If it’s granted that the assertion that we are not yet thinking is true, then this says at the same time that our thinking does not yet properly [eigens] move in its authentic [eigentlich] element,18 namely, because what is to be thought withdraws itself from us. We cannot of ourselves compel into arrival what withholds itself19 from us in such a manner and therefore remains unthought, even assuming the fortuitous situation that we are already clearly thinking ahead into that which withholds itself20 from us.
Hence, there remains for us only one thing, namely, to wait, until what is to be thought addresses itself to us. Yet to wait does not in any way mean here that for now we still postpone thinking. To wait means [heißt] here: to keep watch [or: to maintain a lookout] – namely, within what has already been thought – for what is unthought, which is still concealed in what has already been thought. Through such waiting, we are already underway in thinking [denkend] on a path into what is to be thought. The path could lead us astray [or could be a wandering one: ein Irrgang sein]. It would remain nonetheless uniquely attuned by correspondence to that which there is to consider.
By what mark, however, are we supposed to notice at all that which above all else, from the start [einsther], gives the human something to think about? How can the most considerable show itself21 to us? That would mean [hießt]: the most considerable shows itself in our considerable age in this: that we are not yet thinking, not yet in such a way that we properly correspond to the most considerable. Heretofore, we have not entered into the proper essence of thinking22 in order to dwell there. In this sense [or direction: Sinne], we do not yet think authentically.23 But this precisely says: we are already thinking; nevertheless, despite all logic, we are not yet properly familiar [vertraut] with the element in which thinking authentically thinks. That is why we do not yet adequately know in which element thinking hitherto already moves,24 insofar as it
18 Third edition, 1967: or is the withdrawal, the withdrawnness, the refusal, the element of thinking? Refusal of the fourfold
19 to hint, to intimate [ahnen]
20 to hint, to intimate [ahnen]
21 to hint, to intimate [ahnen]
22 Third edition, 1967: into its element
23 event [Ereignis]
24 Third edition, 1967: ontological difference