Martin Buber quotes

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Martin Buber

Birthdate: 8. February 1878
Date of death: 13. June 1965

Martin Buber was an Austrian philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of existentialism centered on the distinction between the I–Thou relationship and the I–It relationship. Born in Vienna, Buber came from a family of observant Jews, but broke with Jewish custom to pursue secular studies in philosophy. In 1902, he became the editor of the weekly Die Welt, the central organ of the Zionist movement, although he later withdrew from organizational work in Zionism. In 1923, Buber wrote his famous essay on existence, Ich und Du , and in 1925, he began translating the Hebrew Bible into the German language.

He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature ten times, and Nobel Peace Prize seven times.

Works

I and Thou
Martin Buber

„All real living is meeting.“

—  Martin Buber, book I and Thou

Variant translationː All actual life is encounter.
Variant: All real life is meeting.
Source: I and Thou (1923)

„For whoever pronounces the word God and really means Thou, addresses, no matter what his delusion, the true Thou of his life that cannot be restricted by any other and to whom he stands in a relationship that includes all others.“

—  Martin Buber, book I and Thou

I and Thou (1923)
Context: Some would deny any legitimate use of the word God because it has been misused so much. Certainly it is the most burdened of all human words. Precisely for that reason it is the most imperishable and unavoidable. And how much weight has all erroneous talk about God's nature and works (although there never has been nor can be any such talk that is not erroneous) compared with the one truth that all men who have addressed God really meant him? For whoever pronounces the word God and really means Thou, addresses, no matter what his delusion, the true Thou of his life that cannot be restricted by any other and to whom he stands in a relationship that includes all others.

„I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man's life.“

—  Martin Buber

As quoted in Martin Buber : An Intimate Portrait (1971), p. 56
Context: I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man's life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.

„The Thou encounters me by grace — it cannot be found by seeking.“

—  Martin Buber, book I and Thou

I and Thou (1923)
Context: The Thou encounters me by grace — it cannot be found by seeking. But that I speak the basic word to it is a deed of my whole being, is my essential deed.

„The world is not divine sport, it is divine destiny. There is divine meaning in the life of the world, of man, of human persons, of you and of me.“

—  Martin Buber, book I and Thou

I and Thou (1923)
Context: The world is not divine sport, it is divine destiny. There is divine meaning in the life of the world, of man, of human persons, of you and of me.
Creation happens to us, burns itself into us, recasts us in burning — we tremble and are faint, we submit. We take part in creation, meet the Creator, reach out to Him, helpers and companions. <!-- § 49

„Every morning
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honor reality.“

—  Martin Buber

"Power and Love" (1926)
Context: p> Every morning
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honor reality.We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully.</p

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„Some would deny any legitimate use of the word God because it has been misused so much. Certainly it is the most burdened of all human words. Precisely for that reason it is the most imperishable and unavoidable.“

—  Martin Buber, book I and Thou

I and Thou (1923)
Context: Some would deny any legitimate use of the word God because it has been misused so much. Certainly it is the most burdened of all human words. Precisely for that reason it is the most imperishable and unavoidable. And how much weight has all erroneous talk about God's nature and works (although there never has been nor can be any such talk that is not erroneous) compared with the one truth that all men who have addressed God really meant him? For whoever pronounces the word God and really means Thou, addresses, no matter what his delusion, the true Thou of his life that cannot be restricted by any other and to whom he stands in a relationship that includes all others.

„Man must be free of it all, of his bad conscience and of the bad salvation from this conscience in order to become in truth the way.“

—  Martin Buber

Source: What is Man? (1938), p. 178
Context: Man must be free of it all, of his bad conscience and of the bad salvation from this conscience in order to become in truth the way. Now, he no longer promises others the fulfillment of his duties, but promises himself the fulfillment of man.

„We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully.“

—  Martin Buber

"Power and Love" (1926)
Context: p> Every morning
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honor reality.We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully.</p

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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