Saturday, August 11, 2007

"Let us make the human in our image" (Genesis 1:26).

Rabbi Simon said: When the Holy One, the blessed One, came to create Adam, the ministering angels formed themselves into groups and parties, some of them saying, "Let the human be created," while others urged, "Let the human not be created." Thus it is written, Love and truth fought together; righteousness and peace combated each other. (Psalm 85:11) Love said, "Let humans be created, because they will dispense acts of love:; Truth said, "Let humans be created, because they will perform righteous deeds"; Peace said, "Let humans not be created because they are full of strife." What did the Lord do? He took Truth and cast it to the ground... Rabbi Huna, the Elder of Sepphoris, said: While the ministering angels were arguing and disputing with each other, the Holy One, the blessed One, created humans. God said to the angels: "For what purpose do you argue? Humans have already been made!"
Genesis Rabbah 8:4-5
When we seek power, we lose the Way. When we lose power, we find the Way. But be aware of taking pride in finding the Way, for fear that you will start claiming to live by high moral standards - and then lose the Way again. Obedience to moral laws is the husk of truth; it is like a barren blossom that will not turn to fruit; it is ignorance appearing as goodness. People with great minds want the kernel not the husk; they want the fruit, not the flower. They pursh moral laws aside, as rocks along the Way.
Tao Te Ching: 38
The sun is rising. All the green trees are full of birds, and their song comes up out of the wet bowers of the orchard. Crows swear pleasantly in the distance, and in the depths of my soul sits God, and between Him, in the depths and the thoughts on the surface of my mind, is the veil of an unsolved problem... God makes us ask ourselves questions most often when He intends to resolve them. He gives us needs that He alone can satisfy and awakens capacities that He means to fulfill. Any perplexity is liable to be a spiritual gestation, leading to a new birth and a mystical regeneration.
Journal of Thomas Merton, May 15, 1949
The merciful God taught you the Quran. He created human beings, and gave them language. The sun and the moon follow the course he has ordained. The herbs and trees bow down in adoration. He raised up the sky and set all things in balance; he commanded you not to upset that balance, but to respect it. He laid out the earth for all creatures; and he planted upon it trees that bear blossom and fruit, husks that carry grain, and herbs that emit fragrance. He created human beings from dry clay, as a potter creates pots; and he created spirits from the flames of fire. The Lord is present where the sun rises in summer, and where the sun rises in winter. He is present where the sun sets in summer and where the sun sets in winter. Which of the Lord's blessings would you deny?
Quran 55: 1-25
During the day, if you practice walking meditation, each step brings you back to the present moment; each step enables you to touch what is beautiful, what is true. And in this way, after a few weeks of practice, joy will become something possible, you will be able to undo many knots within yourself and you will be able to transform negative energies into joy and peace. The Buddha said this: "The object of your practice should first of all be yourself. Your love for the other, your ability to love another person, depends on your ability to love yourself." If you are not able to take care of yourself, if you are not able to accept yourself, how could you accept another person and how could you love him or her? So it is necessary to come back to yourself in order to be able to achieve the transformation."
Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love
When human beings were created the obligation of selfless action was also created. God promised that through selfless action human beings would fulfill their deepest desires. Good people, who share the fruits of their work, are freed from all their sins. But those who keep the fruits of their work for themselves, consume sin. Every selfless action is inpired by God; he is present in every good deed. All life turns on this truth.
The Bhagavad Gita: 13-16
Listen to Me, you who pursue justice,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock you were hewn from,
To the quarry you were dug from.
Look back to Abraham your father

And to Sarah who brought you forth.
For he was only one when I called him,
But I blessed him and made him many.
Truly the Lord has comforted Zion,
Comforted all her ruins;
He has made her wilderness like Eden,
Her desert like the Garden of the Lord.
Gladness and joy shall abide there,
Thanksgiving and the sound of music.
Isaiah: 51:1-3
"Even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith - being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter: 6-8