Archives for spiritual life

Journey Inward 2013

Journey Inward in 2013 Rabbi Benjamin Barnett’s Trustworthy Guide I don’t typically pay much attention to bumper stickers. But, en route to a meeting in Medford Oregon recently I noticed one that caught my eye and imagination: “Promote Spiritual Literacy: Journey Inward.” We all know about “literacy”—the ability to read and write competently. There’s computer literacy, and the more metaphorical emotional literacy. But, “spiritual literacy” caused a little inner jolt. It was suggestive, and impressed me right off as true. And, I sensed, the start of 2013 was a great occasion to make a renewed and a firmer commitment to
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The Divine Imagination in the “Thisness” of Things

Recently, my friend Rabbi Joshua Boettiger (Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland, Oregon) asked me what I understood by Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar’s notion of “glory.” (Rabbi Joshua is reading von Balthasar’s The Glory of the Lord, volume 1: Seeing the Form.) I described glory, from my limited vantage point, in “Hopkinsian” terms: • the inscape (essential form) and • instress (energy that animates and emanates from the form–its particular “splendor”) I’ve used the words “form” and “force” to capture the intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of the “thisness” of a person and other things in nature–the very “thing” (form)
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