The Temple, Beauty and the Wisdom of a Cat

This week our library additions include an article by Leo Schaya on “The Meaning of the Temple” in the Jewish tradition:

One with God’s entire creation, man’s sanctified soul (neshamah) rises like incense from the golden altar of his heart and presses through the most inward curtain of his being to the Holy of Holies within it. Here, over the sacred Ark of its intimacy with God, the soul finds the redeeming cover of the reconciliation of all duality.

• An audio recorded Friday sermon (khutbah) delivered in Cambridge by T.J. Winter on the theme of “Beauty and the Sunna”:

We need the fatwas of the ulama’, but we also need the fatwas of the heart, guided and uplifted by the people of hearts, of the people who help us to overcome the ego, to shut that infernal trapdoor, and to rise to that level in which alone we can find true peace.

• And a concise Japanese swordmanship treatise, handed down from master to master of a Kendo lineage for centuries, where the heart of the Far Eastern Triple Religion is explicated by an old cat:

“I am only an animal and the rat is my food. How should I know about human affairs? All I know is this: the meaning of the art of combat is not merely a matter of vanquishing one’s opponent. It is rather an art by which at a given time one enters into the great clarity of the primal light of death and life.”