Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

appears, then the effective power streams out, and tKe
work arises.
The act includes a sacrifice and a risk. This is the
sacrifice: the endless possibility that is offered up on
the altar of the form. For everything which just tlds
moment in play ran through the perspective must be
obliterated ; nothing of that may penetrate the work
The exclusiveness of what is facing it demands that it
be so. This is the risk : the primary word can only be'
spoken with the whole being. He who gives himself .to
it may withhold nothing of himself. The work does
not suffer me, as do the tree and the man, to torn
aside and relax in the world of It; but it command^. If
I do not serve it aright it is broken, or it breaks me,
I can neither experience nor describe the form which
meets me, but only forth. And yet I behold
it, splendid in the radiance of what confronts me, cleaner
than all the clearness of the world which is experienced.
I do not behold it as a thing among the " inner " things
nor as an image of my " fancy/' but as that which exists
in the present. If test is made of its objectivity the
form is certainly not "there." Yet what is actually
so much present as it is ? Aod the relation in which
I stand to it is real, for it affects me, as I affect it,
To produce is to draw forth, to invent is to find,
to shape is to discover. In bodying forth I disclose*
I lead the form across—into the world of It. The
work produced is a thing among things, able to be ex-
perienced and described as a sum of qualities. But from
time to time it can face the receptive beholder in its
whole embodied form.