What do we all have in common

pohaikawahine

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I hardly know where to start with my questions and thoughts .... but first of all thank you for explaining what a "messianic" is .... I read the link you had in your response to the young man who posted about being a messianic and it was very helpful. I think I need to take the time to read most of the postings already on this section and I will do that. If you have read any of my other postings in other sections of this site you will see that I believe that we all have the capability to changing who we are and that we are all connected on an ancient path of knowledge. I do believe that Jesus was a man, like the rest of us (using man in a generic way since I am a woman) and he did possess some special skills that each of us possess. I read that he was schooled in the art of yoga and the secrets of awakening the inner "shekinah" or energy that runs up the spinal column. To assist in the spiritual awakening of others he taught a form of what one personal called "kaballic yoga" which had been handed down word of mouth from the Essenes, the School of Prophets, and the Levites. He may have also trained them in the doctrines of the Kabbala which were revealed to the world about the 13th or 14th century possibly by Moses de Leon, a rabbi living in Spain (I say 'possibly' because there is a lot of controversy over whether Moses de Leon really wrote this document). The Kaballah is connected symbolically with the "tree of life".

My background which is not connected with any one religion or perhaps not connected with any religion at all stems from my understanding of ancient chants and abour 40 years now of looking at connections in ancient traditions. I do not publish (I am not writing a book), I do not try to convince others of the truth or untruth of my views, I do not belong to any church, but I do believe I am a spiritual being and as my grandson says "a good person".

I'm very drawn to The Zohar which according to Gershom Scholem was mostly written in an exalted style of Aramaic that was spoken in Palestine during the second century of the modern era. She said that Moses de Leon ascribed this work to a rabbi of the second century, Simeon ben Yohai and Jewish historiography holds that during a time of Roman persecution, Rabbi Simeon hid in a cave for 13 years, studyig the Torah with his son, Elazar. During this time he is said to have been inspired by God to write the Zohar. I am currently also reading "Zohar on Genesis, The Creation of Elohim" and the actual text of The Zohar is also on-line and I am slowly reading it. There is much that matches all I have come to understand about the spiritual path. Yet as I look at different perspectives on Judiasm there appears to be a split on acceptance of the view of the "mystics" (for lack of a better term).

If the mystic perspective holds some truth then it would follow that the messiah to come would be the finding of the inner path in each of us .... we are not looking for someone outside of ourselves .... if the symbols hold any truth in the teachings that the promised land also exists within us and the twelve tribes will reunite in the promised land and we will return to who we really are. There are many ways to look at the symbol of the 12 tribes, I look at the great circles of twelve and one of them is internal. To me the Zohar helps to understand the inner meaning of the Torah. That is why in the "Song of Songs" the Torah is described (with great passion) as a woman who reveals herself only a little and begins to speak from behind the veil .... when man (or woman) begins to understand there is a marriage with the Torah. Passion in itself does create chemical changes in the brain and one must experience great passion to passover into this world.

Do we hold these things in common or is there a great gap between us in our beliefs?
 
I read that [jesus] was schooled in the art of yoga and the secrets of awakening the inner "shekinah" or energy that runs up the spinal column. To assist in the spiritual awakening of others he taught a form of what one personal called "kaballic yoga" which had been handed down word of mouth from the Essenes, the School of Prophets, and the Levites.
ahem. there isn't actually any evidence for this that i'm aware of. it sounds like you're repeating something you've read in a book or on a website somewhere.

He may have also trained them in the doctrines of the Kabbala which were revealed to the world about the 13th or 14th century possibly by Moses de Leon, a rabbi living in Spain (I say 'possibly' because there is a lot of controversy over whether Moses de Leon really wrote this document). The Kaballah is connected symbolically with the "tree of life".
a good place to start with FAQs about kabbalah written for non-jews (well, pagans specifically, but it's pretty well written) is here: http://www.ecauldron.com/kabbalah.php

while gershom scholem is an excellent and authoritative writer there are many different perspectives on this and his is not the only game in town.

I am currently also reading "Zohar on Genesis, The Creation of Elohim" and the actual text of The Zohar is also on-line and I am slowly reading it. There is much that matches all I have come to understand about the spiritual path.
i'd be interested to know where the text is online. i feel bound to tell you, though, that although i have been studying the mystical tradition for many years, i have not yet reached a level where studying the zohar is of great value. it's a bit like someone who isn't a doctor trying to study medicine. if you haven't been to medical school you can't understand it on the same level - and, in this metaphor, the zohar is rather like a textbook on neurosurgery aimed at advanced clinicians, not a basic anatomy text. you and i can read it, but it doesn't mean we'd be any good at brain surgery. i use the comparison advisedly, especially given that the aramaic the zohar is written in is particularly hard. as far as the perspectives on the view of the mystics, there is no one right and all-embracing answer, although there are several answers that are quite definitely wrong. i can however recommend several good books depending on what you want to get out of the mystical tradition - but don't buy anything by philip or yehuda berg! you do seem to be approaching it in a sensible way, though.

are you hawaiian, by the way?

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
mahalo (thank you) for your thoughtful response .... and yes, I am Hawaiian,b ut I live in California now. The Zohar online can be found at http://www.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/p=zohar and here are a few of the books I'm reading "The Essential Zohar, The Source of Kabbalistic Wisdom" by Rav P.S. Berg (was this the person you suggested I not read?), "Kabbalah, The Way of the Jewish Mystic" by Perle Epstein, "Zohar, The Book of Splendor" Edited by Gershom Scholem, "The Zohar" from the on-line Zohar project (web site above), I'm subscribing to the "Jewish Times" (on-line publication) and several others on the "Song of Songs" and several on Jewish Traditions. I just posted on the thread related to the Kaballah .... I would be interested in your thoughts about this perspective . me ke aloha pumehana, pohaikawahine
 
yes, this is exactly the person i suggested you not read. the bergs are the people behind the "kabbalah centre" of madonna notoriety (see http://www.rickross.com for details if you are interested). their teachings should be treated with extreme caution as they are generally not considered to be reputable people. likewise, although i am aware they have translated the zohar, i would likewise keep their translation at arm's length. if you are really interested in the zohar, i recommend a book called "in the shadow of the ladder", which is an introduction to zohar study according to the teachings of its most authoritative recent interpreter (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/9657222087/102-2545906-6466510?v=glance) if you still feel you need a translation of the zohar, the best one available is probably daniel chanan matt's pritzker edition. nonetheless, i find it difficult to see how this most "postgraduate" of jewish topics would really be approachable enough. i don't know perle epstein, but it really depends what you are looking for.

i visited hawaii about five years ago and enjoyed it greatly. i particularly love the language.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
mahalo (thank you) bananabrain (love that name) .... I will check out the references that you shared and will get back with more thoughts and questions. Let me know what you think about the on-line interpretation of The Zohar. As a side note from another posting that I just did .... I read an article by Moshe Ben-Chaim about "The Seven-Headed Serpent" .... "The Talmud on Kiddushin 29b, records a fantastic story of a "mazik" (desructive force), which plagued the study hall of Abayeh......Rav Yaakov stayed in the study hall overnight. During his stay, this mazik appeared to him as a seven-headed serpent, a "tanina" in Aramaic." ..... etc.


Though you might be interested to know that in the Hawaiian symbols we also have a seven-headed serpent which in our tradition is a symbol of wisdom and not a desructive force .... also three is the Narayana, the Seven headed Intellect,carved on a headstone in Celon .... about 2,500 years old. In the article by Moshe Ben-Chaim there are a series of questions such as

What do the 7 heads represent?
Why was this mazik found in the study hall, as opposed to somewhere else?
How did prayer remove this mazik?
Is a mazik a real creature, or is it a metaphor for something else?
The serpent did not attack Rav Yaakov,or anyone for that matter. What
then was the danger?? .... and many more questions ....

Moshe Ben-Chaim said that (in the article) he is always interested in teaching a method of Torah study, in addition to offereing explanation. This case presents a prime opportunity for unraveling ste-by-step, the Rabbis' bizarre stories and their hidden meanings, encountered in Scriptural and Talmudic portions.

The answers seem to be clear if you look at the symbols. The seven headed serpent represents the spiralling energy that must pass through the seven energy centers within the human body. What the study hall .... because it is a reference to the great "hall of records" or "hall of wisdom" .... that place where everything is seen and known, it is located in the middle of our brains and can only be opened through deep meditation or deep prayer.

According the information in the book Dr. Perle Epstein worked with a Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan for many years before his death. She is a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov. (I don't know what that is, but you probably do)

In The Zohar edited by Gershom Scholem there is a chapter on the "Hidden Meaning of the Torah" .... "Thus the tales related in the Torah are simply her outer garments,and woe to the man who regards that outer garb as as the Torah itself ..... Its narrations which relate to things of the world constitute the garments which clothe the body of the Torah; and that body is composed of the Torah's precepts, gufey-torah (bodies, major principles). People without understanding see only the narrations, the garment; those somewhat more penetrating see also the body. But the truly wise,those who serve the most high King and stood on mount Sinai, pierce all the way through to the soul, to the true Torah which is the root principle of all. These same will in the future by vouchsafed to penetrate to the very soul of the soul of the Torah." This I do understand because even our own chants are at least 4 levels deep and one must learn to look beneath the veil to see its depth .... we see shadows but they are just out of reach and we keep diving deeper and deeper into the ancient ocean for the answers. I don't know if the Zohar is post-doctorial work, perhaps it is really much simpler when one looks at it with the soul and not the eyes .... I have much to learn and I appreciate what you are sharing .... my sense is that the Torah holds many answers and in years of searching it is the first ancient text (other than my own chants) that has sparked such a passion for looking deeper into the depths .... truthfully I don't know where it will take me, but for now I will go with the flow in the center of the river .... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 
pohaikawahine said:
Do we hold these things in common or is there a great gap between us in our beliefs?


Hi pohaikawahine,


You have some very excellent posts.


For me at its deeper levels there is a common thread that runs throughout all of the ancient texts and modern texts. At another level they are as about common as trying to find a Robin Hood in today’s world.


The depth of any teachings can be found as you say from within. We must first understand each layer as it presents itself and discard it. This continues until we find that which connects all. That is the common truth that is uncommon for many, and is that which ultimately dwells within.

We have eyes to see but we do not really see, we have ears to listen but do not really listen, we have senses to feel but we do not really feel. The veil of illusion of our consciousness often hides that we have senses other than the physical, however once we use the muscles of these other inner senses, this will strengthen our ability to use them more often.

When our inner muscles (so to speak) are strengthened we acquire the ability to discern truth in its purist form, this purist form being the common thread that runs through all religions, philosophies, doctrines and beliefs. However we need to use those inner muscles first. Not just the outer ones.

I am sure though, that this is what you already know.;)


Kelcie:)
 
read an article by Moshe Ben-Chaim about "The Seven-Headed Serpent" .... "The Talmud on Kiddushin 29b
this intrigued me so i went and found the article and read both that and the section of kiddushin 29b referred to. very interesting and an interesting interpretation of the story.

in the Hawaiian symbols we also have a seven-headed serpent which in our tradition is a symbol of wisdom and not a destructive force
well, it is possible to come up with different interpretations for the "mazik" - it needn't just be competition. for example, if the mazik is a more ambiguous symbol for the wisdom of abaye, that would probably require the same solution to be taken. serpents are associated with knowledge in many traditions, not the least our own. however, "tanin" is rather a clever multi-layered pun - in addition to signifying anything from "crocodile" to "dragon" to "giant fish/sea monster" it can also, as r. ben-chaim points out, be linked to the word for a "sage" - a "tanna", from the word meaning to "teach". a "tanin" is not a million miles off! either way it's quite cryptic.

the hawaiian word that really intrigues me, though, is "kahuna" - because our word for "priest" is "kohen". it's weird really, because i don't subscribe to theories of polynesians possibly being a lost tribe!

perle epstein seems to get mixed reviews as far as i can see - the foreword is by edward hoffman i believe, i've read something else by one of his students, which was pretty workmanlike. actually, i'd recommend it to you: penny cohen's "personal kabbalah" ( see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...f=sr_1_1/102-2545906-6466510?v=glance&s=books ) - it's not what i'd call advanced, but it is both practical and accessible. for a deeper look you're probably better reading r. kaplan himself. aside from the fact that he is generally considered to have been a major scholar in this field, all his stuff is without a doubt totally kosher, as it were. however, i don't see anything particularly critical of the epstein book other than the fact that it's out of date. but i frankly don't think it makes much difference if she's descended from the baal shem tov (the founder of chasidism) - after all rehoboam was descended from king solomon!

The answers seem to be clear if you look at the symbols. The seven headed serpent represents the spiralling energy that must pass through the seven energy centers within the human body. What the study hall .... because it is a reference to the great "hall of records" or "hall of wisdom" .... that place where everything is seen and known, it is located in the middle of our brains and can only be opened through deep meditation or deep prayer.
umph.. if you like, but i have learnt to distrust "clear" and simple answers in this field - that's a bit too like what they sell down at the bergs' kabbalah emporium. quite apart from the fact that kabbalah generally refers to ten energy centres.

woe to the man who regards that outer garb as as the Torah itself
yeah, this is always what people say who don't want to get into the "outer garb". what i say is this - the outer garb isn't the real you, but it is not always a good idea to dispense with clothes entirely. as far as i am concerned, kabbalah is not a *substitute* for the revealed Torah, but complementary to it. both rely on each other and there are no great kabbalists who are not already learned in the "gufei Torah", whatever the new agers trying to make a quick buck out of it may say to their celebrity clients.

I don't know if the Zohar is post-doctoral work, perhaps it is really much simpler when one looks at it with the soul and not the eyes
i really like this sentiment and, to a certain extent, i agree with it. however, my own researches and study in this area have led me back into an appreciation and understanding of the need for the revealed Torah. one cannot exist without the other. however, i wish that more jewish people understood that without the inner meaning of the Torah, they are missing out on the honey whilst chewing on the comb. and many more don't even get into the hive for the stings of the bees that defend it. it is encouraging to meet someone who takes the trouble to encounter our culture in the light of their own identity without sacrificing the depth. although i still think the zohar is hard stuff!!

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Hi bananabrain and kelcie .... I have the same question as kelcie, what theories .... I have never heard of them?


I have ordered the book "Under the Ladder" and received notice today that it is on its way .... so I'll probably have more questions and thoughts to share after it arrives.

Mahalo bananabrain for your very thoughtful comments on the story of the seven headed serpent and the meaning of some of the words .... very interesting .... by the way the hawaiian word "kahuna" can be broken into two parts "ka" "huna" .... which basically means that which is hidden .... "huna" means to hide, to conceal or to keep from the sight or knowledge of another .... to keep back truth in speaking .... "ka" means "the" ....there are many people that practice something called "huna" as some sort of religion of healing, but this is not part of hawaiian traditions .... it is something others have taken and turned into an almost commercilized concept (sort of like your concerns about the Kaballah Center) .... "huna" only means what is hidden, and that is usually related to the sacred inner meaning of words .... he hawai'i au, pohaikawahine
 
I have the same question as kelcie, what theories .... I have never heard of them?

oh, the quest by various people to find the "ten lost tribes" of israel that were carried off into exile by the assyrians and never seen again. there are various organisations dedicated to finding them (see http://www.kulanu.org/ for an example) for reasons ranging from social justice to bringing the messianic age. it attracts all sorts of cranks as well as reputable philanthropists, anthrolopologists, etc. for a treatment of the entire subject i recommend tudor parfitt's book "the lost tribes of israel", which is an exhaustive treatment of the history of this quest, from the genuinely philanthropic to the utterly bonkers.

by the way the hawaiian word "kahuna" can be broken into two parts "ka" "huna" .... which basically means that which is hidden .... "huna" means to hide, to conceal or to keep from the sight or knowledge of another .... to keep back truth in speaking .... "ka" means "the"

interesting. by contrast:

The Hebrew word Cohen means “to serve” as the verse states: “…[bring] Aharon your brother and his sons… to serve (le-chahano) Me…” (Exodus 28:1). The word “Cohen” is rooted in the word ken meaning “yes” or “proper” and in the word kivun which means “to direct.” A Cohen, therefore, is one who directs himself and others in the proper service of G!D.
- from http://www.cohen-levi.org

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
that is interesting the meaning of 'cohen' .... for hawaiians kahuna's were teachers (master teachers) or priests .... the concept of "what is hidden" is related to those that have knowledge of the inner (hidden) meaning of the chants and traditional knowledge, it is not necessarily meant that they hide the truth from others .... but when the missionaries arrived on the hawaiian islands much of the knowledge and workings of the kahuna went underground because it was only seen as some sort of 'paganism' and condemned as 'anti-christian' ...so much was misunderstood or simply not seen that is rooted in our traditional knowledge that many of our own people today practice rituals (in the so-called reawakening of hawaiian culture) and do not understand their meanings. For example the goddess Pele .... the ancient people did not worship a volcanoe goddess .... Pele, and all her legends, is a metaphor and a beautiful one at that .... she is part of the story of creation .... one of the names in my family line is 'Kanoelehuaokahalema'uma'u" which very basically means the "house of the ma'uma'u fern" .... the ma'uma'u fern is found only along the rim of the volcanoe and is the home of Pele (in mythology) .... but one must understand the "huna" of the various names of Pele and her manifestations .... but the old ones kept the knowledge buried and the culture began to change .... we did not even have kings or queens (the ali'i), they were all introduced later and so began, what I call, the process of consolidation of power and then the word "kahuna" became real and not real. It is not easy to go back prior to the "written word" because the written word was not ours .... even the language changed in its structure .... I'm getting distracted here and going off thread .... sorry .... aloha nui, pohaikawahine
 
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