June 6, 2011

a single singing drop of sea

The spark of the Eternal within us would have even enemies love each other, because indeed the spark in you does love the spark in me. But we cover over their gentle whisper with all species of violent or slothful distractions.

A friend told me the other day that hatred is not truly the opposite of love. Both love and hatred are founded on attention - focusing on something. And at the root of attention, is Love. Hatred is just love gone sour; gone crooked into obsession and resentment and anxiety. If you want to know the real opposite of love, it is indifference. Perhaps that's why the Hebrew prophets, Jesus and so many others have waved giant bright banners over the issue of compassion and care for the poor.

But we build walls. Wrapped, I was born, with a thick little shell for a body...

There must be a way to cut through the Klipot (shells, curtains between us and True life), slice the stone and hear from the Dove (שימן בר יונה). Become a friend of G-d. Tear away the layers of False Self, ego, pride that are dividing me from you and you from you and find that pearl that is worth selling everything for. Find G-d in your own heart, there is no where else to find her.

"First among the items of knowledge that a person must have is knowledge of his own self. It is the root of worship." --Siraj al-Uqul, Yemenite Midrash


We're asked to choose in this life, between the two directions of flow, ("life and death" Deuteronomy 30:19-20) and which stream we will exist in. Maybe everyone dips their feet in one or the other at times. But it seems like there is a choice inherent in the situation: choose life or choose death.

Choose healing, the drive for renewal: Binding up broken hearts by the sacred act of Listening to those who grieve. Setting the captives free from whatever Mitzrayim (Egypt) they are bound in - fear, guilt, anxiety, shame, addictive behaviors - by commiseration and the words of your own story; essentially by honesty and breaking the silence that implies that I am not suffering and struggling right along with you. And keeping faith with those who sleep in the dust: feeding the homeless & hungry, visiting the prisoners in our prison system, treating all people with respect and dignity by making eye contact and reducing your monopoly on the conversation.

This is the flow of tikkun olam (restoring the world) that we are constantly, gently being prodded to join by that singing drop of the sea that is always humming in the hiddenmost part of our hearts. It is a walk of faith; faith that there will always be something to give, so give freely. Faith that there will always and forever be a flow, a deep wellspring gushing up to eternal life; mercy to go around and back again.

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