The Thing [1112]

nourishment of the earth and the sun of the sky are betrothed to each other. In the gift of water, in the gift of wine, there abides in each case the sky and earth. The gift of the pour however is the jughood of the jug. In the essence of the jug there abides earth and sky.

The gift of the pour is a libation for the mortals. It quenches their thirst. It enlivens their efforts. It heightens their sociability. But the gift of the jug is also at times given for consecration. If the pour is for consecration then it does not appease a thirst. It appeases the celebration of the festival on high. Now the gift of the pour is neither given in a tavern nor is the gift a libation for mortals. The pour is the oblation spent for the immortal gods. The gift of the pour as oblation is the authentic gift. In the giving of the consecrated oblation, the pouring jug essences as the giving gift. The consecrated oblation is what the word “pour” actually names: offering and sacrifice. “Pour” [Guß], “to pour” [gießen], in Greek reads: χέειν, Indogermanic: ghu. This means: to sacrifice. Sufficiently thought and genuinely said, where it is essentially performed pouring is: donating, sacrificing, and therefore giving. Only for this reason can pouring become, as soon as its essence atrophies, a mere filling up and emptying out, until it finally degenerates into the ordinary serving of drinks. Pouring is not a mere gushing in and out.

In the gift of the pour that is a libation, the mortals abide in their way. In the gift of the pour that is an oblation, the divinities abide in their way, divinities who receive back the gift of the giving as the gift of a donation. In the gift of the pour, the mortals and divinities each abide differently. In the gift of the pour, the earth and sky abide. In the gift of the pour there abides at the same time earth and sky, divinities and mortals. These four, united of themselves, belong together. Obligingly coming before all that presences, they are folded into a single fourfold.

In the gift of the pour abides the single fold [Einfalt] of the four.

The gift of the pour is a gift insofar as it lets the earth and sky, the divinities and mortals abide. Indeed letting abide [verweilen] is now no longer the mere perseverance of something present at hand. Letting abide appropriates. It brings the four into the light of what is their own. From the single fold of this, they are entrusted to each other. At one in this reciprocality

Martin Heidegger (GA 79) Bremen and Freiburg Lectures

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