Dear (Insert name here),
I feel your conflict and frustration. Is this the direction the world has taken again? This started out as a poem and it degenerated into a prose essay to you. But it is good that you are making me think and forcing me to write. Perhaps I am only a brain in a box spitting out type, or worse still, perhaps I am only one of an infinite number of monkeys and any meaning I concoct is only an arbitrary coincidence. However, we must work with words, annoying physical ink marks, because those are the things which hold our symbols and meanings, and ultimately it is that symbol and meaning which either unites or divides us.
And, sir, I regret I must get Socratic on your assertions. But the masses have passed their gasses and their last assertion has been made, and it’s name is Trump. Trump embodies the “base animal aspect” to man, for lack of a better word, because no animal has the capacity for debasement that a human being has, which Trump has proven. Behind Trump, whether the man himself is a fool or not, is this masterful social experiment that has disenfranchised the entire human race. Sex and violence is the switch which turns the crank of the masses. Electronic media has stimulated our base animal instincts and at the same time it has separated us into little media boxes. Through electronic media we have been made alienated from ourselves, and worst of all we have been given the knowledge that we have done it to ourselves. We have been gifted the knowledge that we could be so much more, and we have been force fed the truth of the base animals that we are. Through statistics, numbers on twitter and youtube and facebook, we have been given the idea that we, as individuals, are insignificant. We are not the great mass. We are not a member of the great movement which is carrying us towards our destruction. The problem is they, the soylent masses, are only good for fish food, and they know nothing of myth.
George Carlin said it best. He’d given up on the human race, because no-one was listening outside the laughter, and he said there was nothing he could do except get a box of popcorn and take a front row seat for the show. Like Nero he had planned to watch Rome burn. But, though I enjoy a campfire now and then, don’t want to watch us burn. So I need an anchor, I need a set of metaphors which speaks to my needs as a human being.
Myth and imagination is the thing which makes us human, and myth and imagination, from the Greek gods to Rebbe Na Na Nachman’s stories, is what makes us Divine. The Divine represents the best aspects of humanity, that which we can aspire to. The question we must continue to ask ourselves FOREVER is “How do we connect to this Divinity in ourselves without destroying those around us and ourselves.” The Written Law is only a map. We are the Oral Law, a changing living thing. The Written Law is only ink on paper. It is Life which infuses It with power.
For myself personally I find 15th Century Chassidic Judaism to possess the best sets of metaphors through which to understand. The myth, which is a valid expression of a deeper form of Truth, would have the Oral Law stretching back to Adam. Jewish writings have been exploring human behaviour, from our aspiration to our self destruction, for thousands of years. There is an unbroken line of Writings and commentaries upon commentaries leading up to the writings of the Kabbalists of the 15th century, which are themselves expressions of something ancient and primal. For lack of a better image, because duality is itself a myth, we struggle between our dark aspects and our light aspects. The Zohar and Judeao-Christian mythology has us influenced by angels and demons, which are only aspects of ourselves.
The kabbalistic tree of ten aspects is flawed in that the ten characteristics present a broken assessment of either an holistic human or holistic universe. But even though the reality cannot be realized through broken symbols, it can be grasped at.
When I say Chassidic Judaism I mean Chesed. Within the pages of this blog I have established my thoughts on Chassidic Judaism and Kabbalistic Thought. They are a comfort and a reminder to me. So I leave you now.
Peace and Love
(Insert Another Name Here)