Monday, June 14, 2010

A Light in the Cage

"...there is no man who is not shaken for an instant by the eternal." --I Asked for Wonder by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Writing in his book of short essays, theologian Abraham J. Heschel writes for the interest of the lay reader about many topics in Judaism that are close to his heart. Using these essays as a springboard into the mind of this giant in Jewish thought, one clearly derives a sense of his deep compassion and understanding.
He says, "The world we live in is a vast cage within a maze, high as our mind, wide as our power of will, long as our life span. Those who have never reached the rails or seen what is beyond the cage know of no freedom to dream of and are willing to rise and fight for civilizations that come and go, and sink into an abyss of oblivion, an abyss which they never fill."
He writes that in our technical age, man does not often clearly conceive of the world as fit for anything more than his own fulfillment. He remains under the sway of a former Age of Reason, considering himself rather the master of destiny, able to breed himself, breeding races of men as he chooses; he adopts a transient philosophy according to his needs and creates a religion at will. 
This Man postulates an existence of a Power "that would serve as a guarantee of his self-fulfillment," as if G-d were a partner catering to mens' whims and goals of gaining the utmost of life in self-development.
Yet, "even those who knocked their heads against the rails of life, discovered that life is involved with conflicts which they cannot solve." There is the drive of possessiveness, a substitute life for what they lack in other realms. Even religion or spiritual quest can become an exercise of possessiveness, seekers who want to acquire merits, knowledge in the mind, and medals placed upon the heart. 
This questing is muffled by the irony of time; "we are starved by self destructiveness--some even prefer to exist upon a dainty diet" within the cage than than search out the exit in order to obtain the possibility of hope in freedom."But there is no man who is not shaken for an instant by the Eternal. And if we claim we have no heart to feel, no soul to hear, let us then pray for tears, or a feeling of shame."

3 comments:

淑瑄 said...

人生不如意事,十常八九。......................................................................

茹順茹順 said...

欣賞是一種美德~回應是最大的支持^^.................................................................                           

政儒 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。......................................................................