Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths

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Event Name: Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/12/2019
Transcript Version: 1

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hat it's a piece that

changes each year it's just a tiny

little piece in the corner but you can't

just change that one piece because each

a new version is a different shape so

you could have chucked the whole thing

and by anyone so I was reading

industrial design journals from the

1950s when planned obsolescence was

really catching on so this is the point

but you know it would have done concept

would discuss how fast can they make a

steps break that still leaves the

consumer having enough space in the

product to go out and buy another one

it was so intentional but stuff cannot

break fast enough to keep this arrow of

flow so there's also perceived

obsolescence now perceived obsolescence

convinces us to throw away stuff that is

still perfectly useful how do they do

that well they change the way that stuff

looks so if you bought your stuff a

couple of years ago everyone can tell

that you haven't contributed to this

arrow recently and since the way we

demonstrate our value is contributing to

this arrow it can be embarrassing like

I've had the same fat white computer

monitor on my desk for five years my

coworker just got a new computer she has

a flat shiny sleek monitor it matches

her computer matches her phone even a

pen stand she looks like she's driving a

spaceship central and I I was like I got

a washing machine on my desk

fashion is another prime example of this

have you ever wondered why women's shoe

heels go from fat one year to skinny the

next to practice skinny it's not because

there's some debate about which heel

structure is the most healthy for

Lauren's feet it's because wearing fat

heels in a skinny heel year shows

everybody that you haven't contributed

to that arrow as recently so you're not

as valuable as that person in skinny

heels next few or more likely in some ad

it's to keep us buying new shoes

advertisements and media in general

plays a big role in this each of us in

the u.s. is targeted with over 3,000

advertisements a day we see more

advertisements in one year than people

50 years ago saw on a lifetime and if

you think about it what's the point of

an ad except to make us unhappy with

what we have

so 3,000 times a day we're told our hair

is wrong our skin is wrong our clothes

around our furniture is wrong your car's

wrong as we are wrong but it can all be

made right if we just go shopping media

also helps providing all of this and all

of this so the only part of the

materials economy we see is the shopping

the extraction production and disposal

all happens outside of our field of

vision it's important to bring

backgrounds into the foreground so

people understand because when we look

there's one of the things that painters

do so effectively van Gogh when when you

look at the shoes you know if you keep

painted several different but if you

look at the famous boots that he painted

with the straight you'll never look at a

pair of shoes the same way if you really

contemplate what he did because he was

taking something that's in the

background and bringing it to the

foreground and it's very important for

religious leaders for artists for others

to do that to let people know what's in

the background those things that were

not seeing the things that are hidden

one of the things that our prophet told

us is that there would be people towards

the end of time like locusts in their in

their consumption


every year we have martyrs to

consumption there are people that die on

these these buying sprees every year

this happens in this country people

literally died because they're you know

they're trampled to death in because of

these things but another aspect that we

don't think about is is just garbage

production and and the fact one of one

of the professor's that was at my


he taught environmental studies he had

zero garbage production in his home and

he used to take his students to his home

to show what he did in other words

people can actually live reducing their

garbage to a great extent but everything

is packaged totally unnecessary

packaging and this leads to these

landfills it's beyond belief what's

happening and again who suffers the

animals they're you know they eat this

stuff when you you know everything

that's off those helium balloons those

helium balloons go to the ocean they

eventually go down and turtles swallow

them they get the the obstruction so

these simple things that people are

doing without thinking and now we have

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is

bigger than the size of Texas it's a

huge massive swell of garbage in the

middle of the Pacific Ocean

that because of the kaiser tides and

currents it all tends to go to this one

area now there's a verse in the Piranha

Angel to ask God and obviously this is

shouldn't be taken like a literal type

conversation but the Angels asked God

when when God created man in our church

and the human being how can you put

someone there and who will cause damage

and bloodshed when we celebrate your

praise and proclaim your holiness so the

angels were asking this question the end

and there's a reason why the

commentaries given I'm not going to go

into that and and you can certainly see

that the incredible amount we over

almost two hundred million people were

killed at the hands of other people in

the last century the 20th century and we

came into the 21st century a lot of hope

but it begins with 9/11 and and then

these terrible wars that have affected

us but

the response that God made was in the

animal not animal I know what you don't

know about the human being and and this

is what we have to keep in mind I put

these pictures up because these are my

personal teachers these are people that

I studied with and there's there's a

verse in the Quran that says that we

elevate those who do not want to sow

corruption in the earth or to be

elevated and and and this is what we

have to remember as a species that we

have people in this world that remind us

of who we really are

we're not jellyfish we're not mindless

spineless consumers we have human hearts

we have the ability to know infinity we

can conceptualize it no other species

can do that we are something amazing and

we have to remind our young people of

that lost in this world of false idols

of images of women that are so degrading

they are so degrading and I don't need

to name names because you know them you

see them on the television you see them

on the covers of magazines this is not

who we want our young girls to grow up

emulating we don't want our young men to

grow up emulating the lowest forms of

life on this earth the cockroaches the

rats the jellyfish we want them to soar

with the Eagles and that's what we're

here to do and to remind people and

that's why as far as I'm concerned

religious people the religious

leadership we have failed so

dramatically we have failed our young

people we have the halo effect and then

we have the clay feet syndrome they they

don't see people walking their talk they

don't see people living it they don't

see the gift of sanctity in their beings

in their presence and that's what we

need to remind ourselves that we have to

become these people we have to be these

people that have graced this earth

reminding us this is not what it's about

we're here for a short temporal time and

we have work to do and our work is in

discovering ourselves and in serving

others this is the work we're not here

to consume we're not here to indulge

ourselves we're here for something much

greater and we constantly need to be

reminded because we're a forgetful

species when the elephants came to honor

the man who had looked after them and

some of you may have seen this but they

walked for over a day even before he

died and then held vigil in front of his

house these are signs for people that

reflect the animals pray for us

according to our tradition that the fish

in the ocean pray for the righteous our

prophet said that mr. Darwin was steady

at home in evil the one who has repose

and the one others have reposed from

them they said who are they or Messenger

of God and he said those who live

righteously when they die they have

repose and those who live corrupting

when they die people trees rivers and

animals have reposed from them that's

the choice and I I really want to drive

this point home because I think this is

one of the most important verses for me

in the New Testament I'm in a great

Christian city of Louisville

traditionally it's it's it's you see

churches everywhere

you know there was a love of

Christianity which is a great faith and

there's incredible amount of beauty and

truth despite the history we tend to

forget that the history of religions is

the history of their ego not of their

soul but for we wrestle not against

flesh and blood but against

principalities against powers against

the rulers of the darkness of this world

against spiritual wickedness in high

places people that that created planned

obsolescence this is from spiritual

wickedness in high places and and we

have to recognize that we cannot support

these people that there are people out

there that are actively engaged in

harming this world they're doing it

because they're complete slaves of their

own desires and you cannot be a steward

if you're filled with your own egoistic

desires you can't and that's why one of

the things that we have to remember the

the catholics divided the sins into the

hot sins and the cold sins and we tend

to forget you know the hot sins are easy

to recognize gluttony wrath and and lust

and and Dorothy Sayers reminded us that

when a when a society loses its

spiritual center sex is always the

spiritual outlet so this obsession with

sex which is also related to the rape of

the earth to the way we treat Mother

Earth because of our degradation of our

objectification of women and this is

much more male problem than a female

problem pornography is largely a male

problem and not entirely but we we have

to remember there are hot scenes and

Colton's but the cold sins are often

praised in our society the sins of

avarice right the sins of nd the sin of

pride the great sin which is a sin

against one's excellence and then the

sin of sloth which sloth is not laziness

acedia in the traditional understanding

sloth with spiritual laziness a CEO

could be out there working a 120 hour

workweek and he's still slothful because

he's forgotten his soul or she's

forgotten her

and this is what we have to remember

Robert Frost said some say the world

will end in fire some say in ice from

what I've tasted of desire I hold with

those who favor fire but if it had to

perish twice I think I know enough of

hate to say that for Destruction ice is

also great and would suffice it's the

hot sins of the cold sins that are going

to kill us and we have to really take

this seriously and it's our spiritual

traditions that address this root

problem it's not complicated the problem

is not complicated thank you very much


ah that was really remarkable thank you

you know it opened a lot of eyes both

educationally and particular your ending

in wrecked and our recognition it but

the spiritual desert lies beneath that

and just to remind everyone as we come

out of the sort of the Highness of that

encounter now the plan from here is that

we have about an hour to spend together

and I was asked to just a very brief

kind of response myself which is

basically really just lending some time

for you to be thinking about questions

that you'd like to ask because what we'd

like to do most of this time is just

have a an open dialogue Council on some

of the things that he's presented today

and maybe some questions that you had in

your hearts and things that you wanted

to or think that you wanted to share so

I'll to about three or four minutes here

my own kind of response to these

challenges from a specific review

perspective I have questions I could ask

that was quickly noticed but we really

rather listen to yours so I'll be

thinking about the questions you might

post okay all right there's an illusion

it's a grand illusion it's been

perpetrated upon us that we have

perpetrated upon ourselves

it's an illusion that we are somehow

separate from the earth that we are

somehow separate from ourselves we are

all a domme one human family and we are

all part of Adama we're all part of the

earth what makes us think that there's a

barrier somewhere between my feet and

the wooden floor upon which they sit

between the floor and the foundation

upon which it sits between the earth and

the stone which holds it all and us

firmly here in place where does a tree

end and the roots begin

where do the roots nearly become

tendrils and the tendrils become one

with the earth which nourishes and

sustains the tree which nourishes and

sustains us what makes us think that

there's a difference between the air we

breathe and the one who breathes it

breathing breathe out the air enters us

it fills our lungs it enriches our blood

and it gives us life we breathe it forth

and we return it to its source as trees

and plants breathe in our breath

enriched and sustained by our souls

which have been added to this breath of

life what makes us think that there's a

difference between Chicago Yusef and

myself and yourself a difference between

all the children of adam' all the

children of God

all those precious parts of this earth

adamah which we must all share we are

one you and I we are one all of us here

in this room we are all the children of

one creator who has placed us here to

help build a world that is one as

goddess one and there's an illusion that

stands side by side with the first that

in order to be one we must all be the

same that to be different from one

another makes us somehow other we've

been taught this truth as if it were

true for so long we've come to accept it

and to feel that those who are likely

our selves are like and we come to fear

those who upon the surface of their

likeness seem unlike us it's as if we

see in the mirror only a reflection of

ourselves in order to be comfortable and

that is an illusion but we must seek

instead is a thing that's not in

reflection but in the soul this is an

illusion which we have get we who we

love gathered here today can often fall

prey to our selves

we gather as a people of faith in common

cause and common action with common

hopes and dreams through which we seek

to find common elements and come and

pass this is a well-meaning illusion

that we are all the same beneath the

surface that we strip away the

differences of language and culture and

we find that we are all the same beneath

the skin and we worship the same God

essentially the same ways and since

there is much that we share in common

this is a particularly useful illusion

and one which we've become very adept at

maintaining in Hebrew were commanded to

seek Shalom in Arabic it's called Salam

in English we strive for peace as Jews

we seek to heal the brokenness of our

world through acts of sadaqa in Arabic

it's called Sokka in English we call it

charity from the Latin word Caritas

which we carry in our prayers as Jews we

seek our community in Arabic Rahim in

English and strive for compassion and

because we share many of these potential

traits which make us human it's easy for

us to imagine that we are all the same

and to dream of a world of peace and

charity and compassion when we will all

sing with one voice in a single chorus

instead of inspiring the harmony of our

many voices or a symphony of the many

instruments creating together a song of

oneness that we can all share in the

mission a collection of ethical writings

now some eighteen hundred years old we

are taught that humanity was created

with a single adop the descendants of

one human being to demonstrate God's

greatness when a human being in Sequoyah

in the press each coin is identical but

when the ruler of all the Holy One

blessed be creates Humanity in the form

of a Dom not one is similar to the other

the lesson of dissolution ah

comes to teach us that diversity is

intended and an intended part of the

Divine Plan and this is the wondrous

part are many faces are many languages

are many faiths this too is part of

God's plan for us here on earth we are

children of one human family we cannot

be other from our brother we need not be

the same to feel a kinship with our

sisters we are all the children of one

creator of us all the path towards a

compassionate society requires of us the

courage I think to tear the veil of

these twin illusions from before our

eyes to see one another both as we are

and is together we might be we are one

human family many minds many voices many

hands to heal the world and we can work

together as one and build a

compassionate community and a world of

peace I'm not sure how much that balance

but I thought that it said a lot of the

things thank you to the one person was

clapping but we're not clapping

we're not happening

what I was hoping would come of that

though was a recognition of a lot that

we share and a lot of the wisdom that

we've learned but frankly we would not

have learned if it were not for an

Islamic scholar sharing us the wonder of

his particular traditions view and I

hope that you like I were listening and

saying you know there's wisdom there and

sometimes the wisdom was wisdom that I

don't find in my own sacred scripture

and sometimes it parallels so much that

it's almost difficult to believe that we

didn't have the same hands writing them

but that the key here is that there's a

wisdom beneath all of this and that when

we listen to each other and learn from

one another we can see perspectives we

would not have seen otherwise and

sometimes when lessons that we are that

we're waiting to be taught to us now I

have a nice list of questions I'm going

to ask one and then you're on okay so

you're thinking and the stuff has some

people who are going to be around with

microphones who will give you the

opportunity there's someone waiting back

there for an opportunity for you to get

in line for the place I thought I'd

start just give them a chance to

consider is with a wisdom of the Jewish

tradition a Midrash a legend of its from

Guatemala it says that God created Adam

as the last of all the creations and

then toward a domme throughout all

creations so that we would truly

appreciate the wonder of the gift that

was being given us and then God said

this is given to you as a gift

care for it for if you do not there will

be no other to be received and there is

a sense there I think that we've lost

perhaps of the religious and spiritual

legations of the earth I feel like we

get caught up in the scientific

conversation of you know global warming

you know or climate change and arguing

back and forth about how fast and human

deliverance just occurs to me that

polluting the earth is a bad thing you

know and if you can just recognize it's

not complicated

right the Beneatha

there's a spiritual thing and that's

what I really got I think mostly from

well for me one of the things that you

know every time you go into these places

where they give you these throw aways

and for them way you just have to you

know this kind of content thing where

think if everybody did that and and it

became a universal fact because not

everybody is doing it like there's

places where it's amazing how little

garbage they produce no an Aboriginal

guy lives with Bedouins spent a lot of

time with Bedouins and Aboriginal people

and it's a nice word because it means

you know in Latin it's the idea from the

original people you know have origin you

know it's out of the the first people

and the word is bedroom which is what

they call themselves in Arabic means the

first people and this is why in

assumptions they call them the first

nations the first peoples that that we

there's great things that come I mean

I'm glad

Shakespeare's in the world I'm glad

Mouton ed B's in the world Rumi I think

a lot of people you know feel like the

world would be less than it is without

Bach or without and some people without

you know Lady Gaga you know I mean

there's whole exclusive people that just

get something out of the artist you know

so but all of the things that we we love

about civilization the question we have

to ask ourselves now is it all worth it

in terms of what civilization is doing

to us as a species and and that is

that's I think that's a real question

because we have to somehow learn what

Aboriginal peoples have known how to

live sustainably on on the planet and

and and they have great things to teach

us but they're messed up too so it's not

because I know in firsthand just living

they have their problems they're

grappling they a lot of Aboriginal

peoples do not have a way of

with the modernity when it's introduced

and exampled that for people that know

the work of gerrymander not the

political word but the writer he he

wrote a book called the four arguments

for the elimination of television and in

that book one of the studies they did in

Canada they had the good fortune of

being able to watch a Inuit Native

American village as electricity was

introduced and they studied it to see

what would happen so they basically

determined it took five years to destroy

their their traditional culture once

television five five years and I saw

that firsthand in Mauritania because I

lived with Bedouin I was in a town that

had no electricity every night it was

literally chanting the whole village was

chanting the Quran it was like being

buzzing and it was one of those

extraordinary and then you have the sky

see I think one of the reasons why we've

lost our spirituality is because of our

official life and it's interesting we

call it artificial light because if you

look up at the sky in the Sahara Desert

and I've been reduced to tears on many

nights just look the heavens declare

your glory I've been in the Sinai it's

it's breathtaking blessing and there's a

reason why those guys fled to the desert

you know because if you want to be close

to the heavens that's as close as you're

going to get we don't see the Stars

anymore you know Plato said God put the

Stars there to show us the order of the

heavens that we would desire to bring

the order down into ourselves so what

happens when we don't see the heavens

anymore and I would really like to see

the city you might think of this there

Fisher might think of just having an


you know once a month where all the

lights in the city are turned off on a

clear night so that people can actually

go out and see the heaven

does it see the heaven it's amazing

cars are amazing I'm the chair of the

planetarium which if you think about it

for a second is a sad reality which is

that in cities we build I can only play

people where you can see with stars

because we projected it does leap them

and they do it gooo centrically nobody

points that out but when you're in a

planetarium they don't have you

revolving around the heavens they have

the heavens revolving around the ultimen

but they have to do a Ptolemaic

planetary visit us at the planetarium so

you'll know what to look for in the sky

ok do we have some questions waiting

check on that my question is about

spirituality and food and the Quran

talks a lot about eating with Helen but

that's usually coupled with the word

title ending with legal and maybe can

you comment on what you feel Talia would

sort of mean in our current sort of

culture and then also what do you feel

is the spiritual effect of consuming

artificial foods like high fructose corn

syrup and you know all these sort of

processed things that are added to foods

and packaged you know what's the

spiritual effect of eating artificial

food and how you know can you sort of

comment on the idea well just to use

another tradition in tradition in some

traditional Buddhism the the chef in the

monastery had to be enlightened like

they didn't let just anybody into the

kitchen and in in the Islamic tradition

there's a whole tradition about prep

food preparation and the intention of

the cook and so that you I my teachers

the people that cooked always made the

intentions that the food was a healing

one of the things is really interesting

in our culture you know they when you go


when you go to they would teach grammar

anymore so people use transitive verbs

as intransitive verbs but when you go to

a restaurant they say enjoy right enjoy

you know I mean I guess you could make

it a transit in transit but usually

enjoy something but here it means the

food so but they just say enjoy you know

in traditional cultures they never would

say something like that they would say

like salud you know with help in the

Arabic culture they say the spell would

add via with health and well-being which

reminds us of the purpose of the food

it's not to enjoy enjoyment is part of

it I mean it's wonderful that food is so

enjoyable but that's not the reason why

you're actually eating it that's why the

glutton needs but but somebody who's

serious about maintaining their health

they eat for help and and you know we're

we're literally digging our graves with

our teeth I mean in our culture we are

literally killing ourselves with the

food we eat and so so you know I would

say that all traditional people's ate

with with just a knowledge of what food

was about and this is why the key

Shabbat tradition you know the halal

tradition that you have - there's a

whole you know Native Americans took

permission in many of the their

traditions they took permission from the

animal in the Islamic trees in the

Jewish tradition there is actual you

have to do it in a way you know in our

tradition you're not allowed to kill an

animal in front of another animal and if

you look I mean it's arguable that it's

unethical to be to meat to eat meat

today unless you're on a farm where

you're you're you know and there was an

interesting article about a man who

decided for one year I didn't see the

film but he did a documentary where he

only ate what he killed for one year and

when he would buy the the sheep one of

the sheep farmers told him you know he

said I think I'm going to call that you

know Zeke and and he said no no don't

name them because you'll get

you'll get attached to them and but he

chose to name them what he said was the

thing that struck him most was the

gratitude he felt to the animal when he

ate it and in our tradition there's a

belief that the animal wants to be it

wants to be energy for good deeds

because by becoming part of a righteous

person it's elevated in its state from

an animal that doesn't have free will

that only behaves according to its

nature to part of being with free will

and it and the animal hates to be used

for profoundness or for misdeeds and so

that whole cosmology which might I'm

romantic but it was it was real people

and I met people that still live like

this and my wife does this she cooks

with that intention if I cook I cook

with that intention when I serve food I

cook with that attention I'll just tell

you one quick story I have a friend of

mine who's a connoisseur of tea and he

will only drink certainties and in

England PG tipps is like the worst tea

and and and and he went to a friend of

Mines house and I know both of them and

it was tea time and the English take

this very seriously and so he he only

had PG tipps in the house and so he said

God he's going to know this is horrible

TV so he goes in and he told me that he

made a prayer over the tea and he said

he said O God make this delightful for

my friend and he went in and poured the

tea and he told me that he drank and he

said you know that's the best cup of tea

I think I've ever had

and you know there's a reality to these

things we don't realize just the power

of intention

you know Nia in Arabic which means

intention also means seed it's the seed

of the thing y-you do and so many of us

do things without intention there's no

intentionality and intention I know in

your tradition and our tradition

intention is everything while you're

doing something and coffee asking

yourself why am i doing this to check on

intention okay I just disavow that we're

not going to clap thing I want to that

applause was also for the question of a

good class because I don't want to

deflect too much but from a Jewish

tradition this is something we struggle

with a great deal because the laws of

kashrut were written thousand years ago

and more and they were designed to be

more humane and to make the exact

connections that you're talking about

and the world in which we live has

advanced to the point that one needs a

you know a variance from the USDA

because it's not as advanced and we lost

something in that there was a speaker

who came just a couple years ago rabbi

Arthur Wasco and he's sort of the front

of something we call the echo kashrut

movement and artists perspective is if

you're saying a blessing over wine it

was made with grapes that was sprayed

with pesticides that made the people who

made them ill it's not holy and if you

take organic wine it's been you know

it's been made in the purest way and

pour it into a Styrofoam cup if not

kosher and what he means by that is that

the word used to mean something it meant

to fit and the purpose of

of the sharing with food the enjoyment

wasn't in the consumption and how much

you know can we pump into it with you

know corn syrup but rather the meal and

and the story of your friend praying

over is tea you know that's what that

was what it was intending to people okay

our next question over that way where

are we here okay

yes Sheikh Hamza when you spoke of the

purpose of human purposes of human

existence I realized I've created mushed

together two of those three meaning the

cultivation of the earth and stewardship

and I wonder if you could distinguish

for us a little bit develop that idea of

what are the ways in which we cultivate

the earth and how do we steward it well

the stewardship would be more about

sustainability where the cultivation is

more about how we're using it for for

our needs so the stewardship is is is

more about making sure that what we're

doing in our cultivation is not harmful

crossed over here I think here's a lady

up here okay but we need a microphone

the next connector right here

career-high um what you guys are talking

about is beautiful stuff but it's not

very realistic like I can't see myself

finding a person to buy a goat firm so

that I could harvest to go and show

gratitude to so after I kill it and eat

it in Allah I I don't know who the bad

girls huh and I don't know no and I

wasn't suggesting that I don't know and

I don't know where to buy affordable

organic food from because I went to the

whole food store the other day and spent

thirty dollars on nothing yeah

and this is one of the big bun and

finding it out around the community yeah

so so I'm not bringing up a really

excellent point is it yeah I want to

know how yeah yeah this is a really

excellent point it's it's the incredible

discrepancy we have between much of like

the fair trade movement which I'm I feel

a lot of it is is upper-middle class

luxury the ability to assuage our own

personal guilt and things like that but

I that snot why I would promote it

because I think that it's important to

take positions about these things in

terms of disenfranchised communities

underprivileged communities you know the

disparity which I was highlighting in

that picture of starving kids with these

completely overweight kids I mean one of

the problems that we have in this

country is that processed food is

incredibly cheap to buy and the reason

that the all processed food came out of

war that the Americans in World War two

I mean margarine came from Napoleon they

needed butter for these troops so we

tend to forget that processed food is

actually a direct result of war because

they needed to feed these armies as they

were moving and so in in in in World War

two they learned how to do this stuff to

a degree scientifically that they'd

never achieved before and and they could

keep long life shelf life and they

realize you know because this

military-industrial complex the same

people that are doing supplying that

during wartime are the people that are

selling you know the foods during

peacetime they realize that this is a

great way we don't have to worry about

perishables because it's they lovable

parents they lose a lot of money except

because when you take you know it's

amazing how many the reason it's so

expensive at Whole Foods is because they

lose a lot of that food and and this is

the problem and farmers know this so one

of the really important movements is

urban homesteading where people are

beginning to put gardens in there on

their rooftops african-american

communities in Detroit are beginning to

do this and it's really interesting

movement where they're bringing

food to to disenfranchised communities

and having some of the schools are doing

it this is really important so I think

Louisville it would be really useful to

bring some of these people in to show

them how to do we can grow our own food

and it actually is realistic people can

have gardens in World War two they had

what we're called Victory Gardens where

unlike these recent Wars let I encourage

you to go out and spend they used to

encourage you actually to save and

recycle World War two was a great year

of recycling people were recycling

everything and you know if you go to

third world countries people wear

sandals made out of used tires because

it's a really good heel a sole for the

for the the shoe and and so these are

the things where we need to get creative

in our communities and not you know so

many of our communities in the inner

cities they can go and get it's easier

to get liquor than it is to get food and

and it's much easier to get you can't

get vegetables in a lot of these

inner-city stores it's all processed

food they get corn out of a can and and

so that movement I think is a really

important movement that's starting to

take place

instead this ads brought to you by the

Center for interfaith relations up here

which has a program for building a box

gardens or urban gardens throughout

rural and we need to expand and children

love to do it they love to plant you can

get the kids involved in they get

connected to the earth you mentioned

earlier we're called the know Adam you

know in the Jewish and the Muslim

tradition and Adam is Adama you know

who's denying Arabic is the top soil and

and in our tradition the reason he was

called Adam and really it's the first

Adam had the male-female and then it

splits into the two of Adam and Eve so

the first Adam that the first creation

was was was the human being you know

which was and and but the the leader is

called top scholars because we're told

the problem Hamlet Pilate said I'm said

that God took white soil black soil

brown soil all the different color

the topsoil in the world and put them

into atoms so that all these colors

would be reflected in his creation from

all the soils of the earth we have the

same scans we probably borrowed from you

well you know look the Prophet Muhammad

you know people say that Islam a lot of

it's just from Judaism but the problem

Ahamed the Quran says you didn't make

this stuff up your you're not an

innovator from the message your being

the same message so much of it is in

Jewish tradition we know that and the

Jewish tradition is part of our

tradition so and there are many I mean

all my tears are filled with Midrash and

and you know the Gomorrah story it's all

in Islamic Jews they never shied away

from that and we had rabbis that became

Muslim there was interactions between

rabbis and and and Muslim scholars and

and so these are these are all this is

wisdom it's just jicama you know hook

nut oh yeah so this is this is this

belongs to everybody thank you again you

for putting this a very practical thing

and anyone's interested a great

organization called youth youth to

Louisville will help you build art yes

don't like art and if you do the

community center declare that that's

part of amazing how much food you can

get out of a very small yes over here I

want to thank you for what you said

about human trafficking is a 21st

century outrage an estimated 20 million

billion people are affected by it

I want to say the good news about it

just as a little bit of a commercial

there's an organization called soap SOA

P save our adolescents from prostitution

headquartered in Columbus Ohio I am part

of the group and we go before large

sporting events like the Super Bowl NCAA

Kentucky Derby world equestrians and we

meet in hotels all over the place to

provide literature photos and soap with

an 800 number to go in every hope

room in Louisville and Columbus in New

York and LA wherever we did it I

participated twice in Louisville we did

it before the truck show in Louisville

and 90% of the hotels accepted the

material the good news is that it's

working in lots of places before the

super during the Super Bowl in New

Jersey 16 teenage girls were rescued

because of soap and four hundred

volunteers covered New York in New

Jersey in Indianapolis Super Bowl two

teenage girls were rescued multiply that

over in Detroit the Auto Show girls

rescued in Columbus Ohio the Arnold

Schwarzenegger bodybuilding your'e girls

were rescued further point is its there

are groups working we need more people

involved well there's a worldwide war

against girls and women around the world

and also the reason why these are all

events that involve large numbers of men

that that's where they literally bring

them in and in cars and and these are

the places and there's something that

the Romans for people are familiar with

the Coliseum the prostitutes were always

bought at the Colosseum's and and people

would get very excited and go down and

abuse them but we're I think we're doing

such a poor job at educating our young

men and to honoring women and that's

something I have five boys and it's I

constantly bring that home to them never

dishonor a woman that that women that

they're their gentle beings they're

easily seduced and men know this about

women because women are trusting and and

and and and when a man tells her certain

things he has the keys to her heart very

often and too many wolves out there

really prey on on that knowledge and

there's books out there of how to seduce

women that are now bestsellers thank you

very much

it's a little hard for me to see this we

over yeah over here so I see these

slides and I hear these facts and

they're very disturbing of course and

they should be to my soul and so my

question is what kind of daily practice

can I do I do things with my deeds you

know I own a farm and I am trying to

help that part of the world but in my a

daily practice that you would suggest

that could help because I do believe in

intentions being able to actually help

these problems but I'm up for

suggestions okay well I first of all you

know I we have to honor our small

farmers because you know I'm fortunate

to be in Northern California with a slow

movement that slow food movement started

that we have local farmers markets that

we can go to on a regular basis so we

get all our foods from local growers I

would much rather support them than

support you know even though you know a

Whole Foods has some pretty enlightened

leadership there but I would still

rather support the local growers as much

as possible and I think that's something

really important so you know and people

you were talking earlier downstairs just

about you know this loopy feeling about

being connected to the land but the

truth is farmers suffering then see the

highest suicide rates in India are from

the small farmers they get them into

these you serious deaths and we had

people remember the 80s crises the

highest rates of suicide were among

small farmers we're losing our small

farmers and agribusiness is taking over

and this is what I'm talking about you

know these these you know the rulers of

darkness of this world you know a lot of

these people and there's good people in

that I'm not a Mackay I'm not in any way


I don't you know there's there's good

CEOs there's decent people working but

these are soul destroying institutions

that we've set up and and so I'm not in

any way I don't I'm not a revolutionary

in that I

don't believe and you know if we just

can kill the evil ruler suddenly

everything's going to you know be fine

it's not like that and there's good

people in Washington DC there's good

people in government there's really

amazing police and then there's people

that abuse these powers you know and

some of them you know and there are

really dark demonic people that we have

termed Psychopaths

and about one out 22 Americans is

considered to be psychopathic and there

are functional psychopathic people often

in CEO positions that don't have morals

I mean this is this is social science in

our culture I would recommend there's

several books on this one of them is

associate that next door a lot of people

think sociopaths the serial killer no

there are sociopaths that are surgeons

they're sociopaths that are CEOs and

they really don't they don't think like

other people they just don't feel

remorse about harming others or harming

the earth or whatever so in terms of a

practice I can't I want to advise you on


I think people you know we're living in

an age that enables us to experiment it

with religions this is in some ways

unprecedented in other ways

we've always had eclecticism and

interaction of traditions muslims and

jews lived together for centuries in

places like Morocco and Sarajevo and so

there's always been these and we know

that different traditions adopted

methods st. Francis was influenced by

the Sufis when he got back he adopted

some of those practices and certainly

you know the Muslims of India found the

Hindus doing certain things that they

thought were interesting so you'll find

a chakra a type of chakra understanding

in certain Indian Sufi badia clubs and

things like this so there's always been

that kind of eclecticism but I come out

of a spiritual tradition that really

says that it's good to take a serious

tradition and to practice it and and for

me personally there are certain things

that I have to do

day I think the only thing that I really

incorporated outside of of Milan

tradition is I've been practicing chi

gong for some time now and derived a lot

of benefit from it just physically

because I was having a lot of energy

problems but I think we really we need

to have time with ourselves alone where

we can just disengage and turn off all

these things I have a friend of mine

he's an imam in Washington DC so it has

a box in the end of in the front of his

house and when everybody comes in they

have to put the cell phones in the box

and they're not allowed to use any cell

phones inside the house and Jesus

Sudanese man and I thought that was

really an excellent practice I think a

lot of us need to disengage from from

the madness of these constantly being

you know texting and getting called we

don't have to answer the phone every

time it ring you know you really don't

now you're really something

revolutionary huh it's true okay before

you do that though I was going to do

this as an ad anyway my best suggestion

would be come tonight at 7 o'clock

because from 7:00 to 9:00 Wendell Berry

is going to be here with Gary Snyder and

Jack shoemaker and Wendell is a

phenomenal community resource for those

of you who have the opportunity you know

exactly what I'm saying because you may

not come tonight at 7:00

Wendell did I'd say the kind of

intention that you're speaking of for my

entire congregation when he came to

speak and we established the farm works

a farmers market that comes to Temple

Mondays and Thursdays are local farmers

and what he was saying was that we've

begun to look at food he'll say this

better tonight I hope but in a sentence

we come to look at food as a commodity

and we lose the nature of the

relationship you're feeding people okay

that is gift okay and when you receive

the food from the people

grew it you create something different

than going to a market and buying it

you're recognizing that the people who

you feed and we're recognizing who feeds

us and we create in that community and I

think what you're doing is that

intentions honestly but come tonight it

will be wonderful okay now a question

there are we yeah thank you I have a

question regarding I think is a

challenge that we face in the US and

it's very pervasive and that we are we

have a sense of entitlement that is is

much stronger than a lot of places you

find in the world and what would be your

response in sort of a spiritual sense to

that sense of entitlement that I really

don't have to do anything to change

because I have earned what I have earned

and I've worked hard for that yeah that

was one of mine too yeah the you know

when when you go to other put like I was

just in West Africa I was in Senegal and

in Mauritania and you know I think it's

really important for us to to get our

kids over to places to do work in in

other communities and places to see the

reality I'll give you an example I had I

had a friend of mine I teach a course at

a junior college nearby with a friend

and and and she was having trouble

controlling this class because they were

just you know they're college kids

behaving like high school kids so I

suggested that she bring in a friend of

mine who was a leading member of one of

the dominant African American gangs in

LA went to prison for murder spent

several years in prison and he converted

transformed his life in prison it came

out he's actually a teacher now so I

suggested that she bring him into the

class and she did and she just said the

transformation these students was

amazing with him telling his story and

and you know I I just I tell them

this junior-college if you were in Kabul

in Afghanistan this would be the Harvard

of Afghanistan you know and we have

people in a lot of countries that

literally commit suicide because their

scores are too low to get into the

colleges you know so we just it's

amazing the opportunities if you look at

when people come here from places like

African countries the first thing they

do is an enroll in junior colleges you

know it's just so amazing for them to be

able to get an education that doesn't

cost very much and so I think part of it

is really trying to inculcate this early

on narcissism was you know just it was I

think it was designated in