Friday, July 15, 2011

Universal Mysticism

Understanding the Creator's Oneness (to the extent humanly possible) carries implications which logically force a reformulation of how we understand our very own existence. This newly reformulated understanding can be used to design a universal mysticism, which openly invites all humans to participate. Biblically speaking, the Creator desires all humans to relate to His Oneness. So a mysticism that centers on understanding His Oneness can become a temple for all people from varied of backgrounds and beliefs to meet, study, pray, meditate and share.

Before explaining how an attempt to understanding the Creator's Oneness lends itself to rethinking all existence along mystical terms, a brief overview of the Creator's Oneness will help us guide into the topic.

The Creator is "One", but, not in a mathematical sense. People commonly conceptualize "one" numerically. Mathematical concepts, being "creation based", are too limited to be applied to the Creator. Also, every oneness people refer to is "composite", meaning composed of parts. Being composed of parts, such oneness declares, "I may look to you like I'm one. Really I'm two, three, four or more."

Containing such an untruth dulls any composite oneness ~ rendering it too imperfect to apply to the ultimate truth and perfection, the Creator Himself. 

Examples of composite oneness are all around us. Anything in creation which we consider as being one is really a composite of parts. For the sake of convenience, let's consider how one finger is composite. One finger is composed of cells. One cell is composed of molecules. One molecule is composed of atoms. One atom is composed of subatomic particles. One subatomic particle is composed of a "beginning, middle and end". Each "beginning, middle and end" has its own "beginning, middle and end".  Even if what's subatomic is nothing more than amorphous smears of energy, they still contain some version of "beginning, middle and end". No one would refer to a finger as a truly singular entity, except to conveniently ease human communication, when it contains such a world of varied composition, .

This contrasts with the Creator's Oneness which is so inherently pure, flawless and perfect that it contains no parts, no version of multiplicity whatsoever, no "beginning, middle and end". Such divisions are finite and He's the very opposite, truly Infinite!  It's interesting how His Infinity logically extends from the idea of His true Oneness and vice versa, His Oneness logically extends from the notion of His Infinity; Demonstrating that they're complimentary ideas ~ both pointing in the same direction.

Being One and Infinite, He's all of existence or more accurately, the only existence. If there's a space anywhere in reality devoid of His Oneness and Infinity, then He can no longer truly be called, "One or Infinite",  as His Being stops somewhere, recasting Him a composite being shackled by finite constraints. Since He's One and Infinite in the most perfect possible sense, obviously this is not case. 

We see before our very eyes so much multiplicity. How does this barrage of multiplicity fit consistently with the presence of a Being Who is the only existence, as "only" excludes all else? In an oversimple sense, this would expecting to place a pebble in the exact same place occupied by a huge hulking mountain. Sorry, the mountain is in the way. Similarly, how is there room for any second entity in the exact same reality occupied by the Infinite Being?

Attempting to answer this question can become the basis for universal mysticism. The closer we come to answering this question, the closer we come to understanding the Creator's Oneness (to the extent humanly possible).  It's a lot like Einstein's discovery of the constancy of the speed of light. This discovery forced him to reformulate his understanding of time and space, leading him to develop the theories of relativity and time dilation. So too, the constancy of the Creator's Oneness (and all implied) requires us to reformulate our understanding of everything finite. This reformulated understanding leads to deeper understanding of the Oneness and finite existence,  opening our minds and hearts to mystical insight. 
 
Through the years, I've seen many question whether studying standard Jewish mysticism, known as Kabbalah, is for everyone. My stance on this issue is beyond the scope of this essay, especially since it's more complicated than a simple yes or no. However, what I am outlining here is a new mystical approach which should be free from such questioning and should be made available for everyone because it deals directly with the Creator's Oneness ~ which really is for everyone. The more a person delves into trying to relate to the Oneness, the more s/he enhances his/her observance of a Biblical commandment given to all humans.

There are a number of great rabbinic works which can serve as central hubs to begin formulating this understanding. Among them are "Duties of the Heart" - the Gate of Unity by Rabbi Bachya Ibn Pequda, "An Explanation of the Ten Sefirot" (currently, only available in Hebrew) by Rabbi Azriel of Gerona, "The Gate of Unity and Faith" by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, and "The Wellspring of Moses" (currently, only available in Hebrew) by Rabbi Moshe Schatz. Ideas can be culled from these works in order to reach and teach higher levels of Monotheism. Indeed, if done correctly this can turn into a life long study, as every inch of reality is rediscovered in the light of it's relationship to the Oneness.

Are you ready for the journey?


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