MANFRED S. FRINGS
A Technical Remark
By 1944, even the most ardent of German supporters of the war (1939- 1945) recognized signs of the collapse of the Nazi regime, and sensed that the defeat of the German forces was inevitable. There is no evidence that Heidegger was in support of this war or war in general. But the fact remains that he was an unabashed nationalist throughout his life and was for whatever time an adherent of the regime.
Let us recall that it was during the summer of 1944 when he delivered the present, second Heraclitus lecture1 that Germany's defeat was immanent in that (1) externally, all its forces were retreating after the invasion on the shores of Normandy on June 6, 1944 by American, British and Canadian forces, and (2) that, internally, her political regime became increasingly gutted: This came to a head when, on July 20, 1944, a few weeks after the said invasion, the German Colonel von Stauffenberg placed, unsuccessfully, a bomb under Hitler's table to kill him in his East Prussian headquarters. This incident was immediately released to the state-run press because the German propaganda machine was eager to claim that "providence" had saved the Fuehrer from the explosion where he was standing with his staff.
Like in the two lectures on pre-Socratic thought he held prior to 1944, i.e., the 1942/43 Parmenides, and the 1943 first Heraclitus lecture, covered earlier in this Journal (Jan. 1988, Oct. 1990), Heidegger's thinking appears to remain undisturbed by the portentous omen of these and other events.
This is all the more astonishing because he was living a second time through a World War that Germany had started, and lost. He does not seem to be eager to share with others the hard martial times of 1944. Rather, he continues to think unperturbedly, resembling a stoic weathering life's lows and highs, tragedies and farce.
Visibly, he chose to stay at his home near the trails of his so beloved Black Forest. In seclusion, "thinking" follows the paths towards, and out of, Being, which the goddess in Parmenides' poem had summoned him to follow in the 1942/43 lecture.
At present, when so many journalist salvos of political attacks against him are being launched, one should also recall a simple fact: Both the trails of the Forest near his home, and the paths of thinking-proper, had always been and, at bottom, always remained Heidegger's one and only earthly Concern and Abode.
There are two crucial points to be made concerning our third pre-Socratic lecture:
(1) The main goal of the 1943 Heraclitus lecture had been to establish an arrangement of ten Heraclitian fragments in terms of "thinking proper" (eigentliches Denken). Heidegger thought through ten fragments of which the second through the tenth were "falling into", as I then put it, the first, namely, Diets fragment 16. This "first" fragment we showed to be not "first" in terms of a sequence; rather, it showed itself as both center for, and surrounding the other eight. Further, it was shown that Heidegger's first fragment (16) does not "contain" the rest, but that it is "nearest" the "inception" itself of thinking-proper. Thus, the arrangement of the nine fragments falling into the scope of 16 ensued from thinking-proper, and neither from logical nor speculative argument.
(2) By contrast, the present 1944 Heraclitus lecture does not continue on from what had in 1943 been achieved. Heidegger does not investigate further fragments in the light of the exceptional, and inceptional, significance of fragment 16. Surprisingly enough, in 1944 fragment 16 is mentioned only three times (320, 350, 391). Instead, he now tells us that he will check into fragments "chosen" because of their containing the word "λόγος". This very different, now objective procedure brings with it that the 1944 lecture is only loosely tethered to the preceding two lectures which, we saw, are much intertwined. One such loose tether was already hinted at in the coverage of the 1943 lecture when we stated: "Logic, too, cannot match thinking proper. It cannot reach into the inception from which its own territory arises. The next 1944 Heraclitus lecture will have to say a lot more on this point" Some of the other links to the previous lectures will be shown in what follows.
The first 1943 Heraclitus lecture I divided into two parts in its German edition in Volume 55 of the Collected Works (Gesamtausgabe). I, on the other hand, divided the manuscripts of the 1944 lecture into three parts. Heidegger left it to the judgment of the editors that such divisions and other minor emendations be made to secure the maximum of clarity. My threefold division of the manuscripts will guide us in the following coverage of the lecture:
1. Logic: Its Name and Subject-Matter.
2. The Staying-Away of Original Logos and the Paths of its Access.
3. Regress into the Original Region of Logic.
1. Logic: Its Name and Subject-Matter
"In the present Logic-Lecture we wish to set out to learn how to think" (209). Logic provides the structure of thinking, of its forms and rules. To do logic means to learn how to think correctly. Thinking is correct when it is logical.
This seems to be obvious. Or is it? For, logic has two sides to it: (1) It is "logic of thinking", telling us how thinking must itself be logical and (2) there is the "logic of things" (Sachen), showing us how things take their own consequential courses.
Things do not address us unless we are in a process of thinking about them. And yet, our thinking about things will have no moorings unless it is the very things that have already been addressing us. This means: the logic of thinking and the logic of things are "con-versed" (196). This is strange, and would even be a stranger affair if this conversion were not an outcome of thinking. This point may be a hint, says Heidegger, that neither side of logic amounts to logic proper. If this had been the case, the origin of the study of correct thinking must have been concealed. Perhaps, humans have for a long time been living in disregard of thinking because they mistook its nature to be only calculative. This could also be a hint that we might sometime learn that the very nature of thinking can itself "stray" and be in an unceasing state of error (196f).
These initial remarks suffice to show that incorrect thinking does not necessarily consist in just drawing false conclusions. Rather, incorrect thinking may stem from thinking's own mis-stepping nature, a point Heidegger will resume later in the light of fragment 43.
Up to this point Heidegger still sounds assertive. But, first of all, he asks, is it at aU true that we learn how to think through logic. Must one not assume that every process of "learning" is already governed by thinking? Yes. "To learn" how to think (das Denkenlemen) is, as such, already thinking. In the logic of thinking therefore we learn to think about thinking- and, we might add, think about learning it Such learning is bound to be "crooked" because it bends onto itself. As such a total abstraction it is like reflecting on reflection (198). But what is "to learn"? There is no straight answer. Initially, says Heidegger, "We must first learn how to learn", and this requires a future "generation of the slow" and thorough thinkers (190).
It is quite natural that, since early times, people have entertained suspicions about logic because its abstraction is detached from the course that things themselves take. In the 1943 lecture Heidegger had stated that a criminal's actions may follow perfectly logical steps, but that their inner logic would not make them "true" (114/5). Not only in everyday life does it appear to be commendable to think along and with the course of things and subject-matters rather than reflect on reflection, but also in the sciences we proceed in this way: for instance, we learn historical thinking through the subject-matter of history, physical thinking through that of physics. In so doing, we think in terms of states of affairs (sachlich), and not abstractly. Nevertheless, the question of what logic, as the discipline of thinking about thinking, can accomplish must be addressed. In this lecture, Heidegger answers this particular question only by implications contained in part 3 below. Instead, and in accordance with what he had initially said, he now asks, "What has thinking to do with logic?" What does the word "logic" mean? These two questions hover above the whole of what will be presented from now on.
For the moment, Heidegger refers us only to the division of knowledge, made in the Platonic Academy by Xenocrates (396-314 B.C.), into logic, physics and ethics to be preceded by the word "ἐπιστήμη". In this division, we find a first clue for what logic ("ἐπιστήμη λογική") in contrast to "ἐπιστήμη φυσική" and, in particular, "ἠθική" refers to. The word ἐπιστήμη means "to place oneself before something so that something shows itself before one" (epistastai). This implies having a knowing relation to, or having a knack of something (sich auf etwas verstehen). But it is also right to translate "ἐπιστήμη" as "science" because of modem science's "technical" (τέχνη) character. For, the Greek verb "tekein" means to bring forth, not by human activity but rather by way of procuring a domain (Umkreis) in what is unconcealed for us "Ho tekton" is the person who builds, chisels, constructs. The archi-tect is the ἀρχή of tekein from whom issues forth a plan guiding the pro-creation of, say, a temple. Hence, "tekein" and "epistastai" refer to "knowing".
[Annotation: "τέχνη" frequently means "cunning" (German: die List), but in the sense of knowledge. In their Old English and Old German equivalents, both cunning and "die List", too, were bare of their present connotation of foxiness and meant knowledge.]
How, then, does "ἐπιστήμη φυσική" and "ἠθική" compare with "ἐπιστήμη λογική"? Ἐπιστήμη φυσική pertains to "φύσις" or emergence of Being as a Whole, which was the main theme of the 1943 lecture. "Ἐπιστήμη ἠθική" pertains to the well known Heideggerian rendering of "ethos" as abode, dwelling place. Although ethics is restricted to humans only, it, too, refers to Being as a Whole in that it is, like φύσις, "versus unum", uni-versal (214). The "ἐπιστήμη ἠθική" seeks to understand how humans keep their hold on beings in order to hold themselves. In man's sojourn among entities, "ethos" is a "hold" (Hal tung) in all human comportment. In this, even the essence of being human is referred to as "ethos", because humans are "in" ethos by their being addressed through it.
By contrast, the "ἐπιστήμη λογική" is not, originally, universal. Because of its being a doctrine of propositions, predications, syllogisms, etc., the ἐπιστήμη λογική is only one out of many kinds of possible human comportments (Verhaltungsweisen). But during man's sojourn from out of Being, it is the ethos, man's abode, that encompasses all human comportment Heidegger can therefore make the startling statement that logic is a branch of ethics, or: "Logic is the ethics of predicating comportment" (223).
Yet, logic has become universal in that the word "λόγος" became a subject, i.e., human "ratio" and human thinking will, and it became human "Will to Power" that exudes even Being as a Whole (225). As Heidegger said in the Parmenides lecture, Rilke's Eighth Duino Elegy2 is the climax of the age of subjectivity with its error of stamping man as a "subject" who is supposedly not, like an animal, open to Being. The Xenocratic disciplining of knowledge into logic, physics and ethics has engendered this universality and dominance of logic. For,logic determines its own object, i.e., λόγος - after which it is named -and it specifies it as something that it, logic, only can grasp. Could it be, asks Heidegger, that logic mis-takes and obfuscates "Logos"? "We have reasons to believe that it is precisely 'logic' that not only obstructed the unfolding of the essence of Λόγος but even refused and still does refuse this unfolding" (232). The obfuscation of original Λόγος is indicated in the title of the second part of the lecture that now follows.
2. The Staying Away of Original Logos and the Paths of its Access
The kind of philosophic thinking from which the above division comes is post-Platonic, metaphysical thinking. On the one hand, logic remained a "metaphysical consideration and explanation of λόγος" (252), on the other, the nature of metaphysics is largely possible only through logic. The central place of logic throughout metaphysical thinking since Plato is most evident in Kant and Hegel (let alone in more recent thought). What does it mean, though, when Heidegger asserts that logic is the metaphysics of λόγος?
The word λόγος refers to "predicating" (Aussagen). What is predicated must already be present for its being addressed. What thus appears in being addressed is the "look" of something, for instance, the look of a house. When one says, "this house is high" we address an already given "εἶδος" or "idea", called a house. We know in advance the "looks" of a house. In this "look" of something like a house, "idea" and "logos" are in a certain manner the same, says Heidegger. His most innovative rendering of Plato's "idea" was discussed already in the 1942/43 Parmenides lecture. Now we can see that logic is embedded in Plato's metaphysics, because λόγος conceived as (1) predications (Aussagen) and (2) as something that addresses us, lies well within the domain of metaphysics in general. This is even more substantiated by the role that "categories" have played ever since: They refer us back to Plato's "ideas". They are predications and part and parcel of logic (257).
At this point, the lecture turns abruptly to Heraclitus. For the true path to be taken toward the essence of logic is not a metaphysical one. Rather, thinking must go behind metaphysics and try to penetrate into pre-Platonic thought in order to reach the groundings of logic. Thus, metaphysics must be "bracketed". But in doing so, there is a "riddle" to be solved: On the one hand, the word "λόγος" from its earliest usages on means: to say, and to speak, referring us to functions of predication. On the other, some of its original meaning has been preserved. But it, the original meaning, stayed away. Why?
In now returning to Heraclitus, one would expect Heidegger to draw on the far-reaching insights gained in the 1943 lecture. As indicated above, he does not do this. No reason is given. Instead, he draws on a number of fragments containing the words "λόγος" and "λέγειν". This technical selection of fragments will bear heavily on the comprehensibility of the paths that he now takes in clarifying why the original Λόγος has been staying away throughout the metaphysics of logic and the logic in metaphysics. He starts with fragment 50 and, concurrently, with fragment 45 which is in the former's "neighborhood". It is "on purpose" that he will not start with fragments 1 and 2 of the Diets arrangement (308). No reason given here either.
As translated from the German into English, fragment 50 runs as follows:
Listening not only to me. but if you have (obediently, hearkeningly) listened to Λόγος, then knowledge is (consists in) saying the Same with Λόγος, and to say: One is All (246). (οὐκ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου ἀκούσαντας ὁμολογειν σοφόν ἐστιν ἓν πάντα εἶναι.)
Obviously, we are confronted with a "clarifying" rendering of the fragment, consisting of thirty words over against twelve in the Greek text Its rendering saves that which is not articulated in Greek. This will become clear below.
Heidegger first questions any unscrutinized translations of "akousantas" with simply "hearing", because all physiological hearing in sensation must be distinguished from "hearkening" (horchen). Hearkening pertains to the readiness for what is the "to-be-heard". This hearkening is "Gehorsam", i.e., obedience, but not in its present day sense. We are fortunate that English "obedience" precisely mirrors German "Gehorsam" in Heidegger' s particular usage: To obey comes from Latin "ob-audire" (=hearing towards) just as the German "gehorchen" derives from "hoeren" (to hear) also. Latin: ob-audire-oboedire: to "ob-ey" shares with its German counterpart "ge-horchen" the same connotation of hearing. This hearing does not require sounds heard with one's ears. What it actually refers to, however, is not all that clear, Heidegger says. Fragment 50 tells us only that hearkening to Λόγος engenders know ledge (Wissen) which consists in "ὁμολογεῖν", meaning: to say the same what another (i.e., Λόγος) says (260). But what this other says is not vocalized or physiologically audible. The "ὁμολογεῖν" therefore refers to a repeating what another says "in a different manner" because this following ob-eys, i.e., hearkens toward it Hearkening is "ge-hor-sam" (="ge-horch-sam") to be construed in Heideggerian English as: "ob-ey-some". This hearkening is somewhat implied when we say, "do you follow me". But what, precisely, is said in such obedience (ob-edi-ence)?
There are three paths leading toward finding an answer to the question of what Λόγος, that we are told to hearken to in fragment 50, is. They are:
1. The Explication of the word Λόγος.
2. The Explication of the word λέγειν.
3. The Explication of the word "ψυχή" (fragment 45).
At this point the essence of the lecture begins to get into view, albeit only from a distance far away. This must be as disappointing to the reader as it was to Heidegger's own 1944 audience. Mark Twain once said, "Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him ..."3 Heidegger's initial presentation of fragment 50 raised doubts in the audience, and clarifications were pressed for. For this he not only blamed the difficulties of the subject matter itself but also his own presentation of it (274). He decided to revise the material in order to give it a new start in the following class. Hence, in Volume 55, we have two versions of the initial material concerned (261-270 and 270-279). The audience's initial reaction may well have spurred his third, 1951 coverage of fragment 50, available since 1975 in the painstaking Krell-Capuzzi translation. Let us look into the said three paths.
Path 1: In fragment 50, Λόγος refers us to something about "All" and "One". The reason why these two words have always posed difficulties in thinking them lies in forgetting the very dimension from which these two "dangerous" words are determined. First of all, the fragment says that All and One "are". It is in their Being that the One "ones" (eint) All (264). The word "εἶναι" (to be) is the last one in the fragment, but hovers over the fragment as the first Yet, the fragment does not reveal anything about this "εἶναι ", rather, it tells us something about Λόγος.
The "ἓν πάντα εἶναι" lies in ob-edient hearkening to Λόγος from which it comes (265). But in this, the One and All remain beyond human grasp. Yet, they do furnish us with a touch of understanding their relationship as the "one-ing and unifying of All" which must pertain to Λόγος. This reasoning now takes Heidegger to the second path of determining the word "lege in". But the presentation of his well-known rendering of "λέγειν" faces obstacles as soon as the word is given the sense of"to gather", rather than "to say" or "to speak".
Well known as his translation of "λέγειν" as "to gather" may be, it does point in the lecture to a number of factors not only interesting to experts of his thoughts: "To gather" (λέγειν) must be grasped in thought-proper (eigentliches Denken), and not in alliance with its ordinary daily usage of to gather.
Path 2: The gathering of "λέγειν" does not pertain to gathering of something as during times of harvest. Such gathering is a step by step gathering, i.e., it takes place in a sequence of time (289). The gathering of "λέγειν" and, implicitly of Λόγος, cannot be approached from such "outside" interpretation as harvesting does imply. Gathering is totally different here as is seen in the "ὁμολογεῖν" that, as we shall see later, expresses a bond (Bezug) between Λόγος and man. Let us have Heidegger speak for himself (which will also illustrate the growing degrees of comprehensibility that he begins to demand):
"The strange element in the whole of the essence of gathering is that it can only be what it is if it does not only refer to bringing together something present-to-hand, but if, in all of its phases, it takes itself together ('concentrates') toward what determines gathering in advance. This, however, amounts to keeping, in the sense of preserving. Preserving, in tum, has its foundation in guarding. Guarding is watching over something and at the same time concealing (bergen). In this 'keeping' as preserving there is nothing that would later on be preserved. On the contrary, what is pre-served [ ver-wahrt) is done so already in advance. Therefore, gathering is tantamount to a pre-serving keeping. In this, gathering is totally gathered in its own essence or, as we say, "for-gathered" (ver-sammelt)" (288).
Soon thereafter Heidegger continues:
"What would gathering [Sammeln) mean if it had no prior determination [Bestimmungsgrund) of its own, and a moment of safekeeping and preserving as the prefiguration of all traits of life? The fact that, in everyday experience, preserving something makes up the final stage in the sequence of processes and steps taken in gathering something, does not run counter to the core of the law that, regarding the inner possibility of gathering itself, both preservation and safekeeping are first, and that they must have come to man already in advance, should all his gatherings have a goal, direction and range, and that is, an essential domain" (289).
Therefore: all gathering rests on what Heidegger calls, and means by, "Sammeln" and "die Versammlung".
[Annotation: We must explain his usage of"Versammlung" in some detail. In its everyday usage, the word means: congregation, assembly. The German prefix "ver" in Versammlung occurs in modem English as "for-" in a few words like forlorn, forget, forwom, etc. Ver-sammlung, which Heidegger justifiably regards as a "beautiful'' word in the context of Λόγος, should be rendered in English as "forgathering" (=Anglo Saxon: forgaderian).
This rendering of the German noun retains, first of all, with Heidegger the intensifying function of the German prefix "ver" (forgathering) and, secondly, the difference that Heidegger points to in (as is also normal usage of) German "sammeln" and "versammlen", not always observed in translations. This difference corresponds nicely in English with to gather and forgather. In addition, the phonetic consonance of English "for" and "fore" carries over Heidegger's messages on Λόγος much better than their German counterparts "ver" and "vor", not being homophonous. The "λέγειν" of Λόγος is not only forgathering: Λόγος is "Foregathering" as the above quotes clearly show. In the following, I will use (and introduce) "Fore-gathering" for Heidegger's "urspruengliche Versammlung" of Λόγος, and "forgathering" for the human λόγος as will be explained further below. It is my hope that these renderings will facilitate an understanding of Heidegger's overall message, so often obscured by obsolete albeit necessary archaic vocabulary.
Let it be added that the English equivalent of Heidegger's common rendering of Greek "λέγειν" as German "lesen", which he interchangeably uses with "sammeln" (to gather), became only recently extinct in English. The AngloSaxon counterpart of German "lesen" was "lesan", Middle English lese(n). It was preserved until1890 or so as "to lease" (li:z), as in (to lease (=glean) ears of wheat or com", or German "Aehren lesen"-also in this lecture a favorable expression of Heidegger's rural imagery (287, 397). Unfortunately for us, the common meanings of "to lease" (li:s) helped to obscure the Western Germanic roots of the former that live on in German "lesen". Heidegger used this verb extensively in the above mentioned 1951 third treatment of fragment 50.
Let me furnish an example of analogy for the "for(e)gathering" discussed: Standing in front of the beauty of a landscape, say, as one in our open West with its mountains, trails, forests, rivers, veiled in the fulgent glow of an early sunrise, all is foregathered together in advance, before one might want to gather things such as flowers from it The foregathering is simply there and addressing us. By no means are we agents that would so forgather the landscape: Things may be gathered out of it, it itself cannot be gathered from "outside". And since the Foregathering (Versammlung) is no collectible thing, it stays away by remaining hidden behind those things that are collectible.
But like all analogies, this one too is deficient. First of all, the landscape analogy mistakes the Foregathering of the one and all in the landscape as Λόγος, because the landscape, too, is an entity. Nevertheless, like any individual thing in it, the landscape also tells us a "Foregathering" is staying away and behind it.
Secondly, the landscape analogy introduces a subject (I) and an object (the landscape). But Heraclitus knew as little about subjects and objects as Greek farmers did about combustion engines (318). Having focused on Λόγος qua "Versammlung", Heidegger now offers a second rendering of fragment 50, which now may assume an air of familiarity to us who have been walking with him on his paths to this point:]
If you have not listened to me only but obediently heeded original foregathering, then is (that kind of) knowledge which consists in gathering oneself toward foregathering and to be gathered in 'One is All' (308).
Path 3: Keeping the above in mind, we can now obtain a first clue of the very definition, if you will, of the human being that is at the heart of the entire third path towards Λόγος. If a living being, says Heidegger, possesses a λόγος, then his bond (Bezug) with openness must be determined by gathering. It is then that we have a living being of the nature of man; gathering, i.e., man's own gathering, is "ὁμολογεῖν". The entire third path taken covers an initial but essential discussion of man's "ὁμολογεῖν": the bond holding between Λόγος and human λόγος, between Foregathering and gathering. It is grasped (1) through the essence of the human soul, i.e., by an explication of the Greek meaning of "ψυχή", and (2) by a resolution of an apparent contradiction of 50 and 45.
A first rendering of fragment 45 runs as follows:
The soul's existence exits you cannot make out on your ways, even if you walk on all of them, such is its far reaching gathering (283).
What does it mean for Heraclitus to say that the soul gathers? The answer is to be found in the Greek meaning of "ψυχή". All modem notions should be put aside, it must be related to (1) "physis", and (2) to life: "ζωή". Both were extensively covered in the 1943 lecture, which, because of the brevity of this essay, we must presuppose here. Without explicitly saying so, in the present lecture Heidegger adds the following significant points to the 1943 presentations:
1. Greek "ψυχή" belongs to both "φύσις" and "ζωή".
2. This relationship adds to φύσις's and ζωή's "rising" and "concealing", outlined in 1943 in terms of fragments 16 and 123, the dimensions of closing and withdrawing of "ψυχή".
3. The essence of ψυχή is breathing: inhaling and exhaling. This point is interesting in Heidegger research. Since he will conceive all life as "ensoulment" he concurs with Max Scheler's earlier Anaximinesian conception that it is "breathing", not the the first stirrings of heart functions, that lies at the root of, and engenders, life. But the "breathing" is not restricted to air alone. Heidegger formalizes it into an activity of the ψυχή's own way of what I call"fluctuating existence": Psyche continuously rises into, and takes back, openness. Psyche is "ensoulment" (Beseelung) of all life. A living being's existence is such that it exists into openness which it, in tum, takes back to itself. For this Heidegger throughout the lecture uses the difficult terms of "Ausholen" and "Einholen". For instance, ψυχή is said to be "das einholende Ausholen ins Offene", i.e., a continuous "gearing up to reach out into openness while taking it back and in" (303), but still by holding on to openness (281). For this reason, all reaching out into openness, and back and in, must, in the λόγος of ψυχή, have the character of gathering (309, 317).
4. But: ψυχή's own exits cannot be made out according to fragment 45. That is, the gathering reaching out for, and the taking back in openness of the logos of the human ψυχή cannot reach Foregathering (Λόγος as Being as a Whole). Psyche's gathering fails to reach Λόγος because of the former's equally deep and far reaching exits (Ausgaenge-peirata) that it cannot traverse.
5. All that lives is ensouled in whatever different manner. This is why ψυχή and life are essentially the same (281). Both share in φύσις's "rising" and "withdrawing". And since "ζωή" (life) has the same wide meaning as φύσις, the word ζωή (like that of φύσις), we now learn, can also stand for Being. "All that is, lives ... " (281), and the openness in the various kinds of living beings is respectively different among them. In short, Heidegger imparts: φύσις = ζωή = ψυχή. They all reveal the same characters of rising/opening, and of withdrawing/ self-closing (300), i.e., the characters of φύσις as discussed in 1943,and now seen in ψυχή's fluctuating reaching out, and taking back in, openness.
Heidegger now points to an apparent contradiction between 50 and 45. In fragment 45 we are told that the human soul cannot traverse the depth of the exits in its own λόγος because they are too far-reaching. But it is "presumably" (297) Λόγος, as Being as a Whole, toward which the inexhaustible exits lead. Hence, in 45, Λόγος cannot be reached. In fragment 50, however, man can indeed reach Λόγος in "ob-ey-some" hearkening and come to know that One is All. The question, then, posing itself is whether man can, or cannot, reach Λόγος; or what, precisely, is the bond between human λόγος and Λόγος? Are there supposed to be two λόγοι?
As a living being, man's essence is "ψυχή" which has a λόγος, i.e., a continuous "gearing up for reaching out into openness" (Ausholen) and "taking back and in" (Einholen). Psyche is first "bound up with" entities (317). To be thus hung up, there must take place a continuous gathering (sammeln) that bestows on man his peculiar essence. Psyche's continuous gearing up to reach out for and into openness, and its continuous taking back in, has its very foundation in its own gathering (Sichsammeln) toward Λόγος: This is the nature of "ὁμολογεῖν" in 50. It is through its λόγος that the soul is bonded to "what is", taken as a Whole. But how can this be the case when, on the other hand, the human λόγος cannot reach the ends of its very exits. The answer is this: "True, as seen from Λόγος, Λόγος is somehow present to man but, strictly speaking, without being present. For human λόγος, Λόγος is something like an absent presence" (317). This contradiction, of course, of an "absent presence", says Heidegger, can neither be measured with the yardstick of logic, nor with that of metaphysical dialectics.
It is only toward the end of the lecture that Heidegger proceeds to fragment 72 as grasped along with fragment 16 which was central to the 1943 lecture on the "Inception" of Western thought. As a matter of fact, like 16, 72 is regarded as being near this inception of thinking: "72 gives us a distant, yet a first glimmer of the nature of the knowledge of Being and of man's bond with it" (342/44).
At this point, it becomes rather obvious for us that if Heidegger had started out his 1944 lecture with fragment 72 in the same manner as he did in 1943 with fragment 16, the 1944 lecture would have lost at least some, if not all of its floundering character, which as we stated, is the result in part of his objective procedure of selecting almost exclusively fragments containing the word λόγος and λέγειν and without giving us specific reasons for the sequence of the selections made. Nevertheless, the entire body of his Heraclitus readings, including all that followed after 1944, will remain opaque unless 72 is seen in its pristine character. His German rendering of 72 runs in English as follows:
That which they, in delivering manner, are turned toward most, Logos, is (precisely) what they bring themselves apart from-and what they are daily meeting with is (precisely) what appears alien to them (318/19).
This fragment consists of two parts as indicated by the hyphen. Both parts speak of the human bond (Bezug) which is, however, two-fold: On the one hand, the second part speaks of a daily bond with "tauta" (things), on the other, in the first part this bond is said to be with Λόγος.
How can, as is implied in the second part, things be alien to man when, in daily contact with them, he handles and masters them? While it appears to be more plausible to say that Λόγος stays away, how can things, too, have such a character, at least one that makes them alien to man? The answer to the question lies in the point made in the 1943 Heraclitus lecture: True, we are familiar with the things that always surround us, but we forget their "to be". That is why they are obscured. As Heidegger said in 1943, "We say 'is' all the time, even when we do not expressly say it ... yet, we neither comprehend nor do we be-think this is". We say, for instance: the weather is nice; God is: or, the trail is wet Without this word "is", whether or not used in a sentence, no language can function. It is, he said, the "ether" of language. Thus, the supposedly objective familiarity with things is, in the literal sense of the word, superficial, because their "is-ing", as I call it, is jumped over in everyday life. The pristine significance of 72 is therefore seen in its being a unifying backdrop of the contradiction between 45 and 50: Whereas 45 tells us that the soul cannot reach its exits and therefore cannot reach Λόγος, and whereas 50 tells us that man can, indeed, reach Λόγος in ob-ey-some hearkening, 72 "unifies the ununifiable" (323). Man's forgetfulness of Being pervades his superficial and alleged familiarity with things also.
Man's everyday absorption by things, too, is therefore tied in with Heidegger's famous "forgetfulness of Being", of which he will unceasingly speak in the decades to come. Clearly, in the 1944 lecture, man is said to have one bond, but it is both two-fold (zwiefaeltig) and dissevered (zwiespaeltig). In his forgotten openness, and alien familiarity with things, man is split (der Riss) (344). The effect of this split between Λόγος (qua Being) and entities (tauta) is most conspicuous in the latter's intrusive character and man's entanglement with them. In experiencing them as objects despite the nonpresence of their 'is', man tends to mis-measure his world. But in this, he does not only mis-measure their ontological status, but mis-measures himself. This leads us to Heidegger's rendering of "ὕβρις" as "mis-measurement" ("Vermessenheit") in fragment 43:
It is meet to extinguish mis-measurement (ὕβρις) rather than conflagration (326).
Through man's own λόγος man is gathered toward the openness of Λόγος. But this openness is dimmed by considerable mis-measurement. The restlessly mis-measuring ὕβρις tears into man's "look" (as discussed in the Parmenides lecture): It tears into and tears up his very own gathering, beclouding all "tranquil light of openness" (327). In these passages, Heidegger comes back full circle to the two previous lectures when he discussed man's "jump" over the light of openness (Lichtung) because he stays tied to entities - just as also in visual perception man jumps over light because of his focusing on things in it.
In the present lecture, another factor is added to this. It pertains to the "ὁμολογεῖν" so often referred to here. The reason why we are still unclear about this word is because Heidegger only now will, and can only, tell us what the word in fragment 50 means. It pertains to the question of whether there is a human λόγος, plus a Λόγος. To speak of λόγος and Λόγος has only helped getting us closer to seeing that they are, indeed, one. The gist of Heidegger' s argumentation, it seems to me, lies in the meaning of German "Bezug", which he does not explain, and which I have rendered throughout as "bond". True, "Bezug" means "relation", but it is its literal sense that will clarify the point, somewhat. "Bezug" is cognate with "ziehen", i.e., pulling, not exactly pertinent to the notion of a relation. Strictly speaking, a relation pertains to the terms to be related in it. B may relate to A. But the word "Bezug" docs not necessarily imply related terms. If you will, it can be taken as a purely intercontained reciprocity. Indeed, Heidegger clearly states that the human λόγος and Λόγος are no terms of the bond concerned. They are "bond" without terms, or a "bond between relations" (328). And only now can he tell us that this point may serve as a "preparation" toward an understanding "ὁμολογεῖν" (330). The "ὁμολογεῖν", then, must first of all be seen as a bonding without terms. Both Λόγος and λόγος not being terms, however, is an easy way of putting it, but difficult to comprehend. Hence, Heidegger's preparation leads him first to the "region" (Gegend) of Λόγος out of which it is. In his relentless prying into pre-Socratic thought, he now refers us first again to fragment 108, which however offers quite a plausible explanation for what he calls "region":
Of those many λόγοι I have (already) heard, not one of them comes [within the reaches) from where it is familiar with [the fact that), strictly speaking, what is the to-be-known of all things purely obtains [west) from its (own) region (330).
The central point made in clarifying the region of Λόγος is taken from the last word of 108: "kechorismenon": the purely obtaining of knowledge from its own region. In contrast to apparently all other translations, Heidegger refuses to accept that there is a connotation of "separation" in this word, implying that Λόγος is separate or ab-solute from man. According to fragment 50, we learned that knowledge-proper gathers toward Λόγος, which, as One for(e)gathers All. The idea of Λόγος being separate from man stems from post-Platonic metaphysics where it also resulted in St. John's "Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος", "In the beginning was the Word". The growing difficulty in following Heidegger's paths lies in the regress that "thought" must take "behind" metaphysics. But the word "kechorismenon" will assist in this. It stems from "χώριζο", having the surface meaning of "to separate". But the word contains "χώρα" = "environment" or surrounding region (Umgegend). In turn, "χώρα" goes back to "χάος" and "χάο" = to open up, yawn, gape.4 By way of the examination of the word concerned, Heidegger quite clearly has reached the very threshold of pre-Platonic thought for which concepts like "absolute", let alone of a separate Λόγος are unknown.
Therefore, further understanding of the bond of human λόγος and Λόγος must require regressing into the original"region" of Λόγος where human λόγος is not cut off, but "turned toward" (die Zukehr) original Foregathering.
3. The Regress into the Original Region of Logos.
[Annotation: In his 1943 lecture,logic was referred to as a "miscarriage" of metaphysics. It is a "tool" for handling thinking and, therefore, turned out to be its "protector".]
The term miscarriage was not to be a derogatory one, says Heidegger, but what did it mean when he used it? We are in the position to extrapolate an answer from our study: Logic is an aftermath of man's ὕβρις. It mis-measures man's relatedness to entities quite one-sidedly, especially -we can now also add on our own - because it takes for granted its kind of truth as tantamount to "no contradiction" and not as "Presence of Openness" qua region of Λόγος which is man's true ethos. Therefore man is no "zoon logon echon" but "anthropos zoon ethos echon" (223).
I wish to add yet a further point: Following the Xenocratic determination of thought into logic, ethics, and physics, logic itself came to be mismeasured in its supposedly dominating role. It occupies the highest floor in man's house of Being, and imperiously decrees correctness and incorrectness of all of his views in and beyond this house. Indeed, man's Ethos (=abode) itself is thereby mismeasured (ὕβρις) in that his disorientation in it has come to cover up the very region of Λόγος and its "ἐπιστήμη".
The third part of the lecture is rather short, but extremely condensed in its message. This is why we are again compelled to be patient. It may be the price to be paid for a future "generation of slow thinking people".
This part, too, contains essential Heideggerian vocabulary, which, in its application, would also be as foreign to a native German as it will turn out for us in English. He starts with fragments 41 and 78, rendered below in this sequence. They contain the word "gn6me", which usually translates as "mind".
One, the only One, is knowing (and knowledge means) to sojourn before gnome which steers
all through all (348).
True, the sojourn, namely the human one (amidst what is, taken as a whole) does not have gn6me, but the divine one does (349).
In the first fragment 41, knowledge (to sophon) is referred to as One (hen). And knowledge is to sojourn before gn6me which "steers". Heidegger leaves the word gn6me untranslated. This he does also in fragment 78 above. Looking into gn6me subsequently, he comes up with the following result that we want first to simply anticipate here: Gn6me and Λόγος are the same.
Gn6me is rendered with two common German words, whose Heideggerian usage, however, is totally extinct. First he renders it with "der Mut" meaning "mood" (=Anglo Saxon "mod") in the sense of being in a mood (=readiness) to do something. The word belongs to German "das Gemuet", figuratively the "heart", but without emotive connotation, Heidegger stresses (350).
The second rendering of gn6me is "der Rat" (350f.). It means neither council nor counsel as it does today. Its old meaning is still preserved in a number of German suffixes, as in "Geraet", "Hausrat", "Heirat", "Unrat", "Vorrat". Indeed, it is the latter word "Vorrat", meaning provisions or stock, that Heidegger inculcates into modem German "der Rat" qua gn6me. I do not know why he did not use "Vorrat" in the first place. On pages 397 and 399 of the text he does use it and its adjective "vorraetig". We must add that German "Rat" is cognate with English "to read" (German: lesen). Anglo-Saxon "raetan" means to take a guess, for instance, at runes by gathering what is provided behind them (German: Runen raten). Indeed, Heidegger compares the factor of providing (bereitend) "provisions" in Foregathering with written orthographic symbols (397) such as runes when we cannot make them out: In this case, something shows itself by itself in its being stocked up behind such symbols. This stock is "immediate" especially when the symbols are nothing but a riddle. The absence points to provisions (Rat) hidden behind what is perceived. And in this non-human gn6me (=Logos) "readies itself for us" (=is "mooding toward us"; "anmuten" = "zumuten", 372). Heidegger's arguments why "Mut" and "Rat" essentially mean the same are not, however, convincing (350).
In 41, gn6me steers all through all, and therefore lets appear everything in dovetailment (harmony) and must therefore be the same as original Foregathering (351). The 1966/67 Heidegger-Fink Seminar on Heraclitus will begin with "steering" in 41 and 64. In fragment 78, gn6me belongs only to the gods' sojourn. Hence, Heidegger says: "We cannot dodge the apparently hazardous step of identifying the gnome of the gods with Λόγος, because it pertains to gods only in the direction of the whole of Being, and because gn6me brings forth the original character of provisions in Foregathering" (352). It is therefore the gods' sojourn that "provides" man with "Rat", i.e. gnome. This line of thinking is linked with the Parmenides lecture where he discussed in detail the gods' "looking into" man's polis. Clearly, in 41, gn6me is none of man's production. Rather, man only is (steht) in its openness (in diesem Licht, 351). And insofar as gn6me is said to steer all through all it must gather all into an advance presence, in which anything can become present (351). Gnome's "steering" thus also "helps" (352) presence to come about (as in modem German "Ratgeben"). What is the to-be-known (das Zuwissende) are both Gn6me and Λόγος as the One that "ones": The providing presence in original Foregathering (352).
But all of this is covered up in man's subservience to entities, that is, by his ridding himself of the proximity of Being. Man does not "hold on" to knowledge of Λόγος. He does not hearken to Λόγος in an "ob-ey-some" manner, that is, follow the essence of his own λόγος's ὁμολογεῖν as the preparation to come to the original knowledge of the region of Λόγος. But such a preparation of the human logos that realizes its essence in "ὁμολογεῖν" with Λόγος is original logic. In the title of our 1944 lecture, the first word "Logic" means precisely this: To think Λόγος as presence of original Foregathering (358/59). This leads us to the last major fragment selected by Heidegger: Fragment 112.
Pondering thought [das sinnende Denken) is highest magnanimity, and because knowledge is; to gather what is unconcealed (from and for concealment) in bringing it forth in accordance with emergence- (all of this however) while hearkening to original Foregathering (373/74).
This fragment is supposed to bring into evidence, and to summarize, the major points made in the lecture. In Greek, the fragment has thirteen words, in Heidegger's German rendering of it there are thirty-seven, almost all of which we preserved. In it, major insights of the lecture(s) can be retrieved. The convoluted inflation of 112 is one of thought, not of translation.
In the second part of 112, knowledge is said to be "ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν", "to gather what is unconcealed in bringing it forth according to emergence". Unconcealment is related here to "λέγειν"; "poiein" is related to "kata physin". Knowledge is therefore said to be λέγειν (gathering) and bringing forth. What is gathered in knowledge is unconcealed (alethea) which, in tum, is preserved. Knowledge (sophl~) is an "unconcealing bringing in and preserving of all that is taken and taken up from unconcealment" (364). Unconcealment is seen as "that which shows itself from itself (von sich aus) and thus is what purely obtains in presence" (das Anwesende) toward us. Knowledge is gathering (Sammeln) toward unconcealment of whatever brings itself into presence by and from itself. It takes in what shows itself by itself and preserves and protects it from completely petering out.
This reading of 112 according to which "alethea λέγειν" means "unconcealing forgathering out of concealment" (365), the second ingredient of knowledge, the "poiein kata physin" (the bringing forth according to φύσις) becomes clear when we recall what has been said about "ζωή" and "φύσις" in the present and the 1943lecture. First of all, "Poiein" is a human activity of bringing something forth. But this is always so in conjunction with φύσις. Whatever is brought forth is also what "looks into" by and of itself. All human poiein holds itself on to what comes upon it, i.e., in its execution, we might add. The look of a god sculptured out of marble, for example, shows how its being brought forth holds itself to φύσις. This poiein takes φύσις as "measure" (kata physin) for it to be brought forth. This amounts neither to an imitation of nature, nor to manufacturing production; rather, the human activity brings forth what has already risen and emerged long beforehand through φύσις. Human poiein is λέγειν (gathering) which in 112 happens in "ob-ey-some gearing up to reach out (Ausholen) for Λόγος", i.e., on to the original region of the presence that for(e)gathers (371).
The "emergence" or rising qua φύσις toward which man's poiein is relegated, indicates a "coming forth into openness", i.e., aletheia, "un-concealment". However, the Greeks remained silent about concealment from which unconcealment must come. For this reason, the quintessential unity of aletheia and φύσις - and by implication of λέγειν and poiein - will forever remain obscured. But this unity must have vaguely been present to them, and for such distant glimmering of it the proof lies in the fragments of Parmenides (366). Having come to the end of our coverage of the three pre-Socratic lectures we can now see:
"Ἀλήθεια" was the theme of the Parmenides lecture.
"Φύσις" was the theme of the first Heraclitus lecture.
"Λόγος" was the theme of the second Heraclitus lecture.
And we can also see that the last of the lectures was in part an attempt to regress into the glimmer of the unity of ἀλήθεια and φύσις. That is, the endless exits of our own λόγος (ψυχή) may, in thinking-proper, have come for a moment within the reaches of an appearing region of the ever present Foregathering toward which, and with which, human "ὁμολογεῖν" gathers- while in alienation and forgetfulness.
This is why I chose for Heidegger's own twenty-one points of summation of 112 the title: "Far is the Most Needful Path to be Taken Toward Original Λόγος" (375), a sentence taken from Heidegger's own text.
I also included in Volume 55 a manuscript indicated there as ''Zusatz". I found it among his papers. It turned out to be a first draft of a section also indicated there. I assumed full responsibility for including it in Volume 55 because of its apparent clarifying nature for the text intended by Heidegger for publication. In the present coverage, we have made references to it also.
After Heidegger had entrusted me with the edition of the Heraclitus lectures, a meeting with him was set for July 20, 1976 to discuss what was there to be discussed. He died May 26, 1976. It would have been the third meeting I would have had with him.
In his introductory comments on the Edition (Gesamtausgabe), he only mentions Parmenides and Heraclitus. Obviously, the regress into incipient thought was the path he took in his true earthly abode.
Shortly after Heidegger's death, his wife Elfride sent me a few valuable memorabilia. Among them was a photo taken a long time ago from the window of Heidegger's study, showing the Black Forest landscape spread before him while working at his desk. The view had been there for forty years for him, she wrote. Now the region (you guessed it) has been developed and nothing is left of it.
When I met Martin Heidegger the first time, I walked up to this window without any intended reason. Looking out, I nonchalantly commented, "It must be wonderful to have such a native abode." After a little while of pondering, he responded, "You know- you really say something there" ("Ja-da sagen Sie was").5
1. Like the 1943 Heraclitus Lecture, the German original of the 1944 Heraclitus Lecture appeared in the Gesamtausgabe (German Collected Edition) Vol. 55, Manfred S. Frings (ed.), Frankfurt on the Main: Klostermann Publishing House, 1979 (Sec. Ed. 1987).
2. Rilke, R. M., Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus, A. Puolin Jr. (tr.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1977, p. 55.
3. Twain, Mark," A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court", in: The Works of Marie Twain, Vol. 9, B. L. Stein (ed.), The University of California Press, 1979, ch. 22, p. 259.
4. For a further analysis of the word "χάος" see my article "Protagoras Re-Discovered: Heidegger's Explication of Protagoras' Fragment", in: The Journal of Value Inquiry, VIII, No. 2, Summer 1974, esp. p.122 f.
5. I delivered a synopsis of the 1943 Heraclitus lecture on May 26, 1989 at the Heidegger Conference held at Notre Dame University, Indiana; the synopsis of the present 1944 Heraclitus Lecture on May 26, 1990 at the Heidegger Conference held at Seattle University, Washington.