SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
20
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom/ The Transformation of Work

Actual Text: "There is no hope for immortality through riches."

Response: This part, taken from the scriptures caught my eye because it is a reality that I try to remember daily. Ever since I was young my parents stressed the need to give what you can and never be greedy; simply because at the end of the day, you can't take your riches, or treasures with you. It also makes me think about the ancient Egyptians and how they actually would bury the pharaohs in tombs with their treasures for the journey to the afterlife. But I think the riches that lead to immortality are those within the spirit and soul that come from the Freedom discussed in this passage.

Actual Text reading 2 "And what will happen now that everyone else in the world wants to be just like us, with our three televisions, two cars, and a personal monthly energy bill greater than the annual income per capita of some poor countries? Can the planet sustain us, or are the three-legged frogs now cropping up in fresh water ponds all over America one of many warning signs that it cannot?"

Response: This text reminded me of the stuff video we watched in regards to the statistic that we would need three to five more worlds if everyone produced like America. Therefore, like the odd three legged frogs and other elements like global warming and an absurd rise in natural catastrophe's I do not think this world can support anymore than it is now. And even at the rate it is currently producing waste it may not last much longer so to think of others copying this trend of wastefulness is horrifying.

Write comment now Authorin: JBlasl Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:17 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Actual Text 1: “Therefore let the wise one strive after Freedom, giving up all longing for sensual self indulgence; approaching the good, great Teacher (the Higher Self), with soul intent on the object of the training. (Page 2)
Response 1: This part of the article really sets the stage for the feel of what the rest of the reading will be about. It discusses how it is the wise men that strive after Freedom. It is discussed how rites cannot lead to Freedom, as the scripture says, “There is no hope of immortality through riches”. I found this all to be increasingly interesting. Seeing as we live in such a world that is full of rites and riches, does this mean we are far from being wise? It almost seems to me that our 21st century lifestyle is doing the exact opposite of striving after Freedom. After reading this I felt as though we are under the impression that wise men/women surround us but this gave me a dismal outlook. It seems as though the majority strive after self-indulgence and are far from being wise or free.

Actual Text 2: “A net of words is a great forest where the fancy wanders; therefore the reality of the Self is to be strenuously learned from the knower of that reality.” (Page 6)
Response 2: At first this quote was hard for me to understand. After reading it a few times I began to wrap my mind around this concept. This is the Master answering the pupil’s questions. The pupil asks a series of questions regarding the connection between the self and not-self. “What causes it? And how can one be free?...What is not-Self and what is the Higher self? And how can one discern between them?” The “fancy wanders” to me are representative of the rich with their technology that distracts them from reality. Our reality is however we wish to perceive it. There is a hint of anxiety in the second half of the quote. There is almost a sense of urgency to find our reality and ourselves but should there be? We have to use the wise to help us ground ourselves in reality and open our eyes to ourselves.

Write comment now Authorin: Alyssa Mattocks Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:41 am
20
November
2013

Jewelcrest of Wisdom-McGinley

Text 1: Chief among the, causes of Freedom is devotion, the intentness of the soul on its own nature. Or devotion may be called intentness on the reality of the Self

Response 1:
I interpreted this text as expressing the importance of practicing good habits. Ultimately what will bring you closer to your actual self and your highest self is living in ways that will bring about wisdom. Through the practices of freedom, passion, restfulness, and self control one will be able to find their devotion of their true self true self. There true self is this concept of wisdom, which will form as a guide for your own life. Respecting the teacher and trusting your faith are an important aspect of finding your own wisdom. All of these are help find the "reality of self".

Text 2:
"Sprinkle me with thy nectar voice that brings the joy of eternal bliss, pure and cooling, falling on me as from a cup, like the joy of inspiration; for I am burnt by the hot, scorching flames of the world's fire."

Response 2:
This part of the text is one of my favorite lines. I think this is because it is something that I can relate to. I interpreted this as someone yearning for good, positive vibes. There is so much that is bad in the world, so much bad news. Sometimes people need to be "showered" with something good in order to be inspired. The reoccurring themes of violence and injustice sometimes play a large factor into our own self. In order to reach our full potential sometimes we need to be exposed, or enlightened to the good in the world.

Write comment now Authorin: Madeline McGinley Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:26 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (Jeff)

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's."

Response 1: I read this line several times before I could fully understand it. I can agree with this because I think there are things in life that have to be learned alone and through experiences not by a teacher. There are many things a teacher can teach you, but only you can learn the truth about yourself and the world around you.

Text 2: "The Eternal is real, the fleeting world is unreal;--this is that Discernment between things lasting and unlasting."

Response 2: I think this directly relates to the materialism we always talk about in class. Things that are eternal like love, faith, and friendship are lasting and "real" they are what we need in life. But things like money, goods, and status is fleeting and unlasting, it is not necessary for enlightenment.

Write comment now Author: Jeff Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:25 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's"

Response 1: Immediately when I read this quote, I thought of our class. Our grades are not determined by tests or essays or typical ways that a teacher grades a student, but by our ability to speak on the topic and think critically and thoughtfully. I have learned so much in our class not only from of our weekly readings, but more importantly from the insights of others in class. A grade cannot be truly put on what someone learns, it is unquantifiable. This quote parallels the theory behind our midterm and final exam because it promotes that we learn for our own good and personal growth, not just for the grade our teacher gives us. When we stop worrying about our grade, essentially being judged by others, that is when we learn the most.

Text 2: "Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction, but not by bathing, nor gifts, nor a hundred holdings of the breath. Success demands first ripeness; questions of time and place are subsidiary."

Response 2: I particularly resonate with this ideology because I whole-heartedly believe in the power of spiritual development and analysis. One of my favorite quotes by Socrates is "the unexamined life is not worth living", and I believe that as a young adult, I am in a great period of discernment. I feel I will always be in some sort of state of discernment because of our lives' uncertainty. Personally I find examining my life on a regular basis helps me find a greater meaning behind why I do what I do, the people in my life, etc. Self-examination is one of the most important parts of becoming dura personalis, or the whole person.

Write comment now Authorin: lmcgowan2 Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:46 am
20
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

Actual Text 1
"Let the seeker after self-knowledge find the Teacher (the Higher Self), full of kindness and knowledge of the Eternal."

Response 1
This piece of text really stood out to me because in order to understand and figure out its meaning, I had to re-read it a couple times. My interpretation of this quote is that in order to figure out who we are and the type of person we want to be, it is necessary to examine your life at its current state. To me, the Higher Self signifies the best person we can be and fulfilling our ultimate potential. In order to live a life we are proud of we must root our knowledge in the fundamentals of kindness and compassion for others. When we align our current state of mind with our ultimate potential then we will be united with our Higher Self.


Text2
"The Eternal is real, the fleeting world is unreal;--this is that Discernment between things lasting and unlasting"

Response2
This quote in the reading caught my attention because I think it is pertinent in understanding the difference between things that are actually important in life and things that just seem important. The word "fleeting" could be used to show that material items are just here for the moment and will not last. However, things like love for our family and friends will always be eternal and will stay with us. This life on Earth is not permanent and when we eventually move on to an afterlife, we must hold onto the things that will last and have a deeper meaning to our lives.

Write comment now Authorin: Alexa Mancuso Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:29 am
19
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (Doyle)

Text 1: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's."

Response 1: This quote spoke to me as I believe it pertains to the current educational system. Beginning at a young age, we are structured to adhere to what the teacher says and to treat this person like he or she is some ethereal creature that is not of Earth. A teacher is simply someone who has received a certification to teach after passing a certain number of classes and taken a certain number of qualifying tests. Just like our teachers took tests from their teachers, we take tests given by our teachers. What I am trying to do here is display how level the playing field actually is. I believe that a student's ability to gain insight and be truly educated is inhibited by the instilled fear that the student has of their "superior" instructor in the front of the class behind the computer, which they use to show powerpoint slides that they use for an inordinate amount of years in a row because it is convenient. The most important things I have learned in life have been on my own merit and through my own experiences. That is the truest form of education.

Text 2: "Sickness is not cured by saying 'Medicine,' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the Eternal without discerning the Eternal."

Response 2: This quote pertains to truth and how many people are facades in the face of it. Anyone can go to Church on Sunday and volunteer at a soup kitchen once in their life. We can sing the hymns in mass, but that will get us nowhere. In order to cure us of sickness or of our sins, we must put into practice the words of the hymns into everyday life. I like to think of Church as a report card. Sunday after Church until next Sunday's mass is our proverbial "work week," whereby we must practice the teachings that we sing at mass. Each Sunday we can reflect on the past week and discern how we can improve time after time until we achieve true salvation.

Write comment now Author: Rdoyle5 Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:22 pm
19
November
2013

The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom (John Treseler)

Fact 1
But when these two-- Dispassion and longing for Freedom-- are lacking, then Restfulness and other graces are a mere appearance, like water in a desert.

Reflection 1
This line stood out to me, especially after the explanation of dispassion. Early it is described at a perpetual willingness to give up all sensual self-indulgences. This is something preached commonly, but in this reading it came differently. Here I saw it in relation so many at Fordham, myself included. I realized that even yesterday, how many times my friends, teachers and myself fell victim to falling for indulgences for ourselves. Even as I sit here now I don't know that I am pursuing dispassion, but it is now more clear. It is hard to describe the way that I now understand dispassion, but the few lines on the second and third page articulated in a way that I was able to relate it to my life and those around me.

Fact 2
Sickness is not cured by saying 'medicine' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the eternal without discerning the eternal.

Response 2
This passage on how to find and achieve the eternal is something well put. The analogy between just saying medicine and taking it works very well, although I would talk it a step further. I would say that if there was sick and talked about taking medicine it does nothing, just as talking about being a better person and finding your true self. You must take the medicine as you must act in a way to find your better self.

Write comment now Author: jtreseler1 Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:43 pm
19
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom

Text 1: "Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction, but not by bathing, nor gifts, nor a hundred holdings of the breath. Success demands first ripeness; questions of time and place are subsidiary."

Response 1: I took this as having to work for what you want. It's like trying to clarify your ultimate concern through the best ways possible and not by taking the easy way out. Taking time to do tasks will help to gain the knowledge that everyone desires. However, I don't think the knowledge referred to here is book smarts, rather its what you know about life and ultimately about God because anyone could examine enough material to have knowledge. Life, on the other hand, takes experiences that need to be examined and clearly seen before coming to a conclusion about it.

Like knowledge success does not come easily. It too needs to be worked for and not mediocrity, rather all energy and time must be consumed. When success arrives is a different matter because there is no set time or place for when it can happen.

Relating this to fair trades, I guess it can mean that fair trades may be slow right now, but in the long run it will pay off and benefit those involved in it. The Artisans currently involved would be better off than they are now if they stay honest and keep the morals they have. From what I got out of this was knowledge is key but it takes a while before all knowledge can be acquired. The same applies with fair trades; if everyone knew about it they'd be more likely to contribute, but not everyone knows what fair trades is that is why it is still not rising as fast as it can.

Text 2: "The raising of the mind above external things; that is true Withdrawal."

Response 2: I think people are too obsessed with material objects these days that they can't see past that. Happiness in today's society for a lot of people derive from getting a good job and money and then consuming high-end products. I compare it with being stuck underwater and not being able to break free. Of course society is to blame for this because that's where the trends start. If more community service and volunteering could be done a change could occur in society. People would be able to "rise above the water" because they'd see what's truly happening and make a difference. Money would be consumed in a better way - donating, for example- instead of buying a material object that would last only temporarily. In contrast, helping someone would last a much longer time on the inside.

Write comment now Authorin: fanezaj Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:06 pm
19
November
2013

The Jewelcrest of Wisdom

Jewelcrest of Wisdom, Quote 1: "Sickness is not cured by saying 'Medicine,' but by drinking it. So a man is not set free by the name of the Eternal without discerning the Eternal.”

This quote really stood out to me, because it addresses paying lip-service versus taking something in and believing in it. This applies to spirituality, obviously in this context, but it also applies to many other areas of life. It is easy to say you want something, or that you intend to do something, but to find real success, you have to take the idea into yourself fully.

Quote 2: "The knowledge of the real by the eye of clear insight is to be gained by one's own sight and not by the teacher's. / The moon's form must be seen by one's own eyes; it can never be known through the eyes of another.”

This is a great quote, especially as some of us are graduating soon… That’s not really the intent of the passage, but I think it’s especially fitting now that we’ve spent so much time being told what the world will hold for us in the future. As everyone packs up and heads into the world described by everyone (teachers, peers, friends) they will have to see the world and make decisions for themselves.

Write comment now Authorin: Stacie Schwartz Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:23 am
19
November
2013

The Crest Jewel of Wisdom

"Sons and kin can pay a father's debts, but none but a man's self can set him free."
A man's freedom or wisdom rely on himself and his own actions; people cannot rely on others to free themselves of anything more than material goods. Through freeing oneself of non materialistic debts and burdens, people are more able to act wisely and avoid attaining more material burdens.


"Through information, digging, and casting aside the stones, a treasure may be found, but not by calling it to come forth."
I liked this particular phrase because it talks about how good things don't come easily. If one wants to make something, a treasure for example, one has to work for it, not simply hope for it to happen and sit back waiting for the world to bring treasures forward. Most things worthwhile require hard work and dedication as well as goal setting and dreaming, but by simply dreaming, one cannot really achieve anything of any value or importance.

Write comment now Authorin: Natilombana Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:12 am
19
November
2013

work as a spiritual practice

text:1 "The Buddha's core message is that human nature is not fixed".

I found this to be very interesting, yet rather controversial. Sure, some people can act against what people find to be human nature--and do great things because of it--but for a society as a whole, I'm not sure its possible. We can see that many Utopian visions, ideas that work out perfectly in theory, disintegrate in practice because not enough people can truly go against primal instincts to optimize themselves, even if it is at the expense of others. I don't mean to say that humans are innately bad, or selfish, but when it comes to our performance, we are certainly a little prideful. If this is a good or a bad thing, some times it is difficult to tell.

text 2

"People in the World's emerging nations may need to have their three televisions and two cars long enough to assure themselves that these luxuries are not the be all end all of human existence"

I actually really enjoy this quote. I think it perfectly describes a part humanity's flaws. We all like to think that the grass is greener on the other side. People in emerging nations see our wealth, and they want it. However, there are people in America who see the simpler lives of those in emerging markets and yearn for the days when everything was simpler and did not seem so profit driven. I'd like to think that there is a balance, as there is with almost everything else in life. There has to be a middle ground where the majority of people on Earth have access to at least basic commodities, so that they are comfortable, yet no one is overconsuming because an advertising agency told them to. In this middle ground is where I feel people will be the happiest

Write comment now Author: lucasaleone Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:28 am
19
November
2013

“Work as a Spiritual Practice” and “The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom”

“Is it possible to imagine a world where we can expect to make more than a living, to find not just necessity in our work but joy as well?”

As the fall semester of my senior year comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on some of the decisions I have made. Have I accomplished everything I hoped to? Have a taken advantage of all of the opportunities I was given? How can I make the most of the next semester? Am I going to be happy in the path I have chosen after graduation? I feel it is important to do things because you enjoy them and not simply because it is something on our to do list. I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with things such as my RA position and being on the cross country team until I remind myself that I do these things because I love them and while it does help financially pay for my education, if I did not enjoy it, I would find another way to finance my education and be happy. I feel this is something I will constantly need to re-access as I move onto life after college.

“His spiritual awakening began when he realized that all his wealth and power could not provide him with true happiness.”

I would say that I grew up in a family where we were comfortable; we most definitely had enough money to live and do the things we love but were most certainly not able to take yearly vacations to travel the world or eat at fancy restaurants every night of the week. When I came to Fordham, I soon realized that this was not the case for everyone. A lot of students here have been given their ‘happiness’ through money. Even some of my closest friends cannot understand why I talk to my parents everyday or why I look forward to returning home but for me, this is where my true happiness lies. I often find it difficult to be friends with someone whose happiness is made my owning the latest fashion trend or iPhone model rather than by spending time with family and friends. I consider myself very lucky and truly blessed to have been given a life where I am able to value more than just the things money can buy.

“Knowledge is gained by discernment, by examining, by instruction”

I felt that this quote related to one of our missions as a Fair Trade class. Though we do staff the cart with the hopes of selling items, we are also staffing the cart to create a presence and an opportunity for students to learn about the meaning of Fair Trade. The knowledge and expansion of Fair Trade is not going to be grasped by simply purchasing items, you need to hear from someone about the value of your purchase so the next time you chose better Fair Trade and not Fair Trade, you choose Fair Trade.

Write comment now Authorin: Shannon McKenna Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:37 am
19
November
2013

Nov 19th: Crest Jewel of Wisdom

-The Crest Jewel of Wisdom is a story where a person is asking what seems to be God numerous questions, and getting answers. These questions are about oneself, freedom, how to act, etc. The story starts out with the verses that talk about four perfections, and the wise setting the standards for what these perfections are.
-This piece was hard for me to follow. It took me a few times to understand what was happening, but I thought some of the questions by the man were very interesting. There were also other sentences that I thought were good and thought provoking. For instance, the idea “an honest confidence in the teaching and the teacher;--this is that faith by which the treasure is gained.” I like this quote because I think it is true. A person needs to be able to trust what and whom they are learning from in order to get the most out of it. This, I feel, is part of having faith in those around you.

-“The moon’s form must be seen by one’s own eyes; it can never be known through the eyes of another.”
-This quotation stuck out to me because it seems to be talking about interpretations. When I read this I thought the person was saying that you must always look at things for yourself, and that you will never see something exactly the same as another person. I am not sure exactly how the moon is involved, but I think the meaning behind it has to do with seeing things on your own and in your own way.

Write comment now Authorin: vmcal Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:36 am
19
November
2013

Work as a Spiritual Practice

Actual Text #1:

Organizations and societies are the sum total of all the individuals in them. To transform one person is to begin the process of transforming many people. If our modern workplace is to become more humane, caring and devoted… and less obsessed with the short-term efficiency and profit, then that larger transformation must begin one person at a time.

Response #1:

This is a very important statement to look at because we all greatly contribute to the well-being of society and our world whether we realize it or not. If you look at Kant’s universality, you can see that if one person is not looking out for the well-being and progress of everyone then the system will not work. In order to create great monumental change we need everyone working on themselves individually and for the greater good of all. It will not make things different over night, but treating everyone as ends, rather than means to an end, will create a huge difference.

Actual Text #2:

Our consumer society is based on the premise that it is, that any human desire worth having is worth fulfilling.

Response #2:

When looking at this statement, it is clear that we are directly at the heart of most if not all problems in society. We can blame it on external sources, but it is internally within ourselves that we feel like we are entitled to so much more than we really are. We are constantly always wanting more and never fully satisfied. It is a sad reality, if we can not recognize that its our thoughts and actions that are having a global effect on everything then we will continue to harm ourselves and our planet one day at a time. We somehow think that power, wealth, and material things buy you a good happy life but that is not true. You can full your life with excess products and frills but that will only mask your real internal happiness. Happiness comes from having meaningful conversations and enjoying the simplicity of being in your own skin, being loved, and having just the bare necessities.

Write comment now Authorin: sgostiguy Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:47 am
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