what the decisive rubric of Western-European thinking, ἐὸν, says—or whether we fail to hear it.
It probably depends on this Either/Or whether or not we will get beyond our talk about technology and finally arrive at a relation to its essential nature. For we must first of all respond to the nature of technology, and only afterward ask whether and how man might become its master. And that question may turn out to be nonsensical, because the essence of technology stems from the presence of what is present, that is, from the Being of beings—something of which man never is the master, of which he can at best be the servant.
The first service man can render is to give thought to the Being of beings, and that is first of all to pay it heed. A remote preparation therefor is the attempt to give heed, in questioning, to what the word ἐὸν says. The word says: presence of what is present. What it says speaks in our speech long before thinking gives attention and a name of its own to it. thinking is expressed, this unspoken something is merely clothed in a word. It is not an invention but a discovery, discovered in the presence of the present already expressed in language.
Greek thinking, even before its beginnings, is at home with the prevalence of ἐὸν as the presence of what is present. Only thus can thinking be awakened and called upon to take to heart the present, in respect of its presence. If that happens—and it does happen in the thin.king of the Greek thinkers from Parmenides to Aristotle—it is still no assurance that such thinking will also clothe the presence of what is present, in words, with all possible clarity and in every respect. Even more, it remains undecided whether in the "presence of what is present" there will appear That which constitutes the presence of what is present. It would be a mistake, then, for us to take the view that Being of beings meant merely, for all time, the presence of what is present.