Book 2: “I and Thou” by Martin Buber

The second spiritual book everyone must read is Martin Buber’s I and Thou. In his seminal work, Martin Buber reveals a keen understanding of the divine/human relationship. Buber differentiates between two types of relationships: I-it and I-Thou.

An I-it relationship is utilitarian and self-serving. An I-it relationship is the kind of relationship we have with our lawnmower, a toothbrush or even the cashier at the convenience store. We are in relationship with them because they serve a purpose. Once that purpose has been fulfilled or they no longer serve that function, the relationship is severed. Unfortunately, this describes the type of relationship most people have with God.

The I-Thou, the divine/human relationship, focuses on the other. I-Thou relationships transcend selfish desires and temporal wants. An I-Thou seeks the good of the other to the sacrifice of the self.

The value of Martin Buber’s I and Thou is in the illumination of the divine/human relationship. Moreover, I and Thou shows how the I-Thou can exist not only with God, but also within humanity.

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About vanyieck

There is nothing about me that is more interesting than you. I am a man. I have a wife and family. I have a career. I have two dogs. I
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