Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome aboard

Dear JLI Student,

Often, we find ourselves making the same resolutions year after year. Whether we are trying to lose weight or to eliminate our credit card debt, it seems that over time, our resolve weakens and we find ourselves in the same unproductive patterns over and over again.

What is it that we really want? The healthier weight or the delicious chocolate chip cookies? The debt reduction or the new fur coat? Why are we so often conflicted? And why does change feel so difficult?

Our upcoming fall course, Soul Maps, will grapple with these questions. Together, we will explore the nature of our motivation and drives and attempt to understand our internal makeup.

But to discuss this subject intelligently, we need the vocabulary and language to be able to think about these important issues. Freud gave us the language to talk about the psyche with terms like id, ego, and superego. We will need to use different language to speak meaningfully about the soul.

It is my great pleasure to warmly welcome you to Soul Maps. I look forward to our weekly sessions over the next six weeks, and I hope that our journey proves meaningful and enlightening for us all.

Rabbi Shmuly Altein

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