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Full text of "I And Thou"

all manner of incitements and excitements, activity
and knowledge. In this chronicle of solid benefits the
moments of the TJiou appear as strange lyric and
dramatic episodes, seductive and magical, but tearing
us away to dangerous extremes, loosening the well-
tried context, leaving more questions than satisfaction
behind them, shattering security—in short, uncanny
moments we can well dispense with. For since we are
bound to leave them and go back into the " world ",
why not remain in it ? Why not call to order what
is over against us, and send it packing into the realm
of objects.? Why, if we find ourselves on occasion
with no choice but to say Thou to father, wife, or
comrade, not say Thou and mean It ? To utter the
sound Thou with the vocal organs is by. no means the
same as saying the uncanny primary word; more,
it is harmless to whisper with the soul an amorous Thou,
so long as nothing else in a serious way is meant but
experience and make use of.

It is not possible to live in the bare present. Life
would be quite consumed if precautions were not
taken to subdue the present speedily and thoroughly.
But it is possible to live in the bare past, indeed only in
it may a life be organised. We only need to fill each
moment with experiencing and using, and it ceases
to burn.

And in all the seriousness of truth, hear this : without
It man cannot live. But he who lives with It alone
is not a man.

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