Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quote of the Week 179 - Overcoming Evil

“The Talmud notes that the Shema has the unique ability to dispel the forces of evil…The reason for this should be obvious: evil has power only when it is seen as disconnected from God. If one thinks that there can be a force of evil apart from God, then one can be harmed by it. However, if a person recognizes that even evil is a creation of God, then it no longer has any power over him. God Himself said through His prophet, ‘I form light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil; I am God, I do all these things.’ (Isa. 45:7)…In any case, the Shema declares that God is One. If God is One, then His purpose must also be One. Since God’s purpose in creation was to do good, then the only reason that evil exists is to enhance the world’s ultimate good. If a person has a deep realization of this, then the forces of evil have no power over him.”

-- From Jewish Meditation, a Practical Guide, Jewish Meditation, a Practical Guide, by Aryeh Kaplan, Pp 123, 124.

“The evil inclination and lust are agents of God. They carry out God’s will to mislead a person in order that he will overcome them. From them, you can learn to be as mighty as they are. Just as they never slacken in their work but are trying to destroy you day and night…just as they are happy and delighted to carry out God’s will, it should be as clear to you that God wants you to overcome them until you will conquer yourself and all your desires will be under your control – until you transform them to good…we will take a lesson from the evil inclination to act just as it acts to fulfill God’s will.”

“Evil does not come down from heaven. Nevertheless, evil that exists has an inner power giving it life. And this [inner power] is total goodness. So if you look at the inner aspect of evil, you will only see the good in it.”

--From The Ten Principles of the Baal Shem Tov, translated by Yaacov Dovid Shulman.

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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: