Last night at my brother's house, I ate apples and honey to usher in a sweet New Year. Today, the first day of 5769 in the Jewish calendar, I meditated on the word Shalom. It has three translations: hello, goodbye and peace.
Om. This is the world I usually meditate on. It's a sacred and mystical symbol in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religions, written on the tongues of children in honey when they are born. Most say it means truth. In Tamil, it means 'yes, yes it is.'
Are the parallels lost on you?
Joseph Campbell spent his entire life writing The Golden Bough, thirteen volumes outlining the similarities between religions. Someone should have made that mandatory reading. How have we reached the place of seeing only the differences between religions, to the point where shalom is thought to be unattainable and war in god's name has become a just cause?
We have lost the taste of honey on our tongues -- the taste of love and compassion --and replaced it with the bitter taste of fear.