only.

Nothing is without ground/reason. Being and ground/reason: the same. Being, as what grounds, has no ground; as the abyss it plays the play that, as Geschick, passes being and ground/reason to us.

The question remains whether and how we, hearing the movements of this play, play along and accommodate ourselves to the play.

The Principle of Reason (GA 10) by Martin Heidegger

GA 10 p. 169