This all started innocently enough… Back in 2010, I was working at a local bookstore, spending many hours a day looking at small print, and cleaning and pricing books. On account of this, my eyesight started to suffer, and after work I found it more difficult to read. This made me think of what I would miss most of all if I couldn’t read…Continue reading →
The value of reading out loud, and recording, and listening to useful teachings comes from their being expressions of the truth.It does not depend on their being read with a mellifluous voice, or on the translation.Something deeper is at work, which I call the esoteric power of the word.
The notes and essays in this collection were written over the last couple of years, as I’ve prepared for events, and communicated with scholars, curators, and representatives from universities. In a few cases, I’ve included something just because it has a family story or two in it.Perhaps all together these will help someone who is interested to get a fuller idea of who my father was, along with his own writing, and his art, of course.
In Buddhism, we call a bodhisattva someone who’s intent on helping others in every needed way. He or she does this through what are called the Six Perfections, which are Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Joyful Effort, Meditation and Wisdom. This is, or should be, a path of unsurpassed happiness, and mature joy, because this is not a small ambition to have. Such great love is, in fact, the fulfillment of our lives here.Sometimes, however, we lose our zeal…
For Dr. David Hilfiker, with photographs by Frank Espada
‘We belong to each other…’
I. The social gospel defined
The social gospel is the view that we are made to care for each other; that we are here to protect, support and encourage each other; to love, nurture and celebrate every one of our family, from birth, through all the stages of life, in struggle and difficulty, and in times of ease and success.
I was surprised recently to hear the phrase ‘I become we’ and it reminded me of something important, especially in these times. This is an idea that’s been made use of for generations in the Civil Rights and Labor movements, as well as in religious teachings.
We fear power because we associate it with aggression.It’s there in everything from militarism to abusive husbands and boyfriends, to those we say are ‘drunk with power’ – implying control, domination, and injustice.But power in itself is neutral.Power can be turned any way, and this is something we need to know, for our own sake, for that of our community, and world.