Archive for the ‘I and Thou’ tag
More from Martin Buber:
You speak of love as if it were the only relationship between men; but are you even justified in choosing it as an example, seeing that there is also hatred?
- As long as love is “blind” – that is, as long as it does not see a whole being – it does not yet truly stand under the basic word of relation. Hatred remains blind by its very nature; one can only hate part of a being. Whoever sees a whole being and must reject it, is no longer in the dominion of hatred but in the human limitation of the capacity to say You. …
Yet, whoever hates directly is closer to a relation than those who are without love or hate. (Buber, I and Thou, 1970, pp 67-68)
These are powerful words, words that resonate with ideas from Jungian psychology as well. Awareness of other, where it be a person one loves or hates, is increased as one removes projects which allow a “real” person to emerge from behind our projections. Then, one can engage in real relationship with real people. Then love shifts and hate dissipates.
A photo taken just a few moments ago; yes, it snowed today and it looks like it will snow again tomorrow. There are still leaves, green leaves on the trees. Of course, the snow will disappear in quick order. The message is clear, winter is on its way.
One of the things I am learning as I post here almost every day is the fact that this is really a dialogue with you. The fact that you can and do respond to my posts with comments has served to help orient my following posts. This makes the blog a living thing, an authentic dialogue. In realizing this, I think back to my introduction to the concept when I first came across the book, I and Thou, by Martin Buber. I learned that humans are aware of the world with two attitudes; a relation to the world as “it” and a relation to the world as “you.”
Now, I’ll let Buber speak for himself:
The life of a human being does not exist merely in the sphere of goal-directed verbs. It does not consist merely of activities that something for their object.
I perceive something. I feel something. I imagine something. I want something. I sense something. I think something. The life of a human being does not consist merely of all this and its like.
All this is the basis of the real of It.
But the realm of You has another basis.
Whoever says You does not have something for his object. For wherever there is something there is also another something; every It borders on other Its; It is only by virtue of bordering on others. But where You is said there is no something. You has no borders.
Whoever says You does not have something; he has nothing. But he stands in relation. (Buber, I and Thou, Kaufmann translation, 1970, pp. 54-55)
I had this book in my library for more than thirty years and value it as one of the best books in my collection. Buber helped prepare me for a new way of looking at and understanding self, other and it. Any questions? Any comments?