127
Address [207-208]

You stick to the because and ask not why?


What does "because" mean? It guards against investigating the "why," therefore, against investigating foundations. It balks at founding and getting to the bottom of something. For the "because'' is without "why," it has no ground, it is ground itself.

The word "ground" [Grund] means that which lies deeper, for example, the bottom of the sea [Meeresgrund] , the valley floor [Talsgrund] , the bottom of one's heart [Herzensgrund] . Compare this to Goethe's sonnet "Powerful Surprise":56


What also may be mirrored from ground to grounds
He changes it ceaselessly to a dale.[62]


Ground is that upon which everything rests, that which is already present as what supports all beings. The "because" names this supportive presence before which we simply pause. The "because" points to the essence of grounds. If the word of being as the word of grounds is a true word, then the "because" also points to the essence of being.

Yet what does the "because" [weil] really mean? It is the shortened word for dieweilen [whereas] . An older manner of speaking goes:


One must strike the iron while [weil] it is hot.


Here the "while" in no way means: "since—because," rather "while" denotes dieweilen [whereas] , which means, as long as—the iron is hot—during. "To while" [Weilen] means: "to tarry," "to remain still, " "to pause and keep to oneself," namely in rest.[63] In a beautiful verse Goethe says:57


The fiddle stops and the dancer whiles.[64]


"Whiling", "tarrying," "perpetuating" is indeed the old sense of the word "being" [sein]. The while that every founding and every "why" guards against names the simple, plain presence that is without why—the presence upon which everything depends, upon which everything rests. "The while, names the ground. But qua the Whereas, "whiling" also names "the abiding": being. "Whiling" names both: being and ground; it names the abiding, being as the ground/reason. Being and ground/reason—in whiling—the same. Both belong together.

The little principle of reason—"Nothing is without reason"—at first speaks as the grand fundamental principle, the principium grande. The principle is grand by virtue of the force of its demands on all cognition. The little principle of reason—"Nothing is without reason"—both speaks as a word of being and names this as the ground/reason.

Indeed it is only because the word of being is true that the fundamental