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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The componants of man

In Orot HaTechiya Rav Kook describes three separate forces that are to be found in any individual or culture at any point in world history:

The Three Forces

1) Holy, religious force. Man's relationship with G-d and the basic spiritual building blocks of man.

2) Nationalist force. This force motivates people to try and better their own communities and to prefer the advancement of their own group over the groups of others.

3) Humanist, Ethical force. This force ignores all considerations of group. It sees only the inherit equality of mankind as individuals.

While a harmonious coexistence of these forces is theoretically possible, quite often we find that these forces oppose one another in fundamental ways. For example, the ethical humanist often has big problems with the nationalist and vice-versa. The religious mystic will often want to separate themselves from society while the humanist will often be opposed to the religious/mystical experience as being opposed to man's primarily ethical mission (bein adam lechaveiro). In other words, each one of these forces in their extreme state is lacking and can not be the source of healthy life.

In a later post, we will discuss what different methods there are to find equilibrium between these three forces and how this fits in to our current societal context.