Fwd: Jung, Buber, Freud, Nietzsche and Gnosticism -- Part II
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"The book (I and Thou) is steeped in Judaism The whole endeavor of
translating the Hebrew Bible represented an attempt to get back to
the roots of Judaism Buber sought a way back beyond the Shtetle and
Shulhan Arukh, back beyond the Talmud and the Mishnah He went to the
roots in the prophets and in Moses, and in some ways his own Judaism
"The world exacts a price for calling teachers wise: it keeps
discussing the paths they recommend, but few men follow them. The
wise give men endless opportunities to discuss what is good."
"Men's attitudes are manifold If there were road signs, all of them
might bear the same inscription: I-I."
"In these five attitudes there is no You: I-I, I-It, It-It, We-We,
and Us-Them. There are many ways of living in world without You.
There are also many worlds with the two poles I-You."
The above quotes referring to Buber are from: "I and Thou" a
Prologue -- by Walter Kaufmann. The Prologue was written in 1963,
for a new edition and translation. I and Thou (around 1922)
Comment: Hmmmm, I wonder why Mr. Kaufmann and how he has become so
conversant in the I-I? The fact of the matter is that Buber was also
a contemporary of Ramana Marharshi of India's Self-Realization fame
whose signature writing is the Self and the I-I. Buber may not be
familiar with RM, but Buber lived in Jerusalem part of his life. But
also Germany and was a German citizen at one point because he has a
great command of the German language per Kaufmann. Kaufmann is also
one of Nietzsche's translators (10 books). And because they are both
so conversant with Nietzsche Buber uses a quotes (which he qualifies
in his discussion as "[when] Nietzsche who is still faithful to
actuality in his report: One accepts, one does not ask who gives",
from Zaranthustra, which Kaufmann footnotes.
I might ask why does Buber bring in Nietzsche--the writer of superman-
-which left out the Jewish population, in his own works? What does
this validate for him?
While Buber has nothing to say about Freud directly Kaufmann does
mention the use of the word ego "Ich" in German. He states that
Buber's use of the word Ich is more the common usage than the way
that Freud uses it as part of the consciousness of man. But Buber
uses it to describe the sum of man's parts. In other words Buber (who
studied Hinduism) was using Ego in much the same way that the Masters
and gurus use the term ego. Kaufmann says common usage like Americans
use the word today. But today was NOT the early 1900's, when the word
was only coming into its own awareness and generally part of daily
vocabulary. I would have to research it, but I dare say that `ego' as
the Buddhist's and Hindus used the word was in common parlance.
It (ego) was not unknown because by then Alice Bailey was starting to
put out her books by the Tibetan and the works of Theosophy were
world renown by this time as well. But were they available to the
common man in the early 1900's? I don't think so.
Kaufmann, to be sure does not hide the fact that Martin Buber was
extremely well read, he mentions this in fact. And Robert Smith
(author of quote earlier about Buber and Jung) says that the two them
were engaged in some sort of heated exchanges about Jung's use of God
or religion in his work. I say what about Buber's use of Eastern
philosophy, without giving it, its proper credit and due? How about a
Western philosopher (Buber) using Eastern philosophy in
his "original" work called "I and Thou"? I suggest that he point the
finger that he pointed at Jung back at himself.
What's gets more interesting is the lack of agreement among Jewish
authors and scholars about the use of Eastern ideas and philosophy.
Because in a book (by a Jewish writer--I read this summer)
entitled "Ominous Parallels" the author was a student of Ayn Rand. He
(have to look up his name) argues that it was Hitler who mastered the
use of the Eastern philosophies to set up the entire world, beginning
with Germany for what was to become a mindset that allowed him to
rule the world for a time, and to exterminate the Jews. Ominous
Parallels argues that we in America are coming to that same
crossroads that Hitler used in Germany. Is he saying that Americans
are unable to choose what they will follow and think? That in itself
would say that the Western mind is not kept sterile by brainwashing
from Eastern sources but by Fascism by Western ones.
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