Martin Buber on Aesthetic Experience

Analyzes Martin Buber’s work ‘I and Thou’ as an examination of the relationship between Man and God.

Martin Buber’s “I and Thou”, a work often described as belonging to the tradition of Jewish existentialism, is concerned with the essential modes of human relations, including those of humans and God. When viewing a piece of God art one can become not merely an observer, but a participant in the action itself. Furthermore, one is transferred ‘out of time’, into an atemporal realm, in which an appreciation of the infinite may be grasped. One loses oneself, so to speak, in the vast ocean of all other things. The essence of such encounters, which involve a breaking down of barriers and an opening up of consciousness into a contemplation of the infinite, are of primary concern to Martin Buber in ‘I and Thou’ and the focus of this paper. What happens in this mode of experience is a sharpening and intensification of the phenomena of quotidian existence.