Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

not wish to be sealed within me, but it wishes to be
born by me into the world. But just as the meaning
itself does not permit itself to be transmitted and made^
into knowledge generally current and admissible, so
confirmation of it cannot be transmitted as a valid
Ought; it is not prescribed, it is not specified on any
tablet, to be raised above all men's heads. The
meaning that has been received can be proved true by
each man only in the singleness of his being and the
singleness of his life. As no prescription can lead us
to the meeting, so none leads from it. As only .accept-
ance of the Presence is necessary for the approach to
the meeting, so in a new sense is it so when we emerge
from it. As we reach the meeting with the simple
Thou on our lips, so with the Thou on our lips we leave
it and return to the world.
That before which, in which, out of which, and into
which we live, even the mystery, has remained what it
was. It has become pfesent to us and in its present-
ness has proclaimed itself to us as salvation; we have
" known " it, but we acquire no knowledge from it
which might lessen or moderate its mysteriousness. We
have come near to God, but not nearer to unveiling being
or solving its riddle. We have felt release, but not
discovered a " solution ". We cannot approach others
with what we have received, and say " You must
know this, you must do this ", We can only go, and
confirm its truth. And this, too, is no " ought", but we
can, we must.
This is the eternal revelation that is present here and
now. I know of no revelation and believe in none
whose primal phenomenon is not precisely this. I do