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Full text of "I And Thou"

reside in feelings, and if, like the modern man, you
have learned to concern yourself wholly with your own
feelings, despair at their unreality will not easily in-
struct you in a better way—for despair is also an
interesting feeling.
The men who suffer distress in the realisation that
institutions yield no public life have hit upon an
expedient: institutions must be loosened, or dissolved,
or burst asunder, by the feelings themselves; they
must be given new life from the feelings, by the intro-
duction into them of the " freedom of feeling ". If the
mechanical State, say, links together citizens alien to
one another in their very being, without establishing,
or promoting, a being together, let the State, these
men say, be replaced by the community of love; and
this community will arise when people, out of free,
abundant feeling, approach and wish to live with one
another. But it is not so. The true community does
not arise through peoples having feelings for one
another (though indeed not without it), but through,
first, their taking their stand in living mutual relation
with a living Centre, and, second, their being in living
mutual relation with one another. The second has its
source in the first, but is not given when the first alone
is given. Living mutual relation includes feelings, but
does not originate with the>m. The community is
built up out of living mutual relation, but the builder is
the living effective Centre.
Further, institutions of the so-called personal life
cannot be given new life by free feeling (though indeed
not without it). Marriage, for instance, will never be
given new life except by that out of which true marriage
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