The beginning of the path showed: all mastery of distances brings no nearness at all. With nearness there likewise slips away the remote. Everything is leveled down into the distanceless. Now we see more poignantly: Nearness essences insofar as the thing things. The thing things the world. Thinging is the nearing that holds the world as world in nearness. In nearing lies the essence of nearness.
Nearness is not shortness of distance, farness is not the length of distance. The remote is not at all the cancellation of nearness. Only with the nearing of nearness does the remote take its distance and remain guarded as the remote. For this reason, where the thing does not thing and nearness does not near, the remote, too, stays away. Nearness and farness remain equally outstanding. The distanceless dominates.
What one calls distance [Abstand] we know as the interval between two points. If we step outside the house under the tree and in its shadow, however, then admittedly the distance between house and tree does not rest in the measurement of the interval between them. The distance consists rather in that the house, tree, and shadow concernfully approach us from their mutual reciprocity, and also in how they do so. Such concerned approach attunes the distance (longinquity) between what is present within presencing. The distance to us of all that presences and absences is attuned by this concerned approach. Whatever has such distance, among themselves and to us, concernfully approaches us precisely by this distancing, be it that something lies far from us, be it that something comes near to us. Yet even what does not concern us, as
GA 79 p. 24