Monday, November 7, 2011

Arguing for Amazement as Sacred Scripture

This is what I mean when I say that I believe that very little of sacred scripture is contained in the works that the world religions call "sacred scripture." I believe that the sacred is first written in the hearts of the people who take the time to be amazed and grateful for that amazement, and secondly on paper, stone tablets, papyrus, and cyberspace. I would love to see more of the contemporary stories of that amazement and gratitude written down by everyday men and women reporting on their everyday lives.

One of my soul sisters who has spent much of her life studying the Judeo-Christian faiths and now writes a blog about her spiritual journey called "One Bird Watching" mentioned that she's reading a book called Radical Amazement. This term spoke to me because it seems to embody part of my philosophy of The Spirit, "Amazement," so I Googled the term. The first reference to the term that I came upon was regarding Abraham Joshua Heschel (January 11, 1907 – December 23, 1972) who was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century. Here are some pretty amazing quotes from him:

"Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge."
"Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy."
"Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum hatred for a minimum reason."
"All it takes is one person… and another… and another… and another… to start a movement"
"A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair."
" God is either of no importance, or of supreme importance."
"Self-respect is the fruit of discipline, the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself."
"Life without commitment is not worth living."
"Above all, the prophets remind us of the moral state of a people: Few are guilty, but all are responsible."
"Remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power. Never forget that you can still do your share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and frustrations and disappointments."
"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people."
"Awareness of symbolic meaning is awareness of a specific idea; kavanah is awareness of an ineffable situation.
"A Jew is asked to take a leap of action rather than a leap of thought."
"Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed."
"The Almighty has not created the universe that we may have opportunities to satisfy our greed, envy and ambition."
"The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments."
"The course of life is unpredictable... no one can write his autobiography in advance."
"When I marched in Selma, my legs were praying."

I realized that he hadn't written the book with that title, so I looked further and found that non-deceased Judy Cannato had written it. Here is a quote from an interview with her:

“ When each of us vibrates love and compassion, our energy mysteriously unites with the energy of love and compassion all over the planet, augmenting the field of compassion, making its resonance, manifestation, and influence a very powerful force for transformation and
healing. . . . Could there be any greater cause for hope in the community of life?”

If these things aren't sacred scripture, I don't know what would qualify.

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