The first and most important prerequisite of interfaith…

The first and most important prerequisite of interfaith is faith.

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It is only out of the depth of involvement in the unending drama that began with Abraham that we can help one another toward an understanding of our situation.Interfaith must come out of depth, not out of a void absence of faith. It is not an enterprise for those who are half-learned or spiritually immature. If it is not to lead to the confusion of the many, it must remain a prerogative of the few.
Faith and the power of insight and devotion can only grow in privacy. Exposing one’s inner life may engender the danger of desecration, distortion and confusion. Syncretism is a perpetual possibility. Moreover, at a time of paucity of faith, interfaith may become a substitute for faith, suppressing authenticity for the sake of compromise. In a world of conformity, religions can easily be levelled down to the lowest common denominator.

Both communication and separation are necessary. We must preserve our individuality as well as foster care for one another, reverence, understanding, cooperation. In the world of economics, science and technology, cooperation exists and continues to grow. Even political states, though different in culture and competing with one another, maintain diplomatic relations and strive for coexistence. Only religions are not on speaking terms. Over a hundred countries are willing to be part of the United Nations; yet no religion is ready to be part of a movement for United Religions. Or should I say, not yet ready ? Ignorance, distrust, and disdain often characterize their relations to one another. Is disdain for the opposition indigenous to the religious position ? Granted that Judaism and Christianity are committed to contradictory claims, is it impossible to carry on a controversy without acrimony, criticism without loss of respect, disagreement without disrespect ? The problem to be faced is : how to combine loyalty to one’s own tradition with reverence for different traditions ? How is mutual esteem between Christian and Jew possible ?

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~alan/chaplain/Heschel.html

To become aware of the ineffable is to…

To become aware of the ineffable is to part company with words. …The tangent to the curve of human experience lies beyond the limits of language. The world of things we perceive is but a veil. Its flutter is music, its ornament science, but what it conceals is inscrutable. Its silence remains unbroken; no words can carry it away.

Sometimes we wish the world would cry and tell us about that which made it pregnant with fear-filling grandeur.

Sometimes we wish our own heart would speak of that which made it heavy with wonder.

–Abraham Joshua Heschel

To become aware of the ineffable is to…

To become aware of the ineffable is to part company with words. …The tangent to the curve of human experience lies beyond the limits of language. The world of things we perceive is but a veil. Its flutter is music, its ornament science, but what it conceals is inscrutable. Its silence remains unbroken; no words can carry it away.

Sometimes we wish the world would cry and tell us about that which made it pregnant with fear-filling grandeur.

Sometimes we wish our own heart would speak of that which made it heavy with wonder.

–Abraham Joshua Heschel

One of Heschel’s major theological ideas Depth Theology…

One of Heschel’s major theological ideas:

Depth Theology

A focus on the underpinnings of faith: a sense of awe and radical amazement which must occur before any creed or dogma come into play…….

From an essay he wrote on Depth Theology in The Insecurity of Freedom:

“What happens within a person to bring about faith?… this is the concern of a special type of inquiry which may be called “depth theology,” … its purpose being to explore the depth of faith, the substratum out of which belief arises. It deals with acts which precede articulation and defy definition.

… Theology declares: depth theology evokes …

… Theology is in the books; depth theology is in the hearts … Theologies divide us; depth theology unites us.

… Depth theology warns us against intellectual self-righteousness, against self-certainty and smugness … Theology…is always in danger of taking itself too seriously.”

“Awareness of the divine begins with wonder It…

“Awareness of the divine begins with wonder. It is the result of what man does with his higher incomprehension. The greatest hindrance to such awareness is our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés. Wonder or radical amazement, the state of maladjustment to words and notions, is therefore a prerequisite for an authentic awareness of that which is.”

From Abraham Heschel’s ‘God in Search of Man’

The “Philosophy of Radical Amazement” A gross but…

The “Philosophy of Radical Amazement”. A gross but inspirational oversimplification of Radical Amazement is to be so in awe of every aspect of the world and its creator that one cannot help but do one’s part to make it the best it can be.

SOURCE http://www.rabbiyitzhakmiller.org/About/Radical-Amazement_90.html

“Our goal should be to live life in…

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Abraham Joshua Heschel

The Kingdom of Names I think is more…

The Kingdom of Names I think is more than the Names and Attributes of God. It is everything that we name. God is beyond any naming, any naming in relation to God falls short i.e is infinitely less than that to which we refer.

Zen masters will rarely use the name God – they ‘point’ – which is all we can do when we refer to that which is beyond The Kingdom of Names.

The realm of the Names and Attributes of God itself seems to me to be a) beyond all human ken but b) is also the Holy Spirit which the force behind every thing – every plant, and minerals animal and person.

The great Abraham Josuha Heschel said;

“Concepts are delicious snacks with which we try to alleviate our amazement.”

Concepts are (part of ) the Kingdom of names.

Amazement is wordless, concept-less, unitive connection within the Divine Whole – also known as Wonder-ment, or mystical union.