Explain how the title of St. Theophan’s book “Turning the Heart to God” (19th century) reflects his notion of “sin”, as described in segment #4 of lecture #4. In other words: How does St. Theophan describe one’s “sin”, and what is the connection between this description and the title of his book?
Mention two main differences between 19th century Hesychasm (St. Theophan the Recluse) and 20th Century Hesychasm (Archimandrite Zacharias).
In closing, this modern-day quotation sums up the positive, passive approach to receive God’s grace. “Lord, give my eyes to see everything glimmering with your grace.”
Last month, a friend in my writers’ workshop recommended I check out Constance Hale’s Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose. The 1999 book seems to me like a funny, expanded version of the grammar chapter from the Chicago Manual of Style. Though it shows its age with far too many examples from the Reagan era, the text is a smooth and easy read. People too intimidated by CMOS might want to peruse Hale’s volume, broken into three parts: Words, Sentences, and Music, the final of which has chapters on Voice, Lyricism, Melody, and Rhythm. May the beat go on…
In the text of Rabbi Kook that was read in class he claims that our notion of free choice is nothing but a “superficial aspect”. On the other hand, in the same text he DOES admit that as humans “our very essence is free choice”.
Explain how these two statements can be non-contradictory. Base your explanation on the text by Rabbi Kook that was read in class. (The text appears in a PDF file attached to segment #3 of lecture #3.)
Many of the rabbis (Jewish religious authorities) of Rabbi Kook’s time held a harsh attitude towards the secular sects of the Jewish world – those that turned their backs on the Jewish traditional law (theHalakha) and had ceased to obey its rules. Rabbi Kook, on the other hand, despite his being a religious observant rabbi obligated to the Jewish law, had great sympathy for those non-observant sects of Judaism, and saw these secular movements as positive ones.
Why did Rabbi Kook hold this attitude? (i.e., what justification can be given to this attitude?) In your explanation name a philosopher or psychologist mentioned in class who held a close or parallel view.
In the excerpt, it is easy to understand why Kook would hold a positive attitude toward nonobservant sects of Judaism. Kook, like Jung, considered free choice as a cosmic, mythic force. This universal approach to free choice meant the essence of the person mattered, not to which sect the person belonged. Today, many academics and practitioners now emphasize Kook’s individualistic thought over sect or political interpretations in his writings. Kook concludes in this excerpt: “Drawing closer to … divinity … reveals the light of individual souls.” Mysticism brings forth the light — the good — in each person. There is still much to learn from Rabbi Kook’s writings.
It’s been three years since receiving my death sentence, and I’m still here.
Moments take me back to those first days of great uncertainty.
Last week, I was admitted to the hospital for the first time in 9.5 months. As I lay in the bed, I watched as the nurses and doctors worked efficiently to try to determine the cause of my spiking fever, at one point up to 102.6 degrees Fehrenheit. They hung strong antibiotics prophylactically. Blood samples from both of my dual port accesses as well as a peripheral sample from my right arm all went to the lab STAT.
And then there was the complicating factor of my excruciating pain that caused me seemingly to vibrate in the bed. The hospital staffers loaded me up with 2 mg dilaudid IV, knocking out the pain and the patient with one blow. Dilaudid is an opioid pain medication that works on the brain to calm signals from the nervous system. Between my painful neuropathy and my suspected fibromyalgia, I hurt and hurt bad until the dilaudid put me to sleep.
During my hospital stay, I met with a new specialist. She introduced herself and explained that she coordinated pain management. After assessing my chronic pain issues by talking with me, reviewing my doctors’ notes, and discussing how I currently handle my pain flair-ups, she shared her recommendations. The next time I reached a pain threshold I cannot manage, she wants me to take a 20 mg dose of oxycodone — four times what I had been using to try to keep my pain in check. After Philip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose of heroin, I read that many middle- and upper-middle-class folks who began blotting out their pain with pain killers such as oxycodone then find the prescriptions too expensive and move over to heroin. Oxycodone and heroin are both opiates, so they give users the same sort of high by taking away the pain.
As the Hubby can attest, I am wary of taking any pain medication. The thought of becoming addicted is so scary to me. But I’ve got to get this rampant pain under control so that I may enjoy more aspects of my life. So I will try the pain management doc’s recommendation.
I have good days and bad, just like everyone else. The difference is that my bad ones more often revolve around medical issues that keep me from living a totally normal life. But often, thats for the better — makes me stop to smell the roses of a slowed-down life.
For Eliott’s fourth birthday, we feted him twice. On his actual birthday, which fell midweek, we had a small gathering at our rental house. Eliott delighted in seeing his family gathered together for his chocolate cake — decorated like a demolition zone courtesy of the Hubby. Eliott especially enjoyed magic tricks with his cousin. He liked the streamers so much, they’re still up. And his favorite gift, from Grammy and Grandpa, is a Big Wheel, which he rides whenever given the chance. They best part? I got to see Eliott’s grinning face as he turned four before my eyes.
That Sunday, we hosted a bounce house party for thirty of Eliott’s little friends and family at a facility that had slides and mazes and traditional bouncy spaces as well. It was crazy, and crazy good fun to celebrate Eliott with family — my cousin brought her son and she and I went down one of the slides together! — and friends from his Preschool and playground group. And again, the Hubby produced an award-winning cake depicting a car accident with super heroes navigating traffic around with flares. Everybody had fun playing with the little toy cars we handed out with the (again) chocolate cake, and I got to watch my son relish in all the love lavished on him.
How did the Hubby and I find the time for so much planning for two parties? For one, I don’t have a job. My chemo brain persists, causing me to forget my twenty years’ worth of editorial rules and regs of the academic publishing industry. My biggest battle is with fatigue. Most days I have to take a multihour nap, and even after that I don’t function very well for dinner and afterward. So the Hubby tries to put in a few hours a week on his nonprofit. The rest of the time, he’s taking care of Eliott and me. Sometimes, it’s planning parties, other times, it’s taking me to City of Hope’s Evaluation Treatment Center (ETC) because of a spiking fever that could indicate infection.
In less than six months, I’ll be celebrating three years in remission from leukemia and three years since my stem-cell transplant. Both fall on my forty-third birthday. It’s when my chances of leukemia relapse go down to 5 percent. It’s the time when the Hubby and I get a chance to exhale.
A friend of mine recently wrote on Facebook about her one-year anniversary since her surgeons had gotten clean margins on her rare form of sarcoma, declaring her cancer-free. She proclaimed it her “canserversary.” Though I don’t have the same sort of clear-cut date as my friend’s, since I’m still in recovery from my transplant, I like the idea of looking forward to my three-year canserversary. For one thing, it’s fun to write. For another, I can begin to really put leukemia in my rearview mirror. Finally, my family and I can live for tomorrow instead of holding our breaths, waiting to see if the other shoe will drop (cliché, cliché).
Is there still a chance that I could relapse? Sure, for the rest of my life. But, in a sense, we all have death sentences hanging over our heads — it’s called mortality.
My leukemia and marrow transplant opened my eyes to my own mortality, and, more importantly, to the preciousness of life. I cherish my time with my family — even when they are driving me crazy — whether it’s eating dinner together, reading to Eliott, or having quiet time to talk with the Hubby. I love carousing with my longtime friends in our subdued, forty-something ways, including quiet chats over coffee and raucous laughter during dinners. When possible, I try to suck the marrow out of things new — from gym rock climbing to bounce house partying — and things old through new eyes — the farmers’ market and a good book — relishing in the fact that I’m alive to try them.
For my third canserversary, I’d like to throw a party, inviting new and old friends who have helped me get through the last three years (and before). When blowing out the candles, I’d like everyone to exhale a sigh of relief with me that the leukemia is almost gone, baby, gone. And then I’d like to take a vacation from all this cancer stuff.
Explain what main social developments occurred in the Safedian Kabbalah (2nd wave) and in the Hasidic movement (3rd wave).
In one of the titles accompanying this week’s lecture (lecture #2, segment #4) we defined “trance” as “one’s journey into the depths of his or her unconscious, using various techniques such as counting down ten imaginary steps.” This definition describes how one can use trance to undergo a mystical transformation, by oneself. Explain how trance, as a method for mystical transformation, was used in the 3rd wave of Kabbalah in a social way: Who were the ones who used the “trance” method? How was this method applied in social interaction, and what was its purpose?
Like a modern-day magician seemingly pulling a coin from a participant’s ear, the Tzaddik magically reveals to his followers what has been (hidden) there all along: their psychological way home.