pondering Martin Buber


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I know so little of Judaism, but whenever I accidentally run across their theology, it always makes an impression upon me. Just ran across these words from Martin Buber and thought they'd be generally interesting to ponder/discuss:

"We have heard everyone should search his own heart, choose his particular way, bring about the unity of his being, begin with himself; and now we are told by Judaism that man should forget himself. But if we examine this injunction more closely, we find that it is not only consistent with the others, but fits into the whole as a necessary link, as a necessary stage, in its particular place. One need only ask one question:'What for?' What am I to choose my particular way for? The reply is: not for my own sake. This is why the previous injunction was to begin with oneself. to begin with oneself, but not to end with oneself; to start from oneself, but not to aim at oneself; to comprehend oneself, but not to be preoccupied with oneself...Judaism regards each man's soul as a serving member of God's creation which, by man's work, is to become the Kingdom of God; thus, no soul has its object in itself, in its own salvation. True, each is to know itself, purify itself, perfect itself, but for its own sake-neither for the sake of its temporal happiness nor for that of eternal bliss-but for the sake of the work which it is destined to perform upon the world."

Have a good one, earl