A few years ago, when I was in California visiting Fr. Peter Campbell, he shared with me an insight that had influenced him a great deal: In the Hebrew worldview and scriptures, Israel is understood both an individual and a community.
“It is interesting, at the outset, to notice the remarkable fluidity and ease with which the Old and New Testament authors slip back and forth between their descriptions of an entire tribe and the individual members of it…From a Semitic perspective, the individual member of a tribe actually stands for and sums up the particular group from which he or she has sprung. All of the whole is in the part…There is here no sense of collectivity or aggregation, no parts outside of parts, just an appreciation of some primordial organicity or bodily felt tied-togetherness.” (Campbell, McMahon, 1985, p.90)
In these months of physical distancing during the COID-19 pandemic, I have paradoxically experienced this bodily felt tied-togetherness:
Fathers Campbell and McMahon continue, “A human being’s primordial options (for evolution) now lie more within the heart. The blessing here is that they are more flexible. These choices are not irrevocable. Once the antler has grown, once the claws are in place, there is no turning back for that species. For us, however, there is space for maneuvering. Our psychological specializations are more malleable…we must opt for continued openness and advance or isolating closure, control and specialization…Carried to an extreme, voluntary closure in the human being marks the appearance of what biblical tradition speaks of as sin…That is why the Bible poses another dramatic option to sustain the forward thrust of human evolution. It speaks of metanoia, conversion. A return to the way. It is a coming home once again in openness to the unfolding inner destiny which calls us ahead.” (p.94)
You and I are tied-together in a felt way with all people, all creatures and Earth. Our tribal boundaries are expanding and intersecting in our growing recognition that we are One. This resonance is experienced in our bodies, it sounds in our hearts. Pausing to notice this is a way to pray with our bodily felt-sense; it furthers our metanoia, our putting on the mind of Christ.
May we reveal our tied-togetherness in our words and actions today and every day.
Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center is pleased to announce that Jennifer Schimmel has been named executive director by the Board of Trustees.
Posted on 5/10/2022
Sometimes, a calling begins with inner restlessness. A disquiet or tension, perhaps even an irritation. In the ups and downs of the day-to-day, it is easy to chalk these up to the ordinary trials and tribulations of daily life. Certainly, growing in maturity requires cultivating the ability to hold fast during turbulent times, not jumping ship at every inconvenience or upset.
Posted on 9/23/2021
A while ago, Genesis received the gift of a canvas labyrinth along with a number of boxes of accessories, some easels and posters. Due to its size, the labyrinth will only fit in the Providence Room and time passed as we waited for the room to be available so we could unfold the labyrinth and walk it. In the meanwhile, Nick and Wayne stored the labyrinth, boxes and posters upstairs in a Carriage House closet. Weeks passed, then months. Years.
Posted on 8/10/2021
These past weeks I’ve had occasion to cover Genesis’ kitchen so our beloved Chef Jen could have a couple of days off. I delighted in harvesting tart cherries from the tree behind the Carriage House and incorporating them into Rainbow Chard, bacon and cherry pizzas, Chilled Persian Soup, and cooking them down for a sauce over vanilla ice cream.
Posted on 7/14/2021
Posted on 2021-06-10
Reflecting on the spirituality of Providence
Posted on 5/7/2021
Posted on 5/18/2021