The summit of a mountain, especially a very tall mountain, is not easily seen from the foothills. We can only catch a glimpse and guess what is up there. In order to really know what the summit looks like and what it feels like to be at the top of the mountain, you have to make the climb. Some mountains have multiple paths to the summit and you can choose to take one of those paths or you can discover your own path. However, in choosing a path you have allowed someone else to find the way to the summit for you and you just have to follow the path, which does not require much thought.
For a long time now I have felt that the various religions of the world have all sought the same goal – knowing and interpreting the nature of Deity. Therefore each religion is a just path to the summit. For most of my life my path was Christianity, and for whatever reason that path became difficult and I began to walk in the thistle and the brush with my eyes just focused on the summit. I then found myself trying to walk back on the path I’d know for so long and it felt uncomfortable, as if I knew deep down their was a better way. So off into the brush I went and all the while there were people on that path who instead of encouraging me to come back on the path with kindness and understanding, threw rocks at me and told me I was going the wrong way. Well, I have no intention of getting back on that path because why would I want to walk with people who acted like that (yeah, I may have thrown a rock or 2 back)? So I forged ahead and continued heading to the summit – alone. Occasionally though I found myself stumbling across an even older path. It had a familiarity to it but, it was a path that still allowed a little veering off into the brush. I have decided to give this path a chance. It is in no way a new path, in fact it is one of the oldest paths to the summit. It is one less traveled but, the people I have met along the way have never thrown stones or discouraged me and never once told me that it wasn’t OK to wander off into the brush and explore on my own for a while. It is a path that holds more significance on how you walk than on the path itself.
So, I am sure some of you are curious as to what I am talking about. Those of you who know me know that I read a lot. Most of the time I am reading about religion, theology, and philosophy. Well as I began to question things in what Christians refer to as the Old Testament, I decided that maybe the issue was the way it was being presented. So I decided to take a deep dive in the Holy Scriptures of Judaism using the Rabbinic commentary and interpretations. Much to my surprise it is a breath of fresh air. I had no idea that the various Midrash and Talmud interpretations would present things in a way to where the inner and allegorical meanings were of more importance than the literal. I knew the Torah had layers but, I had no idea that the more it’s studied the easier it becomes to understand and the easier it becomes to find parallels in today’s world and in my own life. So, I am going to spend some time studying Judaism and see where this path may lead me. Am I going to convert? Well, I’m getting ready to turn 37 and I have 3 kids and 2 of them were introduced to Christianity but, neither is really sold on it. So anything is possible but, let’s not put the cart before the horse. I still have more to study.
So there will be a change in tone and a fresh new perspective on this quest. We’ve found an old path along the way and it is one that is worth exploring.
Psalm 15 – A psalm by David.
Who may abide in Your tent, O Lord? Who may dwell on Your holy Mountain?
He who walks blamelessly, acts justly, and speaks truth in his heart; who has no slander on his tongue, who has done his fellowman no evil, and who has brought no disgrace upon his relative;
in whose eyes a despicable person is abhorrent, but who honors those who are God-fearing;
who does not change his oath even if it is to his own detriment;
who does not lend his money at interest, nor accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never falter.
© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light