Magazine article Tikkun

Spiritual Renewal: Gratitude

Magazine article Tikkun

Spiritual Renewal: Gratitude

Article excerpt

One reason we've given so much space this issue to a vision of hope for the new millennium is that we believe we are at the beginning of a whole new period in world history and culture, a period in which Spirit will replace the slavish subordination to ego and power.

I've just completed a book on this topic, entitled Spirit Matters. I argue there this same theme, showing exactly how it matters today that Spirit has been denied and how that will change with the emergence of what I call Emancipatory Spirituality,

Many people get turned off the moment they hear the word "spirit" because they have so many negative associations. One of the worst is that they identify that word with reactionary and oppressive religious histories.

The good news here is twofold: First, an amazing spiritual renewal has been taking place in religious institutions all over the world. In place of patriarchal, repressive, anti-pleasure, reactionary, and spiritually dead versions of established religion, we are increasingly finding a renewal of the deepest spiritual truths of religious traditions. Perhaps the most important change is this: the rejection of triumphalist visions and the demeaning of the other that leads to racism, nationalism, religious chauvinism, sexism, and homophobia. In its place we find a growing recognition that every human being on the planet is created in God's image and entitled to equal respect (whether or not they are part of your group).

Second, you don't have to be in any religious community to recognize Spirit and to build a spiritual life. Many TIKKUN readers are secular Jews who do not feel comfortable in any particular religious setting, but who nevertheless are alive to the spiritual dimension of experience. While I personally am a strong advocate of the value of a (renewed) religious tradition, many people in the TIKKUN community don't agree with me on that point, yet do agree that there is a need for a meaning-oriented transformation of our society and a new bottom line for judging productivity, efficiency, and rationality besides that of maximizing wealth and power; they agree that the healing and transformation of the world is not only desirable but possible. …

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