Monday, March 14, 2011

Breathing God?

I am just beginning to read The Naked Now by Richard Rohr and am struck by some very simple yet profound thoughts.  The Jewish name for God, YHWH, was considered unspeakable.  It wasn't that it was a 'taboo' to speak the name of God, as I always believed, but that it was literally not something that could be shaped or spoken by the human mouth.

But it gets even more interesting.  The word wasn't spoken..... because it could only be breathed!  The thinking goes that the proper 'pronunciation' for YHWH is actual the sound of inhaling, then exhaling.

Imagine!  The thing we do naturally from the moment of birth to the moment we leave this earth - from womb to tomb as the boys used to say - is breathe.  And in so doing, we say/pray the name of God every moment of every day, sleeping and awake, in our torment or despair as well as during our bliss.  God is available to everyone in every moment.

This author went on to say something - not really 'new' but stated in such a simple way - that it made me laugh out loud! There is no Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu way of breathing.  There is no American or English or African or Chinese way of breathing.  There is no wealthy or poor way of breathing.  We all breathe the same way, the same air, for the same reason for the same moments of our lives.

Not long ago I listened to a lecture that beautifully overlaps with this line of thought.   It was suggested that the word for 'heaven' in the ancient text actually means 'the air that we breathe', so that when we pray the Universal Christian 'Our Father',  we are actually identifying 'our Father' as the air that we breathe.  All around us, all the time, inescapable except in death.  And even then?

"And isn't it wonderful that breath, wind, spirit and air are precisely nothing - and yet everything?"

"Just keep breathing consciously in this way and you will know that you are connected to humanity from cavemen to cosmonauts, to the entire animal world, and even to the trees and the plants.  And we are now told that the atoms we breathe are physically the same as the stardust fro the original Big Bang.  Oneness is no longer merely a vague mystical notion, but a scientific fact."

Breathing God.  Breathing God!

1 comment:

  1. I love this!! What an amazing perspective. I clicked on your blog and fell in love with your pic at the top. You look like you are ready to hug the world. How inviting! Thanks or sharing.

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