Is Religion a Rubber Ducky?

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Is religion a childish thing? A very interesting question, but may I ask,
why are you asking it? Because I’m religious …. Ja, go on, go on. … and I am an adult. Please, go on. And so, I wouldn’t want to compromise my
adultness, my maturity, by being childish. I see. So you don’t want to compromise your maturity
by being childish. Yes, I’m concerned that my idea of G-d might
be nothing more than a pathological projection of my childhood relationship to my father
onto the cosmos. And that I’ve sublimated my unconscious
feelings of guilt toward my father into a sky god, a super … ego. Super-ego! … excellent choice of words. What if the whole thing is irrational? Irrational, well, yes, after all, how could
all that mumpo-jumpo that Moses the Egyptian did in the desert be really rational? Egyptian!? What mumbo-jumbo? Well, for example, the all the mumpo-jumpo
voodoo that the Kohanim did in the Tabernacle that Moses constructed. With all the fetishistic mish-mash: the Menorah:
the cheruvim on top of the ark und so weiter … Of course … there is the Parochet. Parochet? Was ist das, Parochet? The Parochet was the curtain that divided
the innermost chamber of the Mishkan, the Holy of Holies, from the outer chamber. So, what does this division have to do with
all the irrational mish-mish? Well, it makes you wonder. Makes me wonder. The Parochet signified a division between
the rational and the non-rational. Ach so! How so? On the outside of the Parochet, in the larger
chamber, the Holy, the Kodesh, there were three items. The Menorah – the Candelabra; the Mizbeach
– the Incense Altar; und the Shulchan – the table with show-bread. Herr Doktor, you know your Book of Exodus! For anthropological-psychological purposes. These three items represent three cognitive
faculties: Chochmah, the moment of insight; Binah, the ability to comprehend the insight;
and Da’at, the ability to integrate what is comprehend into daily life. Ja, im ernst? But this would mean that Judaism is a rational
enterprise … at least in so far as Insight, Comprehension and Cognitive Integration …. Chochmah, Bina, Da’at … Ach so! Cha – Ba – D !! So Judaism does involve rational cognition? Yes. Yes, it does. Naturally, the human intellect is beset by
all types of limitations. Judaism is not science. The axiomatic truths of Judaism are not testable
through experimentation. But at the same time, the Jewish concept of
truth, Emet, is not really reducible to any Western concept of truth: the Adaequatio rei
et intellectus of the medieval schoolmen which they inherited from Platonic philosophy, Heidegger’s
concept of aletheia, Popper’s falsification … Ja, go on, go on. In any case, given these limitations, Judaism
is quite rational. Donnerwetter! Erstaunlich! This is quite surprising! And yet. Und yet? And yet, there is … the Parochet. Selbstverständlich, the Parochet. … What about it? On the other side of the Parochet … In the Holy of Holies … … was the Aron haBrit. The Ark of the Covenant. The gold-plated wooden Chest containing the
Two Tablets received at Mount Sinai by Moses … der Monotheist. And the Ark represents that element of Judaism
that is no longer rational. The irrational element! Well, now, Herr Doktor, how could it be irrational
if the sacred space of the Holy embodied the rational? Gut point. And yet the Holy of Holies, as you say, embodies
something non-rational? Supra-rational. Supra-rational? … Super-ego, Supra-rational. Unlike the ir-rational, the supra-rational
has done due diligence in the realm of the cognitive. Chochma, Bina, Da’at. I see. But then, what does the supra-rational really
add to the rational? It adds a childlike trust—beyond every due
diligence of cognitive doubt—an absolute trust in G-d. Ah! So religion is childish in the final analysis! Not childish. Childlike. Are you playing semantics with me? What are you hiding? Not hiding. No semantics. The childlike experience in the Holy of Holies,
like the absolute trust that a child places in his mother or father, simply accesses the
deepest truth of the Torah. After we have entered into the zone of consciousness
that is rational, in the Holy, we can then proceed to the next zone of consciousness,
the Holy of Holies, where not just our intellect but our entire being is tenderly embraced
by a total Divine consciousness. That … sounds … rather nice actually. So, in the final analysis, you do not really
compromise your maturity by being childlike. I guess not. I guess not! Wow! Wow, Doktor! Than you! Thank you so much for helping me come to that
realization. All in a day’s work. Is this why they call psychoanalysis the Jewish
science? Vas?! Did you put on tefillin today? Vas?! Come, Herr Doktor, let’s do something a
little supra-rational …

 

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