Today’s divisive social and political climate in the U.S., a melting pot within a boiling society that erupts in recurring mass shootings, resembles a modern-day version of ancient Babylon 4,000 years ago.
A look at how the crisis was handled at that important period in history will give us the keys for a more harmonious coexistence today.
The ancient Babylonians started out as a united civilization. Eventually, they experienced a growth in their egos. As a result, they began exploiting each other for personal gain and felt increasing social division with its conflicts and hardships.
Troubled by the growing division and hatred in society, a Babylonian sage, Abraham, started promoting his method — a method of connection — which was premised on the idea that by achieving connection among human society, we achieve balance with nature’s own connecting tendency, and thus experience a plethora of positive outcomes: peace, love, happiness, and meaningfulness to name a few. He invited anybody who wanted to learn the ways of nature: how nature is fundamentally a quality of connection, bestowal and love, and how human society could elevate itself above its divisive drives to harmonize with nature.
The people who came to Abraham, he formed into a group.
This group became known as “the Jews,” which means “a united people” (the Hebrew word for “Jew” [Yehudi] comes from the word for “united” [yihudi] [Yaarot Devash, Part 2, Drush no. 2]). That is, the Jews were never a biologically-connected people, but a gathering of people who felt the problems of their civilization’s growing divisions, and that the solution to those problems were in learning and applying the laws of nature’s connectedness to human society.
The rejection of living according to a destructive egoistic paradigm, on one hand, and the attraction to the unifying idea and method that Abraham taught, on the other, eventually accumulated into this group’s attainment of a new, unified perception and sensation of life.
They learned how to not fall to the ego’s demands for self-fulfillment on account of others, and also experienced new elated sensations beyond the pleasures on offer in any other place, resulting from their mutual efforts to unite. Their unity then spread throughout the human consciousness of the time, as seemingly out of nowhere, people started thinking and acting more positively, peacefully, and considerately toward each other.
The sublime state of unity expanding throughout human civilization came and went, as the human ego eventually outgrew the level of unity that the Abraham-led group attained.
However, the immense significance of what this group known as “the Jews” attained — unity above division — remained throughout history, continuing into our era, as a subconscious impression in humanity. In its positive form, this impression is that the Jews have something special that other nations do not have. In its negative form, this impression is that the Jews are somehow responsible for society’s misfortunes. All kinds of reasons are pointed out as to what’s wrong with Jews, from Jews holding too much power in countries they have assimilated into, to Jewish conspiracies, Jewish greediness, and many others. However, the root reason is in what made the Jews “Jews” (i.e. “united”) to begin with: that they once realized a method of connection above human divisive drives, which became the solution to the problems in human civilization, and today they’re expected to do that again.
As human society accumulates more and more suffering and negative impressions toward the realization of its helplessness and desperation — that none of the so-called “solutions” it has to offer, whether it be new policies, laws, weapons, or technologies, will work to society’s lasting benefit — the subconscious demand upon the Jewish people to implement the method of connection they once attained grows.
At this moment it is difficult to relate mass shootings to the role of Jews in the world, but the root of the frustration, hatred and despair that leads to such manifestations is intertwined with the potential that the Jewish people hold to tilt the scales one way or another, to become an example to follow.
Therefore, as soon as we Jews become a force capable of establishing unity above the ego and social division, we will spare the world and ourselves from further suffering, and moreover, will bring about an abundance of happiness, confidence, and harmony in humanity on a whole new level that we have never experienced before. It is my hope that such positive change will happen sooner rather than later.
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