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Full text of "I And Thou"

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relation of It, it is so penetrated with relation that
relation wins in it a shining streaming constancy;
the moments of supreme meeting are then not flashes
in darkness but like the rising moon in a clear starlit
night. Thus, too, the authentic assurance of constancy
in space consists in the fact that men's relations with
their true Thou, the radial lines that proceed from all
the points of the I to the Centre, form a circle. It is
not the periphery, the community, that comes first,
but the radii, the common quality of relation with the
Centre. This alone guarantees the authentic existence
of the community.
Only when these two arise—the binding up of time in
a relational life of salvation and the binding up of
space in the community that is made one by its Centre—
and only so long as they exist, does there arise and exist,
round about the invisible altar, a human cosmos with
bounds and form, grasped with the spirit out of the
universal stufi of the seon, a world thatis house and home,
a dwelling for man in the universe.
Meeting with God does not come to man in order that he
may concern himself with God, but in order that he may
confirm that there is meaning in the world. All revelation
is summons and sending. But again and again man brings
about, instead of realisation, a reflexion to Him who
reveals : he wishes to concern himself with God instead
of with the world. Only, in such a reflexion, he is no
longer confronted by a Thou, he can do nothing but
establish an It-God in the realm of things, believe that
he knows of God as of an It, and so speak about Him.
Just as the " self "-seeking man, instead of directly living
something or other, a perception or an affection, reflects