Hard to believe this will be the last Wednesday Wisdom for August, but there’s still some warm weather left and here’s the wisdom that came my way.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
7:1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him,
7:2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.
7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders;
7:4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.)
7:5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
7:7 in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
7:8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
7:14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand:
7:15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
7:21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder,
7:22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.
7:23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
One of our problems as Americans—at least, among my race and gender—is that we resist the very idea of limits, regarding limits of all sorts as temporary and regrettable impositions on our lives. Our national myth is about the endless defiance of limits: opening the western frontier, breaking the speed of sound, dropping people on the moon, discovering ‘cyberspace’ at the very moment when we have filled old-fashioned space with so much junk that we can barely move. We refuse to take no for an answer. Part of me treasures the hopefulness of this American legacy. But when I consistently refuse to take no for an answer, I miss the vital clues to my identity that arise when way closes—and I am more likely both to exceed my limits and to do harm to others in the process.
Source: Let Your Life Speak
We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.
Source: The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
Sensation of the Mystical
“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical.
It is the sower of all true science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead.
To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,
manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty
which our dull faculties can comprehend
only in their primitive forms –
this knowledge, this feeling is at the center
of true religiousness.”