The Name of God 4-14-13
Don't miss IE Radio tonight. Shirley and Rabbi Wayne Dosick in a discussion about his new book "The Real Name of God"
It should be fascinating!
You can read more about Rabbi Dosick and his book here:
Sunday, April 14, 2013 and always in the archives!
6 PM PDT - 9 PM EDT
It never ceases to amaze me how when calling out the
name of God. we are really all saying the same thing.
We try to define God, but really to some extent it's just
beyond our understanding (no matter what religion or
supreme being belief we might hold).
The Taoist go a step further to say that God or Tao
HAS NO NAME; there is no name that is adequate
enough to describe having no beginning and having
no end in any direction (only a center); the very
center from which creation first springs. The Taoist
believe that to attempt to name it only diminishes
our understanding and its meaning.
It resonates with me that God was lonely or bored
with just being One. It also resonates with me that
the ETs are not God anymore than we are or the
Egyptian pharaohs are, though some ETs and pharaohs
and other leaders in recorded history insist they are.
i would agree with the Rabbi on those two points;
we are not God.We are in God's image and are
therefore capable of God-like behavior (we are able
to dream and create and manifest) but God (not
"A Being"... but "All Being") is something much more
profound and greater than ourselves.
It was a good interview, SM. Thank you. i hope you'll
interview Rabbi Dosick's wife sometime down the line too.
Good post Chi ! I agree with you.
What you're talking about seems pretty universal, as you note.
Here's a poem of mine for you about the necessity of symbols that help us understand what really is beyond human comprehension:
The Necessity of Symbols
“But now, to the best of our ability we use symbols
appropriate to things Divine, and from these
again we elevate ourselves, according to our degree,
to the simple and unified truth of the spiritual vision.”
Pseudo-Dionysius, On Divine Names
All morning the rain fell, sounding
on the roof like round, grey pebbles.
At noon the sky cleared to a translucent lapis.
On the chaise lounge over red bricks
I lay sunbathing, the air steamy,
the sun a bright, gold alpha.
I thought of my students' exercises in poetry.
One told of his grandmother's taking him,
a chubby-handed toddler, to Washington Park.
There she showed him ducks, told him
he walked as well as they, taught him to count—
one duck, two ducks, three—
white, and brown, and mottled.
In Washington Park one green day in April
I watched the meridian sun fall
and take residence in your hair;
my vision followed the curve of descent
as you bent to feed the ducks
crusts from your sandwich.
We felt like children ourselves.
Together we relearned our numbers,
how Dionysius stooped on Aegean sands
to demonstrate that one becomes two—then three—enlarging
until by love all returns to one again.
My front side as cerise as the nearby peonies,
I turned and lay on my stomach.
A bead of sweat gathered on my temple, broke,
and ran into my eye.
Stinging light—refracting—the bead multiplied.
Three drops fell in opaque pools that dried
quickly on the heme-baked bricks below.
©Thomas Ramey Watson, Christianity and Literature, 38, No. 4 (1989), 94.
Here's another one about they mystery at the core, the dazzling darkness, the arc of inaccessible light where God dwells--paradoxes.
After long absence,
in the fading ellipse of November
in Great St. Mary's,
my left arm and leg
parabolic to your right.
A bassoon voice from the shadows
crescendos that God
dwells in dazzling darkness,
the arc of inaccessible light.
©Thomas Ramey Watson
Here's another take on the name. Historically knowing the name helps you find the essence of the person, the demon, God, etc. It can help you find power over them in spells and so on. It's a very rich tradition.
I think our culture has often been blinded to the very profound Western tradition, mistakenly thinking the Eastern religions have it all.
One early morning earth's womb opened, and young Adam,
we are told, gave each new creature a name
proper to its essence:
Adam could see into the heart of things.
Last night you called my name.
Finding me in darkness, you kindled in my breast
a twin to your own firstlight.
©Thomas Ramey Watson, Christianity and Literature, 33, No. 2 (1984), 20.
From John Caputo’s book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct, “Meister Eckhart, said God is unnameable and therefore omninameable, and so He prays, I pray God to rid me of God. I pray (the unnameable) God to rid me of (the idol I have named) God.”
He goes on to say, “Orthodoxy is idolatry if it means holding “correct opinions about God” – “fundamentalism” is the most extreme and salient example of such idolatry, but not if it means holding faith in the right way, that is, not holding it at all but being held by God, in love and service.”
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