Faith and the transitoriness of life

The goal of all spiritual practice is to help us see that we are more than temporary and meaningless collections of automatic emotional and physical responses. All spiritual practices are designed to lead us to see a higher reality — that we are, in truth, eternal consciousness, occupying physical form for a purpose, animated and connected to the creative and sustaining source of everything. (Rabbi Alan Lurie)

It is challenging to pay attention to “the automatic emotional and physical responses” that we are; for, to borrow a line used in the past, asking one to do this is like asking a fish to see water. We are very ephemeral creatures, existing for but a moment in this mysterious, ever-expanding universe, and it is human nature to take ourselves way to seriously and assume that we objectively grasp “reality”. As Rabbi Lurie noted, our task is to grasp our finitude and affirm, by faith, a “higher reality” which I like to describe as our Source. It is much easier to cling to what Kierkegaard described as the “flotsam and jetsam”, i.e. the prevailing dogma of the day…that we fleetingly see in this vortex of life. The goal is to let go of the “flotsam and jetsam” for a moment and, by faith, cling to the Ultimate.

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