Monday, April 19

'twixt I and thou... 

Martin Buber, for the unapprised, is the legendary philosopher whose work on the correlation in I-it and I-thou, virtually revolutionized the domain of interpersonal dialogue and communication. I have come to be totally besotted by his thoughts lately. The intricacies of his words and the perspectives they spell out - there's much, much more wisdom obscured in them than there seems.

For instance, with this excerpt from one of Buber's writings, one professor posed us a very intriguing challenge - to fathom the essence of what he meant:

"Nothing can refuse to be the vessel for the Word. The limits of the possibility of dialogue are the limits of awareness..." "Things remain the same, they are discovered once for all."

We had to ascertain whether, by saying so, Buber actually implied that all information has been in the universe for all time, and only when we recognize it does it become relevant for us as individuals, or not.

I reckoned that according to Buber, all information has existed in the world for all time – and events, signs and signals make us aware of those. They may not even be something extraordinary, but merely what goes on time and again, just what goes on in any case. Buber's belief is that, 'becoming aware' is not limited by just getting to know an 'other.' It could be related to an event, a stone, a plant or an animal...something can always be communicated to us, somehow, and thus - "Nothing can refuse to be the vessel for the Word. The limits of the possibility of dialogue are the limits of awareness."

In retrospect, I'm still speculating - while that may have been true, to borrow Buber’s words, in a ‘primitive’ world that was meagerly equipped; what about all the newness and inventiveness in today’s rather modish world? Haven't there been changes in the way we see and perceive and respond to our world at all?

Buber has further explicated that, language, as a symbolic communication medium, is independent of the dialogue between man and man and is understood as expressions of universal ideas existing in themselves. Does that make language static?

While you chew over that, just remember...“The waves of the aether roar on always, but for most of the time we have turned off our receivers..."!

Post a Comment