What has to be given up is not the I but that false drive for self-affirmation, which impels man to flee from the unreliable, unsolid, unlasting, unpredictable, dangerous world of relation into the having of things.

In this statement, Buber argues against critics of religion who claim that religious experience is nothing but a crutch for the weak. Buber asserts that opening oneself up to encounter is an act of incredible bravery. It requires us to leave behind the realm of experience, which is the realm we can understand and predict and master. To enter the realm of encounter is to enter an unknowable, unpredictable world that we cannot manipulate. In order to do this, we must give up our inner drive for self-protection and our greed for power and possessions. We must not, however, give up our entire selves, as some mystics advise, because there is no possibility of relationship if there is no self there to do the relating.