Had a minor epiphany of sorts yesterday whereby a lot of things fell into a new place.
Above, I have written a descriptive using three words including a texting word “U”. I will explain shortly.
I am going back to my quest for a new definition of God in this modern age. I am dusting off something from Junior year in high school and the Jewish Philosopher Martin Buber. Indeed the picture of him in my religion textbook reminded me of Walt Whitman with the long beard and hat. Buber's I and Thou (Ich und Du) was publish in 1923. A similar idea, Freud’s The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es lit. "The I and the It”) was published the same year.
I for many years had merged a lot of the idea of I-it with the word Id and would often describe my job as a back office computer paper pusher as basically having an Id relationship with my PC. I also mixed in the concept of Zen in terms of getting a feel or a pleasure from the flow of the daily grind of that work. I am on a tangent here. Back to Buber.
Refreshing the high points of I-it and I-thou separates the reality of “I” from its surroundings or empirical from the analysis of the surroundings or abstract. You therefore have life broken down philosophically into the everyday real and everyday potential for the abstract.
I and Thou
What does it mean when a person experiences the world? Man goes around the world hauling out knowledge from the world. These experiences present man with only words of It, He, She and It with contrast to I-Thou. What this means is that the experiences are all physical and do involve a great deal of spirituality. Previously I mentioned that the world is twofold. What this means is that our experience of the world has two aspects: the aspect of experience, which is perceived by I-It, and the aspect of relation, which is perceived by I-Thou.There is the I-thou into which the perception or concept or analysis and category regarding the concept of God falls.
Freud’s secular analysis of the world is one thing. Buber’s aspiration toward the divine is less known to the general world.
Thinking about this I-it and I-thou thing, I am adding a bridge word “my”. I say bridge word because the I-it and I-thou was a great concept in 1923 but it is almost a century later and I do not see much I-it or I-thou thinking in religious writing and theology or everyday religion practice. All I hear is the I-it when people pound their fist on the good book (It) in the pulpit. I do not feel much I-thou coming through there to comfort me.
Getting back to my bridge word “My”, I use it to describe intentional focus or attention to the empirical or the abstract. In other words, it the “my” focusing or touching the everyday world or by focusing on the meaning of it all – abstract – that places me in the universe in connection by a bridge from “I” to “It” or from “I” to “Thou”.
I – My – Thou. “Thou” is such an archaic word. I translate it modern into “U”.
Taking the idea one level above the empirical and into the spiritual, thou not necessarily divine, I am adding something of a holistic approach by combining all as I-My-U.
If I go a little further with the Quaker Idea of the spark of the divine in all living creatures, man in particular, then something merges here, has an energy of its own, that I recognized as such when I saw it happening. I thought of the four Hebrew letters or symbols that make up the sacred name of God. I have “Imyu” as a potential new name for God and everything (the universe).
Going back to the individual spark within every human being concept, perhaps if God in a Deist concept is a distant Creator, perhaps we each have the potential of being a surrogate of that distant Deist God in everyday life.
Adding more concept and or poetic license with Saint Paul's “looking into a mirror darkly”, perhaps, just perhaps, on occasion, you and I can look into the mirror of our souls and on a subconscious, if not conscious level, look into the mirror and see, quite briefly, God, in some abstract and or miraculous manner. In which case, the possible name of God “Imyu” becomes “Im- yu”.
Think about it.