Pictured – LEFT: Dashboard St. Christopher Statue; RIGHT – Dream Catcher
Today’s podcast will feature an interview with a wonderful teacher and scholar, Rabbi Michael Barclay. We discuss God, mysticism, religion, and even astrology. He is an inspiring man, in part because he’s not preachy.
Now, some people say that religion is for idiots.
But I would ask those who think that you’re smarter than the millions of people through history who were religious, do you really believe that they’re all idiots and you criticizing them are the only smart ones?
I say be very careful what you don’t believe in, because you don’t know what’s waiting for you.
I never saw God, nor do I pretend to have any special insights. I’ve only seen snapshots or glimpses of God, not a complete movie. Images along the road of life.
I do not represent myself as a theologian or a guru. What I do have is a scrapbook of the higher power through dreams, memories, and stories, and today an interview with a pretty smart guy, Rabbi Michael Barclay.
And so let’s set the stage with a few questions: Do we last forever? Does God exist? What is the nature of God? God is about belief and faith. It is not about proving. That there is a God there exists no proof. What proof can there be? If there were firm proof, there would be no controversy. It would have been done a thousand times by now.
From St. Christopher To Dream Catchers in One Generation
This country would be a lot better if there was more God, not less God. The country is melting down. It’s total anarchy.
When I was a kid in Queens, New York, it seemed as though every other car had a Catholic owner. They had little St Christopher’s statues on the dashboard.
Well, I didn’t have one, but I kind of liked it. There were people who believed in God.
And one day I woke up, when Obama was the president, and all of a sudden there were dream catchers hanging off mirrors in cars. Now, there are so many things hanging off mirrors. I don’t know how people can see through their windshields!
Mirrors, beads, voodoo paraphernalia, all hanging off automobile mirrors.
These are perplexing times. These are times that produce anxiety.
And in our society, everyone has their own way of trying to deal with it: running, exercise, taking pills, drinking tea, meditating, pilates, sex, who knows.
These are all the things people use to calm themselves down. But prayer is a palliative. This has been with us since The Rock of Ages was written.
Prayer seems to help a lot of people. One day I opened an ancient Hebrew prayer book that a very religious man had given me. There is a one-paragraph prayer that I read for a while. It was called “Prayer Before Retiring at Night.”
What about astrology? How does that come into the picture? You may ask “Isn’t astrology or divination forbidden in the Bible?”
You will hear in the interview with Rabbi Barclay that it may not be. It depends upon who’s doing it and what they’re trying to do with it.
Some Bible Readings That Inspire Me
There’s a passage in Jeremiah 1:5 – “And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, ‘Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee. And before thou came forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee.'”
Well, I’m no prophet, but that’s kind of chilling.
Here’s another one from Genesis 41 – “And Joseph came in unto them in the morning and saw them. And behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his master’s house saying ‘Wherefore looketh thou so sad today?’ And they said unto him, ‘We have dreamed a dream. And there was none that can interpret it.’ And Joseph said unto them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God?'”
In Deuteronomy it is written, “But from thence you will seek the Lord thy God and thou shalt find him if thou search after him with all thy heart and all thy soul …” Meaning what you put in is what you get out.
And from Genesis 1:1 – “God created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.”
Whether God exists, nobody knows for sure.
But I believe that God does exist. And so do millions of people, even though we live in a godless faithless blind world.
And that is why I chose to interview a wonderful teacher on my podcast today, Rabbi Michael Barclay.
I hope you will enjoy it.