Friday, January 1, 2010

"We have to get rid of our preconceived and learned structures and images, which blur our real belief"

"Belief in God can be naïve and childish, or sophisticat­ed and elaborate.

The images we have of God may be non­sensical, or well constructed philosophically.

Yet the essence of this belief, when stripped of verbiage and frills, is simply: existence makes some sense.

Sometimes, one may think—probably mistakenly—that one knows exactly what that sense is, while others may just ponder it.

In any case, there is a firm belief—which precedes any kind of thought, rational and irrational—that there is some sense in things.

What we experience, through our senses or in­wardly are only disjointed pieces.

The fact that we some­how connect these particles of information stems from our a priori faith that there is a connection—because it precedes reason.

Accepting this assumption is the first, most funda­mental 'leap of faith'; not an experience, but a belief.

Of course, people would not call this 'religious belief,' nor see it as a point of faith.

Nevertheless, when analyzed properly, it becomes—for those people who are afraid of the word—frightfully close to believing in God.

This be­lief is like our belief in the existence of the world: it is the foundation of our relation to everything; indeed, on some levels, it is perhaps even more fundamental.

This deep, native belief can be found when we 'undo' our childhood training and eliminate everything we were taught about belief as children.

Then we must answer the question 'What is God?' not on a philosophical level that claims objective definitions, but as an attempt at least to under­stand 'What is God for me?'

To do this, we have to get rid of our preconceived and learned structures and im­ages, which blur our real belief. We must delve very deeply into ourselves, into our most primal thinking, indeed—to begin at the beginning."

--Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Simple Words by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz