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Full text of "I And Thou"

thought in this connexion he is merely unravelling the
tangled incident; for it was seen in particular form, in
what was over against him. Now the incident is in-
cluded in the It of knowledge which is composed of
ideas. He who frees it from that, and looks on it again
in the present moment, fulfils the nature of the act of
knowledge to be real and effective between men. But
knowledge can also be managed in such a way that it is
afGbcmed that " this, then, is how the matter stands, the
thing is called this, made in this way, its place is over
there " ; that which has become It is left as It, experi-
enced and used as It, appropriated for the undertaking
to "find one's bearings" in the world, and then to
" conquer " it.
So too in art: form is disclosed to the artist as he
looks at what is over against him. He banishes it to
be a " structure ". This " structure" is not in a
world of gods, but in this great world of men. It is
certainly " there ", even if no human eye seeks it out;
but it is asleep. The Chinese poet tells how men did
not wish to hear the tune he played on his jade flute;
then he played it to the gods, and they inclined their
ears; since then men also listened to the time: thus
he went from the gods to those whom the " structure "
cannot dispense with. It longs as in a dream for the
meeting with noan, that for a timeless moment
he may lift the ban and clasp the form. Then he
comes on his way, and experiences what there is
to be experienced : it is made in this way, or this
is expressed in it, or its qualities are such and such,
and further, it takes this place in the scheme of
things.
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