Exercise 25: Pardes

Background: There are many approaches to reading scripture.  Some of these arise within a specific tradition.  It can be interesting to explore these practices’ interelations.  For example, the Jewish practice of Pardes has interesting paralells to Christian Lection Divina.

Before beginning this exercise, you will want to have preselected a text.  Most often, this would be a work of holy scripture.  In my experience, a passage between 1 paragraph and 2 pages works best.

Spiritual Exercise

  1.  Breathe.  Release your obligations and responsibilities for the time being.
  2.  Read the passage once through.  On this reading, in your mind, explore the literal meaning of the words you read.
  3. Breathe slowly in through the nose and out the mouth.
  4. Reread the passage.  Explore the allegorical, symbolic meaning of the words in the passage.
  5. Breathe slowly in through the nose and out the mouth.
  6. Read the passage again.  This time, look for a precedent.  Consider the occurrences that this reminds you of.  These related events might be other passages in the same text; it might be other things you have read.  It might be reminders from other aspects of your life.
  7. Look for a hidden and new meaning to the text.  This might be a result of considering the 3 levels of meaning at the same time.  It might result from God’s action in your heart as you attempt to go deeper.
  8. Spend some time with God, thanking God for this new understanding.

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One thought on “Exercise 25: Pardes

  1. Pingback: You Are Welcome Here. | The Faith-ing Project

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