Love

Love stems from the awareness that we are not alone.

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Mountaintop Removal Destroys Town

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Dealing with Evil

Sociopaths, murderers, con-men, sadists, and bystanders before violence are all part of the same cosmic body as heroes, rescuers, protectors, saints, and gentle souls. We are all on the same path, only some of us perhaps further along than others. When we punish evil, which we must–often harshly–we need to remember to have compassion for all human beings, no matter how rotted and degraded they are. They are our family; they are us. That is a form of wholeness: to be able to condemn (sometimes to kill to protect the lives of others or our own) while also acknowledging our common humanity and shared divine spirit.

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A New Day

A NEW DAY
© 2010, Dr. Laurence H. Kant
Essay for the Evolutionary Envisioning Circle of the Annual Great Mother Celebration, September, 2010

A new day emerges, as so many have in millennia past. Once, after we foraged and gathered, we became hunters. Once, after we hunted, we became farmers and shepherds. Once, after we lived in villages and small enclaves, we became city dwellers. Once, after priests and kings ruled, leaders came from the people. Once we did not know what was on the other side of the ocean; now we can not only travel there by boat or jet, but we can be virtually present on other continents when we’re secure at home half a world away. Once we thought that mass violence and genocide were normal; now we don’t. Once we did not even have a word for genocide; now we do.

Each time we move a few steps closer to the land of Eden, where, amidst friendship, dance, love-making, study, and work, we will dine again with God, the Source of All That Is. The sparks of fire that scattered at creation slowly come together to create a flame that lights our world in times of dissolution and chaos. We move from confusion toward knowledge, from fear toward courage, from despair toward hope, from separation toward unity, from pieces toward wholes.

What is wholeness? In Hebrew and Arabic, shalom/salaam connects to a Semitic root that means “whole” and “complete.” Some say “peace,” but that’s only part of the story. In its mystical sense, shalom/salaam really means interconnected oneness. It is that place where difference and oneness coexist, where each being finds its own unique purpose and self-expression as part of one planetary tableau, one eternal poem, one cosmic body, one collective consciousness, one Source.

During the shift, the ego (the I) recedes, and the authentic person emerges from its mother’s womb. The true self, the person You truly are, takes its place in the chariot palace, near the blazing wings of the multi-headed cherubim and the flashing heat of the serpentine seraphim. There it dines with other new-born true selves to seek wisdom in the new Temple of Knowledge and Love. Feminine and masculine energies, whose significance we assumed we understood, reveal unexpected meanings to thinking bodies and heart-filled minds. Days of pleasure and collective communing finally allow a slumbering species to shed its ego hide and put on a healing garment of shared awareness.

What will wholeness mean for evolving human culture? “Conformity” means a mass of individuals forming a collective mega ego (an I). Genuine “community” means a critical mass of individuals building a whole that transcends the individual egos and creates a collective Higher Self.

The events we see on our television sets and computer monitors—boiling, jittery delirium and tumult accompanied by earth’s eruptions, swirling storms, and disappearing ice—signal a shift from one age to the next. There will be many more such shifts in the future. But, for now, at this moment, our twenty-five-hundred-year sojourn at the inn of familiar habits, nations, and institutions has ended. Dying structures make way for new. Another day of travelling begins toward another inn on the road circling back and forward from and toward Eden. Here, in another time long, long ahead, we will be able to eat of both trees—of life and knowledge—but with experience enough to do so as humble partners of the Source, adult co-creators, sharing in the miraculous birthing of new worlds.

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Violent Rhetoric and Tucson

As we see today in Tucson with the attempted assassination of a congresswoman (Gabrielle Giffords), plus the shootings and murders of many bystanders, violent imagery and language can set the context for real-life horror. Whatever your political point of view (center, right, left, independent), let us please pledge ourselves to civility, humanity, and mutual respect.

Pima County (Arizona, Tucson) Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, says it powerfully:

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

“The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in.”

Please keep the victims and families in thought and prayer.

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A Review of the Net Neutrality Debate

http://lifehacker.com/5720407/an-introduction-to-net-neutrality-what-it-is-what-it-means-for-you-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_source=Lifehacker+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4306c49fc7-UA-142218-1&utm_medium=email

An excellent review. The internet is key medium of information and news exchange for coming decades. Corporate attempts to control the flow will limit freedom and transparency. Government regulations have their limitations and dangers, but the power of corporate control is much more harmful and pernicious.  (Via Gary Yarus)

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Jon Stewart as Change Agent

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/business/media/27stewart.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

We often think of comedy and satire as letting off steam or entertainment.  However, a brilliant comedian can use them and his laugh pulpit to shame those who would deny our commitment to the suffering heroes of September 11, 2001, and to push the government to honor its promise to those who protect and defend our nation.

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World Progress: The Joy of Statistics

For those frustrated with politics and bad news, take a look at this video.  It shows the general trend of the world toward healthier and more prosperous societies. Countries are converging, and the world is improving.  Thanks to Nelson French for this video!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

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Vanessa’s Wedding

From Dianne Bazell:  A Jewish family celebration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgZ4ZTTfKO8

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Carrying Our Ancestors with Us

Ex 13:19: Just as Moses carried the bones of Joseph out of Egypt, we all carry our ancestors with us wherever we go.

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Translating “God” and “Lord”

Because of the anthropomorphic connotations of the English words, “God” and “Lord,” because of the human tendency to use “God” as a thing or object (thereby objectifying “God”), and because of their inherently gendered meanings (”Lord” as opposed to “Lady” and “God” as opposed to “Goddess”), these words have too much baggage to use in current translations of the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, I often replace “God” with “THE ALL” and “LORD GOD” with “ALL THAT IS.” For “LORD,” I simply use “SOURCE.” This will no doubt prove strange for many readers, but de-familiarization is part of the process of reacquainting oneself with the deeper meanings of the biblical text.      These translations also have the advantage of preserving the actual significance of the Hebrew words which have become ossified in English (and other modern languages) translations and consequently lost their original meanings.

YHWH comes from the Hebrew word, “to be” (hayah), and is explicitly associated with being, becoming, existence, etc. By using a verb to describe the Divine, early Jewish writers imply that the Divine is fundamentally not an object or a thing, but rather that it is relational in nature. One might describe it as “energy,” because it is a force, not an object. The English word, “Lord,” reflects the Hebrew vowel pointing of YHWH as adonai (a – o – ai), used by Jews from antiquity to the present day to avoid saying the Divine name. There are other circumlocutions used by Jews to avoid saying the Divine name:   e.g. “the name” ( hashem) and “the place” (hamaqom). By using “SOURCE” or “ALL THAT IS,” I maintain the original meaning of the word without using the Divine name.

Elohim  is the word that normally translates “God” (from El, the chief deity of the Ugaritic pantheon), but it is a plural form that naturally implies a multiplicity of deities. In the Hebrew Bible, it normally indicates the deity of the Jewish people: the One God, the Eternal. Occasionally it directly indicates more than one god (such as in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22), but even there the notion of oneness persists. As a plural form, Elohim suggests that one cannot limit the Divine to a single thing (which a singular form would connote) and actually implies that the Divine is so all-encompassing that no thing falls outside of its compass. Elohim means unity. From a metaphorical perspective, one might see the Divine as a choir rather than a soloist; here the many become one. This is why the term, “monotheism” (which implies singularity rather than oneness or unity) is inadequate for describing the Jewish and Christian concepts of Divinity. “THE ALL” preserves the all-encompassing character, relationality, unity, and oneness of the Divine.

See how I do this in “translations of Genesis by larry” in “about mystic scholar”: http://mysticscholar.org/about-mystic-scholar/translations-of-genesis-by-larry/

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Each of Our Lives is a Sacred Story

Each of our lives is a sacred story. Learn how to tell it so that others may learn.

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Interdependence

I am because you are.

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Revolution

The world does not need a revolution, but it needs leaders who can respond to the revolution that is already happening.

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The Death of Old Institutions

When old institutions die, new ones are born.

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Our Destiny

Our destiny is not destruction, chaos, and an end, but wholeness, hope, and a future (an interpretation of Jer 29.11).

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Wisdom

Wisdom involves the heart and mind joined as two tributaries flowing into a great river.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Laurence Kant
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Wisdom Takes Time

Wisdom takes time and energy. It does not happen according to schedule.

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We All Wear Masks

We all wear masks, but that’s not who we are. What do masks do? They help us to explore alternative realities.

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Our Lives as Sacred Stories

Each of our lives is a new story to add to the book of Genesis.

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Mystic Scholar study in spirituality

I am reflecting on the fundamental shift away from institutional religion. It affects every religion and every religious community globally: churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. It cuts across the ideological and political spectra. As educational attainment increases, so does disaffection with traditional religious modalities. Yet the vast majority of people still seek to explore the fundamental questions of existence, matters of ultimate concern (as Tillich says), interconnectedness, community, ethics, and love and relationships. Why are so many religious institutions unable or unwilling to address the hunger for meaning and purpose that so many yearn for?

Looking forward to commenting in the future on these topics.

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Rest from Creation on Shabbat

The Source rests from creation every shabbat. So should we. Then, on the next day, we join hands to continue creation (Gen 2.3).

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The Woman Was Not Expelled in Eden

Did you ever notice that the Source explicitly expelled Adam, not the woman, from the garden of Eden?

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Authentic Leadership and Imperfection

One key to authentic leadership is being open about your imperfections without belittling yourself.

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The First Adam

Gen 1:27: The first Adam was both female and male, bi-gendered, whole, integrated, one.

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Creation Rests on Shabbat

Creation rests on Shabbat, but recommences the next day.

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Shabbat and Doing Nothing

Do nothing for a period of time. Then you will be able to do something worthwhile and begin to understand Shabbat.

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Wisdom

Wisdom: Knowing whom, what, where, when, how.

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Our Legacy

Our legacy is not money, power, buildings, or books, but rather the core energy that we release from ourselves into the universe.

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Conformity and Community

Conformity means a bunch of individuals forming a collective ego, an I. Community means a bunch of individuals building a whole that transcends the individual “I”s (egos) and creates a collective higher self.

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Rest

We all need to rest, and so does the earth. That’s why we have shabbat and why the earth has a sabbatical year.

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Experience and Wisdom

Learning from experience leads to wisdom.

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Love Your Neighbor

Lev 19:18: “Love your neighbor as yourself” actually reads in Hebrew: “You shall show love to your neighbor as you would (show it to) yourself.” In other words, love is not simply a feeling state, but also an act of doing.

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Letting Go of Your I

Ironically, when we let go of our I, we feel a deep connection to others and understand Lev 19.18: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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Connecting to Our Ancestors

After Jacob and Joseph died, Jews became slaves in Egypt. Why? Because they lost track of their ancestors, their home, their Source. Roots let us grow and thrive. They are the ties that both bind and liberate. We cannot help but be products of generations past to the beginning of time. The question is: Do we sever ourselves from the past, simply reuse the past by forgetting that we are each born anew, or integrate the past into a new creation?

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Repair the World

We Jews are haunted by the cries of Abel’s heirs from the earth. The specter of annhilation has a way of improving your hearing. Hence tikkun olam, repair of the world.

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Wisdom

Wisdom arises from the inside.

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Noah did not argue with the Source for the impending human genocide. Abraham argued with the Source for Sodom, but not for Isaac. Moses argued incessantly with the Source. So did the great Hasidic rebbe, Isaac of Berditchev. We are supposed to act like Moses and Isaac of Berditchev.

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Humility

Humility is the beginning of wisdom.

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Errors Lead to Wisdom

Errors are the stones out of which the gateway to wisdom is made.

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