When I leave this Earth, I would leave it with two fundamental changes in thinking that will change everything for the immeasurably better.
The first error in thinking is to believe that we must know sorrow to know happiness, that we must know some kind of suffering and deprivation in order to appreciate happiness.
That way of thinking, which stealthily dissembles as Wisdom (God protect us!), is and always has been the justification for the perpetuation of misery.
There is a stage in our moral development, an early stage, in which we do a lot of blundering in order to learn and that involves pain. But that is symptomatic of being at an early stage of moral development. It is not a maxim! It is not meant to be understood that pain and deprivation and sorrow are the sine qua non of all learning.
There will always be the discomfort of chaos until we clarify and actualize what we hold within, but that is very different than thinking that we must suffer in order to enjoy Joy.
We learn to accept our chaos, and the discomfort of it, without becoming disoriented or hurting others with it. We know all new births begin with chaos and just feel it until it becomes choate.
The second, and more difficult, change in thinking that we have to accomplish is to stop thinking abstractly.
I know that sounds very strange coming from everyone’s favorite luftmensch. But I cannot, after a lifetime of thought and experience and learning, stress strongly enough how essential this is.
In order to inherit the Promised Land, we must hit land.
I know too this flies in the face of everything we have been taught about the nature of reality and about the nature of intelligence. We are taught that the there are matters which, of their nature, are abstract and rarefied. And we were taught that those who are of a subtle bent occupy themselves with the abstract, rarefied matters.
And those of us who do, remain in orbit, never landing on Earth.
Abstraction of concepts is the reason why people conflate “spirituality” with religion, often to the detriment and destruction of real living beings.
In Hebrew we can see clearly that the concept “time” is one and the same with those who are invited and summoned to be together. Time *is* the people with whom we are together. There is no abstract time. There is only those who are together. That is what ‘the present’ means.
There are similarly no abstractions of mathematics. Hebrew alpha-numerics demonstrates this clearly. All numbers in Hebrew have names and those names are concepts of kindness, justice and love. That is what mathematics is, at base: the possible combinations and permutations and configurations of being kind, being loving and being just. There is no abstract math.
What happens when we jettison abstracts? What happens is this: those concepts become real, immediate and personified.
Though becomes solid state. We become real. Really, really real.