Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year | To Strive towards "Tikkun Olam"

Jewish Design
Wish and pray
a blessed
New Year!

May all our moments, all our hours, all our days remain in conscious grace of the Presence, in this now and every infinite 'present moments' to come.

During the transition of last year and beginning of this year, a term was constantly flooding my mind and heart, which is "Tikkun Olam". Originating in the early Rabbinic period this phrase the great Hebrew Sages have used to mean, 'repairing of the world,' or 'perfecting the world'.

In the famous Jewish prayer Aleinu, the phrase is included in the longer expression, l'takken olam b'malkhut Shaddai, "to perfect the world under God's sovereignty." And this perfecting the world happens through our recognition of the Real and in aligning to That.

The ancient teachings tell us that Man is the micro-cosm. As above so is below - what is in the cosmos is inside human being. But Sufis have far more bewildering reality to throw us into. Great sufi master Shams e Tabriz, may his noble soul be in peace taught, "The learned think that microcosm is concealed in the creation of man and macrocosm is the outer space that surrounds us. For enlightened beings it is just the opposite. The outer universe is microcosm and the macrocosm is hidden in human beings."

Christ reaffirmed in his gnostic saying, "The Kingdom is within" Ofcourse this 'within' has two levels of ontological meaning, "within Man" and "within the Divine Real" or what sufis call, "Haqq". For this exploration in the context of Tikkun Olam, if we only take the first level of meaning, that Tikkun Olam refers to repair of our inner world, our inner cosmos - everything that which makes what we are.

This repair is to re pair, to (again) bring together our humanness (insaniyyat) with divineness (rabbaniyyat), which is our divinely granted right since pre-eternity.

Jewish mystics have interesting symbol to offer a glimpse of this reality. An erotic union between the masculine and feminine aspects of God is an important Kabbalistic symbol which predates and was incorporated into the Lurianic (from Isaac Luria, 16th century Safed) symbol of Tikkun. The Zohar holds that God's feminine aspect is exiled on earth as the "Shekhinah" and that she must be reunited with "The Holy One Blessed Be He." The unification of divine masculine and feminine aspects of the godhead can be understood as symbolic of the blending of the opposites, which, according to the Kabbalists, is part of the perfection and harmony of the universe. In psychological terms it can be understood as the reunification of the feminine and masculine aspects of a divided self. This two aspect of union finds its place in sufi idea of human soul being the feminine aspect that longs for union with divine beloved, the sovereign.

Perhaps Jesus, may God sanctify his station, whom many seers always recognized as a genuine Jewish Mystic, was referring to this bringing masculine and feminine divine qualities when in Gospel of Thomas we find him speaking about Mary Magdalene, 'I myself will lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.'

A sufi proverb goes that says, "everyone knows that the drop merges into the ocean, few people realise that the ocean also merges into the drop" and when we contemplate upon that, perhaps, by divine grace, our heart will open to the mystic reality that is concealed within the pregnant idea of Tikkun Olam.

I pray that may we be successful towards our striving towards Tikkun Olam, towards our repairing all our chasm, our space between our imperfect humanness and the Reality which is nearer than our own own blood and vein. Indeed all perfection belongs to the All Perfect One, Who is above all limited associations, to Whose Glory, our every words fall short.

Allahumma Inni Zalamtu Nafsi Zulman Kathiran Wa La Yaghfirud Dhunuba Illa Anta Faghfirli Naghfiratan Min 'Indika Wa Arhamni Innaka Antal Ghafurur Rahim.

O Allah, I have been unjust to my 'self' and none grants pardons against our 'falling short' (from a more prefect station than to a still lower one) but You, therefore, forgive me with Your Forgiveness and have mercy on me. Surely You are the Sole Forgiver, the Merciful.

- Invocation of Holy Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace

Sirri al Fatiha!

Invoking the boundless mystery of the Opening! Pin It Now!