Sunday, April 13, 2014

Facebook dialogue and Why I won't support a political candidate (over another)

Yesterday someone called and asked if I'd support a political candidate. I told her no, that I was too busy. Then she pressed and asked if I'd do some work for her candidate in a month or two. I explained that if I worked for her candidate I'd have to work for the opposing candidate because I support both of them. She said that she understood. I said that I didn't think she did (because she was supporting A instead of A & B). She agreed.

I see both candidates as my children or siblings. I hope that they both win. I'm sure they both have our best interests in their heart.

Jeff, a former student, was irritated with me because I didn't include his last comment (which was written after I wrote (but not posted) the last post to this blog). I apologize, Jeff, for not including your last comment.

A little kid was coming out of the temple. He declared to me proudly, “I'm a Jew.” Then he told me that his mom was a Jew, but his dad was not. I said to him, “but your dad is a human being.” 

I yearn to belong to the human being tribe until I realize that I'm just one of the living things tribe. And then, not really believing there is a meaningful difference between the living and the not-living, I just wish to be part of it all. 

It is for this reason that I mourn how different belief (religions or politics) systems separate us. We don't seem to acknowledge that one could be on the “other side,” still be a good person and still be right.

Here's the dialogue:

Jeffery Ashbaugh The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. -- Pablo Picasso
Scriptural commentary is not your gift, but the imagery is . . . keep illustrating.
April 10 at 12:55am · Like

Mike Mccarty IDN...the best commentary should leave as many questions as the story if not actually expanding on the void.
April 10 at 7:36am · Like

Kim Mosley Yesterday someone wrote that they didn't like my art. I deleted that. But then I wrote them that the important thing is to keep at it. Sometimes things work, and sometimes they don't. A research scientist might fail over and over again for many lifetimes. But he accomplished much. What doesn't work is articulated. I showed the above drawing to my wife. She told me to put a disclaimer that you shouldn't cut your hair while standing in a tub (with an electric hair clipper). I like her commentary.
April 10 at 7:44am · Like · 1

Kim Mosley Starting another koan class tonight. The commentaries will definitely mix you up if the koan itself doesn't. Then at the end of the commentary is a verse, which gleefully adds more confusion to our discursive minds. Life itself has more questions than answers. Thanks for saying that Tobias (Mike).
April 10 at 10:28am · Like

Kim Mosley Jeff, your comment reminded me of what a college teacher said to me, "Mosley, sometimes you do the worst work I've ever seen...and sometimes you do the best."
April 10 at 10:30am · Edited · Like · 1

Jeffery Ashbaugh It is not your comments but their context. Framing your commentary using your Buddhist name and book-chapter-verse of the Torah give the illusion of exposition from a position of understanding/authority. Maybe magic realism-ish or as Roland Barthes did in his book, "Empire of Signs," wrote of a illusionary country called Japan, a fantasy using reality to give the illusion substance. If your only purpose is to confuse, that is fine as well, it is just not exposition, that's okay too.
I like Linda's comment as well.
April 11 at 2:11am · Like

Mike Mccarty Who knows if it is possible, or even if it is a good idea, but in this increasingly complex religious world, the opportunity to acknowledge overlap and resonance with another faith once conceived in diametrical opposition would not be a bad thing. Perhaps, confusing the boundaries...eliminates the illusion of dualism.
April 11 at 7:58am · Like

Kim Mosley I was asked to work to support a candidate for office. I told the nice woman who called that I support all the candidates, so if I worked for one I'd have to work for the others. We don't know, in the end, who would have done the best job, if "best job" even exists. I went to my grandson's passover service at school. I have trouble when I hear the words "we." I like the idea of all sentient beings being connected by Indra's net.
Indra's Net, a metaphor for the non-dual nature of all
An essay on the unique genius behind Indra's Net to descrive the non-dual transc...See More
April 11 at 8:26am · Like · Remove Preview

Kim Mosley Jeff, does any commentary make sense when one takes the Bible literally?
April 11 at 8:29am · Like

Jeffery Ashbaugh Yes, if you want to listen to what it says and not looking for it to agree with personal want. One of best non-denominational teachers in America is John MacArthur Jr. His exposition is in context of Jewish life and times, yet allowing the scripture to...See More

Grace to You
Grace to You... John MacArthur’s in-depth Bible teaching brings the life-transforming truth of God’s Word to millions of people every day.
April 11 at 1:04pm · Like · Remove Preview

Kim Mosley Thanks Jeff. Here's a quote from one of his sermons: “Rabbis would expound the Scripture and explain Scripture and quote other rabbis to validate their interpretation. But this kind of teaching was beyond anything anybody had ever heard. It was a level of wisdom, a level of knowledge, a level of understanding without equal. The people are dumbfounded. They are shocked. They are startled by this flawless, adept instruction, the likes of which they have never heard. He [Jesus] doesn’t quote rabbis. He doesn’t validate his teaching by any human source. He doesn’t necessarily connect with the tradition. But there's never been anything like it.’

I think, as Jesus got his teaching from G_d, we can respond to the Torah via our experience (not exclusively commentators). What you describe as "personal want" is, without the negative connotation, exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to inform my experience. The commentators and the rabbis allow us to connect with a very cryptic and sometimes contradictory text.
April 11 at 2:13pm · Like

Jeffery Ashbaugh First MacArthur is teaching with scripture, Matt 7:29, He taught with authority not like the scribes. Mark 1:22, And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. Etc.

Second, the "personal want," I described is being objective vs subjective...bring personal ideas to be supported over what is actually being said. Nothing negative meant.

Third, Jews are waiting for the Messiah, Christians have Him in Christ. The Messiah can teach with authority given Him by G_d. Christ was not a commentator and we do not have His authority, it is not given to us by scripture, and it cannot be taken. We are not "as Jesus." Our experience may be understood thru scripture but scripture is not subject to our experience.


  1. "Jew" deserves a capital letter. I take umbrage at the lack thereof. H.

  2. I am somewhat puzzled by Christians making an argument about the nature of Jesus' teachings as not being based on scripture and the interpretation of scripture, while quoting scripture as the source. It privileges the portion of writings about Jesus that made it into the so-called New Testament over more ancient writings about a monotheistic god.


Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.