By Arlette Poland
Hasidism (an Orthodox form of Judaism) has many stories all of which not only draw on the past but also and more importantly on the opportunity for learning how to live the teaching about connection and care. Many of the stories teach of the yetzer ha’rah and the yetzer ha’tov. These are respectively comparable to the devil or negative inclination and the angel or positive/caring inclination. These two distinct energies greet us at every door and gate. Thus, it is a mitzvah (commandment/good deed) to place a mezuzah (scroll with certain words from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21) at the doorpost and gates of Jewish homes. The mezuzah reminds us of the Oneness and presence of Ha Shem. When we remember that Oneness, we can also remember the reality of our connection to and with Ha Shem and then we can act in a way that is more caring and positive.
Every turn, every breath, every word offers us opportunities for greater care and connection with self and others. In Judaism, as with other monotheistic religions, that connection comes through and with the reality of the connection to the deity – Ha Shem. Anything that conceals its true nature is evil or the yetzer ha’rah. When we are aware of our connection with Ha Shem we know Truth. The yetzer ha’tov emerges as our guide as if there was never a question. (The truth shall set you free – from being fooled, taken advantage or worse!)
In Process thought as theology, the story is that Ha Shem is in every moment as an opportunity. Every moment brings another becoming event. Among the stories that event must consider (prehend) are what might be true or real. Process theology tells the story of becoming. Each event of becoming is a new creation and offers the next event of becoming another opportunity for realizing the truth of the connection and continuity of existence.
Process tells us that we are connected through the past and into the future. We are connected through the becoming events that draw on all the past, knowingly, consciously or not. We are connected through our interdependence and our responsibility to each other and all existence, now and in the future.
We can decide that we will follow the inclination of the yetzer ha’tov and know the truth of these intricate and inevitable connections. Or we can let ourselves follow the lies of the yetzer ha’rah. We can let ourselves think that the source of anything is other than that which is the connection between and within all existence. Our decision will dictate our actions.
We can use Process as a truth story in a similar manner that we can use the many stories of Hasidism. Truth stories reveal what is and always will be: The reality of connection is the meeting place of Truth.
Source of featured image: http://www.talentshare.org/~mm9n/articles/cosmos/9.htm