Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
Heaven and Hell (or Big Spoons)
Author Unknown; Commentary by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
© 2011 by Will Joel Friedman,
Ph.D. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
And the Lord said to the Rabbi, "Come, I will show you Hell." They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished and desperate. Each held a big spoon that reached the pot but had a handle so long that it could not be used to reach their mouths. The suffering was terrible.
"Come, now I will show you Heaven," the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first-the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long big spoons. But, there, everyone was happy and nourished.
"I don't understand," said the Rabbi. "Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room, and everything was the same?"
The Lord smiled. "Ah, but don't you see?" he asked. "Here they have learned to feed each other.
What does it take to crack us open, specifically to crack open our compassionate hearts? Compassion, that is, to feel with another's or our own suffering, seems to be in short supply on this planet. Who wants to feel suffering, whether one's own or another's?
When we get our ego-minds out of the way, all we really care about is the well being of everyone, including ourselves. Here is where we stretch out to feed our human brother and sister, especially when oftentimes there are only big spoons with very long handles available over the long haul. If we allow ourselves to indulge in following our ego's short-term believing in illusions, in the name of comfortable self-deceit and self-deception, we lean into ruin and grief. Reaching out, everything all works for everyone.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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