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Full text of "I And Thou"

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round about it. The body comes to know and to
differentiate itself in its peculiarities; the differentia-
tion, however, remains one of pure juxtaposition, and
hence cannot have the character of the state in which
I is implied.

But when the / of the relation has stepped forth
and taken on separate existence, it also moves, strangely
tenuous and reduced to merely functional activity, into
the natural, actual event of the separation of the body
from the world round about it, and awakens there the
state in which I is properly active. Only now can the
conscious act of the 7 take place. This act is the first
form of the primary word 7-7$, of the experience in its
relation to 7. The 7 which stepped forth declares itself
to be the bearer, and the world round about to be the
object, of the perceptions. Of course, this happens in
a " primitive " form and not in the form of a " theory
of knowledge "„ But whenever the sentence " I see the
tree " is so uttered that it no longer tells of a relation
between the man—7—and the tree—Thou—, but estab-
lishes the perception of the tree as object by the human
consciousness, the barrier between subject and object
has been set up. The primary word 7-7£, the word of
separation, has been spoken.

—That melancholy of our fate, then, arose in earliest
history ?
—Indeed, yes—in so far as the conscious life of man
arose in earliest history. But conscious life means the
return of cosmic being as human becoming. Spirit
appears in time as a product—even as a by-product