in the same form, the word of address and the word of
response live in the one language, / and Thou take their
stand not merely in relation, but also in the solid give-
and-take of talk. The moments of relation are here,
and only here, bound together by means of the element
of the speech in which they are immersed. Here what
confronts us has blossomed into the full reality of the
Thou. Here alone, then, as reality that cannot be lost,
are gazing and being gazed upon, knowing and being
known, loving and being loved.
This is the main portal, into whose opening the two
side-gates lead, and in which they are included.
" When a man is together with his wife the longing of
the eternal hills blows round about them."
The relation with man is the real simile of the relation
with God; in it true address receives true response;
except that in God's response everything, the universe,
is made manifest as language.
—But is not solitude, too, a gate ? Is there not at
times disclosed, in stillest loneliness, an unsuspected
perception ? Can concern with oneself not mysteriously
be transformed into concern with the mystery ? Indeed,
is not that man alone who no longer adheres to any
being worthy to confront the Being ? " Come, lonely
One, to him who is alone ", cries Simeon, the new theo-
logian, to his God.
—There are two kinds of solitude, according to that
from which they have turned. If we call it solitude to
free oneself from intercourse of experiencing and using
of things, then that is always necessary, in order that