German Jewish philosopher
- The usual judgments are judgments of interest and they tell us less about the nature of the person judged than about the interest of the one who judges.
- The Tyranny of Hate: The Roots of Antisemitism : A Translation into English of Memsheleth Sadon (1992), p. 18
- Men are forever doing two things at the same time: acting egoistically and talking moralistically.
- The Tyranny of Hate: The Roots of Antisemitism : A Translation into English of Memsheleth Sadon (1992), p. 25
Our Christ : The Revolt of the Mystical Genius (1921)Edit
- Our Christ : The Revolt of the Mystical Genius (1921), as translated by Graham Harrison and Michael Wex, edited by A. M. Rappaport
- In point of fact there are two kinds sorts of mysticism, differing from one another as the ranting of drunkards from the language of illumined spirits. There is the muddled, stammering mysticism, and there is the mysticism luminous with truly ultimate ideas. On the one hand there are the empty dimness and darkness, the barren, chilling sentimentalism and mental debauchery, the foolishly grimacing but rigid phantasms of the Cabbala, of occultism, mysteriosophy and theosophy. We cannot draw too sharp a dividing line between these and the brightness, the simple sincerity, and healthy, rejuvenating strength of genuine mysticism, which takes the most precious gems from philosophy's treasure chest and displays them in the beauty of its own setting. Mysticism is in complete accord with the result, with the sum of philosophy. In fact, mysticism is precisely the sum and the soul of philosophy, in the form of that rapturous, passionate outpouring of love.... We are concerned with an understanding of this serious mysticism, and its meaning could be stated in three words... godlessness... freedom from the world... blessedness of soul.
- In mysticism, everything is thrown at us directly, without discursiveness and ratiocination, as if it were a matter of course, and we are challenged to follow an unrestrainable will to love, arising out of a tremendously agitated, indiscriminate feeling. … Mystics will—rather than know—their thoughts. … Mysticism witnesses nothing but love; mysticism is nothing but love. … Art shows how it loves, philosophy what it loves; mysticism knows only that it loves.
- Christ, with whom the multitude could not deal other than by making him into God Himself, thus enabling itself to venerate as God him whom they had loathed as man.
- p. 113
- The difference between Christ and the other prophets is threefold:
1. Unlike the other prophets, he has no connection with politics and is not a people's tribune. In the Gospels, we find temporal circumstances only as background, Christ having no relationship to them at all. He kept his thoughts unmuddled by the world — "Get thee behind me, Satan!" — he was and remained truly free of the world.
2. He preaches no religious superficialities whatsoever, nothing at all of worship, nothing of God; he is truly godless.
3. Neither for earth nor heaven does he preach any coming kingdom. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt. 6:33). The kingdom, however, is nothing that is to come; it is here, it is within you (Lk. 17:21). It is the Spirit of innerness as it is alive in him, the truly blessed man; it is the essence, ever being and never changing. It is also the essence of this our life, not merely an appendix granted it by some other essence, for which we would have to fulfill certain conditions.
- pp. 165-166
- Great, strong, spiritual love — which is always at the same time a genuine, unsentimental love of man — cannot be without wrath. … Anger can no more be separated from love than flame and heat can from fire. Love and anger are a single fire of the Spirit.
- p. 169
- From the midst of the flat plain of human reason, there arises the terrible, fire-spewing mountain of genius.
- p. 168
- Christ … made the blood of the specialists and leading spirits, the representatives of the people boil with his battle-cry: "I", "I", "I"! and provoked the enraged counterblast: We, We, We!
- p. 179
- And so, from this day forth, we want all the more to let our thoughts revolve around and hover over Socrates and Christ at all times, openly taking pride that they are more alive for us than all those living today and that we listen to and love them as we do none of the living.
- p. 188
- Socrates and Christ speak to us everlastingly of mankind. … It belongs to the great, to the greatest men to say how things are with mankind, how they stand in its innerness and which way it is going; it belongs to Socrates and Christ. These absolutely extraordinary, eternally alive people penetrate to the groundless depth of human nature and understand the speech of ordinary people, of those who are scarcely alive from one day to the next.
- p. 189