My Startling Synchronicity Moment Today

Discussion in 'Judaism' started by ScholarlySeeker, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    I'm reading the Zohar. I come across an interesting story, and I tell my wife about it. We enjoy its moment together. I continue reading, many, many pages later I find another story which I then, once again, read out loud to my wife as it reverberated deep within me, and it did her also. And then an idea strikes me. Why not look up and see if Daniel Matt, the translator of the Pritzker edition of the entire 12 volume Zohar is on You Tube and what does he say about his work on the Zohar? So I do, and I find a series of him on You Tube about the Zohar. There are lots of You Tube posts of all kinds of interesting Daniel Matt lectures, group gatherings, studies, etc. The very first one I pull up I watch, and he talks specifically about those two exact stories I stopped and read to my wife out loud. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that was a powerful moment! Of all the many hundreds of stories in the Zohar, all with their exquisite instructional ideas, 2 stick out to me, and I then find those same 2 in one lecture by the author on one of his many You Tube postings, who I am reading. This is when life enlarges, this is when life gets interesting and spiritual.
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Good one!

    Years ago, a very good friend asked me, who had just come to tell him about an exciting synchronicity, the following:

    Events like this are wonderful, but if all they do is hop up and down saying "I'm a synchronicity", what's the point? What does it mean to you?
     
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  3. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    Well, a mystically inclined fellow would say something is guiding him/her, and this clue is to continue on this way for a bit and see what comes of it. I am inclined to lean that way, for now. I have been wanting to really get into the Zohar now for quite a while anyway. On some level or other, as some Kabbalists would say, a synchronicity is the upper level reality sort of like coming through down into our level helping us see and learn there is more than just this one level, and greater things are ahead if we just keep plugging away. Leonora Leet in her book "The Kabbalah of the Soul" takes that approach. I am enjoying the weirdness of the Zohar on my own as it is, so for this to happen is just kind of one of those extra cool things I can chuck and jive with. Matt is definitely correct in his introduction to the entire 12 volume set he wrote in the front of volume 1. We enter a land of fantasy and fascination! These rabbis have a spectacular way of reading the ancient holy text that jolts, amazes, confuses, enhances, and entices a reader to try and dig and figure things out. His in book commentary, Matt has shown himself to be a gigantic help to at least sort of help us into at least seeing what direction we are heading whether its north, south, east, or west, GRIN! It's p to us to keep on walkin however.
     
  4. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    You know, I feel inclined to actually share the story I read out loud to my wife, here. It is an interesting story on its own, but I had missed a key insight which Matt brought out once I watched his You Tube video. The Zohar Master always catches more than the student I learned.

    There was a man who lived in the mountains. He knew nothing about those who lived in the city. He sowed wheat and ate the kernels raw. One day he entered the city. They offered him good bread. The man asked "What's this for?"
    They replied "It's bread, to eat!"
    He ate, and it tasted very good. He asked, "What's it made of?"
    They answered, "Wheat."
    Later they offered him thick loaves kneaded with oil. He tasted them and asked, "And what are these made of?"
    They answered "Wheat."
    Later they offered him royal pastry kneaded with honey and oil. He asked, "And what are these made of?"
    They answered "Wheat."
    He said, "Surely I am the master of all of these, since I eat the essence of all of there: wheat!"
    Because of that view, he knew nothing of the delights of the world, which were lost on him. So it is with one who grasps the principle but is unaware of all those delectable delights deriving, diverging from that principle.

    Matt's note says "The wheat and its products (kernels, bread, cake, and pastry) may symbolize four levels of meaning in Torah: simple, homiletical, allegorical,, and mystical."

    What Matt noted in his comments in his You Tube video was really interesting and it caused me to go back and re-read the story! The first bread, it says he ate it, then commented. The second time, he only tasted the stuff, and then commented. The third, and very best, most delightful, he did not eat nor taste, he simple commented that he then, because of his already acquired knowledge had no need to eat, he already knew what it would be like! He lost out on the most delightful part by thinking he already knew. We can apply this specificity of a wheat example to a wide general range of our own experiences, or even our own knowledge. It's a nifty little lesson for us in our own lives with our own assumptions of which we can correct if we are so inclined to do, or not. We might actually be missing something. It never hurts to reassess ourselves. What are we actually missing because we assume we already know all there is about something? It's a great lesson on the need for self introspection.

    The Zohar is chuck full of fascinating things like this, which is one of my favorite reasons for working through it. There is wisdom here in such a small thing as "wheat."
     
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  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    By their fruits they are known?
    In a way nature makes pleasurable what is necessary for survival, first of the individual, then of the tribe and species? Pain indicates damage to the body; pleasure indicates good for the body. The first natural instinct is for survival; the second is to procreate the species.

    Once a creature has procreated, the instinct for survival can be put completely aside and replaced by the instinct to protect the young, until they are able to procreate -- and a small bird will risk its own life to sustain and protect its chicks.

    What does it all signify? When does a human spiritual impulse arise?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
  6. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    Yes, indeed! Well, I would suggest it is in times of crisis more than anything that the spiritual impulse really gets geared up. Taking, again, a lesson from the Medieval times and Middle Ages, it was precisely when the pogroms against the Jews, the blood libel wicked view against them, and their expulsions from many nations (1492 from Spain being the best known, although, this led to Safed, Palestinian mysticism with the Ari, a century or so later, so in the long run it was sensational for the spirituality of the Jews) that their mystical literatures began accumulating and becoming disseminated on a vastly larger scale than before when they were integrated in society, at least partially. Something about outside events happening beyond our control gets the ole fear up in us, and we begin in more earnest to turn to God. At least that's one element to it.

    On a much smaller scale, if one's life goes downhill, then the urge for answers, especially when a former certainty has now been shown to be a mirage, appears within a person who wants to know "What the living heck is going on?!" I can personally vouch for this...lol....
     
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  7. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Fantasy? As in fiction? ;)

    I enjoy this guy's art, who draws inspiration from the same source as you do:

    https://www.davidchaimsmith.com/

    He collaborated with Jazz musician John Zorn, on an album called "The dream Membrane", which I also find fascinating and fantastic, musically.
     
  8. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    Yes! He is a fantastic artist! His book on the Kabbalah is also really well done also. His creativity is just so powerful. I am so glad he expresses it so well over so many different media, music, writing, actual art, etc.

    Fantasy as in fiction is part of it sure. Fantasy as in creative imagination to render the meanings of scripture and tradition deeper than a formal setting can do so also. Fantasy as in getting us out of our ruts of knowledge and thinking into a larger whole, fundamentally so! All of the above I would propose as being all good for fantasy.

    His pencil sketchings are some of the most perfect, well executed level, balanced and intriguing I have ever seen. Obviously it takes him a little bit over 20 minutes to draw his materials. LOL!
     

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