Avraham Burg wrote in the New York Times:
The winds of isolation and narrowness are blowing through Israel. Rude and arrogant power brokers, some of whom hold senior positions in government, exclude non-Jews from Israeli public spaces. Graffiti in the streets demonstrates their hidden dreams: a pure Israel with “no Arabs” and “no gentiles.” They do not notice what their exclusionary ideas are doing to Israel, to Judaism and to Jews in the diaspora. In the absence of a binding constitution, Israel has no real protection for its minorities or for their freedom of worship and expression. [Israel’s Fading Democracy, NYTimes, 4 Aug 2012]
A paragraph from an excellent and balanced article from “a former speaker of the Knesset, the author of “The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise From Its Ashes” and the chairman of Molad, the Center for Renewal of Democracy.”
I mentioned in my article on Rachel Corrie, the American activist who died protesting against expansionist bulldozing in Gaza, that everything had been hijacked – Judaism, Christianity, Islam. All of them for political purposes. All of them by agglomerations of worldly power seeking – in a way – to emulate true power, the power of Spirit/God/Divinity.
Going back to Shakespeare quote with which I began this blog, that of the three witches in Macbeth – “Fair is foul and foul is fair” – we can view the “fundamentalist coalition” [Burg] in Israel in exactly the same light as we can the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Taliban, and the would-be state envisioned by people like Tod Akin, that expert on female anatomy. And of course with states that pursue Democracy.
As said Joni Mitchell, “Language is a virus.” A few thousand years ago, in specific temporal, locative and social contexts, various Middle Easterners uttered various words. Some time later they were written down, exposing them to all the potential for manipulation, quotation out of context, interpretation and reinterpretation that tools like Facebook, Twitter and Facebook facilitate so massively today. Very long story short: everything got hijacked by those who betrayed those words – who abused their power. Which is one of the oldest, most karmically entangled tricks in the book. (#rape is another.)
All languages hark (distantly) back to something I will call Language. The various Books all contain reference to the Word, the Logos, the Command of God. As a shaman, I can say from experience that the world is made of this Language. The Mind always interprets through the senses. Shamanism contains, amongst other things, various methods for retuning that interpretation. The tuning varies, in a small sense, in every person, from day to day, from hour to hour, minute to minute. We experience the world differently according to mood etc. Shamanic methods allow a more substantial retuning. The aim of this retuning is communion with Nature, in other words, to hear the Language of which it is constructed.
The techniques are necessary – not as dogmatic obstacles to communion placed their by priestly elitism – but to circumvent, pass through, go beyond the normal envelope of the Mind, which has been hijacked by language (small L). There is an Einstein quote popular at the moment that expresses a similar idea:
You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
Those heavily invested in rationality find this idea challenging – rationality does not want to cede to Rationality (Language is infinitely more direct and Rational than language).
Thinking holographically – as within, so without – what we see in the various strivings out there in the world for the Sharia State, the Jewish State, the Buddhist State, the Democratic State are the grindings of illusion, the rubric of language masquerading as Language, of power masquerading as Power – if you like, as the Dark masquerading as the Light. Which is essentially the job of the Dark.
True Power cannot be used. This is what the “submission” of Islam is talking about. It is what Jesus, Moses and all the other prophets have always talked about. Bickering over language about Power has gotten us nowhere. Or rather, it has gotten us entangled in language, which is a function not of Power but of Identity. The small power of the small self.
I have a dream. I have touched it a number of times. In shamanic ceremonies, in qi gong and meditation sessions and drumming circles. Those moments when the differences of language are suddenly seen for what they are. Those moments when we see the illusions, and are no longer illuded by them. What we see instead is a bunch of Beings. A bunch of souls incarnate, fundamentally and essentially of the same stuff.
Many reading this will know exactly what I mean. Some will smile wryly at such “hippy” dreaming. Sooner rather than later, everyone will get it. It’s not that difficult. Your mind at this point will be thinking, Ok so we play drums and get all loved up and simple…then what? Ignore these thoughts. This is the static of language, of habit, of identity.
Nothing I am saying here is new, rather it is very old. What might be new is the application of this sort of language in the political sphere. Avraham Burg concludes:
When a true Israeli democracy is established, our prime minister will go to Capitol Hill and win applause from both sides of the aisle. Every time the prime minister says “peace” the world will actually believe him, and when he talks about justice and equality people will feel that these are synonyms for Judaism and Israelis.
I empathise with this dream. With one qualification. That these old words – Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Israeli, American, Palestinian – will all have to go. They are the viruses of language, illusions of identity – personal and social – that we must go beyond in order to hear Language. Perhaps even speak it. And we shall. The accelerated strife of the world is due to the necessary rupturing of illusions. There are more peaceful ways to see through them, of course. At any rate, we’ll get through, and see that those old words all meant much the same thing all along.