Make your own free website on Tripod.com

REALIZING THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM

The Academy of Jerusalem Monographs - #3 March 95
by Yitzhak I. Hayut-Man, B.Arch, M.CRP, Ph.D (Cybernetics)


Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Problem
3. Peace-Making and Human Reconstruction
3.1 Conversation
3.2 Ideological Reorientation and Symbolic Construction
4. Heavenly Jerusalem and the Old-New Zion
4.1 Heavenly Jerusalem and the story of Genesis
4.2 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Kingdom of David
4.3 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Prophets
4.4 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Second Temple
4.5 Heavenly Jerusalem and Christianity
4.6 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Talmud
4.7 Heavenly Jerusalem and Islam
4.8 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Kabbalah
4.9 Heavenly Jerusalem and Shambhala.
4.10 Heavenly Jerusalem and Marxism
4.11 Heavenly Jerusalem in early Modern Zionism.
4.12 The Heavenly Jerusalem, Holism and the Whole Earth
5. The New Heavenly Jerusalem - Heaven, Havannah and Bniyah
6. Heavenly Jerusalem as a Symbol of Future Zionism
6.1 Heavenly Orientation and Aliyah
6.2 (Torah & Shalem) Teaching wholeness - A New Torah from Zion
6.3 (Shalom, Bniyah & Havannah) - Building Bridges to Peace.
6.4 (Bniyah & Ir) - City Building and Urban Living.
6.5 (Hibur & Yahad) Joining Together - Mosaic Patterns
7. Consequent Implications of the symbols
7.1 Teaching Wholeness, City Building, and Urban Living: Designing Civilization
7.2 Building Bridges to Peace & Joining Together: Encouraging Federalism
7.3 City Building, Urban Living & Joining Together: The Earthly Jerusalem
7.4 Yahadut & Teaching Wholeness: Israel and the World
Epilogue
References
Appendix A: Conversation Theory
Appendix B: Herzlian neo-Zionist dramatization
Appendix C: Future Mythology
Appendix D: Hejera Design

This item is part of the Academy of Jerusalem proceedings. If you wish to comment or receive further related material, contact us by email at yrusalem@actcom.co.il

4. Heavenly Jerusalem and the Old-New Zion


It is thus time to introduce the Heavenly (or New) Jerusalem. This symbol appeared two thousand years ago in Jewish Midrashim and Christian scriptures based on them, but has become almost unknown to all but the more religious Jews and Christians.

In these legends the Heavenly Jerusalem is the archetype of the good to come, which will be revealed to all at the redemption of the world. At present she hovers above the earthly Jerusalem, even when the latter lies in ruin or sin, but only the most righteous can see her, in moments of grace. In Christian tradition, she is described at the end of the New Testament as descending out of Heaven perfect and complete at the consummation of history, while Jewish legends emphasize the building from below to actualize the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The Heavenly Jerusalem is an uplifting symbol for the mind. She can provide the Archimedean fulcrum for both changing the world and lifting Zionism out of its depressed and entrapped state.

The Heavenly Jerusalem can provide a new set of ideals for Zionism.

Whatever other connotations the word "Zionism" may have acquired, it undeniably contains the word Zion, which appears untold times in the Jewish Scriptures and in prayers for the return of God and the people to Zion. Zion is the name for the city of Jerusalem when regarded as the ideal of wholeness and peace, the wedding of the physical city with moral, spiritual, and aesthetic perfection. This central meaning of Zion is sometimes forgotten, but it is impossible to take Zion out of Zionism. Let us then define Zion as the Heavenly Jerusalem and Zionism as the movement for the actualization of the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The identification of Zionism with the Heavenly Jerusalem has never really been forgotten. The long history of this symbol in itself gives evidence of its archetypal reality and potential fertility. The following are twelve stages and contexts, as it were twelve "gates," to the story of the Heavenly Jerusalem. The last two stages, concerning modern Zionism and contemporary global developments, are given in somewhat more detail.


Back to Contents page


4.1 Heavenly Jerusalem and the story of Genesis

Already in its first chapter, the Bible contains the ingredients of a redemptive cosmology. The Genesis story (especially in the original Hebrew) gives many significant insights such as:

(1) Both Heaven and Earth were created, and by the same creative process.

(2) The creation of the human world of Adam can be measured by dividing it into six equal stages which evolve progressively from each other.

(3) The living Earth - Adamah - and prototypical man - Adam - were created by the same Creator in the same evolutionary process. In the idyllic condition, Adam was to be the husbandman of Adamah (which in Hebrew is the feminine of the same word).

(4) All humankind is one; we are all the sons of Adam, i.e."Sons of Man". This means that Adam is still alive through each person. Each one of us is something like a cell in the body of Humankind called Adam. The following chapters show how Adam's misinformed quest for intelligence led to another form of existence. Adam is still in exile with only dim memories of Eden. Adamah has become cursed and Adam relates to her as an alienated laborer. The Jewish calendar dates history from that exile, which it assumes to have been about 5750 years ago, when historical, human time was invented, i.e. when cultural coding media such as cities appeared.

The next story tells how the sons of Adam, concerned with their alienation from Paradise and their dispersal over the face of the earth, decide to use their united might to build a tower from earth to heaven. The Creator stopped them by confusing the common language that allowed them to act as one. The confusion led them to forget their original unity and the land where they were confounded became known as Babel (Babylon), "confusion."

Then out of the land of Babel came Abram ("high father"), who re-discovered the unity of the Creator, the unity of man, and the dialogue between the two. He had to leave his homeland and his father's house and to go to the land of Cana'an ("submission"), where he suffered various trials. The only place where he really was made welcome was in the city of Shalem ("whole"), the future Jerusalem. She was ruled by Malkitzedek ("king of justice"), a priest of the high God of Heaven. Renamed Abraham ("father of multitudes"), he then returned to that place to face his greatest trial, going to the "Land of Moriah" for the binding and intended sacrifice of his son Isaac. "Moriah" means either "awe of God" and/or "teachings of God". Tradition identified the Mount Moriah of Isaac's binding with the Temple Mount of Jerusalem. Thus Abraham visited Jerusalem to receive the teachings of a Kingdom of Justice, Kingdom of Wholeness and Priesthood of Heaven, and to face the trial of the awe and the teachings of God.


Back to Contents page


4.2 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Kingdom of David

The kingdom of Israel reached its peak in its early period, when King David conquered the city of Jerusalem and made it his capital, and his wise son Solomon was instructed to rule in justice and wisdom and to build the Temple as a point of contact with the divine mansions of heaven (Kings 8:30,39). To David were attributed the Psalms which were sung in the Temple and became a spiritual legacy for the whole world. Solomon's name, like the name of Jerusalem, suggests "peaceful" or "whole." Also from that time came the moral teaching of the prophets, who spoke to Jerusalem as to a woman who has become wanton, and prophesied her destruction, but also her restoration to an ideal state. Jerusalem and its temple were eventually destroyed by the king of Babel, "confusion," who carried its people to a new exile in his land. Jerusalem became a memory and a hope evoked through the psalms and the redemptive prophecies.


Back to Contents page


4.3 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Prophets

The prophets Isaiah (2:3) and Micha (4:3) envisaged the new Jerusalem as the source of the teaching which would lead to peace and wholeness for the whole earth Isaiah (2:3) and Micha (4:3). It was shown (Aptowitzer, 1938) that the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem is already mentioned in Isaiah (49:16) as engraved by God upon the celestial vaults.

The prophet Ezekiel, who had been trained as a priest in the Temple, worked among the exiled in the town of Tel Aviv, "Mound of Springtime," in Babylonia. His visions of redemption included detailed predictions concerning the land of Israel. There would be a federation of twelve tribes and a square-form free zone for the new holy city-cum-temple, which was described in detail. The instructions for rebuilding Jerusalem were given in the books of Daniel and Ezra and even in the closing sentence of the Hebrew Bible (Chron. II 36:23). This is the injunction of Cyrus which calls upon all those who would build Jerusalem to make their ascent; this last word of the Bible may be regarded as the essence of Zionism.


Back to Contents page


4.4 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Second Temple

The exilic prophecies inspired the first Shivat Tsion (return to Zion), but the actual rebuilding of Jerusalem in the time of Ezra proceeded piecemeal. The temple itself was completed only much later by the cruel and alien king Herod, rather than by the promised descendent of David. Popular belief started gravitating toward the prospect of "the Kingdom of Heaven," visions which were being elaborated by mystics and sects. The Heavenly Jerusalem is mentioned in several of the apocryphal scriptures of that period. The Prushim (Pharisees), "those apart," were less inclined to emphasize the temple service and saw all life as a divine ritual, provided it was wholly consistent with the Biblical laws. The Essenes were obsessed with the notions of heavenly ascent and the proper rebuilding of the Temple and its reformed service. The Essenes apparently had major influence upon incipient Christianity. Thus the Revelation of John is very typical of the apocryphal scriptures cherished by the Dead Sea sect, and the descriptions of the New Jerusalem in Revelation are reminiscent of the descriptions of the future Temple of Jerusalem in the recently found "Temple Scroll."


Back to Contents page


4.5 Heavenly Jerusalem and Christianity

The ideas of Jesus developed among the teachings of the mystics about the Kingdom of Heaven. Though the successors to Jesus broke with Judaism, belief in the Kingdom of Heaven and acceptance of the symbol of the perfect New Jerusalem arose and spread widely as Christianity spread throughout the world. In Patmos Saint John again experienced, in visions related to those of Ezekiel, the fall of Rome (coded "Babylon") and the restoration of Jerusalem. The New Testament of Christianity concludes with his Book of Revelation, which concludes with the image of the New Jerusalem - a vast cube with twelve pearly gates - coming down from heaven as the bride of the Messiah. It has been suggested (Michell, 1972, 1986) that the vast dimensions of the envisioned city encompass the entire earth and reflect the esoteric gnostic codes inherited from the mystical traditions of antiquity.

A few centuries later, as the imminent apocalypse did not materialize, Christianity had to become institutionalized. Saint Augustine used the image of the Heavenly City, in opposition to the materialistic City of Man, to describe all of human history as a redemptive process. This city, founded in Abraham's covenant, is the agent of redemption. Thus the fall of the great Rome is no real disaster for civilization; what matters is the incorporeal City of God. Christian life should be a pilgrimage for otherworldly grace rather than for worldly things.

The Christian Church soon identified itself with the City of God, and its organization was seen as the machinery of redemption. Then Christianity came to dominate Rome and eventually Rome, as the capital of the Western Church, came to dominate Christianity in place of Jerusalem. The Eastern Church built Jerusalem as a pilgrimage city. When it lost her to the Moslems, then even the earthly Jerusalem seemed real enough for Western Christians to warrant the Crusades. When the Crusaders had to retreat from Jerusalem, the resources of the Christian world were increasingly gathered to build a material New Jerusalem in Rome. Yet the Crusades somehow initiated the "Gothic" building of heavenward churches. It was in Jerusalem that the chivalric Order of the Templars was established, which was later declared heretical by the Pope and abolished, but which had a role in inspiring European esotericism down to the Freemasons (Baigent, 1989; Robinson, 1989), whose myth relates to the building of Solomon's Temple. Where the influence of Rome waned, the image of the heavenly city often returned in popular folklore as the ultimate goal of Christian pilgrimage (Bunyan, 1678) and Jerusalem became a cherished symbol often mentioned in hymns and prayer. Currently there is a resurgence of "Christian Zionism," which supports Israel in anticipation of the appearance of the New Jerusalem.


Back to Contents page


4.6 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Talmud

After the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, Temple worship was replaced by daily prayers, which included prayers for the return to and rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. But even while Rome was conquering Jerusalem, and later Christianity and northern invaders were conquering Rome, the Tannaim and then later the Amora'im were continuing to build on the tradition of the Prushim (Pharisees). Their monumental work, the Talmud, is in itself a sort of metaphysical city, the common work of thousands of people interacting through centuries of common construction. What the City of God should be for the Christian, according to Augustine, the Talmud was for the Jews. A Jew could literally live inside the Talmud, drawing from it all instruction for every act of life in the world, and aspiring to study it for its own sake as if already dwelling in paradise.

The Talmud records many legends about Jerusalem: that the heavenly temple was created before Genesis; that the temple site in Jerusalem was Adam's place of worship, the stopper for the flood water, the place of Abraham's offering of Isaac, and much more. The Heavenly City herself, which is to be realized by the redemption, can already be seen in moments of grace by the Tsaddikim, and they can receive inspiration from her. Yet the Talmud has a somewhat reserved attitude to the legends of the Heavenly Jerusalem by insisting on her subservience to the earthly Jerusalem, reflecting (Aptowitzer, 1938) the already open dispute with Christianity, which emphasized the other-worldly Jerusalem and identified with her.


Back to Contents page


4.7 Heavenly Jerusalem and Islam

The prophet Mohammed was apparently one of those who could see the Heavenly Jerusalem. His original direction of prayer was towards Jerusalem (in accordance with the practices of the Jewish mystics for ascending to the celestial mansions), and when his prayers were answered on the Night of Power, it was by way of Jerusalem that he ascended to Heaven and drew the "downpouring" from Heaven which produced the Koran. In Mohammed's version of the Biblical story, Ishmael is sometimes given a role similar to that of Isaac. Thus the identity of which son Abraham offered to God changes, but the site of the rock on the Temple Mount remains the same. After the Moslem Empire split, the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aksa Mosque, which commemorate Mohammed's ascent, were erected in Jerusalem as pilgrimage sites alternative to Mecca.

Islamic legends continue the Talmudic Midrash about Jerusalem, which is portrayed as the scene for the Day of Judgement and the consummation of history. There is even a legend that in the End of Days the stone of the Ka'aba will fly to Jerusalem (much like the tradition behind the vision in the Book of Revelation). Jerusalem is called in Arabic el-Kuds, the Holy, and the concept of the Heavenly Jerusalem as the abode of exalted consciousness has its parallel in Islam by the name of Dar Es-Salaam, the domain of (holy-holistic) peace.

After the conquest of the Crusaders and the exile of the Moslems from Jerusalem, a form of "Islamic Zionism" arose with many songs of praise to the glories of Jerusalem as paradise lost and paradise to be regained. Then for several centuries Jerusalem was again quite marginal for Islam. In the present time, particularly because of the Jewish takeover of Jerusalem, Jerusalem has become a powerful sacred symbol for the Moslems. This makes Jerusalem a potential cause of war, but it also powerfully evokes her symbolic significance as the domain of peace. It is thus quite possible that Jerusalem may rise as an alternative focus (qibla) of Islam, one which symbolizes plurality. In a conversation with the author, Sheikh Suleiman Ja'abari, the Mufti of Jerusalem, recalled another Islamic legend about the Heavenly Jerusalem, with a heavenly tree situated above Jerusalem, from whose roots flow three rivers, signifying Islam, Christianity and Judaism.


Back to Contents page


4.8 Heavenly Jerusalem and the Kabbalah

During the second exile, the symbol of Jerusalem continued to gain importance in Jewish thought. Jerusalem became the paradise lost and the paradise to be regained; paradise had thus been urbanized. The Kabbalah which grew in this milieu restored the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem to Jewish lore (Idel, 1985). The major Kabbalistic canon, the Zohar, described all the land of Israel as the setting for the metaphysical journeys of sages who discovered there the intricacies of the redemptive cosmology implicit in the Bible.

There are several references to the Heavenly Jerusalem in the Zohar. In one she has been created by God to house the souls of the righteous (Tsadikim). In another, the formation of Adam's wife from his side parallels the building of Jerusalem in the Time to Come. In general, the Kabbalah came to identify Jerusalem with the sefira of malkhut, kingdom, or the Shekhinah, the indwelling Presence of God, and the Heavenly Jerusalem became identified with the higher Shekhinah, which is the sefira of binah, understanding, and also The World to Come (Olam haBa).

After the exile from Spain, many Kabbalistic masters returned from the diaspora, and Jerusalem became the main Kabbalistic center in the world (eclipsed only briefly by Safed), and has remained so. The greatest Kabbalist master, Rabbi Isaac Luria, "the Holy ARI," was born in Jerusalem, and raised in Egypt, but it was in Safed in the Galilee that he revealed himself for his brief ministry. Luria did not write, but some of his twelve disciples transcribed his complex theology, which soon became the main Jewish theology for two centuries.

Already before the ARI, the traditon taught that the Divine presence on earth, the holy Shekhinah, went into exile just as Israel did, and that the unity of the heavenly spheres will return only with Israel's return to Jerusalem. Luria expanded this notion into a cosmic drama: the Divinity was exiled and the sparks of Divine light were already scattered even before Eden. Adam was created by God expressly to gather the exiled sparks and bring restitution to the whole world. The structure of the divine sparks, of Adam's soul and of the world, reflect each other. Each person is a sub-unit of Adam's soul, and is born with an individual responsibility to gather up his corresponding spark of Divine light. The liberation and reunion of all this Divinity-within-matter will bring, or will constitute, the redemption.


Back to Contents page


4.9 Heavenly Jerusalem and Shambhala.

Thus far, the Heavenly Jerusalem has been presented in the context of the "Abrahamic," or monotheistic, religions. One might assume that the concept has no relevance for the majority of humankind, the cultures of Middle and Eastern Asia. But, in fact, Buddhism possesses a closely parallel concept: Shambhala. In many Asian countries, countless generations have heard the legend of a land called Shambhala, a remarkable place bathed in peace, harmony, and communal good will, a model society. The stories tell that Buddha himself handed down advanced tantric teachings to the first ruler of Shambhala, Dawa Sangpo. The benevolent king openly shared these teachings with his people. Soon, all of Shambhala began to study, meditate, and follow the spiritual path. Many Tibetans believe that the kingdom of Shambhala still exists, hidden deep in the pure, uncharted valleys of the Himalayas. Other legends suggest that this enlightened society literally transmigrated into a more celestial realm many centuries ago. But as a great contemporary Tibetan teacher writes: "Among many Tibetan Buddhist teachers, there has long been a tradition that regards the kingdom of Shambhala not as an external place, but as the ground or root of wakefulness and sanity that exists as potential within every human being." (Trungpa, 1988)

These are quite similar to the legends and understandings about the Heavenly Jerusalem, but they seem to relate to a different geographical region, the middle of Asia rather than the Middle East. Yet there might be a case for combining the assumed locations. The hidden mid-Asiatic realm is, in fact, very similar to that which appears in Jewish legends as the hidden land of the Lost Tribes of Israel beyond the Sambatyon river; tribes who, these legends claim, will return to Jerusalem at the time of the redemption. The case would be that, whereas Shambhala should manifest everywhere on earth, there is a point in linking it to a symbolic ceremonial central point on earth from which this hope should be evoked. As the people of Asia discover the rest of the world cultures, they may attach importance to the location of Jerusalem, which is in Asia, yet is in the "center of gravity" of the earth's continents, namely at the center of the inhabited earth, the oikumene (see below), and thus the center for the emergent collectivity of humankind.


Back to Contents page


4.10 Heavenly Jerusalem and Marxism

Trying to associate Marx with the Heavenly Jerusalem or with Zionism may seem sacrilegious to the orthodox on both sides of the dialectic between materialism and religion, yet a useful retrospective insight may be drawn from viewing Marx as a (Jewish) Messianic prophet.

It is well known that this grandson of rabbis had a strong distaste for religion, which Marx thought distracted the masses from the true sources of alienation, wage labor and class divisions. However, Marx's motto: "The philosophers have always tried to explain the world; the point, however, is to change it," is in line with the Jewish prophetic tradition. A summary by a modern Marxist scholar (Hypolite, 1969) may be noted:

"Marx presented a substitute Kingdom of God on Earth, which is the complete reconciliation of man and nature. Emancipated from every form of alienation, man as the effective producer of his own life has appropriated his universal nature, which in the early history of society appeared alien to him".

It is instructive that Marx's candidate for reconstructing the "City of Man," the British Labor Movement, chose for its anthem, and thus the symbol of its aim, this stanza of William Blake's hymn, "Jerusalem":

"I shall not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant land."

While Marxism, and Communism gained power, the exalted materialist visions of Marxism have not materialized, and the totalitarian ideology which only a few decades ago seemed capable of overtaking the whole world is now in the process of disappearing. Yet with its demise we can see that Marxist communism fulfilled some idealistic purpose and its disappearance has left a vacuum, now being filled by atavistic religion and fierce nationalism as witnessed in Russia, in the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. There was, and is, a need for a supra-national redemptive ideology toward which Marxism at least pointed.


Back to Contents page


4.11 Heavenly Jerusalem in early Modern Zionism.

It is noteworthy that the Jewish aliyah to Jerusalem persisted throughout the centuries of the diaspora and was growing in influence during the 19th century, even before the creation of Political Zionism. In the 1860's Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem and were building their New Jerusalem in the form of humble Jewish neighborhoods outside the old city walls.

The connections between Herzl's Zionist movement and the Zion which is the Heavenly Jerusalem were initially tenuous. Herzl himself came to Jerusalem only in 1898, in order to meet the German Emperor there. He did not like the city that he saw, which did not accord with his visions. Herzl was certainly a great visionary, but he was neither a millennarian nor a Jewish mystic. Herzl's Zionism was more within the new tradition of Marx and the 19th century Utopians than of passive Messianism; the Zionist leader wanted the Jew to build his destiny with his own hands.

At first, Herzl did not even consider Zion-Jerusalem, or even the Land of Israel, as essential to his Zionism, and when he later wrote the utopian novel Old-New Land, the ideal city it described was not Jerusalem but Haifa. When the novel was translated into Hebrew the ideal city was named Tel Aviv, "Ruins of Springtime," signifying the combination of old and new, but also alluding to the name of the Babylonian city where Ezekiel had prophesied about the Heavenly Jerusalem.

New Jewish neighborhoods were being built outside the walls of old Jaffa not long after the exit from the walls of Jerusalem, and the first neighborhood, Neve Tsedek, was founded in 1886, before the first Zionist congress. Between 1904 and 1909, a group was formed in Jaffa with a vision of new urban life in a modern Jewish city. They built the neighborhood of Ahuzat Bayit ("a homestead") in the sands outside Jaffa as a quasi-cooperative enterprise. Within a year they all realized that they were creating a city; they named the city Tel Aviv, in honor of Herzl and his vision.

Tel Aviv had its own visionaries and prophets. The late Yitshak Hayut-Man (Haissman), my grandfather, who had the original concept and brought the other four co-founders of the "first Hebrew City" into the partnership, allowed no boundaries to his visions. He preferred Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because it had room left to attempt better designs and ways of life. But he really believed (haMe'iri, 1941) that Tel Aviv might grow to become the Heavenly Jerusalem; this was his highest aspiration.

A better-known visionary of that era was Rav Kuk, the chief Rabbi of Jaffa and a good friend of Tel Aviv's founders. Kuk saw, in the physical settlement of the land, the visible signs of the coming final redemption of Israel and of the whole world. Kuk saw the secular pioneers as forming the emerging mind (nefesh) of the nation, caring for the vitality of its body. He saw the Orthodox as maintaining the spirit (ru'ah) of the nation, and he readily admitted that this spirit had become ossified, needing its own revitalization by the example of the pioneers. The soul (neshamah) of the nation is the tsaddikim (perfected souls) who are charged with harmonizing the mind and spirit and keeping them open to receive the divine influence. (Recall that these tsaddikim are granted, according to tradition, the ability to see the Heavenly Jerusalem here and now.)

Kuk applied the distinction between kodesh, holiness, and hol, worldliness, with reference to Zionism: "The name Zion or Zionism symbolizes the hol in the renascence movement, whereas the name Jerusalem expresses the holiness in the renascence of the nation." Stuck in Europe in 1914, he conceived of a way for making Zionism holy and started to organize a movement for this, which he called "Jerusalem" or "the flag of Jerusalem." Kuk saw this movement as the root of which general Zionism is only a branch. The Jerusalem movement, according to him, would become the whole body of the nation and eventually transform secular Zionism. But when he found that the two existing religious parties kept seeing his intended Jerusalem movement only as competition, he abandoned his plans for it.

These old stories about Herzl, Yitshak Hayut-Man, and Rav Kuk are becoming pertinent today. The two cities represent distinct aspects of contemporary Israeli society and have long been in cultural competition. There is Tel Aviv, the city of hol: it is profane, noisy, traffic clogged, flashy, and aging in spite of its cult of youth, almost synonymous in everyday speech with a degraded quality of life. Arab propaganda used to paint a caricature of "the Tel Aviv government of the Zionist state," perceived as a Western colony. Its reality also attests to the shortcomings and oversights of political Zionism.

It is the earthly Jerusalem where the new battle for Israel's soul is being fought. In spite of all Israel's past attempts, it is certain that "the problem of Jerusalem" will not disappear. It is in Jerusalem that contemporary Zionism is forced to confront issues which it has avoided for decades and to seek solutions for its deeper problems, in particular:

1) Peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs and among the Abrahamic religions. There is no way to avoid pluralism, even for those not yet able to comprehend it.

2) Maintaining a coherent and edifying image for this rapidly expanding and extremely diverse city.

3) Developing and synthesizing new insights, human relations, and understandings out of this diversity.


Back to Contents page


4.12 The Heavenly Jerusalem, Holism and the Whole Earth

There is an emerging global view which brings a universalistic and futuristic orientation towards the Heavenly Jerusalem (even though not always referring to this name), starting with Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) who was a Jesuit priest and a mystic and also one of the world's leading paleontologists. His Phenomenon of Man, published only after his death, crossed all the boundaries which in Christian culture separate: the inanimate and the animate; the physical and the mental; body, mind and soul.

Teilhard saw the whole of creation united in one vast and integral evolutionary purpose. From the whirling gases evolved the envelope of rock, the geosphere; around this evolved a second envelope of life, the biosphere; and around this an envelope of the products of consciousness, the artifact envelope of the technosphere and the envelope of emergent mind, called noosphere.

In all this Teilhard saw a continuous process of evolution through "complexification," eventually converging on a point that he called "Omega." At Omega, the noosphere achieves an organization that is hyper-personal, through the increase of both knowledge and love. This final evolution alone betokens the capacity of man to cope with complexification through his own complexification. (Beer, 1975)

Teilhard did not refer directly to the Heavenly Jerusalem, but his whole eschatological view was clearly derived from the Revelation of John, where the name Omega is used for the goal of history and where the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem is presented as a new cover, co-extensive with the whole earth. Significantly, the two new spheres built around the earth: the concrete "technosphere" of the planetary urbanization, and an invisible "noosphere" emanating from it, parallel the two aspects of Jerusalem -- the earthly and the heavenly.

There is a close and important parallel with the development of the concept of "holism," proposed by Field-Marshal Smuts, who brought spiritual concerns of "holiness" to the realm of science. Smuts approached the spiritual from the point of view of the existence of wholes and wholeness in nature and tried to show (Smuts, 1926) that "evolution is the gradual development and stratification of progressive series of wholes, stretching from the inorganic beginnings to the highest levels of spiritual creation." Smuts too does not refer to Jerusalem, but we may recall that the Hebrew meaning of Jerusalem, Yoru-Shalem, means "will demonstrate the whole," and that the Arabic name for Jerusalem, El Kuds, means "the Holy."

Smuts too could not validate his thesis adequately, mainly because at this time there was no science which could study wholes as such. Cybernetics and System Theory now offer the tools to study nature and man-made systems holistically and yet rigorously. The rigorous formulations of Conversation Theory may be thus applicable to global cultures. Just as a city may be viewed as a "Mechanical Individual" and its civilization seen as a "Psychological Individual," using this theory, we may also view the global "Technosphere" or the worldwide city of "Ecumenopolis" (Doxiadis, 1968) as an emerging Mechanical Individual, and view the Noospheric development as an emerging Psychological Individual, which may, if we so wish, be named "the Heavenly Jerusalem."

The following paragraph could be deleted, as it is a further illustration which amplifies the point but is not essential to it. If you do delete it, you must delete the word "oikumenos" from the line which follows this paragraph and from the place above which refers to it. (Use the search functio A related concept, "Oikumenos," has already been employed (Stringer, 1975) in the context of a world-view called "Tellurianism." Stringer contends that, "the actions of mankind throughout history have gradually created a living organism of fantastic complexity that draws its life support from the surface of the Earth. This creature is constantly evolving and extending itself, and has a fantastic ability to transform its immediate environment. It has a memory and a consciousness: consequently, it is recognizably a `being' or even a `person.' And, most important of all for us as individuals, it exerts a controlling influence on the lives of millions of human beings." Stringer regards this creature as the unrecognized god of humankind, naming it Oikumenos, from the Greek word Oikumene, meaning inhabited land, i.e. the settled part of the Earth. "Oikumenos is likely to reach its maximum possible size sometime in the early part of the twenty- second century. Our problem is to ensure that, while this stage is being attained, it will not become sick - or else Oikumenos will not be a fit place in which human beings can live....."

One critical issue is thus the mode of communication between humankind and the earth. The Oikumene/Technosphere can be regarded, and developed, as either the separation or the communications interface between two evolving living wholes that are so large that they are hardly recognized by everyday perception and mainline science: namely the whole earth and all of humankind as a unified and potentially conscious entity.

For prehistoric people the Earth was considered to be alive and sacred, to be approached and addressed through strict ritual. Former civilizations also revered the "Earth Spirit" (Michell, 1975); their construction was done in consultation with an occult science of "geomancy," which considered the terrestrial energy flows (and which survived in China, named Feng-Shui). In the present era of world-wide urbanization transforming the face of the earth, there is hardly any consideration of subtle "Bio-Energies" or "Geo-Energies." Recently, cybernetic considerations were employed by James Lovelock to posit the "Gaia Hypothesis": that the earth is indeed a living being (Lovelock, 1979, 1988). The Gaia Hypothesis (and the name) has gained enormous popularity in certain environmentalist circles, with some fringe elements even reviving pagan rituals for Gaia's sake.

It is instructive, however, that John Michell, possibly the most important writer on "earth mysteries" and ancient monuments, repeatedly suggested the City of Revelation of St. John, the New/Heavenly Jerusalem, as the ultimate model and goal of these designs and as co-extensive with the whole earth (Michell, 1972). He posits that the twelve-fold pattern of this city is the key for "the science of enchanting the landscape" (Michell and Rhone, 1991).

Likewise, there are new visions of the development of humankind where the New Jerusalem is very meaningful. Barbara Marx Hubbard is a foremost futurist and a follower of Teilhard de Chardin and Buckminster Fuller. In her recently published Book of Co-creation (Hubbard, 1993), she chose the Biblical Book of Revelation as the basis for a modern futurist vision and advocated the New Jerusalem as the guiding vision: "The New Jerusalem is our potential, collectively, to transcend all creature/human limitations through the harmonious use of our capacities, achieving a society of Universal Humans whose minds and bodies are total reflections of the mind of God."


Back to Contents page
Main Contents of the Academy of Jerusalem
Main Contents of the Cyber Library