Wednesday, January 04, 2012

a meditation for trying times


If I didn't acknowledge peoples absolute autonomy and freedom to make their own choices, then my own choices would be meaningless.

-David On The Lake

When observing those strange creatures around you, otherwise known as Other People, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

If other peoples actions start to effect your core than it's time to pack up and leave, like a firefighter who when trying to save a trapped person realizes that he's walking into a death trap and certain death, turns around and concedes.
As difficult as it may be to watch "frum" people behave like bafoons I need to disengage from the reflex to want to somehow control.
My equilibrium remains blissfully intact.
I must become an island and lift the drawbridge and realize that the universe is really ME.
I am not bound to anyones beliefs nor am I bound to the very own beliefs that I held yesterday.
I am a bastion of freedom and every moment represents a new decision to live the life I choose.
What any one else does also ONLY exists because of and in the manner that I allow it into my universe.
The simple truth is that every single impression, idea, vision, piece of conciousness that I possess MUST come through me in order to exist for me.

I have absolutely no idea what anyone else's God looks like. Even if we share the basic building blocks of Gods form ie. father, merciful, loving, judging... I have no way of knowing that the building blocks themselves are the same in my mind as they are in the next persons. Say the word "father". To one person it might conjure up sweet loving images and to another, harsh, strict and intimidating.
So in essence every person has their own private religion. So why do we become so bogged down by what others do in the name of their religion?
That means that no one else's God or religion need effect me at all, no matter how eerilie similar it appears to my own.

So I watch people do the most absurd things and it just doesn't effect me at all. On the contrary it just bolsters this idea we are all individual bastions of freedoms making our own choices and living with the consequences.

So, all you bloggers, comment writers, slaves of news and others I ask that you stop pulling your hair out because of other peoples actions. Stop groveling and apologizing and being so dependent on other people for your inner peace. Lift up the drawbridge and become an island of faith.

Put yourself at the center of the universe because you're already there.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 04, 2012 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Jews being responsible for one another ...?

January 04, 2012 11:08 PM  
Anonymous DavidOnTheLake said...

I was waiting for that question.
There are limitations to that.
For instance..there was no kiruv movement in the 1920s because those that were off the derech did so by choice..and were fiercely communist, socialist etc...
There really isn't much to do but acknowledge that this is their choice..and maybe pray for them.
Today we have kiruv organizations because very few people are off the derech by choice. It's about GIVING them a choice and showing them that there is this option..and that's it. There's no controlling the situation past that.

January 04, 2012 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup. I get that. By blogging about this, I hope I am giving the spectators that very choice. Clearly the perps' behavior is out of my control. But public opinion...perhaps I can make a difference.

January 05, 2012 9:08 AM  
Anonymous DavidOnTheLake said...

The question is..
How dependent are you on others judaism for your own?
If every frum person in the world would go off the derech tomorrow...would it effect your relationship with God??

How many times have we heard..uch I went off because I couldnt take the hypocrisy of frum people...?

This is what this post is trying to fight. This dependency on everyone for our own equilibrium.

It's time to realize I AM the center of my universe.
These are MY choices...and NOTHING anyone else does will effect my OWN religion and relationship with God..BECAUSE it's my own choice.

January 05, 2012 2:02 PM  
Anonymous eve said...

It takes a pretty emotionally healthy person to have such a mantra. Not everyone's holding there, nor would they possibly appreciate or achieve this. Or more importantly, it's a non issue with most frum people, given the usual 'keeping up with yenem' atmosphere (e.g. my shmone esrei is def longer than the dude ahead of me's, just watch me)

January 05, 2012 10:43 PM  
Anonymous DavidOnTheLake said...


the good news only has to work for me...


January 06, 2012 9:19 AM  
Anonymous eve said...

true dat.

January 06, 2012 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice thoughtful post - thanks for sharing. Amen, Hashem has given us, uniquely, free-choice.

At the end of the day (or at least when we're doing Shemonah Esrei), it just comes down to Him and you, regardless of how others CHOOSE to dedicate themselves.

You are a unique creation with unique talents for doing Hashem's will. Keep up the healthy reflection - related...

January 10, 2012 4:31 AM  

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