Words of Martin Buber

Martin Buber

“True beings are lived in the present, the life of objects is lived in the past.”

“Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire.”

“One cannot in the nature of things expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to put forth leaves.”

“The world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable: through the embracing of one of its beings.”

“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 atheist staring from his attic window is often nearer to God than the believer caught up in his own false image of God.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Solitude is the place of purification.”

“Every person born into the world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique….If there had been someone like her in the world, there would have been no need for her to be born.”

“We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.”

“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.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Words of Martin Buber

  1. <3 Buber! Once I was told by a friend of a friend of a friend… of his, that he walked with another philosopher in a city (it might have been Lugano?) and during a conversation in which people were addressed as 'the crowd', he responded: there is no crowd, there are only individuals.(Es gibt keine Masse, nur Individuen.)
    :) At least this is how I remember the story, but the quote is right. His name came up in lectures all the time and we gathered his books. He translated the Bible together with Franz Rosenzweig and I believe every word is more accurate than in any other translation. Thanks for posting! XOXhugs

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