Judaism

Leave a comment

Lately, I’ve been romancing Judaism. I’m not sure how else to phrase delicately my obsessions with different world traditions, but there you have it.

So much of the concepts I’ve found in Reform Judaism are absolutely magnificent. I’ve learned about Talmud and Zohar. I’ve forced myself to study the Hebrew alphabet which was incredibly difficult to learn- something unusual for someone like myself who’s pretty geared toward languages and especially scripts.

Also, since I can read a good bit of Japanese, it says something that I think Hebrew was more difficult to learn…but then that’s not a fair comparison.

I’ve ended up with a copy of the Tanakh that’s in Hebrew AND English, and I’ve been reading through the Bible this year. I started with my Catholic Edition and then picked up in the Tanakh when it arrived in the mail.

So far, I’ve made it to Deuteronomy.

Let me tell you, I was all like, “Oh, well, God isn’t all that bad in Exodus…” and then I got to Leviticus, and the Crazy Old Testament God appeared. I mean, there was bad stuff in Exodus, no doubt, but Leviticus is where things just go nuts.

More importantly than worrying over that, as an adult, I can see easily that the Scriptures were redacted- I can tell that various places are uneven or out of place. For people who never bother to read the Scriptures, it makes sense to think of it as a seamless whole- and for people who do bother to read the Scriptures, suddenly that inerrancy and seamless whole business falls away for a variety of reasons, uneven pacing, interjection of unrelated material, and isolated events that don’t seem worth mentioning being only a few of them.

Even through my consideration of, “Well, what if I converted to Judaism?” all it took was picking up my copy of The Gnostic Bible and reading just a few commentaries and Scriptures therein to be reminded that, well, I’m Gnostic. It just made sense, and I felt at home.

Of course, Gnosticism also begin with Judaism, so there’s that…

Judaism seems to have a greater degree of praxis that’s accessible to its adherents. The Shabbat blessings on bread and wine and so on? Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

So yes. I’m romancing Judaism while also remaining confused about why people would bother to take the Bible literally. Then again, that’s only the Written Torah; the Spoken Torah has more information, and I think I read somewhere that the Zohar understands from the get-go that what’s discussed in the Torah isn’t literal but means something else entirely.

God, help me!!!

Steve

Destiny Catching Up with Me

Leave a comment

How shall I explain these things to anyone?

Okay, that opening line can sound pretentious in any era, in any culture, in any climate and quite likely would be accurate. The other hand suggests a reality that some things are just too complex to be conveyed properly, but I should try.

I’m not sure how to go about spelling “Cabala” and such, but being of the Divine and Catholic Faith, I should probably use the C-spelling. So, I will, likely from here on out.

I stumbled upon Cabala for the first time as a teenager, and that was probably quite by accident. ifdawn.com is still up and running, and I recall consulting it a great deal in those days.

The Tree of Life on there is quite informative, and while I give the author kudos for that, what we find lacking is indeed my biggest complaint ever: there are not very many actual practices that are available or given on the site. 

But setting that gripe aside, as a means of organizing Things Spiritual, the Tree of Life is absolutely superb, and the intricate spiritual connections of God reaffirm things I knew somehow intuitively at a much younger age.

So, to get to my point: if ever I felt that Destiny and Fate and Fortune are true, it’s now. I feel that my Fate is catching up with me, that something is beginning to shift in the deeper levels of my psyche. 

When I was younger, in high school, I had a dream that I was with a bunch of other students, and we climbed down some kind of strange pole to look into a temple. 

The Temple was magnificent- huge, airy, with beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. I heard something of a Gregorian chant in the background (which was actually the Temple of Time music from Zelda: Ocarina of Time) and looked to see a huge section of the walls filled with Hebrew writing.

I couldn’t read Hebrew then, but I could recognize the language. That dream has stuck with me over the years as being highly important, and now, I’ve finally learned the “Letters of Fire.” Maybe I still can’t read Hebrew properly as I don’t know the language, but I can recognize the individual letters, that’s for sure. 

And in this, somehow, there is a connection to that dream, there is a connection to my past in which the seeds were planted and began unfolding in the unconscious in my life. I fought their growth in my own bumbling egotistical way for some time, and now, the seeds of truth are taking their revenge by bringing me to where I need to be.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

So I suppose, then, that it’s up to me to go about using what I know about meditation to focus upon the Tree of Life. So be it; I’m willing to do what it takes to surrender to God.

Stevo