101
§6 Hidden counter-essence [149-151]

focus, and only deal with, and calculate, and organize, beings, they ever find their way within beings and arc there "at home" and in their element. Within the limits of beings, of the real, of the "facts," so highly acclaimed, everything is normal and ordinary.

But where, on the contrary, Being comes into focus, there the extraordinary announces itself, the excessive that strays "beyond" the ordinary, that which is not to be explained by explanations on the basis of beings. This is the uncanny, literally understood and not in the otherwise usual sense according to which it rather means the immense and what has never yet been. For the uncanny, correctly understood, is neither immense nor tiny, since it is not to be measured at all with the measure of a so-called "standard." The uncanny is also not what has never yet been present; it is what comes into presence always already and in advance prior to all "uncanninesses." The uncanny, as the Being that shines into everything ordinary, i e., into beings, and that in its shining often grates beings like the shadow of a cloud silently passing, has nothing in common with the monstrous or the alarming The uncanny is the simple, the insignificant, ungraspable by the fangs of the will, withdrawing itself from all artifices of calculation, because it surpasses all planning.' The emergence and the concealment that dwell in all emerging beings, i.e., Being itself, must therefore be astonishing to common experience within the everyday dealing with beings, if this does manage to get Being actually in focus, though it always has some view of it. The astounding is for the Greeks the simple, the insignificant, Being itself. The astounding, visible in the astonishing, is the uncanny, and it pertains so immediately to the ordinary that it can never be explained on the basis of the ordinary.

Perhaps, after this exposition, we may translate τὸ δαιμόνιον ("the demonic") by "the uncanny." We may indeed do so, provided we think the uncanny, the extraordinary, and what cannot be explained on the basis of the ordinary, as the result of the δαιμόνιον, and thus acknowledge that the δαιμόνιον is not the demonic because it is the uncanny, but that it is the uncanny precisely because it possesses the essence of the δαιμόνιον. The δαιμόνιον is not identical in essence with the uncanny in the sense just delimited. and moreover the uncanny is not the ground of essence of the δαιμόνιον. What then is the δαιμόνιον itself?

We may call the δαιμόνιον the uncanny, or the extraordinary, because it surrounds, and insofar as it everywhere surrounds, the present ordinary state of things and presents itself in everything ordinary, though without being the ordinary. The uncanny understood in this way is, with regard to what is ordinary or natural not the exception but the



1 Cf Grundbegriffe. Gesamtausgabe Bd. 51