leave the one side, but for that very reason cannot pass it over in the sense of disregarding it. In the course of the transition, Nietzsche's thought, the entire thought of the West is appropriated in its proper truth. That truth, however, is by no means obvious. Regarding Nietzsche, we limit ourselves to rendering visible the one essential that casts its light ahead as Nietzsche's thinking proceeds on its way. It will indicate to us at what turn of his thinking the words were spoken: "The wasteland grows; woe to him who hides wastelands within!"
But to encounter Nietzsche's thinking at all, we must first find it. Only when we have succeeded in finding it may we try to lose again what that thinking has thought. And this, to lose, is harder than to find; because "to lose" in such a case does not just mean to drop something, leave it behind, abandon it. "To lose" here means to make ourselves truly free of that which Nietzsche's thinking has thought. And that can be done only in this way, that we, on our own accord and in our memory, set Nietzsche's thought free into the freedom of its own essential substance—and so leave it at that place where it by its nature belongs. Nietzsche knew of these relations of discovery, finding, and losing. All along his way, he must have known of them with ever greater clarity. For only thus can it be understood that at the end of his way he could tell it with an unearthly clarity. "What he still had to say in this respect is written on one of those scraps of paper which Nietzsche sent out to his friends about the time when he collapsed in the street (January 4, 1889) and succumbed to madness. These scraps are sometimes called "epistles of delusion." Understood medically, scientifically, that classification is correct. For the purposes of thinking, it remains inadequate.
One of these scraps is addressed to the Dane Georg Brandes, who had delivered the first public lectures on Nietzsche at Copenhagen, in 1888.