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Full text of "I And Thou"

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but wholly real. The spirit responds also through a
look, a look that is formative. Although we earthly
beings never look at God without the world, but only
look at the world in God, yet as we look we shape
eternally the form of God.
Form is also a mixture of Thou and It. In belief
and in a cult form can harden into an object; but, in
virtue of the essential quality of relation that lives on
in it, it continually becomes present again. God is near
His forms so long as man does not remove them from
Him. In true prayer belief and cult are united and
purified to enter into the living relation. The fact that
true prayer lives in the religions witnesses to their true
life": they live so long as it lives in them. Degeneration
of the religions means degeneration of prayer in them.
Their power to enter into relation is buried under
increasing objectification, it becomes increasingly
difficult for them to say TJiou with the whole undivided
being, and finally, in order to be able to say it, man
must come out of the false security into the venture of
the infinite—out of the community, that is now over-
arched only by the temple dome and not also by the
firmament, into the final solitude. It is a profound
misunderstand ing of this impulse to ascribe it to " sub-
jectivism " ; life face to face with God is life in the one
•reality, the only true "objective", and the man who
goes out to this life desires to save himself, in the
objective that truly is, from that which is apparent
and illusory, before it has disturbed the truth of the
real objective for him. Subjectivism empties God of
soul, objectivism makes Him into an object—the latter
is a false fixing down, the former a false setting free;