I first heard about the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965) and his book I and Thou (1923) from a therapist I used to see. I remember that out of nowhere and for a period of several weeks, I was feeling unusually elated and blissful, and I would have (what felt like) these very deep and meaningful experiences when with people and making eye contact. I described these experiences to my therapist, which made her mention Buber’s dialogical, I-You or I-Thou relationship. It was years later when I decided to actually read I and Thou, and while many passages feel cryptic, unclear, or ambiguous, reading this book has helped me to make sense of those unusual moments of human connection.
Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on January 17, 2022.