Thursday, November 18, 2004

B"H

MARITAL RAPE

A physician in the local hospital turned to my husband with an inquiry concerning the laws against Marital Rape in the US. My husband told him that he would ask me to research the topic. I did so. The results of the search were so appallingly startling, that I feel compelled to make them more generally known.

Please see the following link, which I've made permanent by making it a tinyURL link:

http://tinyurl.com/6njly

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Monday, November 15, 2004

B"H

RIGHTEOUS GENTILE THEOLOGY

The Basic Principles of Sant Mat Although Sant Mat was born centuries ago in India, it is in many ways an ideal spiritual path for the modern seeker. Sant Mat couples a powerful meditation practice with a dynamic, inclusive, positive way of living. People new to Sant Mat often say they were attracted by its simplicity, integrity, and effectiveness in fostering real spiritual growth. The heart of Sant Mat are these simple principles: There is one God of all creation. Sant Mat views the world's great spiritual traditions as so many branches of the same divine tree rooted in one Divinity. That's why Sant Mat encourages us to remain in our own religions. But while Sant Mat respects all faiths, it stresses that religion has two dimensions - outer and inner. Sant Mat focuses on the inner - the deep spiritual essence known as mysticism. Mysticism looks beyond rites, rituals, and scriptural knowledge to pursue spiritual realization as a matter of first-hand inner experience. Our true self is soul. Within each of us is a soul, a great spiritual potential created in God's image and likeness. This soul - not the body and mind with which we now identify - is our real self. The true purpose of life is to reconnect with our soul. Life's supreme goal - the achievement to which all saints, prophets, and mystics summon us - is to regain our lost identity as soul. From this experience flows a peace that is not dependent on life's circumstances - a profound peace that is eternal. This experience is the true source of the happiness that we all crave. Meditation is the surest way to spiritual growth. This goal is not metaphorical or based on feelings or suppositions. It is as a matter of personal, verifiable experience. The meditation technique taught by Sant Mat leads to a progressive unfolding of the higher self, with concrete goals and milestones along the way. The practice does not require rigorous physical postures, special breathing exercises, or an extreme way of life. It is a natural method that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age, health, education, or religion. A competent teacher speeds our progress. It's a common sense principle of life: studying with one who has mastered that subject we wish to learn accelerates our learning. We believe spirituality is no different. That's why seekers throughout history have turned to spiritual Masters like Christ, Buddha, and so many others. By virtue of their own inner awakening, these Masters awakened others. But as much as we revere Masters of the past, Sant Mat stresses the importance of a living guide. Spirituality is life-affirming. Spirituality does not demand that we renounce our families or societies. Just the opposite. Our inner lives, after all, are not separate from our outer lives. Sant Mat asks that we lead normal lives, striving for excellence in our careers, families, and communities. While doing so, however, it asks that we not lose sight of our spiritual goals. We call this balancing of outer and inner lives positive mysticism. As we advance within through meditation and behold God's Light within us, we see that same light shining in others. As a consequence of that realization, a natural spirit of love and compassion becomes the hallmark of our outer lives. We believe that Sant Mat expresses the deepest values of every great spiritual tradition: love for God, compassion and service for God's creation, and a daily life imbued with ethical values. Haven't these always been the aspiration of every spiritual seeker - ancient or modern? Sant Mat's contribution is to distill these noble ideals into a simple, universal spiritual path, and then provide the tools and techniques to make them a reality for each of us.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

B"H

EMANATIONS IN GNOSTICISM AND LURIANIC PSEUDO-KABBALAH

The following is excerpted from NEW ADVENT, THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, which can be found on the following link:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06592a.htm

Please pay particular attention to what is said about emanations in the passage below. It should look all too familiar to you if you are acquainted with Lurianic Kabbalah.

Gnosticism is very ancient. It is a catch-all moniker for a number of systems of thought and belief that share a number of elements in common.

According to the article, the belief in emanations is common to all forms of Gnosticism. Obviously, these ideas predate Yitzchak Luria by millenia. One is left to wonder: How did this belief come to be integrated into Lurianic Kabbalah?

COSMOGONY [in Gnosticism].

"Gnosticism is thinly disguised Pantheism. In the beginning was the Depth; the Fullness of Being; the Not-Being God; the First Father,the Monad, the Man; the First Source, the unknown God (Bythospleroma, ouk on theos, propator, monas, anthropos, proarche, hagnostos theos), or by whatever other name it might be called. This undefined infinite Something, though it might be addressed by the title of the Good God, was not a personal Being, but, like Tad of Brahma of the Hindus, the "Great Unknown" of modern thought. The Unknown God, however, was in the beginning pure spirituality; matter as yet was not. This source of all being causes to emanate (proballei) from itself a number of pure spirit forces. In the different systems these emanations are differently named, classified, and described, but the emanation theory itself is common to all forms of Gnosticism. In the Basilidian Gnosis they are called sonships (uiotetes), in Valentinianism they form antithetic pairs or "syzygies" (syzygoi); Depth and Silence produce Mind and Truth; these produce Reason and Life, these again Man and State (ekklesia). According to Marcus, they are numbers and sounds. These are the primary roots of the AEons. With bewildering fertility hierarchies of AEons are thus produced, sometimes to the number of thirty. These AEons belong to the purely ideal, noumenal, intelligible, or supersensible world; they are immaterial, they are hypostatic ideas. Together with the source from which they emanate they form the pleroma. The transition from the immaterial to the material, from the noumenal to the sensible, is brought about by a flaw, or a passion, or a sin, in one of the AEons. According to Basilides, it is a flaw in the last sonship; according to others it is the passion of the female AEon Sophia; according to others the sin of the Great Archon, or AEon-Creator, of the Universe. The ultimate end of all Gnosis is metanoia, or repentance, the undoing of the sin of material existence and the return to the Pleroma."

Having considered the passage above, please review my essay entitled "The Names of the Sphirot in the Dead Sea Scrolls", which can be found on the following link:
http://tinyurl.com/3xjcp

Now, please see the following link:
http://www.dhushara.com/book/consum/gnos/jgnos.htm

I am not endorsing the speculations set forth in the article to be found on the above site. However, what appears to emerge from that article and others that I have seen is that Gnosticism is connected to bastardized and heretical forms of Judaism in part.

I ask again: What are elements of this corrupt and strange belief doing in the Lurianic system?

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat


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