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Full text of "I And Thou"

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deeds. This demonic Thou> to which no one can
become Thou, is the elementary barrier of history,
where the basic word of connexion loses its reality, its
character of mutual action. In addition to (not
between) person and individual, free and self-willed
man, there is this third, towering in times of destiny,
fraught with destiny. Towards him everything flames,
but his fire is cold. To him a thousand several
relations lead, but from him none. He shares in no
reality, but in him immeasurable share is taken as
though in a reality.
He sees the beings around him, indeed, as machines,
capable of various achievements, which must be taken
into account and utilised for the Cause. In this
way, too, he sees himself—except that he must continu-
ally ascertain anew by experiment his power of achieve-
ment (whose limits he does not experience): he treats
himself, too, as an It.
Thus, then, his saying of 7 is not a lively impressive,
not a full one ; but it is all the less a saying (like that of
the modern individual) that deceives about these things.
He does not speak of himself, but only " with himself
as starting-point". The I that he utters and writes
is the necessary subject for the sentences of his deter-
minationa and arrangements—no more and no less. It
has no subjectivity, but it has also no self-consciousness
concerned with its defined being, and thus all the more
no illusion of the apparent self, " I am the clock, which
exists, and does not know itself"—so he himself ex-
pressed his destined being, the reality of this phenomenon
and the unreality of this I, at the time when he was
hurled from his Cause, and for the first time had,