Friday, April 18, 2008

Jacob Needleman on the Sacred Cosmos
and the Sacred Self

But step outside one starry night. Go to a place where the “light pollution” of man-made cities is lessened. Go to a place out there and in here where our inventions of concepts and explanations no longer obscure the subtle intimations of higher truths within oneself. And look up at all those shining worlds.
     What do you feel?
     No. That is not the only question to ask oneself.
     The question is: what do you know?
     It is the same question.
     Then observe your inner state. Could you hate? Could you be overwhelmed by envy or resentment? Could you dishonor any man or any woman? Is it not true that your wish to know more and more about the great world around you is now joined to the deep yearning to serve one’s neighbor and whatever it is that is, for you and for me, God? Is it not true that no man or woman has ever committed a crime in the state of wonder? Is it not true that there is such a thing as sacred knowing? And can there be any real knowing, worthy of the name, that is not embedded in a sense of the sacred out there and in oneself?

~Jacob Needleman, from the Introduction to The Sense of Cosmos

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