Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Whenever a person raises himself through good
deeds, through a higher stirring of his yearning for godliness,
for wisdom, justice, beauty and equity, he perfects thereby
the spiritual disposition of all existence. All people become
better in their inwardness through the ascendency of the good
in any one of them. . . . Such virtue in any one person is due
to spread among the general populace, to stir each one, according
to his capacity, toward merit, and thus all existence
thereby becomes ennobled and more exalted.
Page 25 in The Lights Of Penitence, The Moral Principles, Lights Of Holiness, Essays, Letters, And Poems
Translation And Introduction By Ben Zion Bokser
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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In the future the abundance of enlightenment will
spread and penetrate even the animals. "They will not hurt
nor destroy on My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of
the knowledge of the Lord" (Isa. 11:9). The gift offerings of
vegetation that will then be brought as sacrifices will be as
acceptable as the sacrifices of ancient days.
Page 23
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Between 1901 and 1904, he published three articles which anticipate the philosophy that he later more fully developed in the Land of Israel. Kook personally refrained from eating meat except on the Sabbath and Festivals; and a compilation of extracts from his writing, compiled by his disciple David Cohen, known as "Rav HaNazir" (or "the Nazir of Jerusalem")[14] and titled by him "A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace," depicts a progression, guided by Torah law, towards a vegetarian society
Cool, he was vegetarian or moving toward being full-vegetarian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Isaac_Kook
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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More from & about this most righteous one:

http://www.ravkook.net
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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One of the great afflictions of man's spiritual world is
that every discipline of knowledge, every feeling, impedes the
emergence of the other. The result is that most people remain
limited and one-sided, and their shortcomings are continually on the increase.

The cloud that each discipline casts on the other also
leads the devotee of a particular discipline to feel a sharp
antagonism toward the discipline that is remote to him, whose
values are outside his concerns.

This defect cannot continue permanently. Man's nobler
future is destined to come, when he will develop to a sound
spiritual state so that instead of each discipline negating the
other, all knowledge, all feeling will be envisioned from any branch of it.

This is precisely the true nature of reality. No spiritual
phenomenon can stand independently. Each is interpenetrated
by all. Only the limitations of our mental capacities
impede us from glimpsing those aspects of the spiritual domain
that are immanent in every part of it. When man rises in
his spiritual development his eyes will open to see properly.
Lights of Holiness, I p.22
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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The ideological conflicts in the human race, among all people, and
particularly among Jews, are based on the issues of morality. Everyone
knows that wisdom and talent refer to capacity, to strengthen the
intellectual or practical capacities. Morality seeks to perfect the human
will that it seek the good. If man's capacity should increase but his will
for the good remain undeveloped, then the increase in his powers can
only lead to disaster. When the love of self rises beyond the equitable
through the loss of moral sensitivity, it is bound to make life more difficult
to the extent that one's powers increase, and this love itself, being without
a proper base in the spiritual, eternal life, will degenerate progressively
to crude and ugly desires. On the other hand, with a good moral state,
which engenders refinement of soul, a higher sense of holiness and a love
for people, it becomes possible for man to structure the limited forces
operative in his humble capacities in such a way that they will engender
good and blessing for him and the world.
Morality and Faith in God, in Essential Writings, translated by Ben Zion Bokser
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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It is true that the full benefit will surely come through the complete
union of these two forces, the capacity and the will, in their full state
of excellence. When these join together they will become as one, like
all the forces which manifest themselves to us in the wide domain of
creation, that are united in their source. And the more a person will
grow in knowledge, the more will he recognize the unity of the forces
which manifest themselves in diverse forms . . . This is the most significant
perception of the full unity of capacity and will, as the highest expression
in man's development. But the decisive force in the continuing
development of man, from stage to stage, from generation to generation,
and from epoch to epoch, to the end of time, despite intervening periods
of retreat, is the force of morality and justice. This is the will. It also
stimulates the development of wisdom and talent, which is the realm
of capacity. "The world rests on one foundation, and his name is zaddik"
[the righteous person] (Hagigah 12b).
Essential Writings, p. 33.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Even great knowledge in itself will not be sufficient if it is not also accompanied with the other ethical virtues, without which it is impossible for the truth to be disclosed.
Essential Writings, page 28
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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The Call of God

In the depths of the human soul the voice of God calls ceaselessly.
The tumult of life can confuse the person so that most of the time he
will not hear this voice. But under no circumstances will it be able to
uproot the source of this voice which, in truth, constitutes the essence
of human life. We therefore see in all human history that, like the tides
in the oceans, the ebb and flow of the currents of life are always related
to this voice of God which calls without ceasing.

This awesome voice takes on various forms. The individual and
society, collectively or in its fragmented constituencies, continues to seek
ways how best to listen to this voice. Some try to run away from it,
and to silence it, but this reveals all the more the attachment of the self
to this mighty voice which does not cease to reverberate in their hearts
and to have sway over them. Indeed every effort to free oneself from
it and every effort to silence it are futile. God's voice will not stop, nor
can it ever be forgotten. It will always rebuke us in our inner being.
"The voice of the Lord speaks with might, the voice of the Lord speaks
with majesty" (Ps. 29:4).

The basic cause for the great movements in the spiritual history of
mankind, which reflect man's relationship to God's voice in its diverse
forms, both positive and negative, is the fact that we encounter God's
voice in two fundamental phenomena, which appear opposite in their
nature. These never stop prodding the human heart to follow them and
live life according to their promptings. One is the inner longing of the
self for nearness to God: all existence, all currents of life, all human
consciousness continually testifies that only this is the good, this is the
happiness, this is the eternal life, the source of light and joy. The other
is the refining voice that purifies this yearning for God's nearness, that
raises it from its darkness and brings it to the clear light. These two
tendencies together establish the pattern of the holy, of holiness in a state
of purity.
Excerpt from Essential Writings, page 39
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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I have already explained elsewhere the ensemble of the different
elements which we find in the spirit of humanity, that, in general, they
are four in number, embracing four eternal aspirations, and that all other
aspirations represent only their branches and derivatives: 1) a sensibility
for the divine; 2) a sensibility for the moral; 3) a sensibility for the social;
and 4) a sensibility for faith or religion. *

Man's refined sense of beauty always fashions various integrations
of these four sensibilities, whether he is conscious of it or not. At times
one of these forces may become obscured in some philosophy of life,
or in some part of the world, or during some epoch of history. But though
some aspect of these forces is then hidden, their activity is constant, even
below the level of consciousness, and the hidden aspect enters into fusion
with those that are openly discernible. Together they perform their
function of cultural regeneration, until the preparatory period of spiritual
creativity is over, and the aspect which has been concealed emerges into
open awareness, embraced in splendor, and its activities and influences
become visible on the horizon of general life.
**********************************

* Rabbi Kook distinguishes between a sensibility for the divine and a sensibility for
religion. The former refers to the divine as the mystical reality underlying all existence.
The latter refers to institutional religion.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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The Morality of Existence

Morality is a component in the order of existence: it has its roots
in the existential reality, to the extent that the universal rhythm of existence
is dependent on it. This establishes a significant relationship between a
person who has reached a high-level development in morals and the whole
of existence. Society, which is a more significant manifestation of existence
than the individual person, will reflect its own development by the state
of its morality, and this will determine its relationship to the larger world.

The source of the moral dimension of existence is the divine order,
which established existence and directs it toward its unfolding.

The souls endowed with a firmness of perception, penetrating to
the light of morality and recognizing it as the soul of existence, which
is resplendent and beloved even under the many veils of wars and horrors,
when viewed superficially - these are the most precious in existence,
and their significance is beyond assessment. These are the souls that enjoy
the beneficence of nearness to God. Those persons endowed with them
are endowed with divine strength to effect deliverance for many people.
They illumine people with the light of divine justice and equity that shines
with great profusion on them. They place on all society the mark of
the quest for truth and the desire for life in all its purity and strength.

The moral purpose pervades the laws of the spiritual dimension of
existence, in all their richness, with full force; but even in the laws of
the material aspect of existence, its sparkling light is not extinguished.
The bright light of the disposition which emanates from the principle
of justice at the heart of all worlds is integrated with them, so that all
are conditioned to release and to receive the influence which emanates
from that pure morality that has its being in and has been cleansed by God.

The divine light which is robed in the great moral purpose of all
existence penetrates to all forces of nature, which seemingly do their work
as though without purpose, understanding and direction, and which appear
to function for evil and destructive ends, as well as for everything that
is moral and good. The sparks of divine light are, however, sovereign
over everything and will carry what is darkness and evil to purification
in the eternal purpose of the divine ideal, which abounds with justice
and equity, and is the source of strength and vigor. It is this which endows
life and existence with their vitality. Therefore "does His kingdom rule
over all, and the design of the Lord will prevail" (Ps. 103:19, Prov. 19:21).
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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A powerful force that is much needed by many people around the planet is Penitence, Teshuvah in Hebrew. Here is the great Rabbi AI Kook on the subject:
There is another kind of feeling of penitence, unspecified
and general. A person does not conjure up the memory of a
past sin or sins, but in a general way he feels terribly depressed.
He feels himself pervaded by sin; that the divine
light does not shine on him; that there is nothing noble in him;
that his heart is unfeeling, his moral behavior does not follow
the right course, worthy of sustaining a meaningful life for a
wholesome human being; that his state of education is crude,
his emotions stirred by dark and sinister passions that revolt
him. He is ashamed of himself; he knows that God is not
within him, and this is his greatest misfortune, his most oppressive
sin. He is embittered against himself; he can find no
escape from his oppressive thoughts, which do not focus on
any particular misdeeds; his whole being is as though in a
torture chamber. For this state of spiritual malaise penitence
comes as the therapy from a master physician. The feeling of
penitence, with an insight to its profound nature, its basis in
the deepest levels of the soul, in the mysterious workings of
nature, in all the dimensions of the Torah and our religious
tradition comes with all its might and streams into his soul. A
sense of assurance in the healing, the general renewal that
penitence extends to all who embrace it, distills in him a spirit
of grace and acceptance.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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Rabbi Kook continues:
He senses the fulfillment of the verse
"I will comfort you as the person who is comforted by his
mother" (Isa. 66:13).

Day by day, inspired by this higher level of general penitence,
his feeling becomes more firm, clearer, more illumined
by reason and more authenticated by the principles of the
Torah. His manner becomes increasingly brightened, his
anger recedes, a kindly light shines on him, he is filled with
vigor, his eyes sparkle with a holy fire, his heart is bathed in
rivers of delight, holiness and purity hover over him. His
spirit is filled with endless love, his soul thirsts for God, and
this very thirst nourishes him like the choicest of foods [lit.
"like marrow and fat" as in Ps. 63:6]. The holy spirit rings out
before him like a bell, and he is given the good news that all
his transgressions, the known and the unknown, have been
erased, that he has been born anew as a new being, that the
whole world, all realms of being, have been renewed with
him, and that all things now join in a chorus of song, that the
gladness of God fills all creation. "Great is penitence, for it
brings healing to the world, and even one individual who
repents is forgiven and the whole world is forgiven with him"
(Yoma 86a).
From AI Kook: Lights of Penitence... by Rabbi Bokser
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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The Desire for the Good Deed and Its Value
When we rise above confined thinking, the significance of the good
is enhanced to a point of stirring a desire like a mighty flame in the soul.
The spiritual unity of existence, when it is perceived with a high-level
inner sensibility, draws the self toward the good, toward good deeds and
beautiful feelings, which in themselves spell delight in all worlds. The
realization grows in the person so that by cultivating good deeds, good
thoughts, and good speech, he thereby makes all existence more agreeable,
he strengthens humankind and raises it toward the heavens.

The person knows that when the influence of the holy spirit acts
on his soul, that whenever he raises himself through good deeds, through
a higher stirring of desire for the divine, for wisdom, justice, beauty and
equity, he thereby perfects the spiritual disposition of all existence.

All people become better in the privacy of their hearts through the
improvement toward a higher way of life of one of them. The grief of
many depressed people becomes mitigated, and is touched with some
comfort, when one soul is stirred forcefully by divine comfort. Even wild
beasts and all destructive creatures become more gentle. Their poison
is softened somewhat through the general swaying of a soul that rejoices
in the Lord.

And good people grow in their goodness, and their rejoicing in the
good and the equitable increases. All the higher worlds, the angels on
high, are stirred to an agreeable, holy song, and they rise with beautiful
and graceful singing, and the heavenly hosts are adorned with light.
From The Essential Writings of Abraham Isaac Kook by Ben Zion Bokser
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Rabbi Abraham I. Kook (d. 1935)

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The more the world becomes perfected, the more its constituent
elements are seen as embraced in a comprehensive unity, and its nature
as one organism becomes more clearly discernible. The higher unity is
the correlation of human reason and will with the whole cosmos, in its
wholeness and in its particularities.

A person in whom the light of religious faith is manifest in its purity
loves all people without any exception, and all his efforts are directed
at elevating and perfecting them. The ways of their perfection are pervaded
with the values of morality and equity, commensurate with the state
of religious faith embraced in his heart.
Dhamma is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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