Thursday, October 26, 2006

By way of a preamble

Today was summery again, sunny and actually hot: 28° downtown. Very pleasant, almost too nice to spend the day working. The air was very clear too, I could see the vines on the Rothenberg from the terrace of G and U's office = home (roughly eight kilometers away).

Reading an odd/funny story by Savtadotty yesterday, and the Velveteen Rabbi's review of a woman's story of her conversion (Jewish to unspecified Christian, by context one of the resurgent Protestant/Baptist variants) this evening, has started me thinking about belief, both in general terms and specifically my own beliefs. It started when I googled ha'Kodesh Baruch ho which had been mentioned in a comment, and landed on an interesting and useful Jewish theology site. The first section of the linked page summarizes many philosophers' and rabbis' views of God, some of which resonate more than others:
The Kabbalah's view of G-d includes: G-d exists but is unknowable; the ten sefirot is how G-d manifests Himself in this world; the human body is a microcosm of the universe; G-d is Self-limiting; the world is imperfect; and, man is partners with G-d to help repair the world.

Martin Buber's view of G-d includes: G-d cannot be defined and G-d's existence cannot be proven; man enters into a relationship with G-d when man enters into a genuine dialogue with others in man's daily activities; laws are given by G-d to individuals (there was no on-time revelation at Mount Sinai); and, evil comes about either through G-d withdrawing from man or man's own lack of decision or direction.
I could live with that.

I'm not quite sure what direction this will take, but I feel that there is a series of posts brewing which will appear at some stage, perhaps even in the form of a NaNoWriMo entry. We shall see.

In other news I have a dictionary and a thesaurus from the old black-spined Penguin series, which were among my first purchases at university in the late Seventies. They have stood together on bookcases for nearly thirty years, and were always in the same order: thesaurus on the left, dictionary on the right. (I once had the companion dictionary of quotations, but it has disappeared; it used to stand to the left of the thesaurus.) I knew which was where and could get down the right one just by touch, without looking. Well, about a week ago, I accidentally put them back in the wrong order, and even though the mistake was corrected immediately, it has completely thrown me. I can no longer just grasp the desired volume: I hesitate, overcome by uncertainty, and have to read the titles. How odd.

In other other news today's Dilbert is quite brilliant.



Blogger Savtadotty said...

My entire universe is disturbed when certain things are not in their habitual places: it's a very unpleasant feeling, but maybe it's not a bad thing? Some assumptions deserve to be questioned at key points in life. Maybe you're at one of those points. I sympathize.

October 27, 2006 at 8:59:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger zhoen said...

You cannot be people who have moved so many times they can no longer count the places.

When I scrub in surgery, to relieve another scrb for lunch (eating at a sterile field is not allowed), I have to adjust to their version of Standard Set-up. I have come to learn to adjust quickly, and can, as long as they have not hidden anything. Welcome to my day.

October 27, 2006 at 9:16:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger brooksba said...

I did rather enjoy Dilbert today. Also, when I change how I keep things, it throws me off. I get how a little change, even corrected, could throw you off for a bit.

As for the religion, I guess it is a topic that you will discuss and discover. Faith takes thought and realizing what you believe will be an important time.

October 27, 2006 at 11:48:00 p.m. GMT+2  

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