DescriptionIn this recording within the We Believe series, Howard Thurman reflects upon the negro spiritual, "There is a Balm in Gilead." Rather than echoing the moan of the prophet Jeremiah, this song provides an answer to the prophet's cries. Rather than asking," Is there a balm in Gilead," Thurman notes that the early singers of this spiritual are affirming that there is indeed a balm in Gilead. From Thurman's perspective, this balm is the moral law which rests within all of humanity. Moral law is the restraint one has in themselves to take the raw material of pessimism and transform it into optimism.
In this recording within the We Believe series, Howard Thurman builds upon his previous reflection upon the negro spiritual, "There is a Balm in Gilead." Here, he echoes the words from his professor and mentor, George Cross, when he remarks, "The contradictions in life are not final and ultimate." Here, Thurman is asserting that when one conceptualizes life as static, one is imprisoning oneself; however, when one conceptualizes life as dynamic, one is pursuing a life of freedom and fullness. Thurman explains to the listener that in this dynamistic perspective, one finds the energy and strength that is associated with optimism; thus, one is able to find tools to heal.
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