"May Adonai bless you and protect you! May Adonai deal kindly and graciously with you! May Adonai lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace!" (Torah, Numbers 6:24-26) And Jesus said, "Allow the little children to come unto me. Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say unto you, unless you receive the Kingdom of God as a little child does, you shall not enter therein." (New Testament, Mark 10:14-16)

Sojourning at an Oasis Paradise

My purpose for living this life, and for writing this blog, is to understand the faith that links us to God. I wish to explore and discuss the reality at the heart of all of the world's religions. This is an immense task, but I know that God also has faith in us, trusting that we do desire the truth, as well as freedom, love and wisdom. Thus, as always, He meets us halfway. Even as God has given us individual souls, so we must each of us trace out an individual pathway to God. Whether we reside in the cities of orthodox religion, or wend our solitary ways through the barren wastelands, God watches over us and offers us guidance and sustenance for the journey.

Most of what you will see here is the result of extensive personal study, combined with some careful speculation. Occasionally, I may simply offer some Scripture or an inspirational text. I am a wide reader, and the connection of some topics and ideas to matters of faith and religion may not seem immediately obvious, but perhaps I may spell it out in the end... or maybe, you will decide that it was just a tangent. Anyway, I hope that you will find my meanderings to be spiritually enlightening, intellectually stimulating, or at least somewhat entertaining.

In the coming weeks and months, I intend to transcribe a series of essays that I wrote about 20 years ago in the hope that I might get them published. They represent the nucleus of my spiritual life and the focal point around which my wanderings revolve like an electron in an atom. I hope that they might eventually serve as a springboard for discussions about the common spiritual heritage of humanity. May we come together and embrace each other in peace.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Spiritual Seeker Wandering Abroad - 1st essay of my book... (part 1)

     The deep feelings of humanity in its natural condition have always been best expressed in poetry, evoking the rythms and beauties of life itself to give them utterance and meaning. I can only hope these verses may bring forth these usually hidden feelings with appropriate sympathy.

Who am I?
     born with no asking,
     not of consent, nor desire...
     not of attachment, nor explaining why,
     but with flesh and bone and blood
     bound by force and matter
     thinking and feeling...
I wonder and ask, learn and ponder,
     free but now desiring
     self-conscious and inspired.
I am a human being,
     desiring to know eternity
     destined to leave just memory
     more than animal, less than God...
     contradiction and paradox.

What is this life?
     survival despite tragedy,
          suffering, hardship, ignorance, death.
     a quest for Truth,
          blind, irrational, stumbling, confused.
     a quest fot Freedom,
          constrained, exploited, beaten, confined.
     a quest for Love,
          isolated, despised, outcast, unknown.
     a quest for Wisdom,
          beguiled, wasteful, aimless, meaningless.
     knowing it could be set aright,
          but failing to be all we meant to be.
Destiny written on blowing sands.

What do we want?
     needing others for fulfillment,
          we compete for each advantage.
     suffering from deep aloneness,
          we fear to trust a friend.
     unaware of our potential,
          we sate ourselves with pleasures.
     searching for one sure hope,
          we deceive for merest gain.
We act as if insane.

Who really cares?
     ultimately alone...
     I fight despair
          with friendship and faith,
     sure only of spirit.
I seek to know my God...
     beyond the bottomless chasm,
     inside my heart of hearts,
I seek to touch a friend,
     who knows my deepest dreams,
And this forlorn, undying hope
     must be enough.

Dear Friends,
     I speak to all my relatives and neighbors on this beautiful planet earth.  I ask you to listen to my words and weigh them fairly, as my friends, for so also would I listen to yours.  We have a common cause, no matter who we are, or where we live.  Thus, I seek to promote peace, understanding, and possibly cooperation among us.  When I look around me, I see a world in crisis.  Of course, this is not news.  And yet, today, we have a choice.  That is what the word "crisis" means - "choice" - and there is no one of us who has no influence upon his neighbors and through them upon the world at large. 
     There are many things tearing at the fabric of our world: international and political rivalry, ecological degradation, racial bigotry, and even spiritual hubris... all overlaid upon the perennial problems of vice, alienation, and egotistic self-interest.  These are big problems, and together so confusing that most of us have no idea how to begin to solve them.  I have no claim to any special revelations, nor any final answers, but I must offer what I can... and that is my point, really, in these essays: that we each must do something, whatever contribution we are able to make.  Our leaders cannot do it all for us.  For just as they are not completely responsible for our present predicament - things are far too complex and clouded for that - neither are they so gifted with the supreme insights that would be necessary to unravel it.  Rather together, we are responsible for the present and the future, individually and collectively.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Prophet's Rant

Maybe some of you will find this interesting,
and perhaps it may spark some debate...

My people are oppressed by the meaninglessness of lives they must live hemmed in to no purpose.
They have achieved all that they had wanted, and found that gold and dross are the same.
They have dragged the joys of living into the marketplace and sold them at auction, like orphans and slaves.
Then they seek for solace in drugs to dull their pain, and to compensate for the impotence of their daily experience.
They work for blood money at purposeless jobs, only so they may pour their sweat into the bottomless pit of consumption.
They can build nothing for the future because they are blinded by their own base desires.
Indeed, they promise their own children as slaves to the tyrants of tomorrow, to pay debts they have allowed their leaders to borrow.
All of these torments they suffer, because they do not seek a vision of the God they wish was dead,
and whom they cannot hear due to their lack of faith.

-Odysseus Yerushalmi, the wandering prophet.

Does this resemble anything you have experienced, or seen in other people's lives? What do you think?
This post is an experiment. I invite your comments.

A Heartfelt Prayer

I just wanted to put this here today so that you would all know that I have not forgotten you. Maybe some of you would benefit by sharing this. I repeat it daily, in the hope that some inspiration may come to illuminate my life, and show me the path I may take. Of course, I will always appreciate with gratitude any prayers you may offer on my behalf. Thank you for reading this. Shalom.

Dear Papa Theo,
I treasure your holy name in heaven.
Father, I give myself to you without reserve,
trusting what you would have me to become.
Help me to follow you each day,
and bless me both now and forever.
Give me what I shall need to prosper,
and forgive my weaknesses and failures.
Lead me away from temptations, and
rescue me from those who would hurt me.
Expand my understanding and influence,
that I may fulfill the destiny you plan.
Let me see people as you see them,
and the world as it should be.
Thank you for your promises of power, grace and faith,
and for your strength and peace in the hour of my need.
And thank you for your caring and all you do for me,
even if I may not see it.
So let it be according to your will,

Father, send your angels to defend me,
and strengthen the gates of my mind,
that I may not be influenced by evil. Amen.