all times nearer to the human being than all those beings in which he establishes himself and his intentions, can at times attune the essence of the human being to a thinking whose truth no “logic" is capable of grasping. That thinking whose thoughts not only cannot be calculated, but are in general determined by that which is other than beings, may be called essential thinking.a Instead of calculatively counting on beings by means of beings, it expends itself in being for the truth of being. Such thinking responds to the claim of being, through the human being letting his historical essence be responsible to the simplicity of a singular necessity, one that does not necessitate by way of compulsion, but creates the need that fulfills itself in the freedom of sacrifice. The need is for the truth of being to be preserved, whatever may happen to human beings and to all beings. The sacrifice is that of the human essence expending itself- in a manner removed from all compulsion, because it arises from the abyss of freedom - for the preservation of the truth of being for beings. In sacrifice there occurs [ereignet sich] the concealed thanks that alone pays homage to the grace that being has bestowed upon the human essence in thinking, so that human beings may, in their relation to being, assume the guardianship of being. Originary thinking [Das anfängliche Denken] is the echo of being’s favor, of a favor in which a singulur event is cleared and lets come to pass [sich ereignen]:b that beings are. This echo is the human response to the word of the silent voice of being. The response of thinking is the origin of the human word, which word first lets language arise as the sounding of the word into words. Were there not at times a concealed thinking in the ground of the essence of historical human beings, then human beings would never be capable of thanking — granted that in all thinking of something and in every thanking there must indeed be a thinking that thinks the truth of being in an originary manner. Yet how else would a particular humankind ever find its way into an originary thanking unless the favor of being, through an open relation to such favor, granted human beings the nobility of a poverty in which the freedom of sacrifice conceals the treasure of its essence? Sacrifice is the departure from beings on the path to preserving the favor of being. Sacrifice can indeed be prepared and served by working and achievement with respect to beings, yet never fulfillled by such activities. Its accomplishment stems from that inherent stance [Ibständigkeit] out of which every historical human being through action - and essential thinking is an action - preserves the Dasein he has attained

a Fifth edition, 1949: Calculating: domination - ordering into place; Thinking: releasement for the propriation of usage - telling renunciation [Ent-sagen]. b Fifth edition, 1949: Event [Ereignis].


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) Pathmarks