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Full text of "I And Thou"

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of nature, yet it is in spirit that nature is tunelessly
The opposition of the two primary words has
many names at different times and in different
worlds; but in its nameless truth it is inherent in
—But you believe then in the existence of a paradise
in the earliest days of mankind ?
—Even if it was a hell—and certainly that time to
which I can go back in historical thought was full of
fury and anguish and torment and cruelty—at any rate
it was not unreal.
The relational experiences of man in earliest days
were certainly not tame and pleasant. But rather
force exercised on being that is really lived than shadowy
solicitude for faceless numbers! From the former a
way leads to God, from the latter only one to nothing-
Only brief glimpses into the context in time of the
two primary words are given us by primitive man,
whose life, even if it could be made fully accessible,
can represent only as it were allegorically that of the
real early man. We receive fuller knowledge from the
Here it becomes crystal clear to us that the spiritual
reality of the primary words arises out of a natural
reality, that of the primary word I-Thou out of natural
combination, and that of the primary word I-lt out of
natural separation.