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Full text of "I And Thou"

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over against us, that may properly onif be addressed,
not expressed.
Men -wish to regard a feeling (called feeling of de-
pendence, and recently, more < precisely, creaturely
feeling) as the real element in the relation with God. In
proportion as the isolation and definition of this element
is accurate, its unbalanced emphasis only makes the
character of complete relation the more misunderstood*
What has already been said of love is even more
unshakably valid here. Feelings are a mere accom-
paniment to the metaphysical and metapsychical fact
of the relation, which is fulfilled not in the soul but
between I and Tkou. A feeling may be considered
ever so essential, it remains nevertheless subject to the
dynamic of the soul, where one feeling is outstripped,
outdone, and abolished by another. In distinction
from relation a feeling has its place in a scale. But
above all, every feeling has its place within a polar
tension, obtaining its colour and significance not from
itself alone, but also from the opposite pole: every
feeling is conditioned by its opposite. Thus the
absolute relation (which gathers up into reality all those
that are relative, and is no more a part, as these are,
but is the whole that completes and unifies them all),
in being reduced to the status of ail isolated and
limited feeling, is made into a relative psychological
If the soul is the starting-point of our consideration,
complete relation can be understood only in a bipolar
way,  only   as  the   coinci<dentia   oppositorum,   as  the
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