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Full text of "I And Thou"

not my Self, my limited knowledge opens out into a
state in which I am boundlessly known.

Every real relation in the world is consummated in
the interchange of actual and potential being; every
isolated Thou is bound to enter the chrysalis state of
the It in order to take wings anew. But in pure relation,
potential being is simply actual being as it draws breath,
and in it the Thou remains present. By its nature the
eternal Thou is eternally Thou; only our nature compels
us to draw it into the world and the talk of It.

The world of It is set in the context of space and time*
The world of Thou is not set in the context of either
of these.
Its context is in the Centre, where the extended lines
of relations meet—in the eternal Thou.
In the great privilege of pure relation the privileges
of the world of It are abolished. By virtue of this
privilege there exists the unbroken world of Thou:
the isolated moments of relations are bound up in a life
of world solidarity. By virtue of this privilege formative
power belongs to the world of Thou: spirit can penetrate
and transform the world of It. By virtue of this privilege
we are not given up to alienation from the world and the
loss of reality by the I—to domination by the ghostly.
Eeversal is the recognition of the Centre and the act of
turning again to it. In this act of the being the buried
relational power - of man rises again, the wave that
carries all the spheres of relation swells in living streams
to give new life to our world.
Perhaps not to our world alone. For this double
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