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Full text of "I And Thou"

but objects. But objects subsist in time that has
been.
The present is not fugitive and transient, but continu-
ally present and enduring. The object is not duration,
but cessation, suspension, a breaking off and cutting
clear and hardening, absence of relation and of present
being.
True beings are lived in the present, the life of objects
is in the past.
*
Appeal to a " world of ideas " as a third factor above
this opposition will not4 do away with its essential
twofold nature. For I speak of nothing else but the
real man, of you and of me, of our life and of our world
ónot of an 7, or a state of being, in itself alone. The
real boundary for the actual man cuts right across
the world of ideas as well.
To be sure, many a man who is satisfied with the
experience and use of the world of thingp has raised
over V^jbout himself a structure of ideas, in which he
finds refuge and repose from the oncome of nothingness.
On the threshold he lays aside his inauspicious everyday
dress, wraps himself in pure linen, and regales himself
with the spectacle of primal being, or of necessary being ;
but his life has no part in it. To proclaim his ways may
even fill TIITYI with well-being.
But the mankind of mere It that is imagined,
postulated, and propagated by such a man has nothing
in common with a living mankind where Thou may
truly be spoken. The noblest fiction is a fetish, the
loftiest fictitious sentiment is depraved. Ideas are no
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