Archive for February 24th, 2010

Deconstructing a Biblical Text through Midrash–A Derridean Approach

Studying the philosopher Jacques Derrida is never for the squeamish of heart.  When you read his writings, you have to wonder why he can’t seem to formulate his ideas in a more straight-forward language. Derrida almost  always writes in the idiom of  “doublespeak.”  What exactly is “doublespeak,” you might ask? Doublespeak  is language constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning—it is the language of ambiguity; it is also the language of punsters.

Well, one of my friends thought that Derrida ...

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Getting Caught in the Web of Desire . . .

The covetous road often entangles numerous other prohibition in its web. Below is a famous medieval parable about the dangers of coveting, and how the covetous person may ultimately get much more than he originally bargained.

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On Shabbat eve, he went and broke down the wall between them, thus transgressing “Remember and observe the Sabbath.” As if that weren’t enough, he then rapes the woman whom he lusted after, and in the process he violated the proscriptions of “Do not covet,’ ...

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Thou Shalt Not Covet: Can a Feeling be Legislated?

Continuing the theme of desire that we introduced in the last posting, Judaic commentaries have often wondered about the famous proscription of the Decalogue: “You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:17). What exactly is Moses speaking about? This question has led many great rabbinic scholars to conclude that the Torah is not legislating a mere feeling; it is actually more concerned about action. Like many fleeting thoughts that come to our conscious mind in the course of a day, coveting is ...

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A Buddhist Version of the Edenic Fall?

While there are several versions of the Fall narrative in ancient Semitic literature, it is not widely known that a mythic memory of a primordial Fall is also recorded in the Oriental world and this phenomenon is especially interesting when examined from the perspective of Jung’s theory of the archetype; i.e., the common and universal patterns of thought that spontaneously appear in the stories and myths gathered from all around the world.

Although the Buddhist tradition does not speak of a ...

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Shadow Projections & the Psychology of Scapegoating

Carl G. Jung writes a lot about the nature of “shadow projection” in his writings. Individuals will often project their shadow unto someone else they know well. Just look at any divorce trial, the tendency is to project blame unto the Other, rather than taking personal responsibility for the death of a marriage.

I am reminded of the old story where a marriage therapist was counseling a young couple that were having difficulties in their marriage. The husband says, “She is ...

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