Kabbalah blah blah blah and other nonsense

by Larry Bish on March 23, 2013

I recorded a couple of guitar lesson videos last night and they each take an hour or so to upload to YouTube. While that happens I have to occupy myself away from the compulsion to check on and (more importantly) tinker with or I’ll surely click on the wrong tab, button, hyperlink or something and have to start the whole process over. I’m good at that. It can happen real fast, too. I can move through three wrong clicks to disaster in the blink of an eye. It’s like I practiced making the wrong decisions quickly. I have the occasional thought that I live alone so fewer people will know that I really shouldn’t be trusted with matches or sharp pointy instruments. It’s only through some blessed grace that I’ve lived this long and haven’t slapped a mosquito while holding a screw driver and put out my own eye.

So last night I got into the Jewish Kabbalah (which, by the way, you can do yourself here: http://www.arionline.info/index.php ) and some interesting things came up. You’ll never guess. The Jewish Kabbalah is yet another record of, and door into, the same mysteries as the Bhagavad Gita, New Testament, I Ching etc.  I don’t know why we think of them as mysteries since they are completely available to anyone who wants to know them—except, according to Tony Kosinek, the PHD teaching it in this online course, who says that these insights have remained “hidden” and “secret” for about a gazillion years and that the Kabbalahists have recently decided to unveil them–These mysterious secretes unveil the secret that only one thing exists. Wowy zowy. I don’t see what’s so mysterious about non-duality. Non-duality immediately corrects the insanity we all suffer from. Basically the message is that this idea that there are separate things from which the universe is “comprised” gives us an upside down and backwards idea of it—totally. The Kabbalah says that the creator has a plan and that plan is to make a creature and “bring that creature to unbounded enjoyment, pleasure and delight.” Hey, hey hey!. I’m here to tell you that I’m all for the Kabbalah. So what the heck happened to the Jews with their Old Testament? Well, never mind, they made up for all that with that Kabbalah—but they kept it secret for long enough, don’t you think? As always, things jumped out at me but the general ideas have become pretty familiar. Here’s one:

In the language of the Kabbalah, the problem of good vs. evil is a problem for man because he makes it a problem. “Man cannot understand the events in his life because man rejects half of everything that happens”

I was just reading in Hubert Benoit’s book, The Supreme Doctrine, how enlightened Zen masters no longer see something that looks unfortunate, say, the tsunami that killed 400,000 people as necessarily a bad thing—it’s just a thing. If you could read minds and you were on the trading floor of Wall Street that day you’d come away confused. Trying to make sense of the world is like trying to see light by looking deeply into darkness (ACIM text). There is no sense to be made here if you ask me. So what am I doing, then? Well, heck, Hoss, I’m trying to get out of here. What are you doing?

Many books and many articles, and many psychology classes have passed since I first came to suspect that I have no idea who or what I might be. The older I get the better I see how this crucial information, were it available to everyone, would, more than any other development, any other discovery, invention, law, pill, alien visitation or religious swoon, align humanity more closely with everything. Sometimes stating something in a negative can better express an idea like this; so let’s do it. Our nature, our essential character, our core essence, cannot be described because it does not have a structure, it has no characteristics but one, it has no elements or attributes but one, it is not like anything because it is all there is. Science hasn’t really discovered anything so much as it has corroborated what was already known to individuals throughout history, a few of whom for whatever reason tried to tell others.

Words poorly serve the purpose of helping us regard our true self because words belong to the world of dualism. They need comparison and contrast to work. Words are like everything else in the world of form in that they only arbitrate between opposing forces, they only work one phenomenon against another. If we lean too heavily on them and regard them as the measure of validity we will discard anything that transcends them or the reality to which they belong. If that to which they belong only presents a reflection of truth we disregard truth in favor of a reflection of it. This observation about words would, by itself stand as an introduction to the problems we face in knowing ourselves, but if we decide to search for our nature, that is, if we decide we want to know ourselves directly, the complexity of that task grows exponentially in that we realize eventually that complexity itself represents that which most effectively conceals us from ourselves. Truth, efficiency, effectiveness, peace, calm, what we would recognize as love, lies in simplicity and simplicity always lies beneath, buried by, complexity. Progress proceeds only downward. Movement only moves away from truth. What we think of as evolution only evolves toward catastrophe. No final pinnacle exists other than disaster which eventually reverses a downward spiral. This does not happen in time because there is no time in eternity; it does not happen in space because space only exists in relation. I guess I find it interesting that the Kabbalah seems to contain this same idea. I had no clue what the Kabbalah was all about except that I once saw a TV show wherein a woman made a mud copy of her dead husband and brought it to life with Kabbalah magic. It didn’t turn out well, as I recall.

I don’t want to argue with anyone’s experience. If the world you make up satisfies you yay for you. I don’t have a stake in changing anyone in any way. That seems to me what religions want to do (desperately, by some appearances). I think about how I’ve come to see why this persona I present to the world as myself feels fraudulent. But what can we do? I cannot unring the bell of the me I live in the world through. I have to go on.


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