Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

Father in* such a way that he himself is simply Son,
and nothing else but Son. Whenever he says / he can
only mean the / of the holy primary word that has been
raised for In™ into unconditional being. If separation
ever touches him, his solidarity of relation is the greater ;
he speaks to others only out of this solidarity. It is
useless to seek to limit this I to a power in itself or this
Thou to something dwelling in ourselves, and once again
to empty the real, the present relation, of reality. I and
Thou abide; every man can say Thou and is then 1,
every man can say Father and is then Son: reality
—But how if a man's mission require him to know
nothing but connexion with his particular Cause,
that is, no longer to know any real relation with or
present realisation of a Thou—to have everything
about hi™ become an It, serving his particular Cause ?
"What of Napoleon's saying of the / ? Is it not
legitimate ? Is this phenomenon of experiencing and
using not a person ?
—Indeed the lord of the age manifestly did not know
the dimension of the Thou. It has been justly ex-
pressed in the words that all being was for him valore.
He who indulgently compared with Peter the followers
who denied hi™ after his fall had no one whom he
himself could have denied; . for he had no one whom
he recognised as a being. He was for millions the
demonic Thou, the Thou that does not respond, that
responds to Thou with It, that does not respond
genuinely in the personal sphere but responds only in
his own sphere, his particular Cause, with his own