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Full text of "I And Thou"

becomes conscious of itself as being such-and-swcti and
nothing else. The person says, " I am ", the individual
says, " I am such-and-such'*. " Know thyself ", means
for the person " know thyself to have being'% for the
individual it means " know thy particular kind of being ".
Individuality in differentiating itself from others is
rendered remote from true being.
We do not mean by this that the person in any way
"gives up'* Ms special being, his being different—
only that this being is not his observation-point, but
simply there, the necessary and significant conception
of being. Individuality, on the other hand, revels in
its special being or, rather, mostly in the fiction of its
special being which it has made up for itself. For to
know itself means basically for it (for the most part)
to establish an authoritative apparent self, capable of
deceiving it ever more and more fundamentally, and
to procure for itself, in looking to and honouring this
apparent self, the semblance of knowledge of its own
bein^ as it really is. Real knowledge of its being would
lead it to self-destruction—or to rebirth.
The person looks on his Self, individuality is concerned
with its My—my kind, my race, my creation, my genius.
Individuality neither shares in nor obtains any reality.
It differentiates itself from the other, and seeks through
experiencing and using to appropriate as much of it as
it can. This is its dynamic, self-differentiation and
appropriation, each exercised on the It within the
unreal. The subject, as it thinks itself to be, may make
as much as it likes into its own; in virtue of this it a cquires
no substance, but remains a functional point, experienc-
ing and using, no more. None of its extensive and
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