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Another Take On Blessing

 
Entrenched theists can go on believing that their God can interfere with the natural processes of existence by conveying her blessings on chosen individuals or groups. If you want to believe that God blesses America, you can, but be aware that it is an empty phrase.

Wavering or uncertain theists can go on struggling with whether or not God has the power to bless, or not bless, or maybe bless, certain chosen individuals and groups.

Many of us, have abandoned any notion that there is any such thing as a transcendent creator/overseer of the universe who can intervene to override its natural processes. We need to focus on blessing as a psycho/social dynamic.

Who do you love? Your kids? Your best friend forever? Your spouse and kids? Your mother and father?

In thinking about the people you love, what do you want for them? What do you wish and hope for them?

If you’re a decent human being, you want them to have a good life.
You want them to be healthy, well sheltered and fed.
You want them to live in loving harmony with others around them.
You would like them to be happy, even profoundly joyous.
Above all, you want them to have the strength and ability to cope with the threatening exigencies of life.

To sum it up. What you want for your beloved friends and family is for them to be blessed.

Johannes Pederson in his great four-volume work, Israel: Its Life and Culture, defined blessing in its holistic sense, as the ‘power to live.’ Giving a blessing means passing on the power to live to the one being blessed.

Pederson believed that “objective thought, that is to say, inactive, disinterested thought” does not exist in most instances. Thus, he was committed to the assumption that the full social context is necessary to understanding written texts. Pedersen exhibited an “exceptional ability to enter into the spirit of the ancient Oriental trains of thought,” as demonstrated in his primary work, Israel: Its Life and Culture, in four volumes (1920–34; Eng. trans. 1926–40.

In Israel, Pedersen pointed out that in the book of Genesis a soul is a person, not some invisible something inside a person. Consistently, passage after passage in Genesis, this is shown to be the case.

In Pedersen’s words, “the soul [is] not part of man, but man as a totality with a peculiar stamp.” A man [soul] is “stamped by the special conditions under which he lives.” In summary, “the soul is thus an entirety with a definite stamp, and this stamp is transmuted into a definite will.” A man’s “will is the whole tendency of the soul [the man].”

Ergo, instead of tossing off an intercession, ‘God Bless you.’, convey a true blessing by committing a part of your soul, your self, your life energy to the well-being of those both close to you and those who are more distant or even hostile. It requires thoughtful consideration of the other’s person and life situation.

When you sincerely say to someone, “My blessings to you.”, you are saying, “I am sending you my spiritual (souls) energy to help you be well and thrive through the ups and downs of your days.”

There is no God to bless you. There are only people, near and far, to strengthen you by increasing your power to live.

So, dear reader, may you be blessed.

Peter

Review & Commentary