|3 years ago :: Oct 07, 2010 - 9:04PM #1|
OK I haven't been posting much. It has been too hot for me to attend public services and my healing stage could not take it. But the weather has turned now and I am getting back into the swing.
Before the hot weather started I began studying R. Schneerson's zt"l writings to his students and from my local Chabad rabbi I get this notion of a direct connection to the divine. A few days ago I got on laitman.com website - the old Kaballah Centre with a facelift - and I started looking into R. Ashlag's zt"l writings as depicted by their current teaching method. I ound the same thing stated in different ways.
I also began using guardureyes.com for any known caveats as I used to be pretty rough on the Kaballah Centre owing to its profit motive. But I was amazed to see that the laitman.com website actually made it to the "approved list" (not totally whacko) with the caveat that one must be careful to differentiate between the teacher's own unvalidated opinions which are predominant and R. Ashlag's zt"l actual text. Fortunately the site takes care to put the text of R. Ashlag zt"l in boldface so one cannot make a mistake if one is carefully reading.
So the bottom line is that I am getting this direct-to-divine thing from both Chabad and Bn'ei Baruch (aka Kaballah Centre). Now to the next interesting event.
I attended a lecture by Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino (author of "We Drink from Our Own Wells" - look him up on wiki) because owing to my dear spouse's Mexican background I am always interested in the efforts of any non-Gringo in an organized religion addressing actual human suffering (as opposed to theological platitudes as the Gringos are wont to do). This was at the local Corpus Christi (for those of you who don't know a CC is like a Hillel House except it is for Catholics). Of course what was he talking about? A direct connection to the divine too! This is getting to be a bit like trying to get my attention, don't you think.
OK, I really hate Christian doctrine (for obvious reasons) but this time - as Doug Adams made one of his wag characters in Hitchhikers Guide say - "...your monkey's got it right." Unlike most C theologians I heard this from Gustav (now in his 70's) "theology is a dialogue with the divine." OK where have I heard THAT before??? Never from a C. This sounds like Catholic doctrine is leaning towards Jewish mysticism on this point.
OK let's take it one step further. I know a Catholic must spew the obligatory Jesus this Jesus that and of course this talk was not devoid of the relative chaff. But here comes a big bombshell. He said the purpose of Christianity was to "love." OK this sounds REALLY like a platitude but UNLIKE 99.9999999999% of ALL C proselytizers, Gustav goes on to DEFINE it. He defined "love" in terms of actually dialoging with another and finding out how to meet THEIR needs. This is a LOT DIFFERENT from doctrine dictating everyone's needs whether real or imagined (almost always imagined.)
This ties in neatly with the Kaballah as I am learning it - NOT spooky mysticism, but practical shoeleather dialog with the divine which results directly in doing mitzvos which results directly in actual dialog with other people which results in the actual possibility of addressing the needs of other people. That is as revolutionary a concept now as it was back in the days of the two aforementioned sages.
OK, all that for one teeny tiny point. Maybe everyone else already knows this. It is certain that everybody around here (my physical location) is not only NOT aware of it but actively antagonistic towards it - maybe owing to the divestment of self in corporate profit culture? But even though everyone might already know this, the way these three streams of cause-and-effect combined at this juncture in my life and mind at this time was kind of interesting to me. It got my attention.