Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Martin Buber מרטין בובר‎‎

1878 – 1965 CE

Influential philosopher, educator, and political activist; Buber challenged materialistic thinking and promoted a deep interpersonal respect and appreciation. Like most of the people in these biographies, he warned against belief systems and advocated a conceptless-mind and open-hearted experience of the world. He inspired Jewish cultural renewal, developed an educational model based on the whole person, and supported a bi-national Israeli-Palestinian state. Related to 16th century rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen, Helena Rubinstein and Karl Marx; he challenged Hegel, Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Not considering Jewish culture or religion necessary, he was criticized by Jewish scholars for this as well as emphasizing direct experience above Jewish law.



Ich und Du, I and Thou

Unlisted Sources

On Judaism, 1967

Paths in Eutopia, 1950

The Listener, 1962

Quotes by Martin Buber (14 quotes)

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

from Ich und Du, I and Thou

Chapters: 33. Know Yourself

Themes: Know Yourself

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“The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

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“Nothing can doom man but the belief in doom, for this prevents the movement of return.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

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

from Ich und Du, I and Thou

Chapters: 45. Complete Perfection

Themes: Travel

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

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: God

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“I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

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“Those who tell of two ways and praise one are recognized as prophets or great teachers. They save men from confusion and hard choices. They offer… simple schemes, but truth is not so simple.”

from Ich und Du, I and Thou

Chapters: 68. Joining Heaven & Earth

Themes: Confusion Truth

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“Every means is an obstacle. Only where all means have disintegrated encounters occur.”

from Ich und Du, I and Thou

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Obstacles

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“Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively; […] We have no desire to dispossess them: we want to live with them. We do not want to dominate them: we want to serve with them.”

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“To understand the true sense of scripture, it’s necessary to remove the palimpsest—the commentaries, interpretations, and understandings accumulated through the centuries that may have been helpful at the time but obscure the true meaning in a different age.”

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“God is the Eternal Thou”

Themes: God Sacred World

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

from The Listener, 1962

Themes: Religion

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“Power abdicates only under the stress of counter-power.”

from Paths in Eutopia, 1950

Themes: Power

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“The prophet is appointed to oppose the king, and even more: history.”

from On Judaism, 1967

Themes: History Judaism

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Quotes about Martin Buber (2 quotes)

“A pioneer bridge builder between Judaism and Christianity.”

Anonymous -800 to present
Freedom from the narrow boxes defined by personal history
from New York Times​ article

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“His words sound like the utterance of a Zen master contemplating a koan, and, indeed, Buber had long been fascinated by Taoism and Buddhism. The best way to understand Buber, ultimately, may be not as a thinker but as a seeker—a religious type that became common in the twentieth century, as many Europeans and Americans turned to Eastern faiths or modern ideologies in their search for meaning.”

Adam Kirsch 1976 CE –
from The New Yorker

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