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Full text of "I And Thou"

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with responsibility for the action of those who act, since
he is wholly defined by the tension between being and
** ought to be *', and in grotesque and hopeless sacrificial
courage casts his heart piece by piece into the in-
satiable gulf that lies between them. The "'religious "
man, on the other hand, has emerged from that tension
into the tension between the world and God ; there the
command reigns that the unrest of responsibility and of
demands on oneself be removed; there is no willing of
one's own, but only the being joined into what
is ordained; every " ought" vanishes in uncon-
ditioned being, and the world, though still existing,
no longer counts. For in it the " religious " man has
to perform his particular duties, but as it were without
obligationóbeneath the aspect of the nothingness of all
action. But that is to suppose that God has created
His world as an illusion and man for frenzied being. He
who approaches the Face has indeed surpassed duty
and obligationóbut not because he is now remote from
the world; rather because he has truly drawn closer
to it. Duty and obligation are rendered only to the
stranger; we are drawn to and full of love for the
intimate person. The world, lit by eternity, becomes
fully present to him who approaches the Face, and to
the Being of beings he can in a single response say
Thou. Then there is no more tension between the
world and God, but only the one reality. The man is
not freed from responsibility; he has exchanged the
torment of the finite, pursuit of effects, for the motive
power of the infinite, he has got the mighty responsi-
bility of love for the whole untraceable world-event, for
the profound belonging to the world before the Face of