Thinking is a Scion of Feeling

Thinking is a scion of feeling, one of the senses, a metaphorical, symbolic realm filled with the vibrant colors of awareness, the smells of memory, the voices of inspiration, the touch of knowledge, and the light of clarity.

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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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Shalom

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

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Genesis

Genesis is the story of flawed characters just like us.

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Calm

Where do we find calm? Right beneath the anxiety that shields us from feeling it.

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Gateways

Every atom and quark inside you contains a gateway to the Source.

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Culture

We can never completely absent ourselves from culture. Paradoxically, we can only transcend culture by sometimes embracing it. Staying true to ourselves involves both withdrawal and immersion.

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Light and Contrast

If all was light, creation could not be. Boundaries require contrast.

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What is the Light of Day 1

Since the Source created the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars on Day Four, what is the light of Day 1? It is the hidden light, the light seen not by our our outer eyes, but by our inner eyes (Gen 1).

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Right Now

Right now is where we are.

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Electomagnetic Harmonies

Underneath the noise are the hums, buzzes, and whistles of the earth’s vibrating voice waiting for us to listen and understand.

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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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Being and Becoming

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

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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.

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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.

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Torah Was First

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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What Do I Know?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dalai Lama Cedes His Political Role

The Dalai Lama cedes his political role.  Clearly the Dalai Lama understands the Western idea of  “separation of church and state,” its importance for entry into the modern world, and its role in fostering healthy civil institutions.  Of course, there are many traditions that Tibet will maintain, and it will adapt on it own terms.  Perhaps we will how a society can maintain its deep spirituality while developing democratic, secular institutions. This is impressive:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/world/asia/11tibet.html

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”:
http://newsletter.simpletruths.com/a/tBMytFMB8PINaB8VatcNnRfx68F/movie

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We Are All Related

We are all related in ways we do not see.

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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.

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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.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/02/07/2742888/approaching-god-from-the-still-small-self

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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.

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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.

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Not Yet

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

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Justice

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

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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.

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