It may be that the question is posed altogether inadequately, so that nothing essential can be reached by way of it. Only this much is clear: what the words thanc, thought, memory, thanks designate is incomparably richer in essential content than the current signification that the words still have for us in common usage. We could rest satisfied with that observation. But not only do we now go beyond it; the attention we have given to what those words tell us has in advance prepared us to receive from their speaking a directive which carries us closer to the substance expressed in those words.

We shall accept the directive from the words "thinking," "thanc," "memory," and "thanks," taken in their originary sense, and shall try to discuss freely what the word "thinking" tells us in its richer language. Our discussion will be freer, not by being more unbounded, but because our vision achieves an open vista into the essential situations we have mentioned, and gains from them the possibility of an appropriate bond. Our more careful attention to what is named in the word "thinking" brings us directly from the first question to the decisive fourth.

If εἶναι, Being of beings, did not prevail—in the sense of the being here and thus objectivity of the inventory of objects—not only would the airplane engines fail to function, they would not exist. If the Being of beings, as the being here of what is present, were not manifest, the electric energy of the atom could never have its appearance, could never have put to work in its way—work in every respect determined by technology. It may thus be of some importance whether hear what the decisive rubric of Western-European thinking, ἐόν, says--or whether we fail to hear it.