We want to dissuade self-appointed geniuses from co-opting Meru's work by imposing their own ideas on it, and by inappropriately quoting from and incorporating our findings in their proposals. This is a significant problem, because later, third parties criticize what Meru is actually proposing based on misrepresentations by people who have imposed themselves on us. This is not just a matter of our having to deal with the copyright infringement and disparagement of the individual referred to in the boxed notice at the bottom of our home page at www.meru.org. While this individual is clearly "over the top", many others, certainly less crazy and bizarre but often no less insistent, seem to have taken an undue interest in the Meru proposals.
Great ideas are not uncommon. What makes the difference is what is done with them, and this depends on integrity, caring, humility -- and competent management and adequate resources. In order to mature and be healthy and productive, a great idea requires the same nurturing and nourishment as a child.
Meru Foundation needs intelligent and caring support in order to form working relationships with other professionals, and in order to bring these ideas forward. However, while we need support for our work, this is in the spirit of education for the future, with all the benefits for our children and grandchildren that come from this. Support for Meru Foundation does not come before tzedakah (charity) needed to meet today's immediate human needs and emergencies.
Our work contributes to tikkun olam, that is, to a better world for our children and grandchildren. Our work attempts to address political, social, and sociological needs on a global scale, and it can relate to healing and caring also. What we have accomplished provides a philosophical and theoretical basis for action. What we need is support in order to turn this potential into action.
WHAT'S IT GOOD FOR?
The idea is to demonstrate that in the Western tradition, Torah contains what I call "a science of consciousness" that is valuable (to modern standards) to all people of all cultures
Simply by moving from noun-translations to verb-translations, principles that previously have set Jews apart and caused jealousy now unite us with others, as examples of successful behavior.
WHAT WE'RE NOT PROPOSING, AND WHY
What is really problematic with all of the supposed Kabbalah that is so popular these days, whether it comes from scholars, occultists, Jewish sources, non-Jewish sources, new-age sources, etc., is the inadequacy in modern terms of the content they propose.
The content that all of these scholars and experts propose for the meaning and significance of the Hebrew text of Genesis, and its Kabbalah, in effect "damns by faint praise".
If the Hebrew text of Genesis and its Kabbalah really does include a true science of consciousness and cosmology meeting the highest modern objective standards, accessible to everyone (like all real science), then what objective "praise" is it to attribute subjective, non-reproducible content to Torah or Kabbalah?
Consider for example:
Even if any or all of these turns out to have some objectively valid component, compared to what a modern person means by an objective science, they are still all either trivial or subjective.
It is intrinsically demeaning to the Torah tradition (and the Western traditions in general) to attempt to impose this sort of "damning by faint praise" on something that is -- if I'm right -- worth enormously more praise, and is of enormously greater value.
To claim that a car can travel at 200 miles per hour would seem to be great praise -- unless, of course, the car can actually travel at 500 miles per hour, in which case the claim of 200 miles per hour is in fact a disparagement, and not praise at all.
Even if all the scholarly, new-age, Christianized, magical, mythical, and/or psychological Kabbalah is real, it's still only "faint praise" compared to what the evidence suggests the Hebrew text of Genesis and its alphabet and Kabbalah are really about.
Of course all honest scholarship is valuable and makes a contribution. The Meru proposals are based on existing scholarship. Where we differ is that the Meru proposals make it clear that the science of consciousness in Torah is objective, valuable, and usable to modern standards in the modern world.
Like "a rising tide that raises all ships", the Meru proposals give credit where credit is due, distinguish what is valuable from what isn't, and in so doing, help to extract what is real and valuable from the widest possible range of sources and perspectives (including even the examples above).
If there are "healing powers", then the Meru perspective can help to distinguish the valuable "signal" from the "noise".
If there is "secret lost knowledge" (such as the universal language at the time of the Tower of Babel), then Meru's high critical standards can help to sort through the secrets, and find what has been lost.
If there is reality to prophecy, then what we're proposing distinguishes objective prognostication from subjective beliefs. We're proposing that the letter-text of Torah includes mental exercises that help us emotionally and intellectually to mature, and consequently to gain a more inclusive overview. This may not be "magical" prophecy, but it may be akin to the objective science farmers use to know how to read the seasons to properly raise their crops.
With regard to the "Bible Codes," the Meru proposal is that the letter-patterning is objectively real, but that it is faint praise indeed to interpret this in a way that makes it appear that Torah is hardly more than a laundry-list of prophecies. The Meru proposal that the letter-text includes psychologically and physiologically sound mental exercises that can lead to an objective overview is much stronger praise -- and it is demonstrable.
Numerology and "gematria" have been much abused, and subject to fantastical claims in circumstances where the principle can only be applied in an arbitrary and meaningless way. The Meru proposals make it easier to distinguish between meaningful numerical values for names and roots, and meaningless ones.
The Western sages were clear that there is something to astrology, which is why it has been banned. Looking to signs and seasons, and interpreting them according to one's own systems of belief, can lead a person away from looking to God. The Meru proposals can extract what is meaningful, and can help to put it into proper perspective as a subset of God.
Palmistry, of course, has also been abused. But there may indeed be an objective correlation among the organs that develop from the same embryonic tissues. Thus the skin of the palm could, in principle, be objectively read to provide real information. But of course this would be entirely different than the magical subjective systems.
And finally even Tarot, almost certainly a medieval fraud, can teach us something. Tarot, like all human divinatory and idolatrous systems, attempts to make sense of the real world. Everyone alive can directly observe the cycles of life, and the seasons. Tarot and other forms of idolatry assign idols, images, and powers over these natural cycles. And surprisingly, it is exactly this "idolatry run amok" that offers the opportunity for tikkun olam (repair of the world).
Humbly taken as a catalog of natural functions, Tarot and all the other divinatory systems can be useful because, properly organized and understood, these natural functions are a natural part of any true science of consciousness.
Any of these can be used to focus a person's thinking -- and this personal basis is why these systems can be used subjectively by talented and caring individuals (whether or not they have objective value).
Contrarily, when Tarot and the others are taken to be complete systems, to represent truth, and are claimed to be science by individuals who believe they have made a great discovery, they become the ego-centric focus for idolatry.
The difference between useful function and useless aggrandizement is not in any of these (subjective) systems, but rather in the individuals who make use of them. Humble scholars and scientists recognize that great as their discoveries may be, they are only a small part of a much greater whole. Arrogant persons do not recognize this, and like Pharaoh, think that they (or their ideas) are the only "greats" in the world.
There is no one single way to express everything to everyone, and there is certainly no individual whose expertise and wisdom can encompass all knowledge, or communicate to everyone. That's why there are so many of us.
Taken in context -- humbly -- like all serious work, even marginal and false beliefs can do good and be useful. Taken out of context, even great ideas can be demeaned, demeaning, and destructive.
We are interested in the
recovery of an objective science
of consciousness from the roots of
our Western traditions.
While the personal, subjective,
divinatory systems are certainly
not an objective science of
consciousness, a true science of
consciousness must include an
explanation and a place for these
subjective systems. It is a
matter of putting the horse before
Director of Research,
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