This month i celebrated 42nd birthday – and that number is big in all the traditions; according to Kabbalists the world was created by 42-letetrs name of God , the main kabbalist prayer is Ana B’Koach - built around the sequence of 42 letters, encoded within first 42 letters of the book of Genesis etc.
The only two decks i use for kabbalistic connections are The Kabbalah deck and 72 Names meditation deck; among all the Kabbalah-inspired decks on the market and among numerous decks of a kind i own – these are the only two i find ‘glatt kosher’ and fit for the purpose.
The former was recommended to me by great Bonnie Cehovet – and i didn’t regret the effort and funds to acquire it in the distant land of Hong Kong; the 72 Names deck is published by Kabbalah Center, was gifted to me by a dear friend and fellow Kabbalist, Eliyahu – and i can not recommend it strongly enough.
The Hebrew letters of the month of Gemini are Reish and Zayin (see the pic of meditation setting, from right to left).
Reish starts Hebrew word for holy spirit (ruach ha-kadosh) – the divine attributes of prophecy and wisdom – available to each and everyone of us depending on diligence and effort; Hebrew words for healing (rafooah) and healer (rofeh) also start with Reish and both are connected to ruach, breath.
Throughout history, the mystics of Kabbalah such as Abraham Abulafia, thought methods to achieve higher consciousness by combining Hebrew letters, breathing exercises and body postures – and that’s one of the practices which i personally intend to commence.
The letter Zayin starts the word zachaer, to remember – the mystics contemplated on it so not to get overwhelmed by the mundane tasks and forget the soul’s real purpose on this earth; letter Zayin is also a reminder to slow down and introduce ‘spiritual time management’ into one’s daily life.
The Hebrew letters that correspond to my current birthday – and a meditation that is strongly advised on the occasion of it – are Mem (numerical value 40) and Bet (numerical value 2).
Bet starts Hebrew words for home and blessing (respectively: bayit and beracha) and Mem, among else, denotes the cycles and periods of time necessary for human efforts to reach fruition and manifest.
So, anyway you look at it – this year is big for me and there are several most important areas i need to focus on.
Those of you who are my facebook friends probably know i decided to go vegan; i don’t believe anymore in ritual slaughter (kosher/halal thing); and, in full honesty, i believe that whomever buys into “certification” thingy after Rubashkin and alike cases – videos were taped at plants of cattle stumbling around, their throats cut, their windpipes pulled out – is naive (cruel?) by choice. And i do hate watching the fish dying in agony when it’s taken out of water. So… vegan it is.
I don’t like the taste of products of animal origin, and that’s not my concern the least – the only thing i need to find an answer to is the ritual foods and how to substitute them.
The thing is that many Kabbalist/ Jewish holidays and connections revolve around food and big part of it is meat – think of the inevitable lamb for Pasha and the red meat which we are commanded to eat on Shabbat; the story behind those ritual foods is amazingly profound, basically it is believed that human souls might be (for this or that reason) trapped in an animal, the ritual slaughter presumably agrees beforehand with the animal that after being killed it will go to the higher planes of existence, it doesn’t suffer the least during the very brief procedure and, after it’s meat has been made fit for human consumption – the kabbalist by reciting the blessings and consuming the meat, frees and elevates the souls trapped in it .
It’s a nice theory – but after seeing in practice how those animals actually suffer, and knowing that many (most?) ritual slaughters do not have the needed level of consciousness, i refuse to be part of it.
It was a difficult decision for me to make, because i firmly believe in the tenets of the tradition to which i belong, but i feel i need to rely on my own judgement here.
As per per the time management – there the situation is way more complicated; basically i’ve never learned to manage time and the only way i found so far to juggle my numerous professional goals and hobbies is – to get OCD about one thing at the time; like for couple of months i’d write manically; then for some period i’d exclusively work on my thesis , then i’d focus on fitness – i can say it did give me good results so far and the possibility to pursue very different interests and careers; but i think i can do better than that – and less stressful too.
I presume becoming a minimalist of a kind is necessary for that – albeit i prefer the term ‘elitist’ – minimalist reminds me of medieval asceticism and that’s not my thing definitely; to me that means engaging into activities and being involved exclusively with people who at the end of things contribute to my own ultimate fulfillment - as selfish as it might come across.
There are many philosophies both to support and to deny such choice – and, no, i do not think of Ayn Rand who’s odious to me, both as a person and as teachings.
I rather think of Crowley and his ‘will’ philosophy which i personally found true – only that which is shared from pure heart and of true desire – at the end does good both to the giver and the receiver.
I passed the external validation phase – mostly, i can’t be guilt-tripped that easily, if at all and, basically, in my 42 years i did realize i am best off when i think for myself.
Wish me luck.
Bonnie Cehovet’s review of the Kabbalah deck: http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/kabbalah-deck/review.shtml
72 Names meditation deck : http://store.kabbalah.com/72_Names_Meditation_Cards_Deck_p/t-medc-72.htm
Abraham Abulafia: http://www.learnkabbalah.com/abraham_abulafi/
Ana b’Koach prayer: http://www.kabbalah.com/wisdom/anabkoach
Why number 42 matters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_(number)
42 according to Kabbalist http://www.inner.org/names/nameloka.htm