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Full text of "I And Thou"

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and to living beings, since the status of social life, that
is defined from outside, is in hrm surpassed by means
of a strength that works only from within. But in
this idea of the social life two basically different things
are combinedfirst, the community that is built up out
of relation, and second, the collection of human units
that do not know relationmodern man's palpable
condition of lack of relation. But the bright building
of community, to which there is an escape even from
the dungeon of " social life ", is the achievement of the
same power that works in the relation between man and
God* This does not mean that this one relation is set
beside the others; for it is the-universal relation, into
which all streams pour, yet without' exhausting their
waters. Who wishes to make division fed define
boundaries between sea and streams ? There we find
only the one flow from / to Thou, unending, the one
boundless flow of the real life. Life cannot be divided
between a real relation with God and an unreal relation
of I and It with the worldyou cannot both truly pray
to God and profit by the world. He who knows the
world as something by which he is to profit knows God
also in the same way. His prayer is'a procedure of
exoneration heard by the ear of the void. Henot the
" atheist," who addresses the Nameless out of the
night and yearning of his garret-windowis the godless
It is further said that the " religious " man stands
as a single, isolated, separated being before God, since
he has also gone beyond the status of the " moral"
man, who is still involved in duty and obligation
to the world. The latter, it is said, is still burdened