Saturday, May 26, 2007

Temple Theology IV--Judaism, Xty, Islam

So the earlier posts dealt with the ancient notion of the Second God (the Lord); Atonement as the Lord's work; participation in this Atonement (theosis, divinization); Cosmic in scope and related therefore to the future rest of the whole creation (apocalypse as growing out of Temple Theology).

It also opens up new avenues for Jewish, Christian, Muslim dialog.

Barker argued that the Second God could be manifested (the point at which the downward facing ^ meets the upward facing V--heaven and earth connect) in two main roles: King-Messiah and the Prophet.

Christianity early had a chance to see Jesus in light of the Prophet's role but choose rather the focus on the Cosmic Word-Exalted Royal Messiah figure.

That left open the door for the Prophet role, as in a Final Prophet role to be fulfilled. Hence Islam. Muhammad is referred to as Rasul Allah (Messenger of Allah). Messenger in Hebrew is the same as Angel/Prophet. The heavenly divine messenger.

Orthodox Islam struggled to keep Muhammad "only" as a human prophet. The Prophet but a prophet man nonetheless. Particularly in relation to polemical debate with Christianity.

[Sidenote: Important to note in this context it seems that the Christianity in Islam that Muhammad was familiar with may have been mostly Monophysite, only one nature Divine to Christ not orthodox Two Natures/One Person Chalcedonian Christianity. The over-divinization and under-humanitization of Christ in the Arabian peninsula may have sparked by the over-reaction against Christian theology in the Qu'ran.]

That aside, the notion of the Messiah/Prophet dyad as the relation between Christianity and Islam would be major point of new contact. In a weird way then the older Christian polemic that Islam was a "Jewish heresy" would actually fit. Once we realize Christianity, by this model is itself a "Jewish heresy." Or rather there was another form of Judaism that was not heresy that both flow from.

What is clear is this distinction between the High God and the Second God runs through all three religions. In Christianity at the formal theological level (Father, Son) while in Islam and Judaism only in their mystical strains: Kabbalah and Sufism.

In Kabbalah there is the distinction between Ayn Sof (the Unnameable) and Keter the Head. Ayn Sof is the Ground beyond all. Beyond even beyond the All. Keter is the Prime mechanism through which Ayn Sof manifests in creation. Like the Christ Logos.

The Sefirot are a depiction of the Divine System in the form of a human body. What is referred to in Kabbalah as the Adman Kadmon (Primal Adam). Adam recall is not an individual man named Adam. But rather "the creature" (ha-adam, from the root ademat, ground). So the Divine System is nothing other than the awakening human and the awakened human is the Divine enfleshed. Sound Christian? Sound Jewish?

In Islam there is the same basic distinction between Allah (the-God) and Al-Haqq (The Truth). When the famous Sufi mystic Al-Hallaj said "Ana al-Haqq" (I am the Truth) notice he did not say I am Al-lah, the God. He was speaking from the Ground. He was aware that he was not God in the relative sphere. In fact the I is the Great I not Hallaj.

At this plane, Trinitarian Christian theology, Sufism, and Kabbalah line up. This is the place of their resonance. It's not the exact same but its close enough to make your eyes bug out of your head.

Religious Christianity "hid" the mystical form of its teaching in plain sight as a device of control. Islam and Judaism hid them in specialized teaching. Two different strategies to the same end.

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