‘who are you’ and the ‘who are you all,’ and never with the ‘what is that’ or ‘what is that thing’; everyone only addressable by the ‘who’ is a being only insofar as they are in ἀλήθεια—unconcealment.

If we think the first saying of Heraclitus’s more inceptually in view of unconcealment and revealing, then it appears that in the essence of φύσις, and in the essence of those who correspond revealingly to it, ἀλήθεια prevails as the originary unifying ground. To be sure, this is not articulated in the saying, nor in any other sayings of Heraclitus’s. This is also not said by either of the other inceptual thinkers, Anaximander and Parmenides. All the same, based upon the proper essence of ἀλήθεια, it is necessary to note that precisely because ἀλήθεια has still not been named inceptually, and indeed remains the unsaid, it is that from out of which inceptual thinking speaks when it speaks inceptually.

In view of what is unsaid and still unsayable, the first saying of Heraclitus’s is a question. πῶς—how may anyone who revealingly, and thereby in accordance with his essence, opens himself and peers into emerging, be concealed from emerging? Is it not the case that for each person who revealingly comports himself thusly, the essence to which he comports himself is always already emerging, and in such a way that it must be addressed as the never submerging?

πῶς—how is it possible within the realm of emerging, and of the openness to emerging of the human and godly essences, that someone could be concealed within this realm, and thereby be locked out of emerging and at the same time have its essence hidden from itself? πῶς—how can it be possible, since φύσις prevails and human beings and gods reveal themselves to φύσις? [175]

τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε πῶς ἄν τις λάθοι;

Before the not ever submerging, how is it possible for anyone to be concealed from it (given that ἀλήθεια unfolds in the never submerging and in the essence of every τίς)?

However, we also heard this: the essence of φύσις is never a pure emerging that arises groundlessly as though out of the nothing. φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ—“emerging grants favor to self- concealing.” If, however, ἀλήθεια is the essential ground of φύσις, then only now do we understand the name ἀλήθεια as unconcealment, re- vealing. ἀλήθεια unfolds from out of concealment and within sheltering. ἀλήθεια is, as its name says, no mere openness, but is rather the unconcealment of self-concealment. ἀλήθεια has for a long time and exclusively been translated and thought in terms of what we now call by the name “truth.”

Metaphysical thinking knows truth only as a characteristic of cognition. It is for this reason that the clue just provided—namely, that “truth” in the sense of ἀλήθεια is the inception of the essence of φύσις itself and of the gods and human beings who belong to it—remains strange to such a viewpoint. Indeed, it is even preferable


The essence of φύσις    131