Óscar Reyes-Matute
Philosophy, kabbalah, screenwriting...

Are we experiencing a pandemic spiritual mutation? An approach from Kabbalah

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One of the most fruitful franchises that has flourished during the pandemic, apart from food-delivery by bicycle, is video-messianism. Even Netflix released its miniseries about the Massiach.

The competition is brutal, from respectable rabbis to rogue Caba-rascals (Manny Viñas dixit), to ex-drug addicted evangelical pastors, not excluding very decent newly enlightened housewives, with the addition of cute and daring aspiring influencers-healers girls who offer Healing courses payable in currencies or cryptocurrencies, until culminating in the plethora of conspiracy theory YouTubers, who, according to them, have always warned us that all this was going to happen.

I believe that, just as Kabbalah has opened up and globalized from Philip Berg with the Kabbalah Centre and from Michael Laitman with Bnei Baruch, one step further in this curious evolutionary-messianic process is that the pandemic has generalized the Jerusalem Syndrome, and the inevitable possibility (call it a window of opportunity if you prefer) of monetarizing it among those who are able to see virtue in calamity.

All this without travelling to Jerusalem, which is expensive and complicated, but employing a Chinese virus not as lethal as Ebola but very jumping, and the existence of the Internet, of course.

Of most of the approaches that I have reviewed, the one that amuses me the most is the one that states that from the virus the 7 billion humans that inhabit the planet are going to undergo a spiritual mutation, which will lead us through a natural-catastrophic path not to a simple “new normal”, but to a “new world” that is, avoiding us the work of building the utopias of Moro and Campanella with blood, sweat and tears, rather from a fortunate collateral damage generated by the virus.

The reasoning is impeccable: if avian flu viruses mutate so rapidly from one season to another, why shouldn’t the human soul do so from this confinement, this fear and this stress, which have unleashed so many neurochemical, spiritual and perhaps astral processes, all of them unexpected?

It would be a kind of biological messianism.

In theory, the Divine Plan can act through miracles, let’s say, that a Messiah like Isaiah’s one appears, after a series of fulfilled omens.

And maybe miracles are happening, even if we don’t see them or they are disqualified as fake news.

But in the absence of miracles, it is possible to realize in science and technology signs of a divine plan that inevitably and in another way also lead us to the same result: the era of the Messiah.

In this regard, Arieh Kaplan is unavoidable. In his text “The Real Messiah”, he warns us that:

“…the past hundred years or so have brought about an increase in knowledge unsurpassed in all human history. Whether we use it wisely or not, these accomplishments are truly amazing.”

He then points out that:

“Why this sudden global change of conscience that seems to be shaking the very roots of our civilization? Why are more and more people coming to the conclusion that the evils of society are not merely the natural consequences of civilization, but are diseases that call for a cure?”

Another pearl:

“If one looks with an unprejudiced eye at the world today, he will see that we are living in an age where almost all the Jewish prophecies regarding the prelude to the Messianic Age are coming to pass. Even the most doubtful skeptic cannot help wondering how this could be mere coincidence.”

And concludes with:

“One of the basic points of contradiction is whether or not the onset of the Messianic age will come through miracles. Many teachings seem to support the view of the miraculous, such as (Dan.7:13), “Behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven.” On the other hand, others seem to support a more prosaic view, such as (Zech.9:9), “Behold, your king comes to you … lowly, and riding on a donkey.”

The Talmud was aware of this contradiction, and answered it by stating that there are two basic ways that the Messianic age can commence. If we are worthy of miracles, it will indeed be miraculous. If we are not, the Messianic Age will arrive in a natural manner.”

So when the Son of Man does not appear riding clouds, it turns out that we are not worthy of contemplating miracles.

This is a plausible indignity if we analyze geopolitics, our daily violence, new wars, the distribution of wealth and poverty, ecological deterioration, drug addiction and alcoholism, mass depression, the generalization of psychopaths in all kinds of positions of power, or the destruction (without the essential sustainable substitutes) of traditional family models.

From this point of view, the Messianic Era has no other way than to arrive naturally. Or by catastrophes, as Michael Laitman would say, picking up the long Kabbalistic tradition that warns us that we learn in two ways; through study or through suffering.

One of the essential prophecies of the Messianic Era is that human beings are going to love one another, that we are going to awaken to solidarity, and that the knowledge of the divine will be available even to children.

Of course, in the absence of miracles of which we are not worthy, this can occur from a virus that locks us up in our homes, can occur from fear, from the collapse of a part of the economic system, of the systems of values and beliefs, from the collapse of health systems and the fracture of national and geopolitical political relations.

In this way, the virus can be resemantized, and mutate from being a biological catastrophe (random or manufactured in a Chinese laboratory) to being a miracle, or a natural messianic catalyst, or both at the same time.

Note that the deeper the collapse, the more credibility the “prophecies” and promises of the video messiahs have. That is why I see in a funny way the competition between the innumerable apocalypses that are sold to us on the networks to attract depressed and terrified clients and patients to the new spiritual clinics: the dollar is going to collapse globally, the aliens will finally will be contacted openly, food production will end, the vaccine will not work … “lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’intrate,” Dante warned.

Fear can be a good business. Although it serves not only the video-messiahs, but also to the WHO, and to more than one Ur-fascist government (Eco dixit).

Mendelian mutations are sudden evolutionary leaps, caused by seemingly random agents, such as a meteor that falls on the earth or due to a “mistake” in the replication of the information of a DNA chain.

In that sense, mutatis mutandis, a virus like the current one can be the trigger for a sudden change in the transmission of information from our social or spiritual DNA chain, so to speak.

We can accept, prima facie, that a change in the human spiritual situation may occur due to the psychological, emotional, social, economic and political consequences generated by the pandemic.

What I find difficult to predict is the character of such a mutation. It could be that it awakened in us atavistic feelings, a desire to re-connect us with other beings and with the cosmos, an Abraham-type mutation, let’s say.

It could be that such a mutation makes us even more selfish, more locked in our environments and small groups of interests, out of fear.

It could be that it does not affect us thoroughly in this life, and that we simply want to return to the old normality, as one sees when restrictions are lifted and people run desperately to bars, squares, beaches and malls, trying to recover their old condition of beings made for consumerism.

Perhaps the next generation would be born with mutated spirit genes, with many more indigo children, or azure blue, like the characters in Avatar, and with much more connectedness and solidarity, as predicted by the prophets who have spoken for so many centuries on the subject of the Massiach.

In either of the two scenarios, the dire or the hopeful, the dilemma pointed out by the Kabbalists continues to be repeated; you learn through study and if not, through suffering.

The true mutation would be for Humanity as a whole to emerge from a kind of long childhood, reaching 13 years of age, not only to do their Bar Mitzvah, but also to understand that each one must relate in the best possible way with the others, including neighbours, animals, nature, unless you want to pay painful consequences, as warned not only by Kabbalists, but even by Freud in “Civilization and its Discontents”.

Yes, in theory we can try to remain as little psychopaths forever (every child is partially a little psychopath up to 13 years old) incapable of feeling empathy, and continue to look at others as simple objects of pleasure at our disposal, as simple means to achieve what we please.

But the result will always be devastating, because others, even if they love us at first, will end up treating us the same way. And even Nature will rebel and send us a virus from time to time so that we can let her rest, so that we can lock ourselves up, and let her breathe in peace even for a year.

I hear many Kabbalists say that we should approach the wisdom of Kabbalah as children. I insist that children are partially little psychopaths, which is why they must be educated so that they can mature.

I prefer Mario Saban’s approach, when he tells us that a good goal for those who study Kabbalah is to mature, to become a responsible and full adult. This implies inner harmony, harmony with other beings and, if it is given to us from above, harmony, contact and equivalence of form with higher energies.

Will a hypothetical spiritual mutation unleashed by the virus allow us to massively access that level? Will even 1% of the population reach it?

As always, it’s up to us, the spiritual gene for responsibility and free will has been always inside us. Another thing is if we use it or not, and that will always be our choice.

About the Author
Óscar Reyes-Matute (Matu / מאתו), lives in Caracas. He's a philosopher graduated at Andrés Bello Catholic University, with a Master in Political Science at USB. He has been Fulbright Visiting Scholar at NYU on American Studies, and professor of political philosophy at UCAB and UCV. He has published academic papers in universities of Venezuela and Europe, and articles in several newspapers. Since 2008, he is dedicated to study Kabbalah at the Bnei Baruch Institute in Petaj Tikva, while works as writer of cinema and television screenplays. He's liryc tenor. Be aware, after a glass of wine, he suddenly can start to sing "Nessun Dorma!"
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