I’m grateful to the Velveteen Rabbi for passing on this truly inspiring pearl of wisdom from Rodger Kamenetz about the modern spiritual condition:
At the dawn of the Enlightenment, as modern ideas challenged faith
everywhere in Europe, one rabbi, Nachman of Bratzlav, diagnosed our
contemporary spiritual condition. He called it "second degree hiding."
He said: Not only is God’s face hidden from us, but it is hidden from
us that God’s face is hidden from us.
We too live in a time of the hiding of God’s face, but it’s gone on so
long, we don’t even know it. We rarely feel deeply how much we have
lost. Except perhaps in our dreams.
Whew. What more is there to say? These haunting words capture the tragedy of Western civilzation, which is adrift in a foggy sea of postmodern cynicism and anomie.
We’re like the hapless prisonners in Plato’s "Simile of the Cave". We’re so used to the flickering shadows on the wall that we no longer know enough to miss the sun.