Monday, November 7, 2011
Some Notes and a Summary of Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels “Non-dual Judaism CONCULSION PART TWO
This brings us to the final question raised by Jacobson-Maisels article. Just how possible is non-duality, as a mental or spiritual state, for people? We have seen that non-duality as conceived today was a minority trend within Judaism (really, a minority within a minority, the retreat of mystics who had achieved a very advanced level in their understanding of God).
It appears that the non-dual view is also only for a tiny minority of people. As human beings, we seem to "see" duality in the world. We even see more than that; we perceive a booming multiplicity all around us. We live in a dualist world. Yet we are told that non-duality is our true state. We are one with everything, and it only appears that we are separate from everything.
This is the hard part. How do we accept that the world is all there is, that God is part of the world (but not actually the world) and at the same time realize that the same world hinders our ability to see the non-duality of things? One way we are supposed to cultivate this understanding is through meditation. Meditation is designed to break down and or loosen the bonds of the self and create a wider sense of reality. I have experienced this sense both through meditation that has been guided by another person, and through self-mediation. I can attest that it feels very real. Done well, and long enough, there is no feeling at all. There is nothing.
Is this what we are supposed to find? Is the nothing experienced in meditation the nothing of ayin, of God, of the ALL. I am told that it is. But as a mediocre mediator, I am still trying to figure that out. What is the difference between self-induced illusion and genuine ayin? For me, the question still stands.
Articles like those of Rabbi Jacbson-Maisels gives us interesting ideas and answers, and many questions.