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Full text of "I And Thou"

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tlie act of relation, and not tliat of the supreme relation
only, may be reached. But if solitude means absence of
relation, then he who has been forsaken by the beings
to which he spoke the true Thou will be raised up by God,
but not he who him self forsook the beings. He alone
adheres to various ones of these who is greedy to use
them; but he who lives in the strength of present realisa-
tion can only be bound up in relation with them.
And he alone who is so bound is ready for God. For
he alone confronts the reality of God with a human

Further, there are two kinds of solitude, according
to that towards which they have turned. If solitude
is the place of purification, necessary even to the man
who is bound in relation, both before he enters the Holy
of Holies and in the midst of his ventures between
unavoidable failing and the ascent to proving true
—to this solitude wg are by nature disposed. But if
solitude is the stronghold of isolation, where a man
conducts a dialogue with himself—not in order to test
and master himself for that which awaits him but in
the enjoyment of the conformation of his soul—then
we have the real fall of the spirit into spirituality.
The man can advance to the last abyss, where in his
self-delusion he imagines he has God in himself and is
speaking with Him. But truly .though God surrounds
us and dwells in us, we never have Him in us. And we
speak with Him only when speech dies within us.

A  modern philosopher supposes  that  every man
necessarily believes either in God or in " idols ", that is,