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Full text of "I And Thou"

meet you, then it vanishes ; but it comes back in another
form. It is not outside you, it stirs in the depth of you;
if you say " Soul of my soul" you have not said too
much. But guard against wishing to remove it into
your soul—for then you annihilate it. It is your present;
only while you have it do you have the present. Tou can
make it into an object for yourself, to experience and
to use; you must continually do this—and as you do it
you have no more present. Between you and it there is
mutual giving: you say Thou to it and give yourself to it,
it says Thou to you and gives itself to you. You cannot
make yourself understood with others concerning it,
you are alone with it. But it teaches you to meet others,
and to hold your ground when you meet them. Through
the graciousness of its coinings and the solemn sadness
of its goings it leads you away to the Thou in which
the parallel lines of relations meet. It does not help
to sustain you in life, it only helps you to glimpse
eternity.

The world of It is set in the context of space and time.
The world of Thou is not set in the context of either
of these.
The particular Thou} after the relational event has
run its course, is bound to become an It.
The particular It, by entering the relational event,
may become a Thou.
These are the two basic privileges of the world of
It. They move man to look on the world of It as the
world in which he has to live, and in which it is comfort-
able to live, as the world, indeed, which offers him
D                         33