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Full text of "I And Thou"

THE extended lines of relations meet|pr\ae
Thou.                       ' "'   '               -     

Every particular Thou is a glimpse
eternal Thou; by means of every particularTW
primary word addresses the eternal Thou. Through
this mediation of the Thou of all beings fulfilment, and
non-fulfilment, of relations comes to them: the inborn
Thou is realised in each relation and consummated in
none. It is consummated only in the direct relation
with the Thou that by its nature cannot become It.

V                A       1

Men have addressed their eternal Thou with many
names. In singing of TTiW who was thus named they
alw.ays had the Thou in mind: the first myths were
hymns of praise. Then the names took refuge in the
language of It; men were more and more strongly
moved to think of and to address their eternal Thou
as an It. But all God's names are hallowed, for in them
He is not merely spoken about, but also spoken to.
Many men wish to reject the word God as a legitimate
usage, because it is so misused. It is indeed the most
heavily laden of all the words used by men. For that
very reason it is the most imperishable and most indis-
pensable. What does all mistaken talk about God's
being and works (though there has been, and can be, no
other talk about these) matter in comparison with the one
truth that all men who have addressed God had God
Himself in mind ? For he who speaks the word God
and really has Thou in mind (whatever the illusion by
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