"Habits are not neutral. Habits automate our desire and action without conscious recognition, amounting to some of our dispositions being acquired unintentionally. Research by Bargh and Chartrand shows that “the development of most acquired forms of automaticity (i.e., skill acquisition) depends on the frequent and consistent pairing of internal responses with external events.” Some such acquisition of automatic dispositions and tendencies happens “intentionally,” that is, we choose to learn them by ritual practice. But as one continues to engage in the practice over time, gradually more and more becomes “sublimated” or taken care of by the unconscious. Whether we intentionally participate in or unintentionally just find ourselves immersed in a practice over time, the result is the same: we “automatically” respond the way we’ve been conditioned. In this way, what might seem to be thin practices can actually be thick ones, aiming our desire at (sometimes, antithetical) different ends."
James KA Smith, Desiring the Kingdom, pg 83 (via lukexvx)
"Then when G-d asks [Cain], ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ he arrogantly responds, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’
In essence, the entire Bible is written as an affirmative response to this question."
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy (via mermaideleh)