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Martin Buber Quotes


An Austrian-born Jewish philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship.
(1878 - 1965)

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A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.
 

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
 

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
 

Eclipse of the light of heaven, eclipse of God - such indeed is the character of the historic hour through which the world is now passing.
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For sin is just this, what man cannot by its very nature do with his whole being; it is possible to silence the conflict in the soul, but it is not possible to uproot it.
 

God wants man to fulfill his commands as a human being and with the quality peculiar to human beings.
 

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 is the meaning of your life.
 

I do, indeed, close my door at times and surrender myself to a book, but only because I can open the door again and see a human face looking at me.
 

I don't like religion much, and I am glad that in the Bible the word is not to be found.
 

Play is the exultation of the possible.
 

Solitude is the place of purification.
 

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

The law is not thrust upon man; it rests deep within him, to waken when the call comes.
 

The ones who count are those persons who - though they may be of little renown - respond to and are responsible for the continuation of the living spirit.
 

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

There are three principles in a man's being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say.
[Action]
 

There is a divine meaning of the world, of man, of human persons, of you and me.
 

Through the Thou a person becomes I.
 

To be old can be glorious if one has not unlearned how to begin.
[Begin]
 

To strive for unity, by fashioning the soul into a unit, thus enabling it to conceive unity; to strive for action, by filling the soul with absoluteness, thus enabling it to substantiate the deed; to strive for the future, by freeing the soul from the cogwheel of [human] motives and turning it toward the goal, thus enabling it to serve the future.
 


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