Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Thoughts

On the verge of the momentous and historic inauguration of Barack Obama, I would like to share a few thoughts.

First, an excerpt from the epilogue of my book:

“The most virulent form that the Dharma has taken in the West is the pseudo-religion of liberty-equality-democracy worshiped in the shrines and institutions of the West. Although the New World, led by the United States, has emerged as the premier leader, exemplar and disseminator of this creed, the question remains whether a mature equilibrium, fed by ethical, moral and humanitarian guidelines and considerations, can be established. Or will it continue along certain current lines of juvenile excess and abuse, driven by greed and selfishness, that distort and make a mockery of the values and principles of its founders?”

When I first embarked upon my adult study of Judaism in light of Yoga, in addition to these subjects, there was a third prong of study in my long-range plan that I have not quite gotten to, and that was to study the founding of the USA and the philosophies of the various people involved. I was interested in discovering any connections between that movement and Yoga and Judaism and underlying spiritual aspects in general. What first spurred me in that direction was a trip I took with my family several years ago to Washington, DC. It was the first and only trip I have taken there as an adult. What struck me in my visits to the various monuments, especially the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, was the extent to which the founding principles of our country, as embodied in these monuments, incorporated a kind of national pseudo-religion to which all of its citizens subscribe, and which binds all of us as one. These were shrines, temples, as much as they were monuments. I was particularly awestruck standing in the Lincoln Memorial and reading the incredibly powerful and poetic words of this great man engraved on the walls. It was apparent to me that among many of his other traits, here was a spiritual giant who had come to earth for a specific mission from a realm far more superior and sublime.

And now, once again, we will be celebrating a refreshing and much-needed renewal of the spirit of the founders. I hope that all of us will join in wishing Mr. Obama all the best in his efforts to renew and uplift.

P.S. We watched the two-hour celebration of the inaugural at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend tracking it down and watching it. It was a fantastically orchestrated event and very inspiring. One thing that struck me as very cosmically humorous, in beholding the many shots of the Washington Monument from the perspective of the Lincoln Memorial, and vice-versa, with the reflecting pond in-between the two, I had a sudden flash of spiritual insight. Obelisks, of course, are obviously phallic, and here we behold this fantastic phallic symbol as the monument to the father of our country. Yogis and Hindus must be veritably impressed by this humongos shiva lingam! But then, in contrast to and across from this extremely male, vertical structure stands the horizontally-oriented Lincoln Memorial, much wider than it is tall, with its large and welcoming entrance, leading to the dark, womb-like inner sanctum. And thus we have the corresponding female monument, the national yoni, with the reflecting pool serving as the birth canal connecting the two. Think about it. How cosmic!

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: