Discovering Jacob Needleman

This week I’ve become a fan of philosopher Jacob Needleman, after listening to “Soul of America” [iTunes] about the spiritual roots of our country and after starting his book “Lost Christianity.”* The video below will give you an idea of him:

*”The premise –or, rather, the proposal—of this book is that at the heart of the Christian religion there exists and has always existed just such a vision of both God and Man [that squarely faces the criminal weakness of our moral will while holding out to us the knowledge of how we can strive within ourselves to become the fully human being we are meant to be]. I call it “lost Christianity” not because it is a matter of doctrines and concepts that may have been lost or forgotten; nor even a matter of methods of spiritual practice that may need to be recovered from ancient sources. It is all that, to be sure, but what is lost in the whole of our modern life, including our understanding of religion, is something even more fundamental, without which religious ideas and practices lose their meaning and all too easily become the instruments of ignorance, fear and hatred. What is lost is the experience of oneself, just oneself—myself, the personal being who is here, now, living, breathing, yearning for meaning, for goodness; just this person here, now, squarely confronting one’s own existential weaknesses and pretensions while yet aware, however tentatively, of a higher current of life and identity calling to us from within ourselves. This presence to oneself is the missing element in the whole of the life of Man, the intermediate state of consciousness between what we are meant to be and what we actually are. It is, perhaps, the one bridge that can lead us from our inhuman past toward the human future.” [from the Preface]

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8 Responses to Discovering Jacob Needleman

  1. Susan, viewed this am. Inspiring video on Jacob Needleman and like your blog as well!

  2. Debbie, it’s fun to find people with fresh (to me) perspectives, isnt’ it?

  3. Yes it is. Wish there were more hours to view and read more about people’s perspectives. I was discussing your blog with Molly yesterday evening and we both agreed that we are fortunate and lucky to have you in our lives; per your blog, thoughts, intellect…and of course family plays an important role. We can view your blog and go from there!! Thanks for being you. <3

  4. Debbie, thanks for the kind words. Likewise, I am lucky to have you and Molly!

  5. and I am very happy and fortunate to have my Susan and all my family. Love you so much

  6. David Thorn says:

    I have now read ‘The Heart of Philosophy,’ ‘Money and the Meaning of Life’ and most recently ‘What is God.’ I am finding what I have been looking for over many years, an approach to God that is, for me, both intellectually respectable and spiritually meaningful. I am so grateful for encountering Jacob Needleman through his insightful work. Many thanks.

  7. Pat says:

    I soooooo agree with your Debbie and Kathleen too: We are fortunate and lucky to have you in our lives; per your blog, thoughts, intellect…and of course family (and friends) play an important role. We can view your blog and go from there!! Thanks for being you.

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