278

THINGS



In the reception of this withholding, we ourselves become more pliant and through this pliancy are able to belong to the slight things around us. To understand what is outside of us as something not at our disposal—as withheld—and to see the evidence of withholding as the very things themselves is to take the things as granted, as stretched and slight, readied for relation. The thought of compliance is ultimately the thought of the givenness of being—that it must be received and that this very reception undermines the independence of authority (hypostasized being). The compliant being is the slight, the thing, the thinging of which implicates the fourfold.

The fourfold that sets in play the thinging of the thing does so in such a way that the thing is desubstantialized, made centerless in order to participate in the mediation of the middle. The fouring of the four allows the thing entry to what lies beyond it. Thinging in this way, the thing implicates a beyond, where to implicate means to relate to something so essentially as to belong together with it in the simplicity of the single-fold (Einfalt), a transpartitional limit of separation and contact. The thing that things via the mirror-play of the four has adapted itself to the sanctioning-region, is tied to its withholding bestowal. It is this adaptation to the sanction that renders the thing slight, as we have endeavored to show.

Some twenty-five years prior, the lecture “The Thing” concludes with a thought that could stand as the distillation of all that we have struggled to articulate here: “Only what is slight of world ever becomes a thing” (GA 79: 21/20).


§23. The Thing Abides

The slightness of the thing is not solely a matter of its malleability to enter into relation with the sending of being (the givenness of world). Or rather, this malleability cannot be construed solely in “synchronic” terms, but must be understood “diachronically” as well. The sending of being is history. The thing as slight is from the outset exposed to the coming of this history, i.e., is temporal or historical. For Heidegger there is a particular kind of temporality that attends such things, an explicitly finite temporality, that of abiding (weilen). The thing abides.

This notion of abiding (weilen) and tarrying (verweilen) arises in Heidegger’s thinking of the 1940s. To be sure, the notion of Jeweiligkeit (“awhileness”) plays a critical role in the early 1920s during the period


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