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Full text of "I And Thou"

after the idol has crashed behind the altar, to pile up an
unholy sacrifice to God on the desecrated place.
He who loves a woman, and brings her life to present
realisation in his, is able to look in the Thou of her eyes
into a beam of the eternal Thou. But he who eagerly
desires " ever new subjugation "—do you wish to hold
out to his desire a phantom of the Eternal ? He who
serves his people in the boundlessness of destiny, and
is willing to give himself to them, is really thinking of
God. But do you suppose that the man to whom the
nation is a god, in whose service he would like to enlist
everything (for in the nation's he exalts his own image),
need only be given a feeling of disgust—and he would
see the truth ? And what does it mean that a man is
said to treat money, embodied non-being, " as if
it were God " ? What has the lust of grabbing and
of laying up treasure in common with the joy in the
presence of the Present One ? Can the servant "of
Mammon say Thou to his money ? And how is he to
behave towards God when he does not understand how
to say Thou ? He cannot serve two masters—not even
one after the other: he must first learn to serve in a
different way.
He who has been converted by this substitution of
object now "holds" a phantom that he calls God.
But God, the eternal Presence, does not permit Himself
to be held. Woe to the man so possessed that he thinks
he possesses God!
*
The " religious " man is spoken of as one who does
not need to take his stand in any relation to the world
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