Fall and the Moon of the Thinned Veil
Thursday gratefuls: Pruning. Proceeding. Pantry in use now. Picked a sink. Induction range and cookware. First heat. Friday. Kitchen remodel getting legs. Cold nights. Pandamndemic. Prostate cancer. HIIT. Good workout yesterday. Giving stuff away. Pots and pans. The stove. Money.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Sun, another day
Tarot: The High Priest, #5 of the major arcana, Druid Craft
Pandamndemic. Creeping horror coming to your state the week of Halloween. Delta variant dawning. And twilighting. And causing pressure on health care, body counts, hope for a mask free end of the year. I find my own resistance to the masks, to caution challenged.
I just wanna be free! Damn it. Me and roughly however many billion of us have been dealing with this damned thing for well over a year and a half. Feels like this gray pall draped over every encounter outside of home. The hearing issues with it make me want even more time alone.
Then there’s the Build Back Better plan. How’s that going? I’m for putting McConnel and Manchin in a chain link box. Let a 3 round MMA bout settle which one’s the bigger impediment to a decent future. Winner gets a free disruption of the people’s business, no explanation required.
What? They already have that? Are doing that? Oh, I see. Well then. Let’s put them in a chain link box and tether them, Andromeda style, to a condo sitting on Miami’s disappearing beach front. Now wait. That could encourage climate action. Couldn’t it?
Between Covid and the Congress, between Covid and the weak-kneed White House, I find life outside the wonderful world here atop Shadow Mountain often dismal, rarely joyful. And. I. Don’t. Like. It.
Yeah. So what, you say. Suck it up buttercup. Nope. Not gonna do that. And, I wanted to have my minute. There it’s over. Back to business as masked.
Leading mussar today since Carole had a wreck. In hospital with a cracked sternum. Ouch. Meals for her for a couple of weeks. Glad. I get to return the favor.
Topic in mussar today. Judgement. Of others. The Perkei Avot says Jewish tradition instructs us that when we judge another person, we are to put their misdeeds on one side of a scale and their virtues on the other side of the scale. If the scales are balanced, then we should tip them towards merit.
And, ourselves. “The Talmud says that we should always judge other people favorably. We must also judge ourselves favorably”. (R. Nachman of Breslav)
Odd that in Christianity, which says judge not, the tendency is to judge harshly, while in Judaism, which sees judging others and ourselves as both inevitable and necessary, the remonstrance is to judge others favorably.
Reb Nachman puts another flaw in the ointment. We must also judge ourselves favorably. Whoa. That’s a hard one, eh?
I’m guilty of judging others harshly, of weighing what I perceive to be misdeeds or character flaws as tainting the whole person. I suppose you could call this cancel culture. Make one misstep and you not only get judged, you get ostracized from polite society.
“Machrio L’Chaf Zechut translates as “influencing others to virtue,” or “judging others favorably.” Machrio comes from the root chaf-reish-ayin and means “to bend.” L’chaf zechut means “to a scale of merit.” This is the middot associated with judgement. Reform Judaism
This one goes on my spiritual curriculum. A spiritual curriculum according to mussar has on its syllabus character traits where we often fall short and those that we have, but need to reinforce.
This sort of work is actually High Priest work. “Tradition and guidance. Formal knowledge, education and academic establishments. A need to conform to orthodox ideas and conventional approaches. The significance of a teacher or mentor.” The message: “There is a value in discipline and routine to maintain the connection between your worldly and spiritual life.” Druid Craft Book.