has what it itself is. What of itself most gives something to think about, what is most considerable, is supposed to show itself in that we are not yet thinking. What does this now say? It says: we have not yet properly arrived in the realm of that which, of itself, would love8 to be considered above all else and for all else. Why have we not yet arrived there? Perhaps because we humans are not yet devoting ourselves sufficiently to that which remains what is to be considered? Then the fact that we are not yet thinking would be merely something neglected on the part of human beings. Then this lack would have to be able to be remedied in a human manner, by suitable human measures.
That we are not yet thinking, however, does not depend in any way on humans not yet devoting themselves sufficiently to that which of itself would love to be considered. That we are not yet thinking comes much rather from the fact that what is to be thought turns itself away from humans, indeed, has kept itself turned away for a long time already.
Immediately, we will want to know when and in what manner the turning away meant here happened. Before that, and even more eagerly, we will ask how we can know at all about such an occurrence. Questions of this kind come thick and fast when we go on to assert concerning the most considerable: that which properly gives us something to think about did not turn away from human beings at some historically datable time, but what is to be thought has rather kept itself from the start [von einsther] in such turning away. Yet, turning away only takes place [ereignet sich] where a turning toward [or devotion: Zuwendung] has already happened. If the most considerable keeps itself in a turning-away, then that happens already within and only within its turning-toward, i.e., such that it has already given something to think about. In all turning away, what is to be thought has already addressed itself to the human essence. Therefore, the human has also always already thought our history in an essential manner. The human has even thought what is most profound. What is to be thought remains entrusted to this thinking – in an unusual manner, of course. You see, thinking hitherto does not at all consider that and to what extent what is to be thought nevertheless withdraws itself thereby.
8 [Möchten, ‘would like,’ is a form of mögen, translated above as ‘to love.’]