200.02 Spiritual Quests for Potential (pps.81-82)
hard cover page 81
At the Genesis Point, a Divine spark leapt forth. The spark initiates a cycle of becoming, creation, and rebirth. It is the core of this spiritual blaze of potentiality whose ultimate perfect achievement is a primal cosmic end. It is this transcendental flame which directly continues the spark of Life which the Divine infused through Primal Man.
Man is a creature with the ability to undertake a search for the Tree of Knowledge. He is a creature with the ability to undertake a long-term spiritual quest. With dominion over the earth, man as a species is not burdened with a battle for survival with nonhuman creation.
Man’s restless spirit seeks to transcend its limits.296 Man must dare to reach down into the depths of his own spirit and find his essence;297 this is his spiritual quest.298
By prayer, study, piety, contemplation, solitude, abstinence, penance, sacrifice, charity, purity, and love, man approaches his goal. This is a resolute and continuous assault, day after
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296 See also Merton, The New Man, p. 31, and his footnote on page 56: “In the Biblical concept [as opposed to the Nietzschean], man is raised above himself by supernatural gifts for which his nature has a passive and obedien- tial potency, gifts by which these hidden potentialities receive a supereminent realization.”
297 See also ibid., p. 27.
298 “Rabbi Kook in his introduction to his commentary on the Siddur Olat Riyah, writes that man’s soul is continually in a state of worship. It expresses the soul’s yearning for inner fulfillment from a state of potentiality to actuality.” Stitskin, Studies in Torah Judaism, p. 86.
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