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Full text of "I And Thou"

—with what is alive and effective over against him.
(This " fancy " does not in the least involve, however, a
" giving of life to the universe " : it is-the instinct to
make everything into Thou, to give relation to the
universe, the instinct which completes out of its own
richness the living effective action when a mere copy
or symbol of it is given in what is. over against him.)
Little, disjointed, meaningless sounds still go out per-
sistently into the void. But one day, unforeseen, they
will have become conversation—does it matter that it is
perhaps with the simmering kettle ? It is conversation*
Many a movement termed reflex is a firm trowel in
the building up of the person in the world. It is simply
not the case that the child first perceives an object,
then, as it were, puts himself in relation with it. But
the effort to establish relation comes first—the hand of
the child arched out so that what is over against him
may nestle under it; second is the actual relation, a
saying of Thou without words, in the state preceding
the word-form; the thing, like the 7, is produced late,
arising after the original experiences have been split
Bunder and the connected partners separated. In the
beginning is relation—as category of being, readiness,
grasping form, mould for the soul; it is the a priori
of relation, the inborn Thou.
The inborn Thou is realised in the lived relations
with that which meets it. The fact that this Thou
can be known as what is over against the child, can be
v taken up in exclusiveness, and finally can be addressed
with the primary word, is based on the a priori of
In the instinct to make contact (first by touch and