Being and Becoming

What is Being?  Becoming. What is Becoming? Being. We cannot enter one without entering the other.


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.


Torah Was First

The Source created Torah before creating the world. Learning preceded producing.


Returning to Your Ancestors

To return to your ancestors is to return home, to go back where you belong. Here we travel as little-big-egos careening against, and on top of, one another as we struggle to come in first and certify our separate identities. To go home from your trip is to return to the hive, carrying with you knowledge otherwise unobtainable.


Deep Knowledge

Deep knowledge takes us to a place where knowledge itself begins to evaporate into infinity. That’s when we eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge once again.


Dreams Are Raw Acts of Creation

Dreams are raw acts of creation, just as when the Source created the universe in the first six days of Genesis. Dreams show we are made in God’s image.



According to Genesis 1, the world was created with words. This is the core of Jewish wisdom.


Memory: Everything will be Forgotten. Nothing will be Forgotten

Memory:  Everything will be forgotten. Nothing will be forgotten.

A friend asked me about this comes from and what it means. Actually it is something I cam up with when I was meditating. I realized that we will all be forgotten at some point, even Abraham Lincoln or Gandhi or whoever. 10,000 years from now who will know about us. But, at the same time, nothing is really forgotten–even the littlest, tiny acts. What we do and who we are affects the energy of the world. The energy we have produced and the energy of who we are will always remain. Everything we do affects others and the planet in some way. So, while memory may be fleeting, our legacy, impact, and influence are total and world-changing.

That’s why we also to need to play close, conscious attention to all of what we do and say. Everything enters the world’s energy in some way. For this reason, humans and all sentient beings have tremendous creative capacity and healing power. For me this is what “spirituality” is all about.


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?


Jewish Symbols: The Menorah

See my talk:   Laurence H. Kant, “Reassessing the Interpretation of Ancient Symbols,” Hellenistic Judaism Section Panel on Erwin Goodenough, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Anaheim, November, 1989: This piece deals with symbol interpretation and the early Jewish interpretation of symbols, particularly the menorah: © 1989, Laurence H. Kant, All rights reserved:   MenorahTalk1

This is a summary of my view of how a symbol conveys its meanings.


What Do I Know?

What do I know?  No/thing.  And that’s everything.


Being in Becoming

Being and becoming, two halves of a whole.  Most of us search for essence, for permanence, but forget that we only arrive there through movement, through change.  We must first learn to still ourselves while moving:  to be while becoming.


What Do We Carry With Us When We Depart This Life?

What do we carry with us when we depart this life?  Our/selves.  What is our self? No/thing.  What is no/thing?  Energy perpetually shifting, changing shape every instant.  Where are we going? On another journey to another journey.


Moses’ Face Shone

Moses’ face shone with the light of the Source (Ex 34.29), the reflected radiance of a divine encounter and its presence (Shekinah) in the world through moral injunctions inscribed on stone tablets.  Light–inner awareness of the Source and of being–arises in us (as with Moses) when we connect a mystic moment to life. This is one purpose of our human incarnations:  to integrate being and becoming through right intention and action–character and ethics.


Poem of the Day: C.P. Cavafy, “In the Same Place”

“In the Same Place” by C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933):  my translation

Surroundings of home, cafes, a neighborhood,
that I have seen and walked through year after year.

I gave you form amid joy and amid sorrows:
with so many incidents, so many details.

And you have transmuted into a feeling for me.


Στον ίδιο χώρο

Οικίας περιβάλλον, κέντρων, συνοικίας
που βλέπω κι όπου περπατώ· χρόνια και χρόνια.

Σε δημιούργησα μες σε χαρά και μες σε λύπες:
με τόσα περιστατικά, με τόσα πράγματα.

Κ’ αισθηματοποιήθηκες ολόκληρο, για μένα.


Ultimate Questions

What is death? A transitional period of life.

What is life? Becoming.

Where are heaven and hell? Right next to each other, like the back and front of a door.

What is hell? A place in which we decide to reside until we decide to live elsewhere.

What is heaven? Home.

Who are we? No/thing, energy, crossing time and space, but not confined by them.

Who is the Source? Pure no/thing, raw energy out of which form emerges.


Time Never Stops

Time never stops. It is inexorable. In moments of joy and tragedy, the earth continues to rotate and the seasons continue to alternate. Shabbat and meditation offer a glimpse of existence outside of time. There we reside in the presence of the Source: no limits, no boundaries, only the vibrations of no/thing.


Warriors and Heroes

Those who live in pain–emotional, physical, or spiritual–who wake up in the morning, get out of bed, and engage in life are courageous warriors, authentic heroes.


Even eagles need a push…

A moving story of an eagle and her child.  ‘The Push, about a mother eagle’s supreme act of love – to give her children a push – when her offspring were ready to leave the nest”:


We Are All Related

We are all related in ways we do not see.


We Are Not Our Habits

We think we know who we are based on the activities in which we normally engage, by our personalities, by our hobbies, by our socio-economic statuses, ethnicities, and religions, by the ways we hold and move our bodies, or by the personal and professional roles we acquire in our lives. But do we? Are these what ultimately define us? I’m sure that these contribute to our development as beings and to our self-understanding, but they comprise only part of a much larger framework and foundation. We often focus on the easier-to-identify elements, but we don’t notice what may be even more illuminating and revealing.


James Kugel: The Little Self and the Big Self

I found this moving. It’s certainly not what I expected, and it reminds me of the classical mystical experience:  when you realize how small you are, how truly beautiful that is, and how you then can access the divine in ways you never thought possible.  We could also refer to it as the withdrawal of the ego.  To realize how interconnected we are, we must realize how small we are.  Those who have this experience are blessed and privileged.


Our Life Paths

A life path can seemingly take us up to the top of the mountain looking down or down to the bottom of the mountain looking up.  But our authentic selves are there in both places, waiting for our egos to set them free.


Poem of the Day: The Universe Breathes

Louise Bogan, “Night” (1954)

The cold remote islands,
And the blue estuaries
Where what breathes, breathes
The restless wind of the inlets,
And what drinks, drinks
The incoming tide,

Where shell and weed
Wait upon the salt wash of the sea,
And the clear nights of stars
Swing their lights westward
To set behind the land;

Where the pulse clinging to the rocks
Renews itself forever;
Where, again on cloudless nights,
The water reflects
The firmament’s partial setting;

–O remember
In your narrowing darkhours
That more things move
Than blood in the heart.


Not Yet

Something that is not yet can be–if you embody it.



Justice is rare, but always worth pursuing.  It is the hidden light we seek.


Patterns of Meaning and Purpose

Every move we make, even the mistakes, fit into a pattern of meaning and purpose, which reveals itself in time through wisdom.


A Speck of Light

Finding a speck of light in the midst of darkness–sometimes that’s all we can do.  And that’s more than enough.



The fallow allows for the fertile.


I and You

The I resides in a body, but the authentic You resides everywhere.


What is the Source like?

What is the Source like?  Like the wind.  You cannot hold or see it, but it’s there just the same.



Freedom is a choice we have every second of every day.


Starting Blocks and Finish Line

We do not start in the same place at the beginning of our lives.  It’s not where we end up that matters, but how far we travel.


How Large is God?

We should think of the Source (God) not as an enormous entity, but as the tiniest particle in existence–that from which everything originates.  That’s why we need to let go of our I, our ego.  It’s just too big.


We will do and We Will Hear (Ex 24.7)

We will do and we will hear (Ex 24.7): Action is the avenue to contemplation and enlightenment.  When you do a good deed, an act of lovingkindness, go and meditate afterwards. The universe will open to you in your humility.


Floating on a River

So often we seek to go somewhere, to reach a goal, but we’re all floating on a river toward the same place.


What Size Are We?

We are as small as a quark, as large as a universe.



Instead of using a word for “God,” perhaps we should simply form an out breath–a glottal stop, like the Hebrew letter, “alef.”  When you want to say “God,” just speak with an exhalation.



The word, “God,” is a label that often cuts us off from “God,” our Source.


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