I and Thou Quotes

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I and Thou I and Thou by Martin Buber
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I and Thou Quotes Showing 1-30 of 51
“All real living is meeting.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“This is the eternal origin of art that a human being confronts a form that wants to become a work through him. Not a figment of his soul but something that appears to the soul and demands the soul's creative power. What is required is a deed that a man does with his whole being..”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other….
Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.

Martin Buber, I and Thou
“And if there were a devil it would not be one who decided against God, but one who, in eternity, came to no decision. ”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“To look away from the world, or to stare at it, does not help a man to reach God; but he who sees the world in Him stands in His presence.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Feelings dwell in man; but man dwells in his love. That is no metaphor, but the actual truth. Love does not cling to the I in such a way as to have the Thou only for its " content," its object; but love is between I and Thou. The man who does not know this, with his very being know this, does not know love; even though he ascribes to it the feelings he lives through, experiences, enjoys, and expresses.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
tags: love
“Love is responsibility of an I for a You: in this consists what cannot consist in any feeling - the equality of all lovers..”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“As I actualize, I uncover.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“No purpose intervenes between I and You, no greed and no anticipation; and longing itself is changed as it plunges from the dream into appearance. Every means is an obstacle. Only where all means have disintegrated encounters occur.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Inscrutably involved, we live in the currents of universal reciprocity.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Dialogic is not to be identified with love. But love without dialogic, without real outgoing to the other, reaching to the other, the love remaining with itself - this is called Lucifer.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Feeling one "has"; love occurs.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Spirit is not in the I but between I and You.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Nothing can doom man but the belief in doom, for this prevents the movement of return.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“As long as the firmament of the You is spread over me, the tempests of causality cower at my heels, and the whirl of doom congeals.

The human being to whom I say You I do not experience. But i stand in relation to him, in the sacred basic word. Only when I step out of this do I experience him again. Experience is remoteness from You.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“-- What, then, does one experience of the You?
-- Nothing at all. For one does not experience it.
-- What, then, does one know of the You?
-- Only everything. For one no longer knows particulars.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“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 hate only part of a being.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“What is manifold is often frightening because it is not neat and simple. Men prefer to forget how many possibilities are open to them.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Whoever says You does not have something; he has nothing. But he stands in relation.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“The basic word I-You can only be spoken with one’s whole being. The basic word I-It can never be spoken with one’s whole being.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Mundus vult decipi. The world winks at dishonesty. The world does not call it dishonesty.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Marriage, for instance, will never be given new life except by that out of which true marriage always arises, the revealing by two people of the Thou to one another. Out of this a marriage is built up by the Thou that is neither of the I’s. This is the metaphysical and metapsychical factor of love to which feelings of love are mere accompaniments.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“I consider a tree.

I can look on it as a picture: stiff column in a shock of light, or splash of green shot with the delicate blue and silver of the background.

I can perceive it as movement: flowing veins on clinging, pressing pith, suck of the roots, breathing of the leaves, ceaseless commerce with earth and air—and the obscure growth itself.

I can classify it in a species and study it as a type in its structure and mode of life.

I can subdue its actual presence and form so sternly that I recognise it only as an expression of law — of the laws in accordance with which a constant opposition of forces is continually adjusted, or of those in accordance with which the component substances mingle and separate.

I can dissipate it and perpetuate it in number, in pure numerical relation.

In all this the tree remains my object, occupies space and time, and has its nature and constitution.

It can, however, also come about, if I have both will and grace, that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it. The tree is now no longer It. I have been seized by the power of exclusiveness.

To effect this it is not necessary for me to give up any of the ways in which I consider the tree. There is nothing from which I would have to turn my eyes away in order to see, and no knowledge that I would have to forget. Rather is everything, picture and movement, species and type, law and number, indivisibly united in this event.

Everything belonging to the tree is in this: its form and structure, its colours and chemical composition, its intercourse with the elements and with the stars, are all present in a single whole.

The tree is no impression, no play of my imagination, no value depending on my mood; but it is bodied over against me and has to do with me, as I with it — only in a different way.

Let no attempt be made to sap the strength from the meaning of the relation: relation is mutual.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
tags: i, thou
“That you need God more than anything, you know at all times in your heart. But don’t you know also that God needs you—in the fullness of his eternity, you? How would man exist if God did not need him, and how would you exist? You need God in order to be, and God needs you—for that which is the meaning of your life.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“Spirit in its human manifestation is man’s response to his You. Man speaks in many tongues - tongues of language, of art, of action - but the spirit is one; it is response to the You that appears from the mystery and addresses us from the mystery. Spirit is word. And even as verbal speech may first become word in the brain of man and then become sound in his throat, although both are merely refractions of the true event because in truth language does not reside in man but man stands in language and speaks out of it - so it is with all words, all spirit. Spirit is not in the I but between I and You. It is not like the blood that circulates in you but like the air in which you breathe. Man lives in the spirit when he is able to respond to his You. He is able to do that when he enters into this relation with his whole being. It is solely by virtue of his power to relate that man is able to live in the spirit.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“It was from Buber’s other writings that I learned what could also be found in I and Thou: the central commandment to make the secular sacred.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“True beings are lived in the present, the life of objects is lived in the past.”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“The third (sphere in which the world of relation arises): Life with spiritual beings.

Here the relations is wrapped in a cloud but reveals itself, it lacks but creates language. We hear no You and yet addressed; we answer - creating, thinking, acting: with our being we speak the basic word, unable to say You with our mouth.

Bt how can we incorporate into the world of the basic word that lies outside language?”
Martin Buber, I and Thou
“But when a man draws a lifeless thing into his passionate longing for dialogue, lending it independence and as it were a soul, then there may dawn in him the presentiment of a world-wide dialogue with the world-happening that steps up to him even in his environment, which consists partially of things. Or do you seriously think that the giving and taking of signs halts on the threshold of that business where an honest and open spirit is found?”
Martin Buber, I and Thou

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