Top positive review
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Intriguing and challenging
on 4 April 2014
I have been wanting to read this seminal work of 20th centrury thought for a long time, and have finally got around to it. It is certainly a challenge--and intriguing too. The thesis is straightforward enough: we have two modes of interacting with the world.One, which he calls "I--It", "experiences and uses". The other, which he calls "I--Thou", is a higher function. In this mode, we enter into a living relation. Furthermore, in every "I--Thou" encounter, one can sense the presence of something divine standing behind it. In other words, God reveals Himself to us through our relationships. As Buber expands on his thesis, it gets deep and dark. I found parts of the early section a bit opaque. But I soldiered bravely on. I am glad I did. I came across passages that were wonderfully illuminating. There were some brilliant single lines, too. This is a book to go back to, after a suitable interval.
"For actually there is a cosmos for man only when the universe becomes his home, with its holy hearth whereon he offers sacrifice; there is Eros for man only when beings become for him pictures of the eternal, and community is revealed along with them; and there is logos for man only when he addresses the mystery with work and service for the spirit."