Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

a doctrine, the second emerges in a doctrine and
only then leads to the mythical life of a person.
The character of the saying is transformed along these
lines. The Christ of the Johannine tradition, the Word
that once became flesh, leads to the Christ of Eckehardt,
perpetually begotten by God in the human soul. The
coronation formula for the Self in the Upanishad,
" This is the real, the Self, and Thou art the Self",
leads in a much shorter space to the Buddhistic formula
of dethronement, " It is not possible to lay hold of a
Self and a Self-appertaining in truth and in reality ".
The beginning and end of each way demand separate
That the appeal to the ?*> e<rjj*€v cannot be substan-
tiated becomes clear to all who read impartially, section
by section, the Gospel according to John. It is really
the Gospel of pure relation. Here is a truer verse than
the familiar mystical verse : "I am Thou and Thou art
I". The Father and the Son, like in being—we may even
say God and Man, like in being—are the indissolubly
real pair, the two bearers of the primal relation, which
from God to man is termed mission and command,
from man to God looking and hearing, and between
both is termed knowledge and love. In this relation
the Son, though the Father dwells and works in him,
bows down before the " greater " and prays to him.
All modern attempts to interpret this primal reality of
dialogue as a relation of the I to the Self, or the like—
as an event that is contained within the self-sufficient
interior life of man—are futile : they take their place in
the abysmal history of destruction of reality.
—But what of mysticism?    Does it not inform us