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Full text of "I And Thou"

work out and realise the inborn Thou on what meets it,
then it strikes inwards. It develops on the unnatural,
impossible object of the I, that is, it develops where
there is no place at all for it to develop. Thus con-
frontation of what is over against him takes place within
himself, and this cannot be relation, or presence, or
streaming interaction, but only self-contradiction. The
man may seek to explain it as a relation, perhaps
as a religious relation, in order to wrench himself from
the horror of the inner double-ganger; but he is bound to
discover again and again the deception in the explana-
tion. Here is the verge of life, flight of an unfulfilled life
to the senseless semblance of fulfilment, and its groping
in a maze and losing itself ever more profoundly.

At times the man, shuddering at the alienation
between the I and the world, comes to reflect that some-
thing is to be done. As when in the grave night-hour
you lie, racked by waking dream—bulwarks have fallen
away and the abyss is screaming—and note amid your
torment: there is still life, if orjly I got through to it—
but how, how ? ; so is this man in the hours of
reflection, shuddering, and aimlessly considering this
and that. And perhaps, away in the unloved know-
ledge of the depths within him., he really knows the
direction of reversal, leading through sacrifice. But he
spurns this knowledge ; " mysticism " cannot resist the
sun of electric light. He calls thought, in which he rightly
has great confidence, to his aid; it shall make good
everything for him again. It is, in truth, the high art
of thought to paint a reliable picture of the world
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