Friday, May 7, 2010

Origins of A God-Sized Puzzle

I started this blog in the fall of 2008 inspired by a musing I had one day during one of Rabbi Rami's classes (which if any students still attending MTSU should take at least one of his courses). That original musing became the mission statement for A God-Sized Puzzle, which held a pretty bold goal for me at the time. Although I have strayed from some of the language in the original statement I feel I have followed its spirit. The concept behind a God-Sized Puzzle was simple: to learn how we are connected to and interdependent with each other, and by realizing our place in the puzzle we understand our importance and need for each other. I believe this should lead us to becoming more compassionate towards one another despite our tribal nature and the inherent differences of our tribal identities.

As an assignment for one of the Rabbi's classes we wrote an essay stating our beliefs in which the option to submit it to the This I Believe project by NPR was heavily encouraged. This I Believe collects belief statements by people from all walks of life in an effort to establish a global dialog. In it I spoke of our uniqueness within this God-Sized Puzzle and my personal quest to learn from my fellow pieces. The Rabbi responded to my article stating he wrote something similar in his book Wisdom of the Jewish Sages. I recently found a short but wonderfully beautiful video excerpt which captures my present interpretation of A God-Sized Puzzle.
"Consider a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece has its place, and no other piece can fit that place. Yet no one piece makes sense on its own. Each piece needs the whole for its integrity and coherence. And the whole needs each piece to fulfill its purpose and bring meaning and order to the puzzle. Once a piece is in its proper place, its separateness is surrendered. We know a piece is in its place when it blends with the whole and disappears. What is true for a puzzle is true for Reality, with one exception: There is no hand putting us in our place. We must do that for ourselves. We must discover our place and take it. And when we do this, we discover the integrity and meaning of the whole; we discover the divine energy that flows through all things that links each to the other and all to God." -Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, Wisdom of the Jewish Sages.
This is my spirituality: to discover my place in the whole and by embracing the All, the God-Sized Puzzle, we can become more loving and compassionate to our fellow man.


Doug Robertson said...

"Whenever I meet someone new I walk away with a copy of their puzzle piece" from your essay, I liked that a lot. We should all be so open to recognize the inter-connectedness of our pieces! I've always been a fan of NPR's This I Believe, but only have listened to it on air and their podcasts, guess I never paid attention to the essays along with... something more to check out.

Don said...

What a great statement of belief...gets my total approval!!

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