June 17, 2012

themes for the week

Reading "Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work," a tiny book with a long title by Steven Pressfield. A passage I circled:
"The Gnostics believed that exile was the essential condition of man. Do you agree? I do.

"The artist and the addict both wrestle with this experience of exile. They share an acute, even excruciating sensitivity to the state of separation and isolation, and both actively seek a way to overcome it, to transcend it, or at least to make the pain go away." 
 Bringing to mind Rabbi Rami Shapiro's workshop a few weeks ago on recovery as a path of liberation, on addiction as all the many things and behaviors we give our power away to thinking we'll be able to control reality (and the pain of being human that Pressfield points to) through them. Addiction as a form of idolatry - worshiping something other than the truth.

Also recently read through (need to re-read) "Journey to the Common Good" by Walter Brueggemann, which uses the Exodus story to talk about patriarchy/empire and freedom/wilderness, and the injunction of freedom, which is the covenant of neighborliness (the 10 Words given at Sinai).

 Addiction and art, and exile. 
Liberation and recovery and leaving the narrow places for the wilderness. 
And exile.

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