posted on Jan, 15 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Have you ever felt that you are more than you are? That in an odd and inexplicable way, you are not the person who inhabits your body - the face you
see in the mirror, the name you were given or the voice you hear when you speak - that although it is "You", it is a "relative" you. In a very odd
and strange way, we are all actors - or a refracted piece of consciousness - inhabiting a fixed and individualized existence?
Obviously, I'm not going to go to the extreme and say "I am not me", because I AM me, and no one can ever be me. But simultaneously - and
paradoxically - I am aware that I am more than me. Sometimes when I see myself in a certain situation and become aware of the way that I am acting, or
a feeling I am having, or a convention I am following, I become aware of the relativity of it all.
Fundamentally, reincarnation implies a consciousness that is separate and different from the various 'bodies' and personalities it 'incarnates'.
What is real and lasting is the consciousness, that sense of deeper awareness impossible to give adequate expression to, but it is there, and it is
real. The part that feels "fake", or rather, that part which envelops the essence of what you are, is the personality, the "Michael", or "Jim"
or "Vanessa" - the person you are, the memories you have, the feelings you feel, the conventions you follow, all of which happen so automatically
and give you the impression of "a real life" of being that individual, but when you've experienced this "depersonalization" of consciousness from
individuality, can make everything normally followed seem so pointless and trite.
This higher state I'm referring to I think would correspond to the whats referred to in philosophy as the Godhead - a state completely beyond any
individualization and limitation to any one form. All of reality can be reduced to this one primal foundation. In Judaism, it's called the Ein Sof
(the infinite) in Islam, al-Haqq (the ultimate truth), In Christianity, the "father" (as distinct from the holy spirit and the son), in Hinduism,
Experience of this higher state motivates various responses; Some renounce the world, and become ascetics. And some people will turn nihilistic,
because life begins to lose all seriousness, and becomes somewhat of a game. The Greeks approached reality in this sense by considering reality either
as a Comedy or Tragedy - a conception completely foreign to that of the Hebrews.
As opposed to the Tragedy and Comedy of the Greeks - a position I might add is psychologically valid from a particular viewpoint, the Hebrews saw this
world in a much more holistic way. Instead of man suffering in solitude and isolation from the essence of his being - the Godhead - the Hebrews
believed this world to be an emanation and continuation of the divine being. Despite mans refraction and existence as a separate being, according to
the Hebrew declaration of faith, YHVH (the essence of the being of creation) is Elohim (the powers of creation, nature, limitation, finitude). Man's
purpose was to bring the divine being into this world through his remembrance of his origin - the fact of his creation, the fact of this worlds advent
from nothingness, it's sheer alienation from the source.
The alienation from the source if allowed to happen because of the sin of idolatry, which hardens our perception of this world into a thing different
and separate from the original being. True, there is a contradiction here. The Godhead is nothingness and cannot, in principle, be conditioned by any
one particular form. Therefore the world of manifestation, multitude - creation, according to most traditions, is fundamentally inferior and exterior,
to the Absolute - the Godhead.
This is what confused ancient philosophers about Judaism. Judaism, they said, was respectable inasmuch as it's God was abstract - beyond
representation. Yet, despite this philosophically sophisticated conception of deity, the Jews simultaneously stressed the importance of rituals and
law. The former is so light, while the latter is heavy. These two concepts do not jibe, and so, rationally, the Greeks (in particular) rejected this
paradoxical Hebraic approach to life: that one was to understand the infinite essence of the creator, generally called by the tetragrammaton (But
also, more subtly known as EHYH) but also to realize, and understand, how this infinite essence wills (in the present) the existence of this physical
world, and has prescribed a particular set of rules in order that his presence not be forgotten, but recalled, to revivify the world and bring it
closer (Hebrew word for sacrifice, Korban, is from the root Krav, which means "to bring closer") to its divine prototype.
This is implied in the Hebrew root Shin-Bet-Ayin, which means "seven" (Sheva), Satiety (Savua) and an oath (Shava).
This world is associated with the number seven; all things in this world occur in the cycle of 7s. The 7 days of the week, for instance, are a
microcosm of this phenomena. The 7th day, the Sabbath, is also derived from the two letter root Shin-Bet. The 7th day beckons the origin, and so
satiation from the ways of physicality. It takes the 6 earlier days of the week, the days of "building" and "creation", and brings its all back to
its primordial origin. This is an "oath" that the soul by its very presence in this world upholds, by recollecting the forgotten origin (an oath is
made with 'another', and it is a promise to the One absent i.e. God) back into perspective, which is what Shabbat is. It's complete inactivity; its
merging the infinite with the finite. Jews call it "the secret of time".