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Living in the Midst of a Battleground: The War in Syria

Life comes to us with many simple yet essential blessings whose value we often forget about until we no longer have them. We take such blessings as water to drink, food to eat, talking to someone freely or even simply taking a walk; we take them for granted until we have them no more. This is one of the faces of the war. It shows itself by taking away from normal people the essentials of life. How does a war start? How does it grow to last for years? How is it that in our lifetime, we, the citizens of the earth, have not yet found a way to extend a hand to stop it, to transform it? Not yet. The war in Syria has been going on for over two years. It is now extending beyond Syria. Thousands of people have died. Thousands of people have become homeless and are in danger of dying. Read more


Does God Have a Gender?

We usually think of the number one as a unit; a unit that can be multiplied to make something bigger and greater. However, we could also think of the number one rather as a great, all-inclusive unity out of which all numbers are derived: one divided becomes two; divided again, three four and so on.

The creator said, Let us create the earthly human being in our image, according to our likeness. (Genesis 1:26) Out of the One-ness of God a unified archetype of the androgynous human being is created. God first creates an archetype for the human being, imaged after God, imaged after the One-ness out of Whom all else is derived. This human archetype is at first both male and female – androgynous – since God contains all.

Then in Genesis there follows:

….So God created humankind [the archetypal human being] in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1: 27)

Thus comes the first division of the unity; the androgynous whole is divided into male and female.

God is the great unity that encompasses all genders. To the question of whether God is male or female, the answer is Yes!

One can think of Christ as the human being who has perfectly integrated the divided masculine and feminine sides of human nature. In order to fulfill His mission (including His crucifixion), He had to incarnate in a male-gendered body, but His relations with women were exemplary, neither chauvinistic nor submissive. This is an indication of a man who has integrated himself well with the inner feminine side of his own soul. Perhaps this is one of our truly Christian tasks – for men to integrate into themselves the feminine side of their own soul, and for women to integrate in a healthy way the masculine aspects of their soul. Thus, we will ultimately re-unite in love, on a higher level, what was divided in the beginning.

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Are Faith and Knowledge Mutually Exclusive?

Generally knowledge is acquired through experience. Often it results from our having perceived a pattern: every day, at predictable times, the sun rises and sets. Therefore, I know that the sun rises and sets on a daily basis. I also know, either from close observation or from the observations of others, that there is a gradual shift of the point on the horizon at which it rises or sets, and that this shift from one extreme to the other and back takes a year to complete. Generally knowledge is related to the past and is founded on past experience.

But even a single event, a single experience, can give us knowledge. The sun rose this morning; I saw it; there is such a thing as sunrise. An angel appeared to me; I saw it; I know that angels exist. Read more