Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

tion without any feeling of their exclusiveness, or he
knits them into a scheme of observation without any
feeling of universality. The feeling of exclusiveness
he would be able to find only in relation,, the feeling of
universality only through it. Now for the first time he
experiences things as sums of qualities. From eacb rela-
tional experience qualities belonging to the remembered
Thou had certainly remained sunk in his memory; but
now for the first time things are for him actually com-
posed of their qualities. From the simple memory of the
relation the man, dreaming or fashioning or thinking,
according to his nature, enlarges the nucleus, the
substance that showed itself in the Thou with power
and gathered up in itself all qualities. But now also
for the first time he sets things in space and time,
in causal connexion, each with its own place and
appointed course, its measurability and conditioned
The Thou appears, to be sure, in space, but in the
exclusive situation of what is over against it, wher?
everything else can be only the background out of which
it emerges, not its boundary and measured limit. It
appears, .too, in time, but in that of the event which is
fulfilled in itself:" it is not lived as part of a continuous
and organised sequence, but is lived in a " duration "
whose purely intensive dimension is definable only .
in terms of itself. It appears, lastly, simultaneously
as acting and as being acted uponnot, however, linked
to a chain of causes, but, in its relation of mutual
action with the I, as the beginning and the end of the'
event. This is part of the basic truth of the human
world, that only It can be arranged in order. Only