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Im täglichen Zusammensein mit dem Baby nicht das Bewusstsein zu verlieren, ist ein Wunder. Ist doch die Unwissenheit des Babys unvorstellbar größer als das, was wir unser Wissen, unsere Erkenntnis und Erfahrung nennen. Der Kontakt mit dem Baby müsste uns eigentlich ruinieren. Und tatsächlich hat unser Bewusstsein mit seinem Untergang begonnen. Ein friedlicher und langsamer Vorgang, der von allen (allen!) Seiten zugleich wirksam ist. Glitzernder Schaum steigt um uns auf, der – das ist jetzt das Wunder – mit jedem Tag mehr von uns enthüllt (heute haben wir das Baby gebadet; schwimmend auf unserer Hand, schien es uns verblüfft).

Being with the baby from day to day without losing consciousness is a miracle. After all, the baby’s ignorance is inconceivably greater than what we call our knowledge, our understanding and experience. Contact with the baby should really be our ruin. And in fact our consciousness has begun its descent. A peaceful and gradual process that is taking place on all sides (all!) simultaneously. Glittering foam rises around us, disclosing—here is the miracle—more and more of us with each passing day (we bathed the baby this morning; swimming on our hand, he looked astonished).

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Infancy is not eternal. Not an urgent question for us at this time, but we ask it anyway. Why? The baby urges questions upon us, then immediately obstructs the possibility of an answer by suggesting an opposite question. Infancy is eternal. A state that persists in us, overgrown though it is with the passing years. That is why our love for our baby is so unique: because he is so pure. Because ambiguity is so pure in him. Because that which is unclear does not fill us with concern. Because our single concern is our baby.

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The baby does not wait. What it wants and needs, it wants and needs right away. How different the flow of time must be in his universe! In which we appear as those who fulfill his wishes with astonishing speed. The baby’s impatience surprises us all the more as, again and again, he looks at us as if he were the most patient creature in the world. Naturally we think: If our own wishes were fulfilled that promptly, how relaxed and content we would be. All the vexations of life are due to the fact that wishes are not met immediately. But this evidence now seems dubious to us. Our own ability to wait could be the expression of a fundamental inability to say what we want (do we even know what it is?). Or is it rather that when we wait, we aren’t actually waiting? That our patience isn’t patience at all? Since we can’t be certain of any of this, the best thing will be to wait for the right understanding.

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Drinking and gurgling with joy: What the baby wants he gets, what he gets he wants. Life in the beginning is very simple. No resistance from any side gets in its way. It ripples and flows as it ought to. Our eyes are open, our mind is awake, our heart pure. What we do right doesn’t first have to make sense. Success lies in the palm of our hand: in this way, fate has no say and no chance. And yet we are exposed to temptations. Small, subtle temptations that approach us imperceptibly. Suddenly we feel ourselves forced to intervene. We imagine the baby saying: You’re just imagining this made me look sad. 

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Bright joy in the morning (even lighter than the airy joy of the night): The baby is awake. Is there again (no, no, we don’t doubt his daily return). In any case, we recognize him, which is a different recognition from the way we recognize each other. When we look at the baby, our gaze is not equipped with the kind of hooks we usually cast with our glances, the better to sink in and fasten onto what is seen. It is as if the baby were robbing us of our last certainty, in order thereby to assure us of an uncertain truth: that we are awake.

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After turning off the light. We remain in the darkness, listening silently. The baby is asleep. He is breathing (weaving us a spell of airy joy with the fineness of his breath). Then his breath becomes inaudible. We know it has not disappeared. We believe it has dissolved into the night (having lost our unbelief, we will not turn on the light to check). Without effort we try to advance in sleep, with sleep, in darkness, with darkness as far as the baby does, but we do not succeed: We are already asleep.

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Now we are certain: We have glimpsed the baby’s secret. He revealed it for a tiny instant. And now we realize: All along we thought the secret was something entirely within his possession. Hidden within it and yet unfindable, even if we were able to exhaust all conceivable and inconceivable ways of seeking it out. Good that we didn’t go astray (we congratulate ourselves), that was what we glimpsed at that tiny moment: The baby has no secret. We do.