I and Thou by Martin Buber

I and Thou was written in 1923 by the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. Buber says that human existence is divided into the two irreconcilable realms of I-It and I-Thou. I-It uses objective rational thought while I-Thou is based upon relation. According to Buber, when a person enters into an I-Thou relation with one’s whole being, then this provides a glimpse of God, who Buber regards in a mystical manner as the Eternal Thou.

buberBuber accurately describes the inadequacies of modern Western civilization as well as the need to add relation and spirit to Western existence. However, when one attempts to place the content of rational thought and personal relation within the overall contentlessness of Buddhist mysticism, then this leads inevitably to major contradictions, and one’s ethics will be limited to sweeping generalizations.

I have posted a 41 page essay on I and Thou.

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