I always found it somewhat fascinating that it is fine for people to speak to G-d, but crazy if G-d speaks back. One need only watch Oh, G-d!, the classic spiritual comedy with George Burns and John Denver. When the character Jerry Landers hears AND sees G-d, people think he is nuts and he loses almost everything.
Would the same thing happen to us? Of course, this supposes that G-d would come to us as a human, or in human form, or communicate with us in a way that is familiar… a booming voice… pomp and circumstance. The fact is, of course, that G-d talks to us all the time. G-d is all around us, in daily miracles we take for granted, and in much larger things we simply cannot explain. We need to be open, take G-d in. We do this by taking time out of our day to connect, with our prayers, with out mitzvah. But what happens when G-d seems quiet?
Logically, I get this. Spiritually, I get this. But lately, G-d seems very quiet to me. For regular readers, you know that I am a pretty open book, and write about where I am, while I am there. It’s partly what inspired this whole blog… to track my diving more deeply into Judaism… sharing what I am learning and honestly reporting where I struggle and feel lost. To bookend my posts with Ben, who is much further along the path, and from whom I learn a great deal. His posts on Parsha are insightful and help me learn more, and see things in a more Jewish context. I hope he’ll say the same about my posts. I think he does… sometimes. LOL. (Yes, I am an adult and just LOL’d you!)
So I have been struggling for a while. It seems that while there are things I can hang my hat on, and parts of my life that are quite good, the main area of finance and career seem to have success eluding me, at least for now. I have some health issues, as do my parents and some friends, and a few other things that cloud my mind. Sometimes I am at peace, and other days I am lost. While I understand that we are often tested, and I know that I am not doing all I should or could be doing religiously, I find the struggle sometimes moves me closer to Hashem, and sometimes moves me further away. Sometimes I feel so helpless, I have no choice but to put my trust fully in Hashem. But then there is quiet. No voice, no answer, no guiding light.
I reach out for help in other places… books on Happiness… Meditation, Mindfulness, Buddhist teachings… I don’t feel less Jewish by doing this, as clearly Hashem made me, created me with a thirst for knowledge, a desire to look everywhere, and since He creates all, clearly these are things of G-d. There is value in learning from many people.
The great Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says: “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
I was watching a video from Esther Hicks, one of the proponents of Manifesting and the Laws Of Attraction. She “channels” someone or something named Abraham, and while this freaked me out a bit and pushed me away, I suddenly found myself drawn in when she said we are all Source Energy. I have heard this from Oprah and Deepak, and many others… but, of course, I have also heard it in Judaism, and like so many things it seems, it all traces back to Judaism.
I am part of a Mensch group, and the guys often send words of wisdom and guidance. Brett happened to send this on Monday. “In the words of the Chovos Halevovos (Sha’ar HaBitachon Ch. 1) trust “is the tranquility of the soul of the one who trusts; his heart’s reliance on the One in whom he trusts to do what is good and right for him in the matter of the trust, according to His ability and knowledge of what is for his good.”
Great words… needed words. Thanks, Brett. Thanks, boys!I long for the tranquility, and know that it will not necessarily come easily… I know that there may be struggles… Heck, I am struggling now. I know that to truly hear G-d I must listen and act… but at least for now, I don’t love how quiet it seems. How ironic… I long for tranquility, which technically can mean calm and quiet… but I don’t want the quiet… I want to more fully hear G-d… with guidance and a clear message… with a leading hand… I want to hear G-d. I want to hear G-d.