Friday, February 26, 2010

Heaven and Earth and In Between

There is heaven and there is earth. In between: man. There is the perfection of God (the Tao, the Divine) and there is the imperfection of animals that live instinctively but cannot reason. In between, neither animal nor God but close to both: man. Man has one foot on earth, one foot in heaven. One foot in the visible, material world, one foot in the invisible, spiritual world. He can be lower than the stupidest animal or he can be a living saint. Sometimes in the same day. What a spectrum of possibilities exist for man!
That is why it is said that God exists inside of us, in the breast of every man (or woman). God exists in everything, surely, but only in man does he share his divine qualities and powers. Only man can embody God’s will and act for God on earth. Only he can help God finish the world. Only he can help God be God. But God leaves the choice up to him…

Helping God finish the world

Without human participation, God remains incomplete, unrealized. It is up to us to actualize the divine potential in the world. God needs us. Rabbi Daniel Matt

Rabbi Matt’s conclusion is rather startling. We usually think of God as in need of nothing. That is what is so appealing about Rabbi Matt’s mystical notion. Not only is the world unfinished without our partnership, even the divine self is incomplete without us.
That is quite a responsibility for us as humans. We have to complete the creation of the world, and we have to complete God. The latter is accomplished by making sure that the divine potential, which already exists in the world, is fully realized. And this can only happen when we are prepared to act accordingly. These are acts of kindness and goodness to those around us, those whom we know and love, and those whom we don’t know and don’t love.
Begin your day with blessing. Then make sure that all that you do in the hours that follow reflects what you have just uttered.

From Life’s Daily Blessings, by Rabbi Kerry M. Orlitzky

Photo of Christ the Redeemer from Wikimedia

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond