Friday, September 25, 2009

Birthday Wish

On this journey...

It's hard not to see the present political impasse as thoses w/eyes wide shut and those with eyes wide open.

It may lie somewhere in between, as inevitably, none of us has a perfect view alone and benefits from other points-of-view. But beware the true believers.

Ever since I heard the story of Gog and Magog, sitting in the sanctuary at Temple Israel in Bay City, I always thought of it as Gog versus Magog. Recently, rereading the text I wonder where that idea came from. The Soncino Haftorah clearly states in the commentary that Gog was from the land of Magog, or that Magog was somehow affiliated to Gog. Although the Wikipedia reference also mentions supernatural beings and older folklore references.

Why then do I have a vivid memory/vision of two giant-like foes wrestling or battling one another? Like binary stars they are chaos and cosmos in my mind. But, perhaps, what I took away from the story is that there is a struggle between forces of darkness and light, and often each side sees it from only their own perspective.

If Gog represents the invader to the land of Israel, then it's not surprising that readers of the Tanakh, Bible and Koran have interpreted the meaning in different ways. If taken literally, there was or is a specific representative of Gog. But even, if considering it metaphorically, is it only a story of fear of the other and ultimate destruction as outlined in the scary story/prophecy of Armageddon?

Just because humans could follow that path, should they? Just because a vision or story exists, does that command obeisance? A self-fulfilling prophecy?

I like what I took away from my discussion with my rabbi. Here was a man who questioned things. He was spiritual but he was an intellectual, too.

Wasn't this story reflective of forces, not good and evil, but of chaos and cosmos? A sort of yin and yang, two parts of a whole?

Perhaps both are necessary, but perhaps, if one isn't to gain the advantage, there needs to be balance. And if having to choose one side which would it be? Well, chaos is definitely scary and by definition leads to destruction. Whereas cosmos evokes a vision of balance...it's not some uber grid of control smacked down on the world by Big Brother. Rather, it's the making of sense...the reaching out to the other in truth. It's harmony.

If there is a struggle between good and evil, it originates in each of us. It's imperative to take up the responsibility of this self-examination. One mustn't blindly give over their soul. Each of us was made with a brain...some say for a reason.

It's like we each carry a/the universe inside us...we each have a perspective, and it would behoove us to respect that.

In this age of have and have nots, it's apparent that public access to health care and education will come when individuals unite and speak their truth to power.

I, for one, will not allow some corporate entity, or representative thereof, to make me out as less deserving of respect and human dignity than one of their chosen employees.

I believe that all people deserve rights, respect and a chance to evolve their potential...for good. I want to be a part of that solution.

The current stalemate is not keeping the world in balance. It's time for healing and acknowledging that one can come from any backgroung/faith/heritage and be a good person...a light unto the nations.

We ought to strive for the betterment of us all, not in some dogmatic fearmongering way, but by living our lives with eyes wide open and believing in ourselves. The dance of balance. Warriors of wisdom.

Good luck with that.

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