Materialism – the opiate of the masses

The world created by relationship.

“To man the world is twofold, in accordance with the twofold nature of the primary words which he speaks….

The one primary word is the combination I-Thou. The other primary word is the combination I-It; wherein without a change in the primary word he or she can replace it.

Hence the I of man is also twofold.
For the I of the primary word I-Thou is a different I from that of the primary word I-It”

Ich und Du Martin Buber

I-thou is a relationship of inner to inner, an authentic encounter that is the touchstone of existence. (I-thou creating “our”).

Of course, Buber wrote in German and Du has currency in contrast to Sie or Es, whereas in English we now reserve intimate addressing (Thou) for our relationship with God.

In our English language how can we now mark the transition in relationships between the formality of “you are” and the caress of “thou art”? And when and why did we lose the rich language of intimacy?

Surely thou-ness was clear in the minds of the scholars constructing the King James Bible in 1611. Perhaps the slow death of this way of celebrating friendship is linked to the four hundred year rise of materialism since the reformation?

Perhaps as the smoke clears and we see the I-It debris left by capitalism and atheism a new expression of thou-ness will appear.

Let us pray so.

I and Thou (1-2), Martin Buber and Neils Bohr

“Primary words do not signify things, but they intimate relations.Primary words do not describe something that might exist independently of them, but being spoken they bring about existence. Primary words are spoken from the being. If Thou is said, the I of the combination I-Thou is said along with it. If It is said the I of the combination I-It is said along with it. The primary word I-Thou can only be spoken with the whole being. The primary word I-It can never be spoken with the whole being.” Martin Buber

“Einstein, stop telling God what to do! … everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” Neils Bohr

The science says that It is OUR observation of the world that crystallises out this particular reality from the sea of potential within the quantum ocean of possibilities. We are responsible for the universe we create – either materialist (I-It, Ich-Sie) or connected to the underlying spirit (I-Thou, Ich-Du).

I have read that Buber holds that Jesus Christ is the quintessence of what it means to live a fully Jewish life? (I’m not Jewish, nor a scholar and would be interested in feedback on this please).

Our brother whose heart is heaven

Our brother whose heart is heaven

Hallowed be thy pain

Our kingdom won

Our will being one

On earth as it is in heaven

Live in us today, our daily bread

So we give up our trespasses

And giving, forgive and are forgiven

And lead us not to the isolation

Which delivers us to evil

For thine be our kingdom, our power and our glory

Now and for ever

Amen