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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the 1970s in

that famous book the culture of

narcissism you know he saw something

that nobody was seeing at the time how

narcissistic our culture was coming I

think the selfie is just such an

indicative aspect of our of our

civilization this idea of just taking

your own picture you know I've never

I've never carried a camera I've never

taken I don't have any pictures of

myself and I've been all over the world

I've been in that you know I met the

Pope you know and and had a picture with

the Pope and you know I just never had

that urge to have these pictures you

know my last because some people stand

us things and she wants to put a lot of

I said I don't want them on the wall you

know I don't want to do that and and I

know I don't get that thing about

pictures you know like I for me this is

where I take my pictures I and I try to

be present with people and remember them

as best I can

and I learned this from the Bedouin

because what really struck me about the

Bedouin that I lived with is they were

so present

and I would need a better one that I've

met 10 years before he would remember

what we talked about the conversation we

had and and they don't take pictures

because they know and so this whole

obsession with images that the New York

Times recently reported that the average

American seems more images in one day

than a 19th century English person saw

in his entire lifetime and these images

are flooding our hearts were losing that

just that space you know the imageless

space you know one of the things when

trade Jim went into the holiest of

holies the thing that really disturbed

him was there was nothing in there you

know any wanted the Jews to explain like

where's your idols where's your images

it's an empty place and and and and so

that emptiness we have to have that

emptiness to be able to to contemplate

and I would recommend leading Neil

postman's incredible book amusing

ourselves to death and that second

chapter about why the Decalogue would

have prohibited images because he argues

that if you want people to understand

abstractions you have to watch out for

the images that you give them and God

wants us to know something a concept

that is so abstract and and this is why

image based cultures become debased very

quickly so I really think the images are

harming us immensely the the

pornographic images that are going into

the minds of these young kids it's

really terrifying because they can't get

these things out they won't be able to

get those images out of the mountain I

know this from I have people that have

converted to Islam or have these

problems and they've told me when they

just when they open their prayer images

start flooding they're there and they

want to get rid of them so it's really

difficult spiritually it can be done

with a lot of work but you have to be

careful what you put into your heart

and I once I was with a Bedouin we've

gone from the desert to the walk shop

and there was a TV in the room and it

was on and he was looking the other way

and his man in his 30s and he was a

student of knowledge and he was looking

the other way and I was with a Libyan

Abdul Razak Mokhtar he's the ambassador

in Turkey now for Libya but he asked him

have you ever seen television he said no

he said don't you want to look at it and

he said I heard that it has foul things

on it I don't want to let it into my

heart and you know that level of being

is just where are those people yeah it's

very briefly the Jewish community I

would echo this part about how important

travel can be and meeting people from

other cultures and places we have the

commitment it's called birthright to

send all of our children's in the Land

of Israel and we really press this and

we make it literally affordable to the

point of practically free to get every

one of our kids to go to Israel they

need Israeli kids you know who also have

cell phones and text they text in Hebrew

Devi I think that's really cool but what

they also find out is if these kids go

into the army after high school all okay

and they serve their country and these

kids have an expectation that they

probably aren't going to be able to go

to college necessarily because not

everybody gets to go to college because

there's just not enough slots so you

would have to work hard if you want to

do that and they'll grow up in a world

where they're not able to afford a home

and they'll be very lucky but probably

not have a car and you know and they're

there their sense of commitment to their

country is something that's very


and when these kids come and visit our

economic titled you earn things every

day you know and and that the things

that you choose to earn are the things

that really matter

I mean maybe are not those material

things maybe they're things like respect

maybe the things like you know a future

in the fan

things like that okay I would like to

continue with questions but we need to

stop now because we have some other

things to finish the first which is the

poetry and do you have it yeah I do okay

um explain this was a there were several

poems and then they were they narrowed

them down to eight and then I was given

the unfortunate task of determining

which one should be given let me read

the up the introduction to this and then

okay it's not explained this is a poetry

of the sacred contest that the center

performed as part of this year's

festival the poetry the safety sacred

context is run annually to the center

for innovation Institute for

contemporary practice poetry can be

thought as the language of the soul and

this contest encourages poets that

awaken their reader to the

meaningfulness and beauty of life people

entered this contest from 34 different

states in four different countries from

these entries a winning poem and three

honorable mentions were chosen and

received both monetary prizes must be

published in parabola magazine in the

winter issue of 2014 the poems were then

judged by hamsa which he hated having to

do and we've selected one which uml read

so you know just to preface this I

really they were all very interesting

poems this one was the one that hit me

the most just in terms of my talk and

and what I think the festival face is is

about so it's called what worship is

it's by Red Hawk from Arizona I don't

think that he apparently he doesn't have

internet access which I thought was

great but the other poems I mean the

filter list of Mont sainte-victoire was

really I really like that Prairie hours

and him too morning were the runners-up

and they were all good and the other

ones were good - they were more

depressing so but this one I thought

really captured something from me what

worship is by Red Hawk from Arizona at

dusk cousin John is driving home when a

rabbit darts in front of his car and his

throne tumbling and spinning into the

tall grass beyond the shoulder now here

is where John emerges from the pack of

ordinary brutish humans and assumes a

form we barely know he stops the car

pulls off to see what harm he has done I

don't know anyone else who would have

stopped he finds the rabbit broken and

thrashing not yet dead in the tall grass

goes to his trunk for a hammer returns

and finishes what chance started then

with the claw part he did the shallow

hole and puts the body in returns drives

home heavy with sorrow feeling remorse

having performed his humble sacrament to

make right what has gone wrong in us we

have forgotten who we are and what we

must do

so just a few other sort of follow-up

things will be concluding now but I'm so

Youssef will be in the foyer we had a

long conversation about the

pronunciation of that word there'll be a

book signing there as well as a

reception with like food and drink and

we want to invite all of you to join us

there again

Wendell Barry Gary Snyder and Jack

shoemaker this evening at 7 and 9 is a

program I'm not going to miss and really

shouldn't just gonna be fantastic and we

will conclude as we are in all these

sessions with a moment of silence and I

encourage you in silence to try to take

in some of what Hamza has shared with us

and think in the ways that many of your

questions did but how we can take these

ideas and make them into spirit in

ourselves and in practice in our lives



thank you for joining us