"Indignity is hard to avoid when our whole economy
revolves around the creation and
fulfillment of phony needs. It is an indignity to make anything less than
an art out of your work." - Charles
"You work that you may keep pace with the
Soul of the Earth.
For to be
idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
to step out of life's procession
marching towards the infinite.
When you work the whispering of the
hours turns to music.
Which of you would be silent when all else sings
together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and
labor a misfortune.
I say to you that when you work you fulfill a
assigned to you when
that Dream was Born,
In keeping yourself with labor you are in
Truth Loving Life,
to love life through labor is to be intimate the
inmost secrets of life.
Those who see
birth as an affliction and
the flesh a curse,
I answer that naught but the sweat
of your brow shall wash that away.
You have been told also
life is darkness,
and in your
weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
I say that life is indeed darkness save when
there is desire to live,
all desire to live is blind save when there is knowledge,
and all knowledge is vain save when
there is work.
All work is empty save when there is
when you work with Compassion you bind yourself to
What is it to work with Compassion?
To weave the
cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
Even as if your Beloved were
to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with
Even as if your Beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with
tenderness and reap the Harvest with Joy,
Even as if your Beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a
song made sweeter by his own loving.
Labor is compassion made
- Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
checked creative impulse
"People want objects that are real and personal."
"I do muscular work because of have muscles; and if
I don't use my muscles I shall become a
bad tempered sitting-addict.
Westerners are mostly sitting-addicts. From the tycoon to the typist, from the
logical positivist to the positive thinker, Westerners spend nine tenths of their time on
foam rubber. Spongy seats for spongy bottoms." - Vijaya, from Island
"People are retreating from
whirlwinds of production demands and the
whirlwinds of an unstable
economy." - Barry Glassner, USCCraftsmanship offers personal satisfaction, economic stability and
As a craftsman i feel an urgency to build
objects of value and worth,
craftsman i am dedicated to providing the highest quality product and to take
the time to carefully execute each and every process .
craftsman is living a life style that includes care in all processes undertaken
and which rewards the individual with a feeling of
living a meaningful
"More individuals are going back to work with their hands
than ever before. There has been a growing renaissance in the crafts for quite
a few years." - Sam Maloof
It is unfortunate that craftsmanship has been
denigrated by the marketers of slickly packaged manufactured goods.
"Today our lifestyle is supported by our income, instead of our income
having to stay up our with our lifestyle. A one individual business is really a
life form." - Ann Reiss
A craftsman takes pride in work whereas the
laboror is there for his paycheck and may never even touch the
craftsman works on the human scale.
"Moments of elation are
counterbalanced with failures, and these, too, are vivid, taking place right
before your eyes.
With stakes that are often high and immediate, the
manual trades elicit heedful absorption in work.
They are punctuated by
moments of pleasure that take place against a darker backdrop: a keen
awareness of catastrophe as an
The core experience is one of individual
There is an ethic of paying attention that develops in
the trades through hard experience - an
The good life
comes in a variety of forms" - Matthew B. Crawford
"0 God thank you for hiding the truth
those who think themselves so wise,
and for revealing it to little
"Come to me,
all you who are weary and
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn
for I am gentle and
humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your
For my yoke
is easy and my burden is light."
His hands are miracles. I can watch them for
hours, transforming wood into something it never dreamed of being. -
"To know intimately the nature of
wood, paper, glass, sheet metal, terra
cotta, cement, steel, cast iron, wrought iron, concrete, is essential to
knowing how to use the tools available
to make use of those materials, sensibly or artfully." -
Frank Lloyd Wright
"Today more than 30% of the American workforce
needs a government license to work." - Chip Mellor 2/10
Hebrews of the era Jesus in which
lived were innovators in comprehensive universal
The majority, if
not all, were taught to read and write Hebrew.
Tannaim spread Torah by the Oral
Tradition along with the scientific
understanding first brought forward by Pharaoh Akhenaten and
embedded within the religion
of Moshe Rabbenu of unification of diverse ways of thinking through the use
of symbol systems.
The philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca remarked that
the Hebrews were the only people who
knew the reasons for their relgious faith, something which the apostle Peter
continued to commend (1 Peter 3:15).
Jesus undoubtedly received a
Hebrew education perhaps along these
lines: at 10 years of age ready for the study of the
Oral Torah, at 20 for pursuing a
vocation, at 30 for entering full
a wandering Tannaim practicing
the Hebrew Oral Tradition,
entered his ministry at about 30 years of
Jesus, trinity bound into
human flesh, channeled Three Avatars of the Creator -
The Invention of the Jewish People
The Jesus Narratives overlook the
life of Jesus between the age twelve and the beginning of his public ministry
when Jesus a became almost Tannaim two decades later.
The Jesus Narratives do say what Jesus did in that time: "Jesus left there
and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to
teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given
him, that he even does miracles! Isn't
this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph,
Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at
him." (Mark 6:1-3)
The Greek word describing Joseph's trade was "Tekton" which included
a master builder, master mason, master
carpenter and one skilled in metal technology.
more than a simple carpenter in modern
Nazareth was too small to support any sort of fulltime
Tekton, so Joseph
travelled to Sepphoris to find
employment selling his craft.
The historical city of
Sepphoris is situated four
miles from Nazareth.
Sepphoris was the largest city in
Judah outside Jerusalem.
Herod the Great had made it his Galilean Capital.
When Herod died in 3 BC his three sons were in Rome to confirm their
inheritance. While they were absent a
rebel leader named Judas attacked Sepphoris. The Roman legions soon
crushed the rebellion, burning the city and enslaved the inhabitants.
sons returned from Rome, Herod Antipas determined to rebuild the city, and he
initiated a great building program that lasted for 20 years until he moved to
Tiberias in AD 26.
Jesus was about nine years old when the construction
began, and obviously much labor from Nazareth was employed in the construction,
including Joseph and his apprentice Jesus.
Archeological evidence from
Sepphoris indicates that Greek
was the common tongue.
Jesus' familiarity with Greek usages and Greek
theater is evident.
The word hypocrite comes from a
Greek word meaning 'one who acts in a
play,' and was often used by Jesus.
Jesus of Nazareth came into
contact with Romans and
experience of both
Hebrew and Roman-Greek
culture adds light to
Anyone who has ever worked in construction recognizes that accidents
occur and those engaged in the construction activity receive injuries. Anyone
with empathy, and every intelligent employer, is versed in basic first aid for
injuries sustained in labor. Jesus, as Joseph's foreman, would have understood
basic first aid.
Philo was unsure of the etymology of
the Therapeutae which he
explained as meaning either Physicians of Souls or Servants of
According to Philo, the
Therapeutae were widely
distributed in the Ancient world, among the Greeks and beyond in the non-Greek
The term Therapeutae occurs in relation to
followers of Asclepius at Pergamon and also occurs in relation to worshipers of
Serapis in inscriptions, such as on Delos. The term therapeutikos carries in
later texts the meaning of attending to heal, or treating in a spiritual or
The Therapeutae were on the
cutting edge (no pun intended) of medical science when Jesus worked with Joseph
in Sepphoris. Jesus was taught
by the Therapeutae how to heal
injuries sustained in accidents.
Jesus the Therapeutae recognized the
healing ability of the Holy Anointing Oil of the
Hebrews and shared it with the unclean.
After Sepphoris Herod Antipas financed
an infrastructure project at
Tiberias around 19 AD, which
would have provided employment for most of the Tektons in Galilee, including
Jesus would have been paid very little, at most 2 sesterces per
When the construction at Tiberias was completed, the local job
opportunities for Tektons would have plummeted - Jesus and his co-workers would
have been thrown upon their own limited resources.
At that time Jesus
built or repaired boats by the Sea of Galilee and plows and
yokes for farmers.
majority of wandering rabbis had a trade
to support their learning and teaching and there is no reason to
doubt that carpentry may have been the
trade that supported Jesus.
The Greek writer Justin says that "Jesus
was considered to be the son of Joseph the carpenter; and Jesus appeared
without comeliness, as the Scriptures declared; and Jesus was deemed a
carpenter (for Jesus was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men,
making ploughs and yokes; by which Jesus taught the symbols of righteousness
and an active life).
In Jesus' own hometown, neighbors and passers-by
all identified Jesus, not as someone given to international travel and other
flights of fancy, but as a carpenter.
Joseph, Jesus' father, was a Tekton (Matthew 13:55), and Jesus followed
the family trade growing up. Career-hopping was rarely practiced at that time;
most sons, especially the firstborn, followed in their father's profession.
Jesus was no different.
There was a saying among the
Hebrew men in the nation of
"If you do not teach your son how to work, you teach him how to be a
Joseph and Mary were hardly wealthy, and Nazareth was a small
remote village. The family of at least 5
sons needed money to survive and construction is an honest trade .
Jesus' years as a carpenter was what made his neighbors
remember him. If he'd taken years off
to study in foreign lands, he wouldn't be recognized or remembered in such a
way - their identification with him points out that Jesus was locally known.
Carpenters at this time were highly skilled as there were so few trees
in Israel. Throughout the sermons of Jesus, there are many references to things
that a carpenter or Tekton would think about.
For example, Jesus spoke
about the "narrow gate" that we have to
go through. Jesus talked about building a
solid rock" and not "upon the shifting sand",
another concept that a good 1st century Tekton would have known about.
In a beautiful passage, in Matthew 11:29, Jesus said that his "yoke" was easy. Using carpentry skills Jesus
could make a yoke that was comfortable
for the animals. In Matthew 21:33, Jesus talked about building a tower in a
vineyard. In another place, Jesus told the parable of a king who was going to
build a tower but did not count the cost. You can see the
mind of a Tekton working here.
You have to know the expenses before you begin such a project.
was a carpenter or Tekton much longer than a
There are several things that are very significant about Jesus
profession as being a carpenter or Tekton.
Jesus spoke about a "keystone".
Jesus spoke about a
"city on a hill."
The fact that
Jesus was a carpenter, for 15 to 20 years,
emphasizes that the Creator and Sustainer respects all honorable work
that we might do, even manual labor, as a carpenter or Tekton would have been
Jesus wanted us to understand that as long as it is honest
work that we are engaged in, then any work is
respectable in the eyes of
the Creator and Sustainer.
Jesus may have unwittingly signed his death
sentence by engaging in "anti-social" behavior.
Jesus condemned the
Pharisees for engaging in
exegesis as he
recognized the nullification of Torah
the Sadducees for teaching the
worldview of the Zaddikim which nullifies life itself.
likely shared the Holy Anointing Oil of the
Hebrews with non-Hebrews, the Therapeutae and
the Pharisees disapproved of their close
scientific healing knowledge being shared with
"The breakdown of
social structures occurs when
creative individuals fail to lead through the excercise of creative power." -
"Creativity is a matter of illusion. We take raw
materials (ink, paper, memory, perspective) and fashion something that, no
matter how faithful to our experience, is a contrivance, an invention, an
elaborate shadow play. That's the
miracle - that we can believe
it at all, that these tools, imperfect as they are, can stir us into
trusting something that is, on the most basic level, not actually there." -
David L. Ulin
To sing and play an instrument, to
dance, to draw, to create beautifully crafted hand made objects from the
materials available in the environment, is
as natural a part of
being human as it is to walk, talk, and play.
The atrophy of these functions began with the advent of
the Neolithic division of labor, and accelerated as the
division of labor intensified with the
global industrial revolution, which also forged the means
to replace beautifully crafted hand made
objects with mass-produced substitutes.
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