Skip to main content

Full text of "I And Thou"

See other formats

that there is One who win not let anything happen to
Further, man's thirst for continuity is unsatisfied
by the life-structure of pttre relation, the " solitude " of
the I before the Thou, the law that man, though binding
up the world in relation in the meeting, can nevertheless
only as a person approach and meet God. He longs
for extension in space, for the representation in which
the community of the faithful is united with its God.
Thus God becomes the object of a cult. The cult, too,
completes at first the acts of relation, in adjusting in
a spatial context of great formative power the living
prayer, the immediate saying of the Thou, and in linking
it with the life of the senses. It, too, gradually replaces
the acts of relation, when the personal prayer is no longer
supported, but displaced, by the communal prayer,
and when the act of the being, since ijb admits no rule, is
replaced by ordered devotional exercises.
Actually, however, pure relation can only be raised
to constancy in space and time by being embodied in
the whole stuff of life. It cannot be preserved, but only
proved true, only done, only done up into life. Man can
do justice to the relation with God in which he has come to
share only if he realises God anew in the world according
to hi* strength and to the measure of each day. In
this lies the only authentic assurance of continuity.
The authentic assurance of duration consists in the
fact that pure relation can be fulfilled in the growth and
rise of beings into Thou> that the holy primary word
makes itself heard in them all. Thus the time of human
life is shaped into a fulness of reality, and even though
human life neither can nor ought to overcome the