October 04, 2004

Time flies when you're in a funk

Getting home at 8:30 in the evening leaves little time for blogging. Between doing a load of laundry, preparing dinner and trying to do a little reading, there's so little time left to form a post.

I got the idea today to research Kabbalah for some reason. I wanted to find out what exactly it was and then maybe give y'all an idea of it -- in case you, like I, had no idea what it was all about but might be interested in some basics.

The above link gives a very basic outline of what Kabbalah is all about. I don't have any more time tonight to delve into it and then to write a meaningful post about it, but I'll just give ya an idea of what I'm thinking so far.

Kabbalah (the "religion"/movement/trendy excercize in spirituality, not the actual word) is a combination of the study of the Torah and Talmud with a Buddhist-like focus on mystical laws. The revealed, written "body" of the Torah (the Law) must be balanced and united with a pursuit of understanding the unrevealed, unwritten "spirit" of the Torah (the Kabbalah). The purpose is to achieve a oneness with God and the Law -- or, what the Buddhists call Enlightenment.

The Nicheren Buddhist chant, "Nam myoho renge kyo", loosely tranlates to "Praise be to the mystical law of cause and effect through sound". The idea is that focussing your mind and body -- and all of it's senses -- on the ritual of the pursuit of Enlightenment will help you to eventually become enlightened about the linear nature of cause and effect in the personal and spiritual world just as we've become "enlightened" about cause and effect in the mechanical world that we experience.

Kabbalah, however, seems to have no ritualistic practice. It's a call to focus on understanding the unwritten "spirit" of the Torah. If we endeavor to understand the Truth and beauty behind the Law, they seem to be saying, then we'll be closer to a personal union with God. Okay, sound good to me.

The thing about it though is that, since there's no practice or ritual involved, the focus on understanding the "spirit" is really no more than the introspection that we naturally apply when we seek an understanding of the Law.
In short: Aren't we doing this anyway? Seems to me that anyone who'd get involved with "Kabbalah" is already, by definition, living it's "teachings".

My under-educated guess is that those who tell us that they're into Kabbalah are either; a: looking for like-minded Enlightenment seekers just to know that they're not alone; b: looking for something to believe in that wont take up too much of their layin'-around time, or; c: trend-seeking poseurs.

Maybe I'm being too harsh, suspicious, and/or too quick to draw (wouldn't be the first time). But it just seems to me that to give something so basal as the search for the ultimate Truth a proper name smacks of shallow, unenlightened tribalism.

I'm just sayin' is all... Have a happy! ;P

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 4, 2004 11:28 PM

You left out a possibility: doing it to meet chicks. That would be my motivation.

Posted by: RP at October 5, 2004 11:15 AM

Aah, yes. I had a friend who went to AA meeting for that reason.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 7, 2004 06:01 PM
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