Martin Buber
"I and THOU"


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Brief Bio

I will conclude with many social historians that Martian Buber was probably one of th greatest thinkers of the 20th Century. " I and Thou" and "Between Man and Man" should be read by every one.


I know as a living truth only that concrete world which is constantly, in every moment reached to me. I can separate it into its component parts, I can compare them and distribute them into groups of similar phenomena, I can derive them earlier and reduce them to similar phenomena; and when I have done all this I have not touched my concrete world reality. Inseparable, incomparable, irreducible, now, happening once only, it gazes upon me with a horrifying look.

Real faith- if I may so term presenting ourselves and perceiving- begins when the dictionary is put down, when you are done with it. What occurs to me says something to me, but what it says to me cannot be revealed by any esoteric information; for it has never been said before nor is it composed of sounds that have ever been said. It can neither be interpreted nor translated, I can have it neither explained nor displayed; it is not a 'what' at all, it is said into my very life... it remains the address of that very moment and can not be isolated,...

Each of us is encased in an armor which we soon, out of familiarity, no longer notice. There are only moments which penetrate it and stir the soul to sensibility...[these] signs of address are not something extraordinary...but for the most of the time we have turned off our receivers...This sterilized mans titantic work. Mankind has pressed speech too into the service of this work.

In our age, in which the true meaning of every word is encompassed by delusion and falsehood and the original intention of the human glance is stifled by tenacious mistrust, it is of decisive importance to find again the genuineness of speech and as will not persist in existence if he does not learn anew to persist in as a genuine We.

It is not possible to live in the bare present. Life would be quite consumed if precautions were not taken to subdue the present speedily and thoroughly. But it is possible to live in the bare past, indeed only in it may a life be organized. We only need to fill each moment with experiencing and using and it ceases to burn. And in all seriousness of truth, hear this: with out "It" man cannot live. But he who lives with "It" alone is not man.

Faith stands in the stream of "happening but once" which is spanned by knowledge. All the emergency structures of analogy and typology are indispensable for the work of the human spirit, but to step on them when the question of the questioner steps up to you would be running away. Lived life is tested and fulfilled in the stream alone....all the business of interpreting signs and the speech of signs... never gives information or appeasement... I know as a living truth only concrete world reality which is constantly, in every moment reached out to me.

The individual is just this uniqueness; being able to develop thus and thus. But a person, I would say, is an individual living really with the world. And 'with' the world, I don't mean in the world- just in real contact, in real reciprocity with the world in all the points in which the world can meet man. I don't say only with man because sometimes we meet the world in other shapes than that of man. But this is what I call a person and if I may say yes and no to certain phenomena, I'm against individuals and for persons.

Creation is not a hurdle on the road to God, it is the road itself.

The true name of the concrete reality is the creation which is entrusted to me and to every man.

As no prescription can lead us to the meeting, so none leads from it.

Where art thou Adam?

Mankind has pressed speech too into the service of this work.

To be old is a glorious thing when one has not unlearned what it means to begin.

We have "known" it, but we acquire no knowledge from it which might lessen or moderate its mysteriousness.

               ©                Updated: September 6, 2016 3:08 PM