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Step change

However, Buber argued that there is also another mode available to us, one which we must necessarily make use of in order to be truly human. In offering this mode, Buber travelled down a lost and overgrown pathway traversed more than a century earlier by Coleridge. In this mode, which Buber called ‘encounter’ (the mode of I–Thou), we enter into a relationship with the object encountered, we participate in something with that object, and both the I and the Thou are transformed by the relation between them. Buber insisted that the phenomena of encounter is best described as love.

Martin Buber

All encounters, he begins by telling us, are fleeting; it is only a matter of time before any Thou dissolves into an It again and as soon as we begin to reflect on the Thou it becomes an It. Love, then, is a constant oscillation between encounter and experience, and it does not wholly fulfil our yearning for relation. In every human encounter that we undergo, we feel that there could be something more, something more lasting and more fulfilling. This ‘more’ is encounter with God, or absolute relation.

So - we have moved from the Absolute I to the Absolute Relation - a considerable step.

© John Dunn.

Edomite Red Edomite Red
Napoleon’s conquests cemented the spread of French revolutionary legislation to much of western Europe. The powers of the Roman Catholic church, guilds, and manorial aristocracy came under the gun as the goal of an unimpeded borderless movement of money came into view. Traditions crumbled. 'All that is solid melts into air’, wrote Marx in a Sabbatian fervour, ‘all that is holy is profaned'.
John Dunn

Quote every hour: I have always thought the suicide should bump off at least one swine before taking off for parts unknown. Ezra Pound

‘Truth’: a cruel, elaborate and stultifying fiction ‘Truth’: a cruel, elaborate and stultifying fiction
The ‘truth’ of the modern world was and remains an instrument of enslavement. Philosophically this ‘truth’ translated too readily into positivism and deference to the objective virginity of facts, untouched by any subjective intrusion from mind. The modern world became an arid desert of reality.
John Dunn


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