I-thou – process and contemplation

I think these two quotes  illuminate Freeforming.

Buber stressed that an Ich-Du relationship lacks any composition (e.g. structure) and communicates no content (e.g. information). Despite the fact that Ich-Du cannot be proven to happen as an event (e.g. it cannot be measured), Buber stressed that it is real and perceivable. A variety of examples are used to illustrate Ich-Du relationships in daily life – two lovers, an observer and a cat, the author and a tree, and two strangers on a train. Common English words used to describe the Ich-Du relationship include encounter, meeting, dialogue, mutuality, and exchange.


i-Thou relationships, on the other hand, are different, being essentially “contemplative” rather than practical. Here we meet an Other in such a manner that nothing beyond the meeting is desired or sought: the experience is one of something/someone which/who is seen and felt as an end-in-itself. The experience involves an appreciation of and a respect for the reality of the Other, grasped in its uniqueness and its mysteriousness. Here I am open and willing to receive the self-revelation of the Other as it stands-out-in-the-open-toward-me, showing itself just as-it-is. In this I welcome, and thus encourage, the Other to show me his/its own unique Truth. The experience is not expressible in descriptive language: it is fundamentally ineffable, since it is the experience of the Other in its uniqueness and its unfathomable mysteriousness: the Other is apprehended as a reality which we can never fully to know, predict, or control. The attitude which characterizes the person who experiences I-Thou is one of disinterested–yet caring and curious–fascination.



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