The country offers ways only because it is country. It gives way, moves us. We hear the words "give way" in this sense: to be the original giver and founder of ways.*
The word "way" probably is an ancient primary word that speaks to the reflective mind of man. The key word in Laotse's poetic thinking is Tao, which "properly speaking" means way. But because we are prone to think of "way" superficially, as a stretch connecting two places, our word "way" has all too rashly been considered unfit to name what Tao says. Tao is then translated as reason, mind, raison, meaning, logos.
Yet Tao could be the way that gives all ways, the very source of our power to think what reason, mind, meaning, logos properly mean to say—properly, by their proper nature. Perhaps the mystery of mysteries of thoughtful Saying conceals itself in the word "way," Tao, if only we will let these names return to what they leave unspoken, if only we are capable of this, to allow them to do so. Perhaps the enigmatic power of today's reign of method also, and indeed preeminently, stems from the fact that the methods, notwithstanding their efficiency, are after all merely the runoff of a great hidden stream which moves all things along and makes way for everything. All is way.
These lectures make their way within the neighborhood of poetry and thinking, underway on the lookout for a possibility of undergoing an experience with language.
On the way, we assume that the neighborhood of which we have spoken is the place that gives us room to experience how matters stand with language. Anything that gives us room and
* Again, a passage has been omitted in the translated text:—a gloss on the German verb bewegen (usually translated "to move"), its German cognates, etymology, and uses in the Swabian dialect. The passage runs: "Sonst verstehen wir bewegen im Sinne von: bewirken, daß etwas seinen Ort wechselt, zu- oder abnimmt, überhaupt sich ändert. Be-wëgen aber heißt: die Gegend mit Wegen versehen. Nach altem Sprachgebrauch der schwäbisch-alemannischen Mundart kann »wëgen« besagen: einen Weg bahnen, z. B. durch tief verschneites Land. Wögen und Be-wëgen als Weg-bereiten und Weg als das Ge-langenlassen gehören in denselben Quell- und Strombereich wie die Zeitwörter: wiegen und wagen und wogen. (Tr.)