"thinking" say? Where there is thinking, there are thoughts. By thoughts we understand opinions, ideas, reflections, propositions, notions. But the Old English word "thane" says more than that—more not only in terms of the usual meaning mentioned here, but something different; and different not only by comparison with what went before, but different in nature, in that it is decidedly distinct and also decisive. The thanc means man's inmost mind, the heart, the heart's core, that innermost essence of man which reaches outward most fully and to the outermost limits, and so decisively that, rightly considered, the idea of an inner and an outer world does not arise.
When we listen to the word thanc in its basic meaning, we hear at once the essence of the two words : thinking and memory, thinking and thanks, which readily suggest themselves in the verb "to think."
The thanc, the heart's core, is the gathering of all that concerns us, all that we care for, all that touches us insofar as we are, as human beings. What touches us in the sense that it defines and determines our nature, what we care for, we might call contiguous or contact. For the moment, the word may strike us as odd. But it grows out of the subject matter it expresses, and has long been spoken. It is only that we fail too easily to hear what is spoken.
Whenever we speak of subject and object, there is in our thoughts a project and a base, an oppositeness—there is always contact in the widest sense. It is possible that the thing which touches us and is in touch with us if we achieve our humanity, need not be represented by us constantly and specifically. But even so it is concentrated, gathered toward us beforehand. In a certain manner, though not exclusively, we ourselves are that gathering.
The gathering of what is next to us here never means an after-the-fact collection of what basically exists, but the