Friday, November 21, 2014

Atheism: A Blessing in Disguise

I would like to call attention to the possible benefit of Atheism and its challenge to religious people around the world.  I know you're thinking that there cannot possibly be any benefit to the antagonistic rants and political challenges of these "saints of skepticism."  The modern Atheists have garnered much media attention as of recent and are on an enthusiastic evangelistic campaign to spread their gospel of disbelief.  Most people in society are put off by their tactics and offended by their forthright language of religious opposition, which has earned them the title of being called the "angry atheists."  In truth, most of the Atheists are quite angry.  The reason for this is psychological in nature for whenever a person feels mislead or lied to, in this case by a religious community, they search for enlightenment elsewhere.  This so-called enlightenment may take the form of another manifestation of religious ideology or in the case of the Atheists an ideology which believes in the absence of Theistic religion.  New converts of any faith are generally over-zealous and in the context of Atheism they perceive religion in any form to be the ultimate "evil" of the human experience and the de facto cause of all of the world's pain and suffering.  In a sense they are correct but not entirely as common-sense dictates that human suffering is rooted in human nature itself and evil has been manifested in its most extreme forms even in the absence of religion (i.e. Communist countries, Utopianism ideology).

By now you are still probably wondering what the benefit of Atheism may be.  I want to point out that most people who consider themselves religious in nature are generally no more evolved from the context of basic human suffering, emotional baggage, limited perceptions and restricting discriminatory beliefs as their non-religious counterparts.  It is historically verifiable that religion has played a significant part in cultural confrontation, violent crime, war and poverty.  This is because religion has no power to change the human condition.  In fact, when Theocratic states emerge there is always the subsequent and often violent oppression of people and any freedom for intellectual inquiry.  In the USA wherein freedom of religion is insured we see impoverished thinking by those who faithfully attend a church, mosque or synagogue.  The general intellectual perceptions of these faithful individuals do not rise above the level of superstition, mythology and prejudice.  Organized institutions of religion hold power over their flocks of submitted sheep who don't even consider questioning the authority of their shepherds.  In order to liberate the masses from this enslaved mental ghetto of impoverished ideology, General Providence, which is concerned with the evolution of the collective of humanity, creates events and scenarios which inspire and motivate a shift of human consciousness.  In the context of this subject it is Atheism that is the tool of General Providence to enact a challenge to this lower state of religious perception. 

In essence, the religious masses are in similitude to all humanity- they are unconsciously living without the illumination of the greater Objective state of existence.  The ideal state of human experience would be one of intentional living wherein an individual lives every moment on purpose with real intent and is conscious of the greater Objective of which he/she and the rest of humanity is a part.  The challenge of Atheism is to wake people up and to question their current perception of humanity and Deity and to work through this challenge to a greater and more mature perception of reality.  In this sense the Atheist affront is a blessing and not a curse.  Religion cannot adequately answer the challenges of Atheism but those who are evolved in their conscious perceptions have no problem in answering their challenges. 

The more evolved form of intellectual, philosophical and metaphysical depth within Judaism is called the Kabbalah.  The Kabbalah is the greatest spiritual truth revealed to Judaism.  However, very few study it and those who do fewer there are who understand it.  Its depth and wisdom is of the most profound nature and represents, as Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz states, the greatest depth of Jewish theology.  Kabbalah is not mere theology though.  Kabbalah communicates the whole of reality from the internal aspect of the human experience.  Its philosophical and theosophical insights have a direct impact on the devotee's perception of the nature of existence and can carry such a one to the highest level of Objective consciousness.  When one's entire perceptual experience is evolved through the influence of Kabbalah then not only do mental constructs change but attitudes and patterns of behavior change as well.  Life is lived according to internal beliefs and these beliefs constitute one's own subjective reality.  To change reality one must acquire new beliefs/perceptions.  However, these must be correct and objective perceptions, otherwise these perceptions will be limiting and perpetuate a subjective experience of egoistic consciousness.  The Wisdom of Kabbalah frees us from this limited perceptual reality and transports us to a new reality wherein our perception of ourselves and those we interact with are transformed to perceive an underlying oneness and unity.  This is more than a simple dogmatic idea but a profound internal reality.  It is imperative that we devote ourselves to the study of Kabbalah and to its dissemination.  The great Mekubalim have stated throughout the generations that it is "only" through the Kabbalah that the geulah (redemption) can occur.  This is because geulah itself is internal.

How does Kabbalah and its perception relate to Atheism?  Kabbalah stands in opposition to religion in that it possesses the power to bring humanity to a more objective state of experience.  Atheists can easily challenge the perceptions of the religious because they engage on the same level.  For example, when an Atheist engages a Theist in mental conflict, both parties involved are coming from the same context.  Both have the same or similar ideals concerning what "God" means and what the "Bible" says.  The Atheist points out the discrepancies of these thoughts and the Theist tries to frame a defensive stance (apologetics) to protect these cherished beliefs.  These beliefs are wrong from the start because they are based on the objectification of the term "God" and subsequently all ideologies based on this will be a misconception of reality.  The Kabbalist, who has a more objective sense of reality, will reveal that both of the perceptions of the Atheist and the Theist are flawed and a distortion of reality.  Let me provide a couple of examples wherein I confront an Atheist's arguments.  Note: These are actual dialogues and my responses have not had any subsequent responses or rebuttals as the Atheist has no contextual argument to present.

ATHEIST STATEMENT:
I'm glad that I don't believe in God.
I am an atheist.
When I die, I will be surrounded by darkness, eternal darkness, just like you.
You will be surprised to find out, that there is no bearded man with long white dress waiting for you on the other side.
 I mean come on.
Do you really believe in that fairy tale?
Please.
Human beings are nothing but complex biological machines.
There is nothing magical or spiritual about that.
One day, I promise you, it will be possible to prolong life to 200 years, 500, 1000 years.
It's just a question of finding out how to repair DNA damage.
No God has his hand in that.

MY RESPONSE:
I am glad that I don't believe in "God" either, at least not in the subjective conceptualization that you and the Theists have of it.  You see, the term "god" is a term based in the subjective consciousness of peoples perceptual experiences.  Within the context of our own personal reality we define "god" according to our own beliefs.  In other words, we make "god" into our own image and after our own likeness.  According to the Sages this is the authentic definition of avodah zara (idolatry) - making an image of the Divine Essence.  Even a mental construct of a Deity is idolatry as this objectification of a deity erects a mental stumbling block to the ability to achieve Objective states of consciousness.

The context wherein you attack "god" is equivalent to the context of those who believe in this "god."  You define "god" in the same subjective idealism as the Theists, which is evidence that your own faith in Atheism is based on a faulty foundation of subjective idealism.  Thus your perceptions of the nature of reality are of no more validity than those who are fundamentally religious.

The authentic understanding of the Primal Essence is not one of a bearded man in a white dress as some Theists profess and upon which you base your own perceptions of the correctness of your views.  For example, Rabbi Moses Cordovero points out the following:

"An impoverished person thinks that God is an old man with white hair, sitting on a wondrous throne…. Imagining this and other fantasies, the fool corporealizes God. He falls into one of the traps that destroy faith. His awe of God is limited by his imagination. But if you are enlightened, you know God's oneness ["…Adonai  ehad," as posited by the foundational Jewish prayer, the Sh'ma]. You know that the Divine is devoid of bodily categories—these can never be applied to God…. No letter, vowel or image can be applied to … Ein Sof, whom we cannot depict, of whom we cannot speak, of whom we cannot posit either judgment or compassion, excitement or anger, change or limit, sleep or motion, or any quality whatsoever, either prior to the emanation or now." (Or Ne'erav)

Further, nothing truly exists except the Primal Essence (Ain Sof) as we are each subjected to our own perception via our five senses we do not detect the Essence that is the only true existence.  From our five sensory perception-based realities we only perceive our own existence.  Relative to our perspective a Primal Essence does not exist as it is beyond existence and outside of our constructs of time and eternity.  Our limited perception of Deity is framed within the context of duality and the greatest mistake that humans make is to search for truth externally rather than looking within.  Our reality is framed in the context of dualism which is a subjective illusion.  Therefore, there is not a "god" outside our consciousness in the form of a being of any sort.  It is truly the No-Thing as opposed to our some-thing.  Rav Cordovero further writes:

"The essence of divinity is found in every single thing—nothing but it exists. Since it causes every-thing to be, no-thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them; its existence exists in each existent. Don't attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that Ein Sof [Boundless, Infinite (Divine)] emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Realize, rather, that Ein Sof exists in each existent. Do not say, "This is a stone and not God." God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity." (Shi'ur Zomah, 206b)

You are correct that human beings are complex biological machines but you are not correct in concluding that this is all that humans are.  Your conclusions are based on the relative field of the study of the nature of the Universe via the lenses of reductionism.  It is the out-dated Newtonian view of physics which perceives the Universe and the nature of its existence in a purely mechanistic fashion.  The reductionist's view of the Universe was placed within the dust-bin of history when the field of Quantum Mechanics emerged.  QM modified our understanding of the nature of the Universe and of the nature of Consciousness itself. Fundamentally we are all reducible to an energetic expression of quantum vibrations.  This energy composes our very essence and the essence of all that encompasses existence as we know it.  Energy is fundamentally all one expression and this fundamental expression is our unity- it is what interconnects the whole of humanity and the rest of the Universe.  Further, science understands that energy is neither created nor can it be destroyed.  The destruction of the physical body represents a solidified energetic expression of a particular vibrational field. However, the energy composing this field does not become destroyed or nullified rather re-assimilated and is recycled into another expression.  Quantum Mechanics has further revealed the physics of consciousness, namely that consciousness underlies the energy that is the expression of existence and that energy is manipulated by consciousness.  This brings us to the place of the human soul, which is the "conscious expression" of a particular field of energetic emergence.

"Each of us emerges from Ein Sof and is included in it. We live through its dissemination. It is the perpetuation of existence…. This process is like a revolving wheel, first descending then ascending. It is all one and the same, nothing is separate from it. Though life branches out further and further, everything is joined to Ein Sof, included and abiding in it. Delve into this. Flashes of intuition will come and go, and you will discover a secret here. If you are deserving, you will understand the mystery of God on your own." (Shi'ur Zomah, 16d-17a)

ATHEIST:
So if God is almighty, he should be able to:

1. Create anything and everything
2. Destroy anything and everything

Right ?

Again I ask you:

Can God create something, that he cannot destroy ?

If yes, then there is at least one thing, that God cannot destroy.
If no, then there is at least one thing, that God cannot create.
Which renders almightyness impossible.

Or put it another way:
Almighty can always be used to limit itself, but then it's not almighty anymore.

A classical logical contradiction.

Now ponder about that.

MY RESPONSE:
Your argument may have merit when discussing the theological inquiry of religion but in a Kabbalistic context the argument is non-contextual.  What I mean by this is to say that Kabbalah doesn't have an objectified "God" that serves as a subject of the Creative narrative.  Most Jews are not familiar with Jewish theology and resultantly neither are non-Jews. The Jewish/Kabbalah conception of "God" is that God doesn't exist- It is outside of existence. The Creation narrative is not the work of a Deity per se but rather it is a description of consciousness actualizing itself to become self-aware. This is taught by the Midrash which says that the reason for creation was because God desired to behold God. This happens through an intricate emanationist philosophy wherein Primal Consciousness "dreams" existence in a subjective sense. This alternate reality is subjective in nature, which causes your argument to become illogical. For example, in your dreams can you dream of an object you can't dream about? In the context of Kabbalistic understanding your arguments are non-applicable.

Conclusion

Theism and Atheism are two sides of the same coin and the existence of Atheism cannot exist without the perceptions of the religious who guarantee the context of its existence.  As you study and understand the Wisdom of Kabbalah you will begin to perceive every mundane thing in your life and in the existence of the collective of human experience within the distinctive context of the Kabbalah.  This is a much higher perception of reality wherein one becomes consciously aware as opposed to living unconsciously.  I urge each of you to take a serious approach to your studies of the Kabbalah and to acquire its Wisdom in your life as it will improve the quality of your life and raise you above the level of General Providence and place you into the context of Particular Providence.