While trying to attend to what words can tell us, we let the relation to philology remain an open question. The findings of philology may in any case give us a clue on occasion. But this does not mean that the findings of philology, taken in themselves as the judgments of a science, must constitute the foundations on which we proceed. Whatever philology has to say must first be given to it historically; it must have reached philology by pre-scientific ways leading up to the history of language. Not until a history is already given, and only then, can the data of that history become the subject matter of written history, and even then the data always remain by their nature what they are. Here is where we take our clues.

In order to perceive a clue, we must first be listening ahead into the sphere from which the clue comes. To receive a clue is difficult, and rare—rarer the more we know, and more difficult the more we merely want to know. But clues also have forerunners, to whose directives we respond sooner and more easily, because we ourselves can help prepare them part of the way.

What is it that is named with the words "think," "thinking," "thought"? Toward what sphere of the spoken word do they direct us? A thought—where is it, where does it go? Thought is in need of memory, the gathering of thought.