Heschel quotes – God, Man, Prayer, Life and Death – and video

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The following quotes from Abraham Joshua Heschel have been used to start a page on him on WikiQuotes. Many seem to me to give wonderful glimpses of the wisdom and beauty of this great soul:

God

* “Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine. … to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe.”

* “God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. He is the light.

* “He who is satisfied has never truly craved, and he who craves for the light of God neglects his ease for ardor.”

* “We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers.”

Prayer

* “Worship is a way of seeing the world in the light of God.”

* “The issue of prayer is not prayer; the issue of prayer is God.”

* “The focus of prayer is not the self…. It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer…. Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one instant, at least, in which our mind is directed neither to our hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant is prayer. We start with a personal concern and live to feel the utmost.”
* “The deepest passion in any human being is the craving for meaning of human exsistence- God is the meaning beyond”

Man

* “Man is a messenger who forgot the message.”

* “Man’s sin is in his failure to live what he is. Being the master of the earth, man forgets that he is the servant of God.”

* “The road to the sacred leads through the secular.”

* “Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.”

Life and Death

* “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”

* “The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior for our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not only a hereafter but also a herenow.”

I just found a fragment of video – HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6q1puhkUNg

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All postings to this site relate to the central model in the PhD. Summaries are HERE

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