Address [204-205]

in the direction from whence the powerful fundamental principle speaks. We must confess: no! To what extent not? To the extent that we do not clearly and decisively enough hear and think about what the principle of reason really says.

As generally promulgated, the principle of reason reads: "nihil est sine ratione,, nothing is without reason.

Ordinarily we pay no attention to the fact that the tiny word "is" passes by as something obvious when we listen to the usual way of stating the principle. But how come we should listen to the "is"? The fundamental principle of reason says: every being has a reason. The principle is a statement about beings. But we experience a being as a being only when we attend to the fact that and how it is. Hence, in order to really hear the principle about beings we must become aware that the "is" in the principle "nothing is without reason" sets the pitch that tunes everything. When we listen to it , that is, when we open ourselves to what really speaks in the principle, the principle suddenly intones differently. No longer "nothing is without reason,, rather, "nothing is without reason., Whenever it speaks of beings, the tiny word "is, names the being of beings. When the "is, means "being'' and sets the pitch in the principle, "reason, is also taken up along with it in the intonation: nothing is without reason. Being and reason now ring in unison. In this ring[60] being and reason ring out as belonging together in one. The principle of reason now has a different ring and says: ground/reason belongs to being. The principle of reason no longer speaks as a supreme fundamental principle of all cognition of beings, which says every being has a reason. The principle of reason now speaks as a word of being. The word is an answer to the question: what, after all, does ''being, mean? Answer: "being" means "ground/reason." Nevertheless, as a word of being the principle of reason can no longer mean to say: being has a ground/reason. If we were to understand the word of being in this sense, then we would represent being as a being. Only beings have-and indeed necessarily—a ground/reason. A being is a being only when grounded. However, being, since it is itself ground/ reason, remains without a ground/reason. Insofar as being—which itself is ground/reason—grounds, it allows beings to be beings.

{However, because Leibniz and all metaphysics come to a halt with the principle of reason as a fundamental principle about beings, metaphysical thinking requires, according to the fundamental principle, a first reason for being: in a being, and indeed the being that is most of all;}54

Because beings are brought into being by being qua ground/reason, every being inevitably is allotted a ground/reason. For otherwise it would not be. Understood as the fundamental principle of rendering sufficient reasons, the principle of reason is thereby true only because a word of being speaks in it that says: being and ground/reason: the same.