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Full text of "I And Thou"

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As experience, the world belongs to the primary
word I-It.

The primary word I-Thou establishes the world of

The spheres in' which the world of relation arises are

First, our life with nature. There the relation sways
in gloom, beneath the level of speech* Creatures live
and move over against us, but cannot come to us,
and when we address them as Thou, our words cling to
the threshold of speech.

Second, our life with men. There the relation is
open and in the form of speech. We can give and accept"
the Thou,

Third, our life with intelligible forms. There the
relation is clouded, yet it discloses itself; it does not
use speech, yet begets it. We perceive no Thou, but none
tlie less we feel we are addressed and we answer-
forming, thinking, acting. We speak the primary word
with our being, though we cannot utter Thou with our

But with what right do we draw what lies outside
speech into relation with the world of the primary word ?
In every sphere in its own way, through each process
of becoming that is present to us we look out toward
the fringe of the eternal Thou ; in each we are aware
of a breath from the eternal Thou ; in each Thou vr&
address the eternal Thou.