Summer 1969

Page 49

Joseph A. Bmcken, S.J.

Deus A bsconditus A new philosophical structure for the rational concept of God.

Martin Buber in his influential work, 1 and Thou, notes that the individual becomes a person to the extent that he accepts others in their totality as subjects, not therefore as objects of rational analysis or manipulation (M. Buber, 1 and Thou. New York, 1958, p. 11). lmplicit in this description of this act of acceptance of another as other is the idea that the other in his subjectivity is partly hidden, not fully comprehensible. Every human being, for example, is accessible to others, exteriorized, capable of description according to physical characteristics, normal behavior patterns, etc. On the other hand, he remains closed off to the outer world in his inner thoughts and aspirations. Even closè friends, or man and wife after years of marriage, cannot fathom one another's personalities completely. For these and similar reasons, Buber maintains that no one will ever 1¡eally understand himself or others until he accepts this hidden character of subjectivity in his dealings with people. These same ideas on the nature of human subjectivity, when applied with due qualification to God as a persona! reality or autonomous Subject, may help to explain better why modern man cannot arrive at a concept or rational understanding of 163