Friday, September 25, 2009

The Smarter We Get, The Dumber We Become

Let me start by way of example. Yesterday, in trauma, the patient was a Spanish speaking, illiterate, deaf and mute and my job was to find next of kin. He was alert, and could read lips, but still limited. I found his sister's name on the hospital computer and with my few words of Spanish, lip talking and signing to him he told me with frustration that he did not know his sister's phone number.

I had already done various computer searches. One number I found was disconnected, and another listing said I had to pay for the number. I went back to see if he could remember it, and he made hand signals to indicate "type it on the computer." I signaled that I already had.

I went on to other patients but kept pondering this situation. Finally I went back to my office and that proverbial light bulb went off in my brain: "Try directory assistance." I did, got the number, found his sister. End of confusion.

My point in this story, and I apologize now for the length of this post, is that I had become so used to computer searches, that I totally forgot the old fashion way we used to find each others phone number.

I am sure you can think of times in your life where you spent hours struggling with new technology only to remember the old fashion way which still works like a dream. There have been several times when my beloved and I are watching a movie and he is fussing around with the remote control, cussing and pointing and waving it around until I can't stand it and I will stand up and go push a button on the television and voila!

This is the long way to get to my point, which is:

The more I study Torah, the more it reveals itself to me. I have an expression I like: I let the passage breathe for me. I sit with it and allow it to open up and unwrap itself and I am amazed at the messages I get from the passage I have read year after year.

So alone in my study, I have come to believe that the writers of the bible overcomplicated God's message. God's message is there. And as God says in parashah Nitzavim: "What I have to say to you is not so difficult nor beyond your reach. It is right on your lips and in your heart."

Alone in my study, I have come to believe that pre-Bible, our ancestors knew God's message - the Oneness of all creation. But by the time the bible was written, the message was hidden by human aspirations.

Then I read Mutant Message from Down Under about an Aboriginal Tribe teaching an American woman about the ways of the Divine. And again I thought, "Yep, our ancestors knew this stuff and we complicated the heck out of it." Religion often got in the way of the Divine Spirit. Religion often got in the way of God's will for us.

Last night I just began Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, which has threads of the Zohar, the Kabbalistic writing the 13th century and the message is there again: we buried the true meaning of the Divine Spirit.

It is not beyond us. It is very near us. It is all around us. It is the air we breathe, the beat of our hearts, the beauty of creation. And we, with our smartypants technology are destroying creation and polluting the air and filling out bodies with chemicals, and acquiring stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

And ignoring the message -- it is not beyond us. It is on our lips and in our hearts if we just allow ourselves to slow down, and LISTEN (shema) to the still small voice within us and allow it (our intuition, which we have buried) to lead us on our journey.

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