Yearnings

Young love-making - that gossamer web!... The web itself is made of spontaneous beliefs and indefinable joys, yearnings of one life towards another, visions of completeness, indefinite trust.

Ere yet we yearn for what is out of our reach, we are still in the cradle. When wearied out with our yearnings, desire again falls asleep, we are on the death-bed.

There is a time in the lives of most of us when, despondent of all joy in an earthly future, and tortured by conflicts between inclination and duty, we transfer all the passion and fervor of our troubled souls to enthusiastic yearnings for the divine love, looking to its mercy, and taking thence the only hopes that can cheer - the only strength that can sustain us.

“It is not safe to be alone,” nor can all which the cold-hearted, pedant stuns our ears with upon the subject ever give one answer of satisfaction to the mind; in the midst of the loudest vauntings of philosophy, nature will have her yearnings for society and friendship. A good heart wants something to be kind to; and the best parts of our blood, and the purest of our spirits suffer most under the destitution.

My austerities, fastings, and prayers, are, I know, of no value if I rely upon them for reforming me. But they have an inestimable value if they represent, as I hope they do, the yearnings of a soul striving to lay his weary head in the lap of his maker.

Do you have the courage of your desires, or have you always considered your yearnings as idle and unproductive? Do you feel the wonder of existence, your own and that of everything? Does it truly do justice to that wonder to see it as an illusion or as a product of chance?

The core paradox that underlies spirituality is the haunting sense of incompleteness, of being somehow unfinished, that comes from the reality of living on this earth as part and yet also not-part of it. For to be human is to be incomplete, yet year for completion; it is to be uncertain, yet long for certainty; to be imperfect, yet long for perfection; to be broken, yet crave wholeness. All these yearnings remain necessarily unsatisfied, for perfection, completion, certainty, and wholeness are impossible precisely because we are imperfectly human – or better, because we are perfectly human, which is to say humanly imperfect.

So it is that men sigh on, not knowing what the soul wants, but only that it needs something. Our yearnings are homesickness for heaven. Our sighings are sighings for God, just as children that cry themselves asleep away from home, and sob in their slumber, not knowing that they sob for their parents. The soul's inarticulate moanings are the affections yearning for the Infinite, and having no one to tell them what it is that ails them.

The key to the art of listening is selectivity... Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind. Listen with your heart... Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Listen creatively... Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better man within you. Listen with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite.

Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life -- including ourselves. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Every single Jew is a portion of God above, and the essence of Godliness is in the heart. This godliness, which resides in the heart of a Jewish person, is infinite, for the light of its flame reaches infinity, that is, his yearnings and desires are without end or limit.

Every single Jew is a portion of God above, and the essence of Godliness is in the heart. This godliness, which resides in the heart of a Jewish person, is infinite, for the light of its flame reaches infinity, that is, his yearnings and desires are without end or limit.

We mourn over the sin which brought about that downfall (the Temple destruction -- author), we take to heart the harshness which we have encountered in our years of wandering as the chastisement of a father, imposed on us for our improvement, and we mourn the lack of observance of the Torah which that ruin has brought about. Not in order to shine as a nation among nations do we raise our prayers and hopes for a reunion in our land, but in order to find a soil for the better fulfillment of our spiritual vocation in that reunion and in that land which was promised, and given, and again promised for our observance of the Torah. But this very vocation obliges us, until G-d shall call us back to the Holy Land, to live and to work as patriots wherever He has placed us, to collect all the physical, material and spiritual forces and all that is noble in Israel to further the weal of the nations which have given us shelter. It obliges us, further, to allow our longing for the far-off land to express itself only in mourning, in wishing and hoping; and only through the honest fulfillment of all Jewish duties to await the realization of this hope. But it forbids us to strive for the reunion or possession of the land by any but spiritual means.

In fact, it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work …

To become conscious of what one is doing to earn his feeling of heroism is the main self-analytic problem of life.