Friday, February 12, 2010

Mending the World

Let’s take a break from the dark clouds and the doom and gloom. ‘Why are you writing about that stuff here anyway?’ you ask. ‘This is supposed to be a blog about philosophy and healing for goodness sake, I come here to get away from all that crazy stuff.’ Yep, you may have a point. But I talk about that crazy stuff because it is a consequence of bad philosophy. Just like for an individual, when a country and an economy are governed by short-term selfish immoral goals, bad consequences arise and suffering ensues. Eventually.
We have talked about this before: the swamp plant may grow fast and do well for a time, but it will not last. Only growth based on the firm soil of integrity is lasting and beneficial to all. What has happened in recent years is unacceptable to reasoning people and I feel winds of change are blowing and I feel a desire to give those winds of change a little help. So bear with me if I rant about bad philosophy in the world. I am reminded of this quote of many centuries ago:

Do you know, my son, with what little understanding the world is ruled? Pope Julius III (1487 – 1555)

Not many people see this blog but if only one person reads this post, who knows what tiny ripples of change may be set in motion?

So let us return to philosophy again for a moment and let me share with you a passage from an important little book I have discovered recently: Life’s Daily Blessings – Inspiring Reflections on Gratitude and Joy for Every Day, based on Jewish Wisdom by Rabbi Kerry M. Orlitzky. From compiling quotes for the blog, I have come across several Jewish proverbs and I always found them very succinct powerful and true. So when I fell on this book I was eager to learn more about the Jewish tradition. I was not disappointed. I share with you here a very appropriate passage for this blog and for this world today.

Mending the World

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, for giving us the opportunity to mend the world. Rabbi Ron Klotz

While this is not a traditional blessing – that is, not one of the lists of blessings penned by the Rabbis to be among the one hundred that are to be said each day – it certainly contains what might be called traditional sentiments. We are each obligated to help repair the brokenness in the world, and in others. Of course, we may be simply motivated to do so because it is the right thing to do. But we also want to recognize that when we do so, we are contributing to God’s work in the world. In repairing what is broken and working to bring perfection back to the world by healing it and those who inhabit it, we are acting as channels through which God’s presence flows into the world.
The blessing that Rabbi Klotz wrote acknowledges the sacredness of such an act. It is a privilege to join with God in order to fix what is broken in the world. But the world is not alone in its need of repair. When we contribute to fixing the world, we often end up healing what may be broken in ourselves.

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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