Monday, April 10, 2006

Making the shards whole?

I saw the DVD of Bee Season on Friday, very interesting film. In it, a family of four each wrestles with their own living of the idea of tikkun olam, or making the shards whole. (The movie site also had a cool spiritual journey page.)

On tikkun olam, this from Wikipedia.com:

Lurianic kabbalah holds that the very creation of the universe by God was unstable, and that the early universe, represented by a pottery vessel, could not hold the holy light of God (the Ein Sof or infinite). In this view, the original form of the universe shattered in shards; the universe that we encounter today is thus literally broken, and in need of repair. According to this belief, the practice of following halakha (Jewish religious law) is in order that one can repair the tattered shards of creation through their deeds. Therefore, through each fulfillment of a commanded deed (mitzvah) the kabbalists believe, a Jew performs an act of tikkun olam, gradually returning the universe to its form as God originally intended, and making mankind a partner in God's creation.

Inner Frontier also has an explanation.

So I’ve been thinking about this all weekend. What is my role in making the shards whole? Do I have a role in this process?

Mary Baker Eddy touches on this in describing her own spiritual journey of discovering the unreality of evil:

The equipollence of God brought to light another glorious proposition, — man's perfectibility and the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

--Science and Health

There are many ways to work toward the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth. You can do your own good deeds as the opportunity presents itself. You can work for a strong family and raise good children. You can become an activist, promoting social or economic change. You can volunteer in organizations with missions that inspire you.

To me, for any of these to be effective, you need the understanding of the underlying reality of Spirit. Meaning, it’s harder to fix things when we perceive them as broken than if we see them as spiritually whole already.

It’s working form the basis that Spirit’s will is already done, that Spirit never did cooperate with matter (the vessel) to create. That the vessel has always been a limited view of the glory that is Spirit, and could never have held it. Spirit would never have attempted putting its own idea into something so unlike itself. Spirit does not employ trial and error; Spirit is prefect already.

Working to improve this present mortal seeming is a worthy effort, but it’s not the final goal. We improve as a stepping stone to becoming one with Spirit, which ultimately will lead to the destruction of matter and our own exaltation as Spirit’s idea. I think of it as the difference between wanting the Garden of Eden and wanting the Kingdom of Heaven.

The former implies a perfect, happy, carefree material world—an impossibility really. With matter there will always be limitation and death. The latter, the Kingdom of Heaven, implies spiritual existence free from any constraint of limitation, wholly perfect, self-existent, joyous, free. Eternal life.

So, the shards. Bind them up, heal the hurts, comfort the comfortless. But know that’s not the end of the story. It’s a glimpse beyond the veil to reality, where healing and comforting are no longer necessary and glory reigns.


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1 Comments:

At 4/10/2006 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Marc said...

Hi Laura

Another interesting take on today's "subject" is in the book "Conversations with God" which was a Christmas present and I recently read. It is very metaphysical and has interesting concepts not unlike many of Mrs. Eddy's.

 

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