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Realistic And Activistic Mysticism And The Mystery Of The Earth

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Chapter Summary

By comparing Martin Buber's characterization of the Baal Shem Tov's mysticism and the relevant passages in I and Thou, one may conclude that the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, as understood by Buber, was identical with the activistic and realistic mysticism and with Buber's dialogical thought. While Buber objected to his thought being identified with that of Hasidism in any simple way, this referred particularly to the descriptions of supernal worlds, which he identified with Gnosticism, to which he took exception, and to man's activity in these upper worlds. This chapter discusses Buber's interpretation of those terms related to the principle of immanence in Hasidism and to the manner in which they were internalized in his thought. Buber also distinguished between true mystery and false mystery in relation to the mystery of the earth.

Keywords: Baal Shem Tov; earthly mystery; Hasidism; Martin Buber; mysticism



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