Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Spiritual Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer, who just died, was descended from Lithuanian Jews, talmidei chachomim and rabbis on his mother's side. It goes without saying that his life choices indicate, at best, indifference to religious belief. But I once read something of his that immediately seized my attention, and which, after several years, I often contemplate. Nikarim divrei emes. The lightning-like flash and power of his spiritual perceptiveness and yofi hamelitza deserve recognition.

“Suppose the unconscious has a root in the hereafter which our conscious mind does not. If so, it will have deeper notions about death than we do. Let us then dare to surmise that the unconscious is on close, even familial, terms with that most elusive presence in the conscious mind— our soul.”

- Norman Mailer, in his article “Birds and Lions”, The New Yorker, December 23, 2002.

If Norman Mailer could realize this, then you and I ahl achas kamma ve'kamma.

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