(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "I And Thou"

depths, to be at once extinguished and put back into
the world of It.
I relate this tiny episode, which I have experienced
several times, for the sake of the speech of this almost
unnoticeable sunrise and sunset of the spirit.   In no
other speech have I known so profoundly the fleeting
nature of actuality in all its relations with being, the
exalted melancholy of our fate, 'the change, heavy with
destiny, of every isolated Thou into an It.   For other
events possessed between morning and evening their
day, even though it might be brief; but here morning
and evening flowed pitilessly mingled together,  the
bright Thou appeared and was gone.   Had the burden
of the world of It really been removed for the space of
a glance from the animal and from myself?    I myself
could continue to think about the matter, but the
animal had sunk back out of the stammer of its glance
into the disquietude where there is no speech and almost
no memory.
How powerful is the unbroken world of It, and how
delicate are the appearances of the Thou I
So much can never break through the crust of
the condition of things! 0 fragment of mica,
looking on which I once learned, for the first time,
that I is not something " in me "ówith you I was
nevertheless only bound up in myself; at that time
the event took place only in me, not between me and
you. But when one that is alive rises out of things,
and becomes a being in relation to me, joined to me
by its nearness and its speech, for how inevitably short
a time is it nothing to me but Thou I It is not the
relation that necessarily grows feeble, but the actuality
98