What the New Age means to me
Note: the following contribution is from a book by the same title published by the "Bridges to the Future" (Sha'ar Yamim) group around 1986. It contained thirteen responses to the question, What does the "New Age" mean to me? Each contribution was a personal statement of the New Age. What was intended was something completely meaningful to the individual involved, something expressive of himself.
The books contributors were (alphabetically):
Simcha Bahiri, Abraham Barzeli, Gila Beckerman, Moshe Dror*, Chana Eden, Avrum Goodblatt, Yitzhak Khayutman* (same as above), Adit Kimchi, Eli Lasch*, Reumah Rekhav, Phyllis Schlemmer, Yoel Varod, Yoram Yarose.
(* names with asterisk are members of the Academy of Jerusalem. Their statements may be soon included on this site).
Yitzhak Hayut-Ma'n can be contacted via E-mail:email@example.com
The "New Age" is mainly a sham slogan,
Yet it also forms a beautiful paradox.
"New" is much the opposite of "Age",
So the seduction of the slogan is that
If engaged with New Age,
One need not fear old age.
On the face of it there is nothing new
About the idea of "New Age".
Its current popular pronouncement,
For example, by David Spangler,
As having started in Findhorn, A.D. 1967,
Can be traced back to prophesies
by Alice Baily and the Theosophists
At the beginning of the 20th century,
and from them, back to, either
The German idealist/romantic philosophers, or
To the 12th century prophesies of Joachim of Fiore
About "the Third Gospel" and "the third Age",
Both images later appropriated by
The evil genius of "the Third Reich".
The other root of the idea
Comes through the Jewish Prophets,
The Hebrew Bible and the Midrashim.
We are inevitably stuck with this root,
So why not make the best of it.
We may find that it is pure gold,
If, in a proper alchemical fashion,
We put ourselves to the endeavor.
True, there have been innumerable attempts
To enumerate the year, the drawing near,
Of the Coming of the Messiah,
Yet two relatively robust Judaic measures
About the progression of history,
Both assume that "This World"
Is about to last about 6000 years.
One such measure spells out three such "Ages";
2000 years as an Age of chaos,
2000 years (starting with Abraham,
And thus with the people of Israel)
As "the Age of the Torah", and
The last 2000 years (we are well into them)
as "the Age of the Messiah".
The other such measure is into six millennia,
Which corresponds symbolically
With the six days of Genesis.
Thus the formation of Adam
Is the event of the sixth millennium
Which is happening now in front of our eyes.
In fact, we are parties to it.
So, taking these tow as more valid,
Spiritually and culturally, for us,
Than the measures of meta-history
Proffered by Christians or astrology,
Let us explore their implications.
Between Abraham and the Mishnah,
The Israelites and the Torah have intertwined
And formed (perhaps reformed) each other.
Then during this next two millennia,
Which are now drawing to a close,
The people of Israel are being re-formed
Into the Messiah of the World to Come.
This Messiah is a possible collective entity
Which we are parts of, or of which we share.
This Messiah, in the words of Yesha'yah,
So widely and paradoxically advertised
In the Christian (namely "Messianic") Gospels,
Has been afflicted with sorrows,
And carried the blames of the whole world.
What Christians could not notice is
That their Messiah lived in their midst
- Even often persecuted by them -
In the form of the Jewish people.
Through a process of exile and worldwide Diaspora
One people gathered unto it the blames and virtues
- The contradictions and the cultural gains -
Of nearly all the nations of the world.
What is new in that publicized New Age of 1967,
Is probably our returned sovereignty in Jerusalem.
WE have now a complex system of alchemical vessels
Made of the city of Jerusalem inside this country
Acting as pressure cookers in the midst of
A hostile Moslem Middle East
And developing "Third World",
And connected to the first and the second,
Especially through the Jewish Diaspora
-Always responsive to the spiritual stirrings
In their hospitable or hostile countries.
We are getting cooked in this vessel into something
That perhaps only Rabbi Kook had an inkling about.
We are all in it - Ashkenazi and Sephardi,
Secular and religious Jews, as well as native Arabs
(Whom I dare to regard as our shadow, and
The missing ingredient of our transformation)
- And out of this awesome vessel we shall emerge
As either a mushy mess or as a Messiah.
Perhaps we need those sweet and mellow flavorings
Of that New Age International to protect us
From getting burnt out or stuck to the bottom.
The main course, however, is that we already carry
- What we have gathered throughout the ages,
What we are.
To repeat - the New Age is the time for the Messiah
To emerge - and that means us, one and all.
It mainly means both you and me.
The New Age can be spelled straight when we can
All clearly see that the "Messiah" starts with "Me".
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