Re: Good and Evil

[ Martin Buber - Discussions ]

Written by Kevin at 30 Jun 2000 01:43:30:

As an answer to: Good and Evil written by Susan Falk at 28 Apr 2000 04:05:27:

>When Buber talks about intercourse with God in chapter V The Ways,
>Psalm 1, did he refer to a mystical experience?

Intercourse with God means knowing Him as
a Presence, rather than merely knowing about
Him. It refers to making oneself present.

Buber: "This basic difference is developed in
the realm of a relation of the soul to other beings,
where the fact of mutuality changes everything.
At the centre is not a perceiving of one another,
but the contact of being, intercourse."
(Chapter V, The Ways, Psalm 1)

There is more on this expression in "The Baal-
Shem-Tov's Instructions in Intercourse with God,"
particularly the instruction called "The Parable
of Prayer," which makes an analogy between
sexual intercourse & prayerful dialogue with the
Almighty. This is mysticism, but of a special kind,
one that meets God in the world of His creation
rather than beyond it:

"A 'mysticism' that may be called such because
it preserves the immediacy of the relation, guards
the concreteness of the absolute and demands the
involvement of the whole being; one can, to be
sure, also call it religion for just the same reason.
Its true English name is perhaps: presentness."
(Hasidism and Modern Man, pg 180)

- Kevin


[ Martin Buber - Discussions ]