Re: grace in Buber's conceptual frame work.

[ Martin Buber - Discussions ]

Written by Jemar at 17 Mar 2001 20:09:42:

As an answer to: Re: grace in Buber's conceptual frame work. written by K at 07 Mar 2001 19:19:14:

>Good day Jemar
>I am sorry I have not responded in so long I have been away.
--- I'd like to think there was some fruitful silence... thanks. I'll try to keep up myself.---
When you say you are uncomfortable with categories that devide that which is human power from that which isn't what do you mean? Are you saying that everything that occurs in the between is created by human and wordly interaction that there is nothing outside of our realm of being? If this is what you are saying how would you explain Buber's use of the word grace and his concept of God and the eternal Thou. I believe that buber in his work says to us as much as we can open to a Thou we are not in control of that moment, we cannot will an I thou moment. for a thou to become a thou we must trust something outside of ourselves, something natural yet not in our control. He seems to imply that his is a gift from God who is part of yet seperate from. He talks about this inclusion and trancendance in eclipse of God page 40. --- I will take a look at Eclipse of God. In the meantime, I can say that "The Way of Man" has a way of dispelling what might be romantic notions about divine intervention. So this is what I am wary about, divine, supernatural intervention, "brimstone, fire and thunder." The important point you point out is "openness and trust" which I think is a very valid point. And, I think, grace and the Eternal You ought to be connected to "openness and trust" ... but nothing more. You see, I will have to weigh in on what you refer to as a something //outside our realm of being// Yet, you also say, of this grace, etc., as something //we must trust something outside of ourselves, something natural yet not in our control// You'll have to reconcile that which is "outside our realm of being, yet natural". How are we to use "being" and "natural"?
For me, I'd say, quite flippantly, that being is everything, being, is, really the between... And, as BMM says, the between is the foundation of our human ontology.
By "natural" I guess you need to refer to an existential attitude or orientation, which is contributes toward an existential analysis (or existential analytic).---

How do you explain it I would love to hear the simmilarities and distinctions. ----- I suspect that Buber is still struggling with the dualistic tradition that he embraced (esp. through Kant, which, as the story goes, saved him from suicide (really?))... but is also letting go as he learns from the existentialists and listens to Heidegger ... in effect, dropping the dualistic influence for the existential-phenomenological.) ----

>I have looked at the passage you reffered me to in Between Man and Man but I think there is still a giftedness and response, The giftedness seems to be the lifting of the spell, i don't think that he controlled that part but he allowed himself to act in that freedom, engage with it release himself to it. I don't know? tell me what you thought.
---- I think he is precisely hitting upon the balance where you encounter paradoxes, a true paradox, not a paradox of verbal jousts. There comes the point where one says he is in control and not in control. Perhaps, this is where silence sets in, where words/verbal explanation must acknowledge its own powerlessness to fathom being, being that is experienced, that is pre-categorical or pre-reflective. ---


---- Thanks K. ..... 'Must do my homework. Take care, reply when you can ----

>>Hi K!
>>'Wish I had checked your reply ealier. Thanks for pointing out where "grace" is referred to in I and Thou, pp. 7 & 131 of the Charles Scribner's Sons 2nd ed. 1958.
>>You raised an interesting question about a "balance" ... if I understood you correctly ... between that which is outside human power (supernatural?) and that which is within human power. Your question suggests categories, a dichotomy perhaps, that I am not comfortable with. But perhaps you would like to analyze the text in Between Man and Man, "Silence which is Communication", p. 3 of the Beacon Press 1955 ed. toward bottom, and then p.4 "But even now the man does not speak a word, does not stir a finge. Yet he does something. The lifting of the spell has happened to him -- no matter where -- without his doing...." What is Buber saying here?
>>'Look forward to your responses...
>>>Hello jemar,
>>>Thank-you for your response, it was helpful and got me thinking. I did find several references to Grace in Buber's work, In the I and thou postscript number 5 he says in speaking of mutuality that "it is a grace for which one must always be ready and which one never gains as an assured possesion". On page 5 of I and thou when he is speaking of seeing the tree in an I-thou way he says that "It can also come about , if I have both will and grace that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it". I see this grace as the giftness of the experience of I-thou or deep encounter as I like to call it. We cannot make it happen. Something in that "between" place you were talking about exists that makes that connecting a possibility. As far as I know Buber would link this to something spiritual that would lead us to the Eternal thou. However, i agree with you that Buber is not looking for something that will take us out of the world or create "trancendence" because it is only in the world and by being fully present to the world that this I-thou relation is possible. So my question becomes how do you balance this, this outside of humanity gift that seems imperative for that 'betweeness" to occur and our responsibility to stay in the world and not get caught up in that desire for trancendence even though I-thou moment seems trancendent in many ways? If any one has any thoughts they would be deeply appreciated thank-you Jemar for asking me to think about this. K
>>>Hello, I am trying to discover if Buber uses the word grace in any of his books to describe the natural gift that occurs between people when they meet in a deep way. Buber seems to imply in his work that we cannot will an I thou encounter but only be open to it. Therefore, I am wondering if you have any insight into which words he would use to describe what happens in that betweeness that is not a product of will or of turning. Books and Page numbers would be greatly appreciated. And if you know the word that he would use in german or hebrew it would be of great help. Thank-you for thinking about this. K
>>>>Dear K
>>>>I tend to be wary about finding "grace" in Buber's I and Thou. But there is something that comes close to it, and perhaps you already know, when he discusses the "between" toward the last pages of Between Man and Man. There, he says that the between is "still uncomprehended". The "between" as "still uncomprehended" is a point brought up in passing by a certain John Stewart in his introduction to "The Reach of Dialogue" (Anderson, Cissna et al.)
>>>>Why am I wary about "grace" in I and Thou? Because it seems to suggest a transcendent order beyond the human order. I tend to see Buber as THE humanist, of a way that rivals Nietzsche and Sartre. (If I am blind to the transcendent order, please try to open my eyes.) Thanks


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