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Full text of "I And Thou"

arily appeal to some kind of revelation, whether through
the medium of the spoken word, or of nature, or of
the soul: there are only religions of revelation)—how
do the Presence and the power received by men in
revelation change into a " content" ?
The explanation has two layers. We understand the
outer psychical layer when we consider man in himself,
separated from history, and the inner factual layer, the
primal phenomenon of religion, when we replace him in
history. The two layers belong together.
Man desires to possess God; he desires a continuity
in space and time of possession of God. -He is not content
with the inexpressible confirmation of meaning, but
wants to see this confirmation stretched out as some-
thing that can be continually taken up and handled,
a continuum unbroken in space.and time that insures
his life at every point and every moment.
Man's thirst-for continuity is unsatisfied by the life-
rhythm of pure relation, the interchange - of actual
being and of a potential being in which only our power
to enter into relation, and hence the. presentness (but
not the primal Presence) decreases. He longs for exten-
sion in time, for duration. Thus God becomes an object
of faith. At first faith, set in time, completes the acts
of relation ^ but gradually it replaces them. Resting in
belief in an It takes the place of the continually renewed
movement of the being towards concentration and
going out to the relation. The " Nevertheless I believe "
of the fighter who knows remoteness from as well as
nearness to God is more and more completely trans-
formed into the certainty of him, who enjoys profits,
that nothing can happen to him, since he believes
i                           113