I’m engaged to a man I met in Bible study. He asked me
to be his helpmeet the way Eve was Adam’s helpmeet
(Genesis 2:18). I thought it was touching. Now I’m not
so sure. What do you think he means?
“Helpmeet” is the King James Bible’s rendering of the
Hebrew ezer k’negdo: one who helps (ezer) by opposing
(neged). The French rabbi and Torah commentator Rashi
said an ezer k’negdo supports their partner when the partner does good and opposes their partner when the partner
does evil, and this requires that both partners be of equal
power and moral and ethical stature. I suggest you speak
with your fiancée to see if this is what he had in mind when
he asked you to be his helpmeet.
I consult tarot cards daily. My
sister calls tarot the devil’s deck
and worries I am being misled by
the prince of lies. Is this possible?
There is only one lie, and we are all
susceptible to it. The lie is that you
are apart from rather than a part
of the dynamic nondual Aliveness
manifesting as all reality. This
lie leads to the exploitation and
oppression of others—humans,
animals, and nature as a whole—and is at the heart of all evil. If your
reading of tarot fosters this lie,
then your sister is right, and you
should stop consulting the cards. If
it doesn’t, then your sister is wrong,
and you should continue consulting
During COVID lockdown my apartment was my little monastery
where I devoted myself to prayer
and study. Now that I’m moving
back into the world, I’m appalled
by my fellow humans’ greed,
ignorance, racism, violence, and
hatred. What should I do?
There is a Talmudic story about
Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi
Elazar who hid in a cave for 12 years
to avoid capture and death at the
hands of the Romans. They spent
their time studying Torah. When
they emerged from the cave and
saw farmers harvesting their fields,
they said, “Why would anyone do
this rather than study?” As soon as
they spoke these words, the fields
burst into flame and the produce
was lost. A Heavenly Voice spoke to
them saying, “This is what comes
from your study? Return to the
cave!” They stayed hidden for an
additional year, finally reentering
the world with compassion rather
than contempt. I suggest you go
back into your monastery until
compassion overcomes contempt
and you can return to the world as
a vehicle for love.
I asked a Mormon missionary
how he knew that the Book of
Mormon was the word of God.
He asked me how I knew that
it wasn’t. I couldn’t answer
that question. Could the Book
of Mormon be part of God’s
Why not? If God revealed the Five Books of Moses, why not the
Gospels and the Holy Qur’an?
Why not the Bhagavad Gita and
the Book of Mormon? And if God’s
revelation can be found in these
(and other) books, shouldn’t you
read them all? And when you do you will find they hold many
ideas and values in common.
What is common may be Truth.
What is unique to each may be the work of people promoting the
supremacy of their tribe. While I
don’t consider any scripture to be
true, I do find Truth in all of them.
I read for Truth. I suggest you do
I’m Jewish, my partner isn’t. I
want her to accompany me to
High Holy Day services and she
wants me to explain how they
might speak to her. Honestly,
they don’t speak to me, so I have
no idea what to say to her. What
would you say?
Judaism rests on two principles:
teshuvah, returning to your true Self as a manifesting of
God (YHVH, the Happening
happening as all happening), and
tikkun, repairing the world by
being a blessing to all the families
of the earth (Genesis 12:3). While
the Days of Awe (High Holy Days)
explore these two principles
through Jewish tradition, texts,
and teachings, the principles
themselves are universal and
should speak powerfully to both
you and your partner. The key is to
find a synagogue that makes this
explicit. If this proves difficult,
you might try my online Days
of Awe for the World retreat at
All my life I have struggled to do
God’s will, but as I enter the last
years of my life I wonder if I have
actually done so. Your thoughts?
God is YHVH, Tao, the nondual Happening happening as all
reality. God’s will is the way things
happen moment to moment.
Struggling has nothing to do with
it. Clouds don’t struggle to rain;
suns don’t struggle to shine; roses
don’t struggle to bloom. If you are
struggling, you aren’t doing God’s
will but striving to impose your
own will. My advice is this: Stop
struggling and start blooming.
I recently received a diagnosis of a terminal illness from which
there is no escape. I want to contact friends and acquaintances,
inform them of my situation, and ask them for forgiveness for any injury I may have caused
them. How might I phrase such a
While I applaud the sentiment, I urge you not to do this. You are
coercing people into forgiving
you, and this will taint any forgiveness that is proffered. Rather, I
would reach out to people, briefly
explain your situation, and
apologize for any hurt you may
have caused them and forgive
them for any hurt you may have
received from them. Do not be
specific as this may rekindle old
anger and pain. If they respond in
a similar manner—well and good.
If they don’t, at least you can take
satisfaction in having reached out
with love and humility.
I attended a seminar recently and learned that there is one
question at the heart of every person’s life. When asked what my
one question was, I had no idea. How do I find my one question?
You would expect that question to be answered as part of the seminar.
If it wasn’t, your one question should be “How do I get my money
back?” That said, I think the question at the heart of every person’s
life is the same: Who am I? Asked wisely this question is a scalpel
slicing away all that defines you: race, class, gender, sex, religion,
ethnicity, nationality, career, and so on to reveal the one true Self
manifesting as all life. You will know this is the right question because
the more skillfully you ask it the freer you become.