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By Maurice S. Friedman

Drawing on nearly part a century of immersion within the world's nice religions, Friedman takes a dialogical strategy wherein non secular fact isn't obvious as exterior creed and shape or as subjective notion, yet because the assembly in openness, presentness, immediacy, and mutuality with final truth. faith has to do with the wholeness of human lifestyles.

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Similarly the most famous statement of trust in the Book of Job-"He may slay me. I await it:'-is followed by the statement, "But I will argue my ways to his face. This is my comfort, that a hypocrite cannot corne before him:' To bring each new situation into the dialogue with God means both faithfulness and contending. There can be no question here of ''blind faith:' When Kierkegaard made the story of Abraham's temptation to sacrifice Isaac the very paradigm of unquestioning obedience, he disregarded the story that appears just two chapters earlier in Genesis.

One's actions begin as gross and become subtle so that one is not aware of them. Yet they have their effect, whether for good or for evil. So to the Hindu, the old argument about means and ends is radically transformed. Everything has its effect: if one uses a good means it will have a good effect; if one uses a bad means, it will have a bad effect. The aim is not merely the piling up of external structures, moreover, but is inner spiritual growth and enlightenment. One's reason, one's motivation, one's relation to an action determine its very nature, quality, and effectiveness.

5 Remaining at the center of one's being does not mean turning away from one's fellows, as in so many other mysticisms, but responding to them from that very core. ''A sound man's heart is not shut within itself/ But is open to other people's hearts:' It means too recognizing that people do not possess fixed character-good or evil, honest or dishonest-but that the way in which I approach them, the way in which I allow the Tao to flow between myself and them frees them to possibilities of goodness, trust, and openness, just as my mistrust and categorizing makes it difficult for them to break out of habitual modes of dishonesty and mistrust.

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