Excerpt from god as the between of i and thou by Hune Margulies


This essay appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Tiferet. The entire issue can be purchased in digital format here.

god is not in heaven nor on earth. god is not above nor below. not within nor without. not in the soul or in the flesh. god is not an entity anywhere. god is the between of an I and a thou. we live our lives in search of lost-betweens, and we find salvation in the practices of the sacraments of the neighbor.

the only claim we can commit to in regards to the identity of god is what moses heard in the desert during his dialogue with a burning bush: god, or the ineffable, or the buddha, or the source of being, or the one poem that contains all poems, is “whatever it shall be”. (אהיהאשראהיה).  in other words: god is a poem we enact in the between of i and thou. the gods that have chosen to live in the desert are devotees of the sacrament of the neighbor, with all its myriad ways and forms by which it can be made manifest. i write my poems to escape from my words, but, so it seems, only in the desert we can read our poems to a burning bush. a moment of genuine i-thou encounter is akin to an existential ritual, for life, like you, is beautiful and willing. only our whole-being can say thou, so we must teach it to seek deeds of encounter, for relationship is the essential sacrament of life.

by will and by grace we enter into moments of inception of the in-between, and irrespective of their length in time, these moments are eternal, and without regards to the magnitude of the space in which they enact themselves, their embrace is infinite. but we need to guard the paths of our hearts: moments of inception, like making love with our beloved, or writing our poem, or drinking our wine, or you, cannot be reenacted, they can only be lived anew.

HUNE MARGULIESHUNE MARGULIES is a poet and philosopher. He is the founder and director of the “Martin Buber Institute for Dialogical Ecology”. Born in Argentina, Hune resides in New York since 1980. Margulies has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and currently teaches at FIT in New York City. Hune Margulies created the concept of “Dialogical Ecology” which he defines as the point of encounter between Martin Buber, Zen and other philosophies of dialogue.

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