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Posts Tagged ‘Heschel’

YouTube Notes

A clip from the documentary work-in-progress “Praying With My Legs,” about the life, thought and transformative legacy of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Here three monks recall an extraordinary meeting they’d had with Heschel some 40 years earlier.

For more info, please see the film’s website: http://www.prayingwithmylegs.com, where you can sign up for the film’s mailing list for updates.

You can also become a fan of the film’s Facebook Page. Just go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Praying… and click on “Like.”

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the film, you can do so at: https://www.nyfa.org/ArtistDirectory/…
Thanks!

 

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star-forming region in the Large Magellanic CloudNASA/ESA image – WikiPedia

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​Tolle in ​Chapter​ 7 ​of ​A New Earth says​​​;​

the ultimate purpose of the world lies not within the world but in transcendence of the world. Just as you would not be conscious of space if there were no objects in space, the world is needed for the Unmanifested to be realized.

You may have heard the Buddhist saying: “If there were no illusion, there would be no enlightenment.” It is through the world and ultimately through you that the Unmanifested knows itself.

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!

NB Mr T was speaking of course to the awakened or at least the​ awakening. ​It is interesting to compare his statement on how important the awakened are with a Baha’i passage;

“​Ye are the stars of the heaven of understanding, the breeze that stirreth at the break of day, the soft-flowing waters upon which must depend the very life of all men……​”​
​SOURCE

The world of duality is the key to the world of nonduality – and nonduality isn’t the only goal!  Whilst acknowledging that duality is the child of nonduality I want to enjoy the delicious snacks as well as awe & wonderment.

“Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” A J Heschel (Who is Man p.88)

I also recall;

TWO ‘JEWELS’ SET ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER – a juxtaposition, one Hindu, one Jewish.

1) Here is an ancient poetic summation of the state of being human, of the cosmos and, implicitly, of the framework of Perennial Philosophy;

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

 

“The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” ( from the Bhagavad Gita.)

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2) From Abraham Joshua Heschel;

“The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;

on the immense expanse beyond it

only the sense of the ineffable can glide.

 

It alone knows the route to that

which is remote from experience and understanding.

 

Neither is amphibious:

reason cannot go beyond the shore,

and the sense of the ineffable

is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

 

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:

we sense the ineffable in one realm;

we name and exploit reality in another.

 

Between the two we set up a system of references,

but can never fill the gap.

They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody,

as life and what lies beyond the last breath.

The tangible phenomena we scrutinize with our reason,

The sacred and indemonstrable we overhear with the sense of the ineffable.”

Heschel A. J. (1971), Man is Not Alone, New York: Octagon Books p.8

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TAGS: the world, transcendence, objects, space, awaken, enlightenment, duality, nonduality, purpose, Buddhist, Baha’i, stars, juxtaposition, Heschel, Bhagavad Gita,

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Image

 

I recently had the the news that my life-span will be cut short.  I am committed to enjoying every moment of every day, and to being the longest surviving IPF patient.  

Looking Mr D squarely in the face is vital but I’m not going to play chess with him, as in a certain Ingmar Bergman film, nor will I Iet him spoil any flash of beauty that comes my way.  I acknowledge that the minute, hour and day is set – so be it. (As it is for everyone – but we manage to ignore the fact most of the time.) But today is the first day of a shorter life as much as it is the first day of the rest of the life of anyone with a century to live – so let me breathe in all it’s truth, beauty & goodness!

Fortunately I had discovered the ‘secret of the universe, the ‘secret of all secrets’ a few years ago.  I suppose I’m not certain what I should do with it other than try to live up, in some measure, to the challenge that it brings – the challenge of closing the gap between theory & practice!  Closing the gap is to ‘Die before you die’ as contemporary Sufi master Sheikh Kabir Helminski reminds us (Chap 22 in his book Living Presence)

The important death is the death, or diminution, of the egoistic lower self in favour of living in the presence of the Self.  Here are some of my favourite inspiring quotations that bring together aspects of the two kinds of death:

“Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s own being, and it points the way from bondage to freedom.  By making us drink right from the fountain of life it liberates us from all the yokes under which we finite beings are usually suffering in this world.”  D T Suzuki

Another Zen Master in providing a summary of Zen Buddhism said, “No self, no problem.”  (Such divine brevity!)

 Lao-tzu said, “Embrace death with your whole heart.

 Socrates said, “Practice death.

 Those who sense the wonder, share in the wonder.” A J Heschel

 “What does it matter Oh my Lord if I never meet you – I am already annihilated.” – Sufi

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FROM THE BAHA’I ‘MASTER’ – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

A friend asked: “How should one look forward to death?” 96

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “How does one look forward to the goal of any journey? With hope and with expectation. It is even so with the end of this earthly journey. In the next world, man will find himself freed from many of the disabilities under which he now suffers. Those who have passed on through death, have a sphere of their own. It is not removed from ours; their work, the work of the Kingdom, is ours; but it is sanctified from what we call ‘time and place.’ Time with us is measured by the sun. When there is no more sunrise, and no more sunset, that kind of time does not exist for man. Those who have ascended have different attributes from those who are still on earth, yet there is no real separation.

“In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep. but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation.” The questioner exclaimed; “But I have heard a voice!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man’s explanation often leads astray.” 97

Someone present asked how it was that in prayer and meditation the heart often turns with instinctive appeal to some friend who has passed into the next life.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “It is a law of God’s creation that the weak should lean upon the strong. Those to whom you turn may be the mediators of God’s power to you, even as when on earth. But it is the One Holy Spirit that strengthens all men.” Hereupon another friend referred to the communing of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah; and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “The faithful are ever sustained by the presence of the Supreme Concourse. In the Supreme Concourse are Jesus, and Moses, and Elijah, and Bahá’u’lláh, and other supreme Souls: there, also, are the martyrs.”

When asked about the individual persistence of the animal’s personality after death, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Even the most developed dog has not the immortal soul of the man; yet the dog is perfect in its own place. You do not quarrel with a rose-tree because it cannot sing!”    SOURCE http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/ABL/abl-52.html

One theme that cuts across death and death of the ego is reality as in the is-ness of things – don’t quarrel with a rose-tree because it can’t sing!

TAGS: Zen, Buddhism, interfaith, inter-spirituality, interfaith inter-spirituality, death, ego, dying to self, Self, Socrates, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ,  Lao-tzu, Heschel, Sufi, is-ness, ontology, today, the secret of the universe, Kabir Helminski, Sufism, prayer, meditation, Baha’i, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Bahá’u’lláh, salvation, redemption, animals, roses, dogs, birds, perennial philosophy, is-ness, ontology, being, reality,

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We can’t live in mystic oneness all the time – duality is not a failure – it is the essential, wonderful complementary state to mystical oneness;

The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it
only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
It alone knows the route to that
which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither is amphibious:
reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable
is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:

we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another.

Between the two we set up a system of references,
but can never fill the gap.
They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.

The tangible phenomena we scrutinize with our reason,
The sacred and indemonstrable we overhear with the sense of the ineffable.

Heschel A. J. (1971), Man is Not Alone, New York: Octagon Books p.8

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Light is light in whatever lamp it shines

Light is light in whatever lamp it shines

“Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.” – A J Heschel

Yesterday I wrote a short open letter of questions to Eckhart Tolle.

I also wrote a short introduction to the Dictionary of Concepts in development on a sister site allied to this one.  The latter in part answers the questions.   The introduction to the Dictionary reads;

Everything here on this site, and its allied sites, is about how we have to balance the myriad parts of life, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the Whole – from which everything emanates, including us.

The 1000+ ways or categories are also concepts, and HERE the concepts are gathered as a Dictionary

But our interest in concepts needs to be balanced with interest in the Whole from which all things emanate and take form, and to which they return – in the formless and infinite.

The Whole is nameless because it cannot be conceptualized.  In terms of our experience we can briefly lose ourselves in the non-duality of the infinite Whole.  This is beyond the logic-chopping of religions (and the illogic-chopping!) .  ‘God has no religion’.  God is no-thing.  We can only point – and be silent.  Silence is the language of God.

On the site there is a place you can go, to take you beyond concepts HERE.  Let the few words dissolve as you realize the oneness of the light, and the silence that, embraces others all around the globe, who also rest right now, in the now, and the silence – and let go their egoic forms.

The greatest need humanity has is for all peoples to realize that they are the cells of a single body. That realization comes as we learn to live in the now, and the silence beyond all concepts – that is to feel the Whole.  This has been the mystic teaching, the perennial philosophy, to be found at the heart of all of the world’s wisdom traditions – but so often obscured by the dust of human egotism.

But for those who love chocolate, and beautiful landscapes, and sailing and beautiful bodies we have, during our time in this world, to fly with the wing of ‘duality’ – as well as our experiences of non-duality.  After enlightenment the comes the water carrying and wood chopping.  After the water carrying and wood chopping – enlightenment.  The two are complementaries – at least in this world.  Hooray!   Hallelujah!  Amen!  Om!  Pass the chocolate!

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GIF by candleworld

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