sabato, giugno 25, 2016

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions by Greg Marcus Ph.D


The Mussar movement is a Jewish ethical, educational and cultural movement developed although it exists from many centuries in particular by the Orthodox Jewish in Lithuania in the 19th century.

The Mussar the principal inspiration for the author of The spiritual practice of good actions Greg Marcus P.h.D. The book published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. I read it thanks to Netgalley.com.




Substantially the author, Jewish, didn't want to write a book just for Jewish people. This book can be with tranquility bought by everyone, of every other religion of this world.
I am catholic and I enjoyed reading it a lot because at the same time I learnt a lot of another religion, discovering that maybe there are differences between our religions but substantially God is one and the values taught by God to us the same ones.


This book starting from religion and the Message of God wants to better our soul developing our best part of it, correcting our lacks. It is a rational book, plenty of citations from the Bible, Talmud but at the same time with important,tender messages that slowly slowly we will discover together.


Greg Marcus P.h.D. starts to saying that everyone could create a large or little Mussar group for sharing the experiences and that big journey that it is life.

What it is necessary to do with Mussar to exercise our mental muscles.

Marcus writes that there are 13 different soul trait profile in the Mussar and this book in 26 weeks will be in grade to let you discover all these 13 trait.

What is it important in our life first of all? And what it must be important?

To do good things, to be good people, affirms the author.

Why this?

Because every man is not a creature with a soul, but He Is a Soul.

The Passover tells the author an important moment for asking questions. We are the mirror of God, His imagine in this world and we all have free will although not everyone can use it richly for developing ourselves in the respect of course of ourselves and the other ones.

The author suggests to keep a journal during this process, and starting yoga or tai chi. Meditation just few minutes per days for relaxing the mind.

The journal should be written at night when the day is complete, the mind relaxed from the tensions of the day, and it is possible to put down the impressions.

It is strongly suggested by the author to keep a Gratitude Journal. Mr. Marcus says that it's not just important to be grateful for what we have positively received from life, but also for the negative facts.
The author thinks that we should force ourselves to try to see the good side of every things. For living better.

Plus, a gratitude journal will help a lot people. It's like to see two rivers, one with clean water and one, because maybe rained too much pretty muddy one.

It can be a good analysis of your character and your trait.

And now the various trait.


Humility is to recognize our place in the world. Too much can cause arrogance, too little perpetual victim of the situations.


Patience, is an important treat of our character. It means capacity of waiting, it means to be in grade to sort out problems waiting patiently, although the author remarks that waiting too much means procrastinating and not acting and rushing too much can also be reason for ruin everything.


Trust.
The author suggests of trust yourself, God and life. People are free. Free to choose the good the bad, God or Evil, although let's remember that God will always be close to us in particular in difficult moments of our life and  when we choose the "evil's strategy."

Loving-Kindness means doing something without to expect anything in return. The author speaks so of the good exercise of the experiment: "Pay it forward" a book written by Catherine Ryan Hyde and that I read many years ago. Beautiful!
You do something good to someone and then this someone must do something good to someone else, but not at the person made a favor to him. It's a spectacular way for keeping gratitude alive, because it's a chain. A chain of love. Solidarity, help in motion. You can try this experiment also with people that you don't know.

Truth another important trait. Who is realistically honest and tell the truth?
Truth can be in fact subjective. How many times for example we tell a tale of a fact we have participated in noticing particulars that other didn't see, or vice versa? And thinking maliciously that the other ones are telling lies just because we haven't seen what we should have seen? All our souls are different and each of us bring some light in this world and it is different from person to person.
Marcus says that the Judaism and the Mussar affirms only God can sits upon the Throne of Truth and I guess it's true.
God the only one knows the Beginning, the Middle and the End.

But is it always indispensable to tell the truth? NO!!! No, and no when it means to ruin situations and families. These ones are commonly called "white lies." If you know that something in a couple is wrong, better to keep you mouth closed and tells some little white lies. Maybe with the time the couple will sort out their problems and so on.

Honor is very important. For gaining more honor we must honoring other people and not judge anyone and we must try to find the goodness in every human being.

I previously talked of Gratitude. The author, back to the topic remembers us of being grateful for our entire life, for the good and the bad things. After all it's the mixture of these experiences able to define us and our character. We must be in grade to see the beauty and funny side of every situation.
Marcus says that the Talmud teaches: "The rich is who is happy with his lot."


Order. Living a life too ordinated means obsession and lack of freedom. It's important to learn that we can live in order, keeping our house very cleaned, keeping maybe our objects  obsessively always in the same place for example on a desk, but that although we do that,  we won't never never never have realistically any kind of similar control on our life and events. Life is out of our control. Once we learn it we will relax a bit,  living with more creativity. The author suggests of avoiding too much disorder, synonym of chaos.
Order gives confidence.


Silence. In silence we find God. In the silence we also can keep things for ourselves without to saying too much. In silence at the same time we can't develop any kind of creativity. Our speech let's also remember can influences a lot people around us, so our words are like stones.

Equanimity is the calmness of soul. The author concludes the book analyzing also Fear of Consequences, Awe of Majesty and remembering to all of us, that wonder and mystery are two important wonderful characteristic of our soul and should be developed, leaving open the door to them.

Oh: and of course once you have finished the book and the various exercises, continue to practice for being always more a great human being.



Anna Maria Polidori

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