Beginning with oneself, this way of thinking is seen clearly, in the Hasidism way, as man is not treated as an object of examination, but is called upon to ‘straighten himself out’. At first, a man should realize that conflict situations between himself and others, are nothing but the effects of conflict situations in his own soul; then he should try to overcome this inner conflict, so that afterwards he may go out to his fellow-men and enter into new, transformed relationships with them. Buber highlights this by referring to a saying of Rabbi Buman; “Seek peace in your own place.” You cannot find peace anywhere but in your own self. In the psalm we read: ‘There is no peace in my bones because of my sin.”
Buber places great emphasis on ‘Not to be preoccupied with oneself’. He says that by being so obsessed with ourselves we may forget the world, although this may look as a contradiction, because Buber first emphasizes the importance of self, but everyone in relationship to the world should be careful not to set himself as his aim. We need to look out and not be too hard on ourselves.
Here where one stands, we can search and search, but the treasure that we are looking for is actually just where we stand. We may say that the grass is greener on the other side, but the truth is that if you look close enough, where you are is just the perfect shade of green for you.
In a nutshell ‘The Way of Man’ challenges its readers to open their eyes to their own potential.
This is a must read if you are looking to find your self.
Photo Credit: Simon Borg