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The Sacred Worlds Series
The Universal Spirit of Islam: Keys for Interfaith Understanding
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Spiritual Poetry
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Interview with Frithjof Schuon - on Art
Who was Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa)?
How can we understand Native American traditions?
Noble Faces, Strong Voices: Exploring "The Spirit of Indian Women"
Books about Buddhism
  Every Branch in Me — Who are we as "human" beings? Back to the List of Slideshows
Every Branch in Me: Essays on the Meaning of Man,
is an anthology published by World Wisdom in 2002.
slide 1 of 19

Being born into the human state, and not some other possible state, is both a blessing and a challenge. What does it mean to fully realize  our vocation of living as human beings?

The anthology Every Branch in Me: Essays on the Meaning of Man, published by World Wisdom in 2002, focuses on the "theomorphic" nature of mankind—man created "in the image of God."

The concept of being created in the image of God is at once exhilarating, complex, and open to abuse. The essays included in this volume all address the concept in different ways and from different points of departure, but all help to make the concept more clear and more easily applied to an individual’s spiritual quest.

The title of the book is taken from one of its essays by the Swedish writer, Kurt Almqvist, who was using a phrase from The New Testament (John 15:1-2), which reads: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman (gardener). Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit."

This is a powerful metaphor. A tree has many branches, some of which realize their full potential and burst into bud, flower, and fruit, while others do not. In a human being, then, what are the 'branches that bear fruit' within each person's mind, spirit, and behavior? What are the 'branches that bear no fruit' that must be taken away? This slideshow presents some excerpts from Every Branch in Me  that are intended (1) to shed some light on these questions, and (2) to turn our thinking to the great heights and depths for which the human mind and spirit are fashioned.

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