The Question Concerning Technology

In the coming to presence of the danger there comes to presence and dwells a favor, namely, the favor of the turning about of the oblivion of Being into the truth of Being. In the coming to presence of the danger, where it is as the danger, is the turning about into the safekeeping, is this safekeeping itself, is the saving power of Being.

When the turning comes to pass in the danger, this can happen only without mediation. For Being has no equal whatever. It is not brought about by anything else nor does it itself bring anything about. Being never at any time runs its course within a cause-effect coherence. Nothing that effects, as Being, precedes the mode in which it—Being itself—takes place so as to adapt itself; and no effect, as Being, follows after. Sheerly, out of its own essence of concealedness, Being brings itself to pass into its epoch. Therefore we must pay heed:

The turning of the danger comes to pass suddenly. In this turning, the clearing belonging to the essence of Being suddenly clears itself and lights up. This sudden self-lighting is the lightning-flash. It brings itself into its own brightness, which it itself both brings along and brings in. When, in the turning of the danger, the truth of Being flashes, the essence of Being clears and lights itself up. Then the truth of the essence, the coming to presence, of Being turns and enters in.

Toward where does in-turning bring itself to pass? Toward nowhere except into Being itself, which is as yet coming to presence out of the oblivion of its truth. But this same Being comes to presence as the coming to presence of technology. The coming to presence of technology is Enframing. In-turning, as the bringing to pass of the turning about of oblivion, turns in into that which now is the epoch of Being. That which genuinely is,11 is in no way this or that particular being. What genuinely is, i.e., what expressly dwells and endures as present in the "is," is uniquely Being. Only Being "is," only in Being and as Being does that which the "is" names bring itself to pass; that which is, is Being from out of its essence.12

11. Das was eigentlich ist.

12. "That which is" here translates das was ist. In the discussion that begins at this point, Heidegger is clearly employing a usage that must force any German reader to think afresh; by specifically distinguishing das was ist from any use of the present participle Seiendes for "this or that particular being," he can set forth a distinction apparent in the words themselves. For the English-speaking reader of this volume, however, a different and more difficult problem remains. Since das Seiende is very often translated in these essays with "what is," "whatever is,'' and "that which is," confusion could easily result in the present context. Only in the discussion now underway, in two related passages in QT (pp. 25, 27), and in one other instance (WN 97) will "that which is" translate forms of das was ist; das Seiende will be translated variously as "what is," "what is in being," and "that which is in being."