Fragmentation and Integration

We don’t begin with integration. We conclude with it. Fragmentation is always a prelude to integration.

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Esau and Jacob

Who is Esau? He whom Jacob makes whole. Who is Jacob? He whom Esau makes whole. Separately they are fragments, shards. Together they comprise a complete vessel holding the light of the Source in one integrated consciousness.


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.



Where do we find shalom? Inside ourselves, then exhaled as life-giving breath for others.


Jacob’s Dream

Genesis 28:10-22

We humans are stones, apparently hard and unchangeable, but in reality slowly transforming, able to be molded and shaped, gradually breaking up into soil as we nourish the earth, the water, and the air.

Jacob used a stone as a pillow during sleep and set it up afterwards as a standing pillar to remind us that we are creatures of the earth,  nourished by our mother, linked to heaven, going up and down a stone staircase, as we integrate female and male, above and below, inside and outside, earth and heaven.

Just as Jacob, we are here to immerse ourselves in life’s ups and downs: ¬†stones breaking up and reshaping themselves as we point our inner selves heavenward and earthward to remind us of our home straight ahead, with our authentic being, now expanded to include the ever shifting kaleidoscope of life made whole.


Experiencing the Source

The Source (God) is not something you believe in.  The Source is something you experience,   People who believe in God attach themselves to an abstraction, a disembodied thought.  People who experience God have nothing to explain or justify.  The Source simply is.  It is not separate from life and creation, but integrated with life and creation.


Moving from Fragments to Wholes I

When feeling disjointed, not centered, recall that we are here to experience the movement from fragmentation to integration, from confusion to clarity and wisdom. If we were integrated and wise from birth, why would we be here?


Theory and Practice: China Has an Economic Plan — The US Does Not

Robert Reich notes the fundamental difference between the economies of the US and China:¬† China has a plan, and we don’t.¬† This hands-off approach has characterized both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations.¬† In general, the US relies on faith in the free market place, while China assumes that the government must make careful plans to advance its interests.¬† Consequently, the Chinese invest heavily in green industries, even when there is no immediate profit and cost is high, because this technology is the future.¬† Whoever controls it will have an enormous advantage in global competition.¬† The US engages in talk, but not much action.

The US has an almost magical faith in the free market.¬† It’s almost as if the US believes that simply reciting an ideological creed will guarantee economic success.

The US still has one advantage:  the deep creativity and inventiveness that marks our culture.  Americans do not rely on the past and on tradition, but look for new and original ways of doing things.  This has always carried the US through before, and I hope it will continue to do so.  But can the US rely on this, while others make plans?

The whole issue relates to an even more fundamental matter.  Will human beings rely on ideology or on practical, integrative approaches to solve problems?  Ideology is  pure theory, ideas separate from concrete reality.  Communism, Marxism, radical free market capitalism, absolute pacifism, religious fundamentalism, and postmodern theory all fall into that category.  They are ideologies rather than evidence-based methods. Significantly ideologues exist on both the left and right. among both the secular and the religious.  Even when something contradicts the theory, followers of the theory simply ignore the data, because fundamentally day-to-day life is messy, confusing, ambiguous, contradictory, and therefore too difficult to interpret.

While the US has recently been primarily concerned with ideas about what should work, the Chinese and others are approaching matters pragmatically, testing for what actually does work.  The US would do well to return to its historical roots in pragmatism and develop more of a balance between theory and practice.


Randomness and Design

How do we make sense of the simultaneous existence of randomness and design? Both are fundamental, but apparently mutually exclusive. To make sense of that is shalom, wholeness, integration.


How a Gateway Opens

Sometimes confusion and discombobulation are what open a gateway for you.


Our Destiny

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


The First Adam

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


Our Accomplishments

Our accomplishments belong as much to others as they do to us.


So Small

So small in the vastness of the universe am i, yet complete and whole.



Integration: unifying the One and the Many.


The One and the Many

The One and the Many: No Many without the One, no One without the Many.



Integration: Making sense of opposites; living in diverse realms; finding a way to enjoy eating chocolate, garlic, sushi together: ONE


Moving from Fragments to Wholes II

Integration and wisdom usually come from the experience of fragmentation, making “mistakes,” and feeling disappointment and pain. I don’t know of many integrated and wise persons who have not gone through a lot in life. So, in that sense, fragmentation is a gift that allows us to experience, or re-experience (if we are speaking from a karmic perspective), the learning of integration and wisdom.


War and Peace in Middle East

I wrote this this to a friend who was very upset with Avigdor Lieberman’s statement, “those who want peace should prepare for war.”

I know that this sounds awful and that Lieberman has used racist language toward Arabs.  This is certainly true, and that part is wrong.

At the same time, I agree with his statement that there is no peace without preparing for war.¬† That is a part of Jewish thought for millennia and is encompassed in the Jewish notion of “shalom.”¬† Shalom means “wholeness,” not peace.¬† In this case, “wholeness” includes both the retreating and assertive sides of human nature and of nature itself.¬† I did not like Ronald Reagan’s domestic policies, but he was right in the way that he dealt with the Soviet Union.¬† And, in the Middle East, that is even more true.¬† You have to be tough, and you have to take into account that those who hate you will use various means at their disposal to annihilate you.¬† That’s the way it is, and anyone who wants peace also has to understand this fact.¬† Otherwise, you invite aggression and violence.

If I were in Lieberman’s position, I would not say what he said publicly about preparing for war, but preparing for the possibility of war is what I would do.

I am attaching an article by Yossi Klein Halevi who understands the Middle East as well as anyone that I know.¬† He wrote a wonderful book called “At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden:¬† A Jew’s Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.”¬† He is a political centrist, very realistic, but very much wanting peace.¬† This article expresses much that is in my view true:  The idea right now of negotiations toward a two-state solution is naive and foolish.  I believe in a two-state solution, but the Palestinians are at this time nowhere near in a position to have a functional, democratic state.  The best that we can hope for is movement in the Palestinian and Arab world toward a civil, democratic, tolerant society.  That is a precondition and prerequisite for a meaningful peace settlement.  Olmert and Livni (and Barak in the past) did everything they could to engage in dialogue with the Palestinian leadership about an agreement.  They failed primarily because the time was not yet ready for them to succeed.  Palestinian society needs to change in order for peace to even have a chance.


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