#3477 - Friday, March 20, 2009 - Editor: Jerry
"Imagine the great shabbat, the great resting and relinquishment,
that could unfold if we really believed that all concepts are masks." -Jay
Here are some excerpts from a new article by Jay
Michaelson, author of the soon to be published, Nondual Judaism. He
speaks about the 2012 phenomenon, Ken Wilber, the messianic age, and
Transformation of Consciousness as Messianic Age: A Kabbalistic
Imagine a world in which everyone understood that all of us are God. Not
one in which each person thought he or she was God alone -- that would be
disaster. But one in which the nonduality of Being was understood, in some form
or fashion, by all human beings. This would be an entirely different world from
the one we now inhabit, free of the conflicts and crises, petty and grotesque,
which fill our moment. And imagine what it would be like, right now, to believe
that, as Ramana Maharshi has said, "civilization . . . will finally resolve
itself, as all others, in the Realization of the Self" (Talks, p. 256).
Such a time is, of course, far-off. But this conception of the historical
evolution of consciousness helps contextualize, explain, and enliven the
development of religious consciousness from its most primitive to its most
The messianic age is already unfolding, in this interpretation, and the
gradual emergence and dissemination of nonduality is among its signal phenomena.
The wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov's teachings have indeed spread out
throughout the world; they are already flowing on every continent and in every
city with unrestricted access to the internet. This changes things.
...if a transformation in spiritual consciousness is to take place -- in
2012 or otherwise -- it must by definition be an inclusive, integral, and
non-triumphalistic one. In contrast to adolescent images of God (or gods),
nondualistic integral messianism does not exclude other traditions and does not
depict "earlier" stage religious experiences as variously imperfect
approximations of this one true one. No patronizing allegorization of myth and
narrative. No reductive confusion of the prerational with the transrational.
Neither the offensively naive privileging of mythic-stage gender roles, nor the
erasure of mythic power in the attempt at egalitarianism.
Utopian ideal? Exactly -- and that is exactly the function of the messianic
urge, here reconfigured away from nationalism, triumphalism, and
supernaturalism, and toward the dawning of realization on earth. Will everyone
be Christian or Gnostic or Jewish in the messianic age? Will a magical chariot
descend from the sky? Of course not -- that misses the entire point. Rather, the
nondual wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov's (and many other) teachings will water
a thousand plants in Eden, a biodiversity of spirit which, as in ecology,
nourishes the whole by supporting difference. Consciousness will shift until
such a point at which even the lion may lie down with the lamb.
We don't have to wait until 2012 to begin doing this work. Imagine the
great shabbat, the great resting and relinquishment, that could unfold if we
really believed that all concepts are masks. Our certainties and pronouncements
would be interrupted by little notes of uncertainty, of unknowing, of
remembering that the mystery lies beyond our grasp and that even sacred totems
are only best efforts. We return, perhaps unexpectedly, to a state of
wonder-both at the One and at the Many. Speedily, in our days . . .
Read the full article: