Martin Buber Books loved by Osho
Osho on Martin Buber Books - First, Martin Buber. I would not have been able to forgive myself if Martin Buber was not included. As a penance I include his two books: first, TALES OF HASSIDISM. What D.T. Suzuki did for Zen, Buber has done for Hassidism. Both have done a tremendous service for seekers. But Suzuki became enlightened; sorry to say, Buber could not.
Buber was a great writer, philosopher, thinker, but all those things are toys to play with. Still, I pay my respects to him by including his name, because without him the world would not have even known the word Hassid.
Buber was born into a Hassidic family. From his very childhood he was raised among Hassids. It was in his very blood, bones, in his marrow, so when he relates it it sounds so true, although he is only describing what he has heard, nothing more. He has heard correctly; that must be on record. Even to hear correctly is very difficult, and then to report to the world at large is even more difficult, but he has done it beautifully.
Suzuki is enlightened, Buber is not -- but Suzuki is not a great writer, Buber is. Suzuki is an ordinary writer. Buber towers very high as far as the art of writing is concerned. But Suzuki knows, and Buber knows not; he is only relating the tradition in which he was brought up... of course, relating authentically.
TALES OF HASSIDISM should be read by all seekers of truth. These tales, small stories, have such a flavor. It is different from Zen, it is also different from Sufism. It has its own flavor, unborrowed from anyone, uncopied, unimitated. The Hassid loves, laughs, dances. His religion is not of celibacy, but of celebration. That's why I find a bridge between my people and the Hassids. It is not accidental that so many Jews have come to me; otherwise, I am always shattering the heads of the Jews as much as I can... and still they know that I love them. I love the essential in Judaism, that is Hassidism. Moses had not heard of it of course, but he was a Hassid; whether he knew it or not does not matter. I declare him to be a Hassid -- and so I declare Buddha, Krishna, Nanak and Mohammed. Hassidism came after Baal Shem. The word does not matter, the spirit matters.
Martin Buber's second book, I AND THOU, is his most famous work, the book for which he was given the Nobel prize. Forgive me, but I disagree with it completely. I mention it because it is a beautiful work, written artistically, with great profundity and sincerity. But still there is no soul in it, because the soul was missing in Buber himself. How could the poor man manage to bring it into his book, his masterpiece?
I AND THOU is very much respected by the Jews because they think it represents their religion. It does not represent any religion at all, neither Jew nor Hindu; it only represents the ignorance of the man called Martin Buber. But the man was certainly an artist, a great genius. When a genius starts writing about something of which he knows nothing, he can still produce a masterpiece.
I AND THOU is basically wrong because Buber says it is a dialogue between man and God. I AND THOU...! Nonsense! There cannot be any dialogue between man and God, there can only be silence. Dialogue? What will you talk to God about? The devaluation of the dollar? or Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini? What are you going to have a dialogue with God about? There is nothing you can talk about. You can simply be in a state of awe... utter silence.
There is no 'I' and there is no 'Thou' in that silence; hence I refute not only the book but even the title. I AND THOU...? That means one remains still separate. No, it is like a dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf into the ocean. The dewdrop disappears, or in other words becomes the ocean, but there is no I and Thou. Either there is only I or there is only Thou. But when there is no I, there cannot be any Thou, it won't have any meaning. If there is no Thou, there can be no I either, so in fact there is only silence... this pause.... My being silent for a moment says much more than what Martin Buber tries to say in I AND THOU, and fails. But even though it is a failure, it is a masterpiece.
Source - Osho Book "Books I have Loved"