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#3477 -  Friday, March 20, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights -    

"Imagine the great shabbat, the great resting and relinquishment, that could unfold if we really believed that all concepts are masks." -Jay Michaelson  

Here are some excerpts from a new article by Jay Michaelson, author of the soon to be published, Nondual Judaism. He speaks about the 2012 phenomenon, Ken Wilber, the messianic age, and nonduality.    

Transformation of Consciousness as Messianic Age: A Kabbalistic View
Jay Michaelson  


Imagine a world in which everyone understood that all of us are God. Not one in which each person thought he or she was God alone -- that would be disaster. But one in which the nonduality of Being was understood, in some form or fashion, by all human beings. This would be an entirely different world from the one we now inhabit, free of the conflicts and crises, petty and grotesque, which fill our moment. And imagine what it would be like, right now, to believe that, as Ramana Maharshi has said, "civilization. . . will finally resolve itself, as all others, in the Realization of the Self" (Talks, p. 256).   Such a time is, of course, far-off. But this conception of the historical evolution of consciousness helps contextualize, explain, and enliven the development of religious consciousness from its most primitive to its most refined stages.  


The messianic age is already unfolding, in this interpretation, and the gradual emergence and dissemination of nonduality is among its signal phenomena. The wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov's teachings have indeed spread out throughout the world; they are already flowing on every continent and in every city with unrestricted access to the internet. This changes things.

...if a transformation in spiritual consciousness is to take place -- in 2012 or otherwise -- it must by definition be an inclusive, integral, and non-triumphalistic one. In contrast to adolescent images of God (or gods), nondualistic integral messianism does not exclude other traditions and does not depict "earlier" stage religious experiences as variously imperfect approximations of this one true one. No patronizing allegorization of myth and narrative. No reductive confusion of the prerational with the transrational. Neither the offensively naive privileging of mythic-stage gender roles, nor the erasure of mythic power in the attempt at egalitarianism.  

Utopian ideal? Exactly -- and that is exactly the function of the messianic urge, here reconfigured away from nationalism, triumphalism, and supernaturalism, and toward the dawning of realization on earth. Will everyone be Christian or Gnostic or Jewish in the messianic age? Will a magical chariot descend from the sky? Of course not -- that misses the entire point. Rather, the nondual wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov's (and many other) teachings will water a thousand plants in Eden, a biodiversity of spirit which, as in ecology, nourishes the whole by supporting difference. Consciousness will shift until such a point at which even the lion may lie down with the lamb.  

We don't have to wait until 2012 to begin doing this work. Imagine the great shabbat, the great resting and relinquishment, that could unfold if we really believed that all concepts are masks. Our certainties and pronouncements would be interrupted by little notes of uncertainty, of unknowing, of remembering that the mystery lies beyond our grasp and that even sacred totems are only best efforts. We return, perhaps unexpectedly, to a state of wonder-both at the One and at the Many. Speedily, in our days . . .  

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