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Full text of "I And Thou"

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and dared, to speak and think of himself, and
to take thought for his I—which now appeared for the
first time. The I that appears is utot a mere subject,
but neither does it move towards subjectivity; freed
from its enchantment, but not saved, it expresses itself
in the fearful word that is as legitimate as it is
illegitimate : " The universe beholds us ! " In the end
it sinks back in mystery.

Who would dare to assert, after such a course and
such a fall, that this man understood his tremendous,
prodigious mission—or that he misunderstood it? It
is certain that the age, for which the demoniacal, with-
out present, has become master and model, misunder-
stands him. It does not know that what rule here are
not lust for power and enjoyment of power, but destiny
and consummation* It grows enthusiastic over this
despotic brow, and has no suspicion of what signs are
written across it, like the figures on the face of the
clock. It industriously imitates this way of looking
on living beings, without understanding its need and
its necessity, and exchanges the rigorous attention
of this / to the particular business for excited self-
consciousness. The word " I" remains the shibboleth
of mankind. Napoleon spoke it without power to enter
into relation, but he spoke it as the I of a consummation.
He who strives to say it as he said it only betrays the
desperateness of his own self-contradiction.

—What is self-contradiction ?
—If  a  man  does   not   represent  the  a priori of
relation in his living with the world, if he does not