Torah, “direction” in transliteration; direction itself, sacred direction, our G-d like living fire; Ruach, Breath of Being, life force of cosmos, the immovable mover. Direction, torch and the wheel of life; the hub of existence orbiting its self-lessness, the “I Am that I Am”, giving rise to all existence; dimensionless point without location, I or other: the All.
Purim: I think we have it slightly inverted. Rather than to get intoxicated, I actually think its to go beyond the radical intoxication of the knowledge of good and evil in which we are incessantly treading the tsunami of this life, since we plunged into the amniotic fluids of this mad, mad world. Where have we known, done, this before? And for G-d’s sake, why are we told that in the end of time, beyond the age of the Messiah, this alone will be the only holiday we continue to celebrate!?
Then we recall that in the Garden of Eden, in peace and purity, before jealousy, delusion or vanity, we dwelt prior to and beyond the knowledge of good and evil. Then we were devoid of all the sicknesses of the grasping selfish ego, with its fears and doubts, beyond immersion in war and want, without hatred or ignorance that arise from the illusion of separation from the Divine; full and utterly atoned, at-one (d). Beyond the intoxication of the world’s deception, “vanity, vanity, vanity”, we dwelt in purity, intoxicated instead as it is spoken of in the writing of the great mystic poets, on the very presence of G-d, on love, beauty and immersion in that relentless, all-creating power and direction, the true and living Torah.
It is here in this awakened spiritual intoxication that we recognize, re-cognize, the truth of all beings as arisen from and returning to that One, from Whom all things arise, to Whom all things return. It is here that can indeed tell others the truth of what we really think of them, because we know them in the radiance of their nashama, from that unutterable name of them that only G-d can utter. It is not that our ego reveals to them its distorted reflections of their distorted wounding in this world, but rather their nashama that our nashama finally clearly reflects and reveals.
All re-turn to that inherent purity being one with the One, – the at-one-ment / atonement – in its perfected, perfecting creative, living truth. We are again pure, beyond the knowledge of good and evil, – spontaneously kind and compassionate, loving without fear, inherently wise, pure and devoid of vanity, delusion or lack. It is here that we put on our masks of choice for the festival of existence; like children we choose our identities freely by, in and as which to appear, be known, create, serve and evolve in the Garden of Truth, Eden, which does not annihilate the beauty and play of creation; rather it liberates it in higher creative expressions and dimensions, imbuing it with elegant, evolving new harmonics.
It is in this way that we can understand Torah as a Tree of Life. Its core remains, yet each season a new ring appears with the turning of the universe. Old bark is shed, new emerges; leaves are shed and re-grow, blossoms and fruit ripen and are cast off nourishing life and falling into the earth as fertilizer for new trees, new blossoms and fruits. From this one Tree of Life an entire forest grows, many forests full with the cornucopia and omni-dimensionality of incessantly renewing life.
The rainforests cease to be burnt, allowing their diversity of life to escape extinction; transformative justice transplants the sacrifice of youth and human potentiality for healing, being imprisoned in the economy of death’s unjust shadow; there is decent healthcare for all, enough for the poorest to eat and learn in good schools, the healing of countless diseases and ills, the roots of which our mad world itself begets, through its social and psychological cancers.
Adam, we are told, was the first mask G-d created, breathing life into a form forged with the world’s dust. We are all nashama, adorned in the world masks of our co-creative efforts and choices, adorned for the Festival of Life, choosing our “lots”, the literal derivation of the word Purim. Every mask is filled and formed with breaths of the one
G-d, from the tiniest creature to the spinning universes, each one a verse in the Divine song, made of words that G-d utters as we co-create our symphonies of being with sacred melodies.
Enjoy Purim’s season! Let the festival cycle be filled with the ruach of tikkun olam, as we see and serve the world’s nashmas behind the masks we all wear, the breath of Messiah with each and every mitzvah.