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Full text of "I And Thou"

capital, lays bare the shame of the world-spirit which
has been degraded to spirituality.
But how lovely and how fitting the sound of the
lively and impressive I of Socrates ! It is the I of endless
dialogue, and the air of dialogue is wafted around it in
all its journeys, before the judges and in the last hour
in prison. This I lived continually in the relation with
man which is bodied forth in dialogue. It never ceased
to believe in the reality of men, and went qut to meet
them. So it took its stand with them in reality, and
reality forsakes it no more. Its very loneliness can
never be forsakenness, and if the world of man is silent
it hears the voice of the daimonion say TJiou.
How lovely and how legitimate the sound of the full
I of Goethe! It is the / of pure intercourse with nature ;
nature gives herself to it and speaks unceasingly with it,
revealing her mysteries to it but not betraying her
mystery. It believes in her, and says to the rose,
" Then thou art it "—then it takes its stand with it in a
single reality. So the spirit of the real remains with
it when it turns back to itself, the gaze of. the sun
abides with the blessed eye that considers its own
radiance, and the friendship of the elements accompanies
the man into the stillness of dying and becoming.
This is the sound through the ages of the " sufficient,
true, and pure " saying of the I by those persons who,
like Socrates and Goethe, are bound up in relation.
And to anticipate by taking an illustration from the
realm of unconditional relation : how powerful, even to
being overpowering, and how legitimate, even to being
self-evident, is the saying of I by Jesus ! For it is the /
of unconditional relation in which the man calls his Thou
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