only the beginning. Whosoever has thought and thus has only first begun to think, and is thus in thinking and operating from out of it, has in this way, and only in this way, already thought what is deepest, which never exists somewhere apart.
“Whosoever has thought what is deepest, loves what is most alive.” This makes it sound as though the love for what is most alive is a consequence of thinking, as though this love activates itself once thinking has been consummated. Yet, the truth is otherwise: it is rather the case that thinking is itself the love, the love for what is “most alive,” for that in which all that is alive has gathered itself in life. Love—a kind of thinking? Or, indeed, is thinking a kind of love? We are told that love is a ‘feeling’ and that thinking is without feeling. Psychology clearly differentiates between thinking, feeling, desire, and ‘classifies’ these as ‘psychical phenomena.’ One also thinks—and, from a certain perspective, justifiably—that thinking is cleaner and more precise the less it is affected (i.e., polluted) by moods and feelings. If, however, thinking is ever able to lead to love, then it would surely have to be a thinking in the proper mood and therefore an ‘emotive’ thinking, a thinking with ‘emotions,’ i.e., ‘emotional thinking.’ However, how can this be if what is deepest is only reachable in thinking and if it only opens itself to thinking? Does everything not then depend upon only thinking, upon thinking purely, in order to assure that the to-be-thought approaches thinking?
We now say Hölderlin’s saying aloud with the emphasis suggested by the structure and rhythm of the verse itself:
Whosoever has thought what is deepest, loves what is most alive.
However, given the mysterious inexhaustibility of such lines, which always speak above and beyond the poet, it is good if we also occasionally emphasize it thusly:
 Whosoever has thought what is deepest, loves what is most alive.
“Thought” and “loves” are in such immediate proximity that they are effectively the same, though not, of course, as an indistinct monotony, but rather as a conjoined simplicity whose unity as thinking and life is named but nevertheless remains unsaid.
The thinking named here, and perhaps only provisionally intuited, is that thinking which we are trying to learn by learning ‘thinking as such.’