A door to the possible mysteries of life opened slightly yesterday. My friend, Joy, introduced me to the Kabbalah.
We talked for hours about Life, spirituality and the “type” of person I might be under something called a Jung-Myers-Briggs typology. I’m still searching, looking for the last few pieces of the puzzle to find my place in the Universe. Thought I had it in learning meditation, Sufi Whirling, and in following the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. But, a mystical voice calling out to me has a different sound, one I feel compelled to explore and soak in like a sponge found by an Odyssyus travelling the Aegean Sea in search of home and Penelope in Ithaca.
I know next to nothing about Judaism, except what overlapped in my Catholic upbringing. Yes, I loved reading Bible history, the Old Testament, in particular, mostly for the adventures, the battles, the confrontations that the “heroes” had faced. Some religious stuff rubbed off, but only accidentally. Who could not admire a David, perhaps not even a teenager, who thought out side of the box of the then “modern” warfare and used his skill with stones to bring down the giant, Goliath. And what about Samson?
Come on! The strongest man ever. (Well, Greeks did have their Hercules, but he never made it in the Good Book.) I had to get through all the mushy stuff involving Dalila, but when they cut off his hair and took away his strength, I suffered along with him, feeling the denigration imposed on him by his enemies, the enemies that may have actually been used to teach our fair-haired Israelite not to be so vain. ( About his hair? Or was the message not to mess around with strange women behind closed veils?)
Samson eventually brought the house down in retribution. Went down fighting like a man. John Wayne-style. Throwing himself on a grenade to save the rest of platoon, his tribe back home.
I learned of the word “Kabbalah” through Timothy Leary. Yeah, the LSD guru of the ’60s who preached turn-on, tune-in and drop-out. Never did drop out. You can’t be a good American, I thought at age 19, by avoiding the draft, and while I had no problem with “turning on,” I could not in good conscious “drop out” after getting my induction notice. But, I was able to “tune in” to such “far out” ideas as those in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and mysticism by discovering men (and women) had communed directly with God through trance-like spells that opened themselves to Him. Without the use of LSD, marijuana or a magic mushroom.
Kabbalah And The Power Of Dreaming: Awakening The Visionary Life by Catherine Shainberg is the book Joy suggested I read. I ordered it on Amazon. Hope to read it and open my self to it.
And if that doesn’t work, there’s another book my HSP buddy recommended (Highly Sensitive Persons). It’s on Shamanic Journeying by Tom Cowan. Look out World, there’s a Brave New Universe opening and I’m going to find my Self . . .
Looking forward to more thoughts on this. Buddhism is about exploring your own individual spirituality wherever that leads, no?
I love that you never stop knocking, Michael.
But sometimes the “mushy stuff” has its place, too!
I’ve only heard about Kabbalah through insightful wise friends – and only then the topic was touched in an tangential way. So I’m anxious to read your take on that book and may order it myself if it proves to be as enlightening as it sounds.
There’s a Kabbalah center near where I live, too. That building talks to me every time I walk by it. 🙂