"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Thought? A feeling? An Impulse? Something.

Lately I have found myself pondering the Jewish theological model that parallels love with kindness and fear with justice. I find it very fascinating when you look at actual life experience through this prism, extraordinarily edifying.

Briefly, this is the sketch.

We say that the initial act by God in creating the universe is an expansive act, hence the universe expands (a feature of Jewish theology at least a millennium ahead of the astronomers' discovery of same). Then there is a second act, that limits the expansion at a certain point.

Each individual person represents a microcosm of the universe. The impulse by which he expands his private universe is called "love" in emotions (heart) and "compassion" in consciousness (soul). The capacity to draw lines that will not be crossed is called "fear" in emotions and "justice" (sometimes "strength" is substituted) in consciousness.

Think about your relationships with love as a force reaching out and fear as a force holding back. I find it to be an amazing model to predict human behavior and experience.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

A largely tangential comment, though wiser heads than mine would probably find a way to weave it into your pattern of thoughts:

The Hebrew theological meme of expansion finds expression throughout the New Testament--for example in "kingdom" statements like Matthew 11:12 ("From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it") and Revelation 11:15 ("“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever")--and thus has become one of the most prominent and visible features of modern Evangelical Christianity.