A Kabbalistic perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic.
01.09.2020
http://www.sacredsciencecircle.org/newsletter-1-august-2017/

Sacred Science Circle #7
September 2020

 

The Sacred Science Circle www.sacredsciencecircle.org gathers a sacred circle of individuals and groups that honor the “fires” of transformation implicit in all scientific, scholarly, and artistic endeavors. Our mission is to further that profound route to wisdom that the confluence of science and the Sacred can bring to us and our modern world. In pursuing sacred science, the Sacred Science Circle and our partner institution, the Alef Trust, aspire to transform both ourselves and the world.

In service to the Sacred,
Rosemarie Anderson & Les Lancaster, Sacred Science Circle, Co-Directors

 

       

 

SPECIAL ISSUE:
Covid-19 Reflections From
Transpersonal Colleagues Around the World

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Covid-19 Reflections by

  • Ingo Benjamin Jahrsetz (Germany)
  • Zana Marovic (South Africa)
  • Les Lancaster (United Kingdom)

 

Poem, “Compassion” by Miller Williams

Upcoming Events & Conferences:

  • Choosing to Love, August 31-September 25
  • Corona and Beyond, continuing dialogues, September 13 and October 4, 2020
  • Beyond the Brain, November 6-8, 2020
  • Fourth Integral European Conference, May 19-22, 2021

 

COVID-19 REFLECTIONS

 

Gratitude for the virus – it fosters shifting the paradigm

 

Ingo Benjamin Jahrsetz

Germany

The Covid-19 virus is an emotional and spiritual confrontation on many levels, generating challenges and spiritual confrontation for individuals and the big collective. Many people feel threatened. They are afraid that the virus will create uncontrollable damage in their bodies. They know that they are not alone with this threat. They may realize their interconnectedness, world-wide. There is an idea of oneness, but it is a threatening one. Those who come close can be a risk. Often this fear may be much stronger than the fear to become infected. May we consider how to be courageous and to feel. May we dive deeply into the oneness we all are – a stillness which melts away all separation, all fear and transforms into the oneness of mutual respect and compassion.

Looking back in my life, since WWII, I have never felt such a world-wide economic and psychological disaster caused by what some people say is an invisible enemy. They upgrade their arms, trying to start a war against it. May we wake up and see that war creates war. May we be courageous and speak up even when we feel it is taboo. May we dare to stop fighting even when we become vulnerable.

I see people who treat this virus as a punishment of God. Does the divine send punishments or is it just the price for a world-wide lifestyle, which exploits our planet’s nature, exploiting those who are dependent, exploiting the feminine of our human nature? What is God? Where is God? What is the truth of who I am? May we settle down in the caves of our heart, accepting us as who we are. There is that which cannot be touched, which cannot be understood. It is for the sake of our planet’s nature; it is for the sake of life. All-encompassing intelligence and creation.

The crisis brings up a very ambivalent amalgamation of science and politics. It helps to protect against world-wide infection-chains. At the same time, it creates collateral damages which may be worse than the viral infection dangers. Science becomes the lead of the world’s health. May science become aware of its limits. May science become aware that there is a crisis of how to get valid results.

There is a crisis of understanding, there is a crisis of communication in a world where communication seems to be so easy and evolved. May science accept its lead when it is aware that its results are dependent on the researcher’s own values and procedures. May science melt together with politics, philosophy and intuition to enfold the eternal order implicate in the appearance of the virus.

Ingo Benjamin Jahrsetz, PhD is a psychotherapist and Director of the International Institute for Consciousness-Exploration and Psychotherapy, Freiburg / Germany. He is a teacher of Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Transpersonal Breathwork and former president of EUROTAS. Contact: www.consciousness-exploration.org.

 

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic:
Reflections from South Africa
Zana Marovic
South Africa

Crisis often exposes best and worst hiding in individuals, families and societies. The emergence of Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the global order and revealed dysfunctional patterns within societies, such as political polarization inequalities, hunger and poverty and human right abuses but also encouraging processes, such as environmental recoveries, changes in working conditions, living with less and appreciating more, and women leaders showing efficient and compassionate models of handling Covid-19.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of individuals, families and societal responses to pandemic we need to look at historical patterns. For example, Sweden resembles a progressive “family” that nurtures human rights, feminism, equality culture and environmental activists, such as Greta Thunberg. Sweden’s policy of trust and personal responsibility in handling Covid-19 is congruent with their progressive identity. On the other end, China’s history of human rights abuse, and military approach to crisis is congruent to a controlling “family.” Some families and communities harbor incredible opposites within. One such family is South Africa, where dysfunctional and innovative parts blend together to create a colorful identity of our “rainbow nation.” Extremes are part of our history: human rights abuses and apartheid on one side and an impressive leadership of Nelson Mandela’s legacy of cooperation and compassion, on the other side.

Covid-19 pandemic has exposed South Africa’s political, health and economic crisis. Many South Africans feel desperate about rampant levels of corruption, lack of water and electricity, shortage of transparency and accountability, unemployment, and gender-based violence, to mention a few. Economic hardship due to lockdown resulted in South Africa becoming a hunger hotspot. Present statistics show that 50 % of South African population is at risk of hunger while school closures due to lockdown left 9 million children at risk of hunger. Healing and meaningful way forward wouldn’t be possible without considering some of what we did right, positive resources and narratives about South Africa:

We have the had most incredible leader, Nelson Mandela and his legacy of compassion and integrity. Many incredible individual and organizational initiatives built on Mandela’s legacy are taking place during Covid-19. Further, South Africa has been repeatedly voted as one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world with 13 official languages. Since nature is one of the best healers perhaps beauty of this country will heal many.

Ultimately, a transpersonal challenge of the pandemic is in its potential to provide a platform for global communities’ to a higher level of consciousness. That necessitates a vision whereby we acknowledge historical wounds together with positive resources, strengths and collective wisdom while collaborating and dialoging across race, sex, borders, countries and continents with leadership that role models respect and compassion.

Zana Marovic, PhD is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, a yoga therapist and an international trainer and author. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her special interests include somatic wellness, indigenous and cross-cultural psychology and transpersonal psychology. She is a current president of The International Transpersonal association.

 

A Kabbalistic perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic

Les Lancaster

United Kingdom

All spiritual, mystical, and religious traditions have in common an understanding that events have causes which are meaningful in terms of the tenets of their belief system. Seemingly accidental events, for example, will be “acts of God” for theistic traditions, or, in other traditions, perhaps seen to have been orchestrated by “spirits” of one form or another. In exploring how a Kabbalist might frame the meaning and implications of the Covid-19 pandemic the question is not whether divine forces may be involved, since for Judaism and its mystical tradition, there is “nothing other than God”. Everything that we can possibly experience is an expression of the emanations of God that constitute the fabric of reality. No, the only question worth asking becomes: What are the signs through which we might glean the meaning of the pandemic? Armed with knowledge of the four “worlds” that are central to Kabbalistic teaching, kabbalists understand that the factors which seemingly explain events in a lower world are agents for the designs initiated in a higher world. The kabbalist’s goal is knowledge, for knowledge is the path to intimacy with the divine.

Critically, knowing that there are veiled forces at work does not immunise the body from being ravished by the virus—just as knowing that designs concealed from consensus reality may have orchestrated events of World War 2 would not have protected the mystic from the horrors of Auschwitz. Equally, the insight that events impinging so heavily on each of us have causes in more rarefied realms does not absolve us from doing all we can to alleviate the suffering of our fellows. And those whose negligence or even active connivance bring about suffering should certainly be held to account, even though larger-scale designs may be at work. In the scheme of Kabbalistic thought, we are not simple puppets responding to deeper forces, for we all have free will. Causation coursing through the worlds taught by the Kabbalah is not a simple one-way, unstoppable process, as illustrated by the biblical narrative of Abraham arguing with God (Genesis 18:23-33).

It is in the world of biological and physical systems—the world of making (Heb. Assiah)—that the virus plays out its mission to colonise and reproduce. Here also manifests the medical imperative to manage the effects of the virus and the quest to find a vaccine. Moreover, the complex of responses—economic, social, and inter-generational—find outer expression in this world. The kabbalist, however, seeks meaning behind the outer expression, which requires understanding of the dynamics of each of the three higher worlds. How might we understand the connotations of Covid-19 in these deeper levels of being?

The next world in this scheme of interpenetrating realms of being is named formation (Heb. Yetsirah). We could liken the activity in this world to the flow of unconscious imagery lying behind the screen of conscious thought. The beings of this world of Yetsirah (“angels”) give form to the impulse that sustains the virus in Assiah. As with the unconscious impulse behind conscious content, there is a fluidity of symbolic form behind the concrete physical and/or biological entity. This world harbours the subtleties of association that generate the classic Rabbinic genre of Midrash, which—in its mystical development—enables letters, sounds, and numbers to jostle in the hermeneutic quest to discern levels of meaning. In the spirit of Kabbalistic exegesis we might play with names and numbers to reveal a little of what may be concealed behind the outward reality of this pandemic. In this esoteric discipline of permuting letters and using gematria (numerical equivalencies across words), it is only consonants that come into play, for classical Hebrew texts omit vowels. The consonants of the term covid, C-V-D, become the Hebrew word CaVoD, meaning ‘glory’, a term that seems far from immediately appropriate. Yet, penetrating behind a simple translation, we find that cavod intimates a full expression of a higher impulse (emanating from an upper world); its numerical value is 32, which, for anyone attuned to kabbalistic symbolism, depicts the Tree of Life, with its 22 paths and 10 divine emanations (sefirot). The number 32 therefore conveys a complete system, or pattern, the whole expressing the centre, symbolically the heart (Heb. lev = 32). In the arcane world of gematria digits are added to give a sum, thought to convey meaning. 19 (from Covid-19) is therefore 9+1, again intimating the 10 sefirot. 19 is the numerical value of the Hebrew Chavah ‘being’ or ‘existence’, and of the name (‘Eve’) of the first woman, named because she brings all that lives into being (Genesis 3:20).

The Kabbalistic Midrash of Covid-19 thus conveys the imagery of birthing a new system within the unfolding patterns of creation. We might suggest that it intimates a new phase in human history, signalling perhaps that a new cycle in humanity’s systems of governance and cultural aspirations may be dawning. When we add to the mix the allusion to Crown (‘corona’), the imagery is strengthened for ‘crown’ (Heb. Keter) is the initiating sefirah, the divine impulse that brings the tree of sefirot into being.
The Kabbalistic path of gaining insights into events through the play of names, Hebrew letters, and numbers may seem far removed from the rational discourse and research that determines our culture’s grasp of explanation. It might be dismissed as irrational and unduly esoteric, and it is not my objective in this short article to defend it. What I would suggest, however, is that this imagery of generating a new cycle, a new pattern in the way we operate, is not so far-fetched; many are seeing in this pandemic a call to re-examine our relations to the natural world, to recognise an urgent need to review the values which demand growth as the only measure of success, and to grasp the nettle of globalisation that is supplanting the tyranny of nations and empires. The collective psyche has to grow to encompass the new ‘normal’.

Continued on http://www.sacredsciencecircle.org/sacred-wisdoms-archive/.

 

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POEM
COMPASSION

Have compassion for everyone you meet
Even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manner or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
Down there where the spirit meets the bone.

By Miller Williams
The Ways We Touch: Poems. (University of Illinois Press, 1997)

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS & CONFERENCES

CHOOSING TO LOVE — 2020

E-course by Patricia Campbell Carlson, Br. David Steindl-Rast, Margaret Wakeley

Monday, August 31 – Friday, September 25

Faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love: the surprise of all surprises, a choice to say “yes” to what life brings us.
Program details and registration options available at: https://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ecourses/course/view/10256/choosing-to-love-2020

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This cycle of dialogues expands upon the themes that emerged in the discussion Corona and Beyond: Transitioning to a new paradigm.

Hosts Dr. Jessica Bockler and Prof. Les Lancaster will be joined by transpersonal psychologists, coaches, creative and spiritual practitioners from the Alef Trust faculty to explore what we each can do to find greater alignment, meaning and balance in turbulent times. The dialogues are open to questions and discussion from participants as we learn from one another.

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A Call for Artists:

Mirrors of the Mind 9:
The Psychotherapist as Artist in the Time of Coronavirus

Deadline for Submission: October 26, 2020

The Los Angeles Count Psychological Association’s Arts, Creativity and Culture Committee continues to harness the power of arts created by clinicians to educate, inspire, and promote reflection and dialogue about power, privilege, racism, protest, and social justice. We believe in the liberating power of the arts to promote empathy, be a catalyst for social healing, and provide us a greater sense of interconnectedness.

Go to the LACPA website at https://www.lacpa.org/call-for-mirrors to access the Registration Form and Prospectus, which includes artist guidelines and the rules for submission.

 

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Beyond the Brain

Online 3-Day Conference
6th-8th November 2020

The Scientific & Medical Network invites leading researchers to discuss innovative strategies to probe the nature of consciousness. This online 3-day conference promotes a vital overview of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science. The conference is held in partnership with The Alef Trust and The Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia.

Speakers include neuropsychologist Peter Fenwick; Dr Iain McGilchrist, author of seminal book The Master and his Emissary; writer and editor David Lorimer; Tamara Russell, clinical scientist and mindfulness innovator, and many more. Website address: https://www.beyondthebrain.org

 

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Online Integral European Conference

May 19-23, 2021

Program details and registration options available at https://integraleuropeanconference.com/iec-2020-details. Pre-conference workshops are available on May 18, 2021.