February 16, 2006

The possibility of possibility

The other night a friend and I went to hear Rabbi Michael Lerner speak. Maybe "rant" is a better word, given the speed and energy with which he spoke!

I was taken by much of what he said:

  • Many of us know that there is something more to life (and work) than just bringing home a pay check.

  • Many of us know that there is a better way to be in the world but we are too tired to resist the societal pressures to conform, or we are too tired to do anything about it, or we don't know where to begin, and so we stop looking for what that Better Way is.

  • For the time-being, the Religious Right are drawing people in because they are able to speak to the spiritual crisis and to the crisis of values that people are feeling.

  • Having had that crisis named and having it as part of the dialogue, now folks can either go to the party where the conversation speaks to their condition--even if the walk doesn't match the talk--or they can go to the party where nobody is speaking to their condition at all. So they still feel empty or hollow.
  • Michael then began to speak about how we need to break out of what currently is our automatic defeatist thinking. To break out of that mental rut, we need to change the bottom line and focus on things like love, caring, generosity, stewardship. We need to live into our potential and into our possibility of What Can Be, to live into our Magnificence.

    And what really caught my attention was when he said that the King James version of the Bible mistranslated the answer that was given to Moses, when Moses asked of God, "By what name shall I call you when I talk with the Israelites?" The Biblical Hebrew apparently does not translate as "I Am That I Am," but rather it is more closely translated as "I Will Be Who I Will Be"--future tense.

    I like Michael's interpretation of this alternate translation. He explained that this Scripture points to how God does not ask us to be who we are but rather to live into the possibility of who we will be.

    God is the Possibility of Possibility.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    I Want These Words to Birth You

    I want these words to birth you
    to breathe life into you
    to kindle the logs and twigs of your spirit
    that had fallen away or been pulled up from their root

    I want these words to ignite you
    to inspire you
    to return to you the bright magnificence
    that is your birthright!

    I want these words to touch those deep secret places in you
    where your mind insists there is only emptiness
    while your heart and your Angel beat on and laugh
    knowing the greatness of the path
    that is yours to walk in the Light

    I want you to remember Who You Are
    that you are not your fear
    you are not your loneliness
    you are not your misery


    You are your Truth, you are your Magnificence
    you are these glorious jewels of your spirit
    jewels and gems and gifts that have only gone underground
    so that they could be safeguarded
    until you realize
    that the whole world spins
    and the universe sings
    and eager angels hold their breath
    awaiting your Arrival

    Be birthed, be raised up on angel wings
    and greet the dawn!



    Liz Opp said...

    Lorcan asked me to post this comment on his behalf. He was not able to post at the time; the server was having trouble. - Liz

    Liz... thee, I think, would love Harold Bloom's latest book Jesus and Yahweh. In parsing out the literary image of the Yahweh of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Jesus who emerges finally after 350 years at Neacea... he often relates Yahweh to Lear, and Jesus to Hamlet... but it is in his explanation of Hebrew context lost in Greco Roman translation... concepts like creation as "zimzum..." the startled inhalation of breath and then breathing out life...

    What does all this mean, to we Friends, this rewrite, than as Bloom reminds us, holocaust, "Kill them all and God will know his own..." coming out of these rewriting of Hebrew Scripture to put Christian words on the lips of Yeshua of Nazareth to create Jesus the Christ...
    For me the implications are that the living of the sermon on the mount, is far more important than the worship of Jesus the God in the Christian definition I cling to myself. For me, I find it hard to see how a Christian can build a wall to another's heart and say that they are walking with righteousness in the face of our God. The deeper I go into a very beginning of an understanding of Judaism, the more I find Yeshua speaks directly to me... live,not without confrontation, but live with a willingness to walk the extra mile to another - stick by thy principles but always be ready for another's light. The sermon on the mount does not say that in conflict we go to the other and convince... but that we go ( not on line :) ) we go and seek unity - we go with an intention to love.

    Thine in the light
    Lorcan (Plain in the City)

    Lorcan said...

    Dear fFriends:
    Small words do birth thee... I have been living a bit rough these days, hard but joy filled days, days of physical pain and warmth of the heart. I have been building boats in an unheated shop window, in New London, with a dear fFriend of my younger days, the boat builder to whom I was apprenticed many years ago. Now, we both consult..., making decisions together on the attributes we wish to put into the boats we are building. But, I am away from my wife, and he from his, and warm words from fFriends are more than a blessing. Liz thy short note, I read, on a morning when I was feeling the effects of long hours and cold... a short blessing from a friend is a fire in the wilderness... it is when one is living with little that one knows how big small thoughts are.
    Thank'ee fFriend,
    and my love to all my fFriends, all.