Our Abba - Knowing the Unknown Father

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RoseOMagdala
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Our Abba - Knowing the Unknown Father

#1 Postby RoseOMagdala » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:10 pm

This coming Boxing Day is to be the due date of my first niece so it's a rather joyous time in our family at the moment. Last weekend my brother and his wife visited us for dinner. I watched as my brother sat beside my sister-in-law and rubbed his hand over her ever-growing belly. Our family was lucky to have a wonderful father and I know my brother will be just as loving and supportive. I found myself almost brought to tears by the look of happiness and devotion in my brother's eyes as he caressed and spoke to his unborn daughter. He felt her wriggle beneath him and his wife said how the baby always seems to move the most when she hears my brother's voice. As if she already knows his voice more than anyone else.

Watching this scene I was reminded of the metaphor Tau Malachi used to describe the presence of the Divine Parents around us. Until we receive Gnosis, we remain on Earth and as thus like a baby in our mother's womb. She is all around us. Her body nourishes and supports us. We were created from the spark of the Heavenly Father, but while we live in this Universe it is our Divine Mother that carries us until we are ready to be truly born as Yeshua and His Bride were when they received the spirit of the Christ.

"For my earthly mother gave me form, but my True Mother gave me Life." - Gospel of Thomas

This is why Our Mother deserves our respect and devotion. To harm a pregnant womb is to harm the life inside and what harm do we do to Our Mother, in name or against her Earth, does not harm us or our siblings in return? Both She and the Bride - the Holy Spirit/the 'Goddess' - need to be held as equal in the reverence to God. Those who have missed the Divine Mother in the patriarchal faith or culture they were raised in need to look no further to find Her, for She never left Her children.

However, for those who have grown fearful or tired of the Father God image, I don't believe the way to rectify that is to keep Him at a distance. But rather to remember that the Father which Yeshua spoke of was not the tyrannical judge that the Demiurge corrupted our minds to see. The Father which Yeshua spoke of was one of the most loving and tender gods in any religion that I am aware of. As a Pagan, I have searched through many pantheons trying to find gods that stood for family and love. Mother Goddesses are a plenty, of course in those times that was how we separated the ideals of male and female. Not to say there were no positive Father Gods. The Dagda of Irish Mythology, Odin of the Norse, Ra of the Egyptians and even El of the Canaanites to name but a few. But, speaking personally, no one revealed the Father with a more paternal and loving image than Yeshua with his Father.

Just look at the name he uses to address him. Abba, said to be the equivalent of his tongue for 'Papa' or 'Daddy'. An incredibly intimate and innocent way to address the Divine which surely must have raised more than a few hackles of the Rabbis and Pharisees at the time. Yeshua told us to speak to God, not as a we would a stern Victorian patriarch who demands perfection and nothing less, but as a young infant would cry out to their 'daddy' and run into his warm, welcoming, forever open arms. I struggle to comprehend why this can no longer be the way to approach Our Father. Indeed, Yeshua's teachings are the guiding hand that leads us to Him. Our Father is not the callous old man in the sky who will throw us into the flames if we disobey him. Indeed, his beloved daughter Sophia "defied him" (in a scriptural sense) by desiring to create without His blessing, resulting in Her fall. If most Orthodox Christian teachings are to be believed, surely she deserves to be condemned, yes? Not in the eyes of Our Father, who loved His Daughter so much that he sent his Only-Begotton Son the Logos, down to restore her to His Fullness. There is no mention in any scriptures of The Father rebuking or punishing Sophia in the way the Genesis God does to Eve.

Because a father's love is unconditional and no more is that true than in our Abba.

“The Lord would not have said, ‘My father in heaven,’ if he had not had another father, but he would have said simply my father.” (The Gospel of Philip)

I have to wonder sometimes if St. Joseph might have been a positive avatar for Yeshua to see the loving image of the Father. So little is spoken of Joseph the Carpenter, but we know that he believed God and did everything in his power to ensure the safety of his wife and child. Even if he did not receive Gnosis like his wife did, also if he died before seeing his son begin his teachings or get to meet his daughter-in-law, I believe he was a loving father who valued family and hard work, giving his son a simple yet enlightening image of the Heavenly Father's love for the Mother and their Children. As for Our Lady Magdalene, the Sophian legend is that her father was a merchant who merely saw his daughter as boon to marry off and gain riches. Though I've also heard another legend that her father was a nobleman from the House of David who saw his daughter was 'blessed' and had her become a temple priestess. Whichever is true, possibly neither, it's irrelevant to the topic because even one who has not known the love of an earthy father is not absent from the love of the Heavenly Father.

No one is. His love is given to all living beings and yet it is a personal experience. Yeshua said to pray to the Father in secret. Not out of shame but of intimacy. I have read some Gnostic or Esoteric teachings that say the Father represents intelligence while the Mother represents love. I try not to follow this rather dated metaphor that feminine = emotions and masculine = brains, I find it a bit insulting to both genders. There is reason from our Lord as their is wisdom from our Lady. And there is Love from both our Mother and Father. But while the Mother's love is that of a communion, of the family or "Church", the Father's love speaks more to the individual. Father to Son or Father to Daughter. He may be the static force while the Mother is the spirit that moves; but that doesn't mean He isn't there or that He hasn't loved us just as strong since the dawn of time.

That brings me back to the image of my brother adoring his unborn child. Even going with the idea that the Father, at least in His Fullness (Pleroma) is above the mortal world and we can only truly know him when we achieve Gnosis, I don't believe that means part of Him doesn't reside here. Indeed those of the Old Ways saw Him in Odin, the Dagda, Ra etc. And He was revealed through Yeshua. His love, if not his active energies like those of the Mother, dwell among us and He is always listening. While I believe the Mother is more inclined to speak to us spontaneously, to offer advice and guidance even when we don't realize we need it, I see the Father as the ear that is always ready to hear and He will answer if called. No matter how old or wise we may get, we are never too proud to "be like little children" and humble ourselves by sitting on his lap and seeking His comfort and protection. If the Earth is Our Mother who sustains us, than that doesn't mean the Father's role in our lives is over. He is there, on the very edge of reality - Our Mother's womb - caressing us through Her and forever whispering His love.

He does not demand sacrifice or war or idolatry. He accepts you regardless of colour, sexuality or faith. All He wishes is for us to return to His embrace in the Pleroma. To be born from Our Mother's womb and return like his Beloved Sophia.

"So if you people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." - Gospel of Matthew

"When we were Hebrews, we only had Our Mother. But when we became Christians we received Our Father and Mother." - Gospel of Phillip

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Sky Father

#2 Postby Elder Gideon » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:05 am

Shalom Sister!

Your contemplation of the Father is well-grounded with the sweetness of your brother's father-to-be experience. As fathers sociologically are becoming an endangered species in many contemporary societies, I'm always grateful for men in this world who wish to finish what they'd begun with a woman they love. It goes so much better for the souls in children when this is so.

To essentialize this reply, I'll focus on the Father, not by any means excluding the Mother, who makes all knowledge of the Father possible. You might very much enjoy our community's discussion of the symphonic Gospel of Truth, which focuses on Gnostic Christian mysteries of the Father.

Growing up in Protestant America, I lacked the schemata to really begin to hear the subtlety, sophistication, and precision with which Yeshua radically describes Enlightened Being as Father. I was ignorant of the roots from which he was speaking in the Jewish mysticism of his time. Thanks to this lineage, I'm learning to contemplate principles like "Father", "Spirit", and "Light" as they continue to transform my Christianity from the inside out. A great part of the work of our lineage now and for the future is just this, sharing with our brothers and sisters who are drawn to Messiah how to hear the Gospel beyond all the opaque -isms.

To add to what you've beautifully shared, Father is that of the One that is transcendental and unchanging. Outside of time, becoming, learning, Father is the Force, the vitality of Life Itself. All the potential, all the possibilities exist in what early Gnostic Apostles such as Valentinus meant by Father. Internally, in the soul, this is to see myself and others from an unspeakably spacious mercy, inclusivity, and perfection.

Though I am not a father in this life, my paternal instinct is entirely vital, which I express as an educator of young people whom I regard as my sons and daughters. I actually do. As I do this, I can see them quite differently, not just for the age and experience they're having at this moment, but for their whole existence. My imagination can and does flicker as I'm teaching and working with them: Their twelve year old bodies sitting across the table from me flash in and out into future twenty-, thirty-, forty-year old parents, prisoners, or professionals. Their destiny will reflect their orientation, of which I'm a tiny part in building. This is a constant practice and meditation for me as an educator of our sons and daughters, powered by the Jewish mystical teachings of the Divine personification, partzuf, called "Father."

I share this because I must practice this with myself as well, parenting myself. If I come home feeling beaten down by powers of the world or when I feel so ashamed for losing focus and making terrible, degrading errors, I have to go the Father in prayer, finding Him in behind my heart and above my head. Spending intentional time and silence in this faith and openness inevitably shifts my view of my day and my self in it. Because this partzuf-personification is outside of time and becoming, the Holy One as Father does not see my errors, ignorance, or shortcomings: only in perfection, completeness and wholeness. By identifying with this depth within my very soul in God, my heart opens to the self that earlier felt so opposed or ashamed and integrates and dissolves the heavy, negative energy back to its ground in the Father.

Much like Enlightenment itself, the Father personifies this all-inclusive, imperturbable rest and fullness. So completely transparent to the Father as no other (in our Christian faith) before him, Yeshua preached this enlightened nature within everyone and everything as here already, right now. The fundamental quality of this enlightened nature is self in every self: Love. Would that the radicalness of the love of The One personified as Father move all Christians to the unconditional tolerance and embrace of the human family. Where is this love more radical than in the parable of the Prodigal Child? We all remember the story, but do we all remember, when we feel least deserving, our Enlightened nature running to meet and embrace us?

A peak experience in my journey is the gnosis of this Father's embrace of the Prodigal. Sin is necessary to show sinlessness. Ignorance is necessary to show awareness. Somehow, all the while, sinlessness, like awareness, abode. That of us that is completely aware and without sin is that of us in the Father.

May all come to knowledge of the Father's embrace.

Elder Gideon

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Re: Our Abba - Knowing the Unknown Father

#3 Postby Tau Malachi » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:09 pm

Grace and peace to you in Hayyah Yeshua!

It seems to me that Joseph did, indeed, have Habad (wisdom-understanding-knowledge) as Miriam did; in our oral tradition he and Miriam are deeply spiritual individuals and venture into the mystical dimension of Judaism. As such, no doubt, Adonai Yeshua had good role models of a godly man and woman in this world, at least based upon what’s possible and actual in this world, and reasonable in the place and time he lived.

The anthropomorphic terms for the Divine in the Scriptures and the Kabbalah are delightful to me, for through them we are able to contemplate deep metaphysical mysteries of creation and the Infinite One in the human experience we are familiar with, and although using such coarse terms that can severely mislead, at the same time through them we can gaze into matters that are most subtle and sublime.

If we look into the process of returning to God, or cleaving to God and drawing near to God, we may speak of four gradations, or four relationships with God: 1) God as King-Queen, Sovereign; 2) God as Father-Mother, Parent; 3) God as lover, the Beloved; 4) and then there is the Divine in the realization of Ani-Ain, the emptiness of Self, or self transcendence, corresponding with conscious unification with the One, the Infinite. Each of these, of course, represents a progressive intimacy, and is an evolution from the illusion of separation to the realization of innate oneness; at the same time, this is an ascent of consciousness through various gradations to the experience of Christ Consciousness, or God Consciousness – the realization of I Am, as we witness in Adonai Yeshua.

These four gradations of relating with the Divine correspond with the four Olamot-Universes of the Tree of Life, Asiyah-Action, Yetzirah-Formation, Beriyah-Creation and Atzilut-Emanation, respectively.

To speak of the Divine as the Parent, Father, Mother, corresponds with Yetzirah, and is a significant evolution from the vision and knowledge of the Divine as Sovereign; the vision of a Parent is, indeed, much more intimate, and it is an expansion in the understanding of love and nearness. Unlike the vision and knowledge of God as Sovereign, God as the Parent, indicates that we emanate from God, and indicates us created in the image and likeness of God in us, and it suggests that in maturation we become like unto God, resembling and embodying the Divine. As has been shared, it also speaks of a depth and breadth of love that is virtually incomprehensible, though in the human experience, in the love of a father or mother a hint of this love might be glimpsed, or sensed, and in peak spiritual and mystical experiences it may be felt more directly, as a child in the company of their parent receiving the loving attention of their parent – the face of God shining upon them.

It is very interesting. If we look into the final discourse of Messiah Yeshua in the Gospel of St. John, when he is speaks of the Father and Son, and the imparting of Holy Spirit to come with the resurrection, if one considers it, the terms he uses seem to swirl, and begin to imply something more than the relationship of a child and parent. Although remaining in those terms, what he said, on one level, may be understood to allude to the experience of God as the lover, the Beloved; if you consider his essential commandment to “love,” on an esoteric level, it shifts awareness towards this vision and knowledge of God as the Beloved. Likewise, as we continue to receive our anointing and unfold our self-realization, the experience of the lover and the bridal chamber becomes our experience of Christ and the Holy Spirit, or God Consciousness and the Perfect Intelligence that is in it.

If we look into this final discourse in John closer though, while implying the potential to know God as the Beloved in a most intimate and passionate embrace, clearly he also speaks of conscious unification, or the realization of the I Am, as he communicates mysteries of his own self-realization.

The Divine as Sovereign and Parent, these are exoteric teachings of the Divine, easily received by many, while the Divine as the Beloved and the realization of oneness with the Divine, these are esoteric teachings of the Divine, accepted and understood by relatively few.

What shocked the Jewish rabbis of his time, and provoked accusations of blasphemy and heresy, was indeed the intimate and individual relationship with God that he taught; and in truth, it was not so much that he spoke of God as Abba, Father, for such metaphors were familiar to the rabbis, but rather, how Yeshua spoke of the Son, and seemed to suggest the possibility of the Son uniting with the Father; hence, a conscious union with the Infinite, and the embodiment of something of the Divine. A fundamental dogma of orthodox forms of Judaism, past and present, is the clear and distinct separation between the human being and God. Thus, to propose a path of enlightenment or self-realization that leads to conscious union with God is way “outside of the box” and was considered a dangerous way to think.

Here it needs to be said, the rabbis were quite right – it is a very dangerous way to think. It can easily lead us into greater ignorance and bondage instead of enlightenment and liberation; but then, most great things in life are risky, and require much attentive work.

In the midst of teaching about an individual and intimate communion with the Divine, Yeshua also taught the spiritual essence of the law and commandments, and the various religious ceremonies, and as such seemed to imply, or teach, that these things were not necessary, or not so important. If we consider the teachings of Adonai Yeshua, he restores a spirituality of direct experience, or intimate communion, and teaches us to love God and one another, and therefore teaches us how to keep all commandments in their essence. This, naturally, was very disturbing to the temple cult, and the religious establishment that formed around it.

In public, when speaking to the masses, Yeshua spoke of God as the Father (Abba), encouraging a shift in the vision and knowledge of God beyond Sovereign to a more individual and intimate relationship with the Parent. For a majority of the people that heard this, it was a radical transformation in their understanding of God, and this concept of God invoked very different prayers and worship. If we listen, though, even in public he often hints to something more intimate, and he teaches a deeper intimacy with God in private, the vision and knowledge of God as the Beloved, and the realization of Oneness, the I Am.

I bring up these four levels of relating with the Divine because in speaking about the love of the Father, to speak of the Holy One as Father or Mother, rather than King or Queen, is an opening to greater intimacy with God, a deeper communion, and as greater and greater intimacy, nearness, is experienced, naturally the realization of oneness dawns – God Consciousness.

Thus, we may say that the love of the Father, or Mother, is a call to greater nearness, greater intimacy.

The contemplation of the love of the Father runs very deep, and we may consider it from the perspective of the Tree of Life. Abba, of course, corresponds with Hokmah-Wisdom and Imma corresponds with Binah-Understanding, and there is something said by the Zohar about Hokmah, Abba, in teachings of the Works of Creation (Ma’aseh Bereshit). Hokmah is called reshit, “the beginning, beyond which there is nothing knowable.” In any given Olam, Keter does not appear, but rather Da’at holds the place of Keter, and therefore, Hokmah arises as the first Sefirah; this corresponds with the transcendence of God, or the principle of Godhead.

This aspect of God, the Divine, beholds all in the eternal realm, in which there is no past, present or future – no time as we understand it, but all exists in the eternal now, as it is in God, which is to say in its wholeness and perfection. Thus, according to masters of the tradition, the Father, Abba, beholds us in our wholeness and perfection, and this vision of all as it is in the supernal and primordial universe (Atzilut and Adam Kadmon) generates an immeasurable, limitless, unconditional love, such as in our mental and vital being we cannot conceive. As we know, it is this love that Yeshua realized and embodied, a full self-transcendence, all-giving, or the realization of Hokmah Ha-Ain (wisdom of no-thingness).

This, of course, is very different than the concept of the Divine perpetually gazing upon, and taking an account of, our imperfections, weaknesses and errors – our sins, and it becomes a very intriguing contemplation, and for many a healing contemplation, to consider how this changes the understanding of interactions between us and the Divine, for suddenly the Divine holds the intention of our enlightenment and liberation, our realization of oneness, and the Divine labors towards that fruition of being in creation. That intention and labor, of course, is revealed in the Messiah, and the journey into Messianic Consciousness, God Consciousness.

In closing I might add that in our teachings to speak of the Mother is to speak of the Father, and to speak of the Father is to speak of the Mother - two aspects of One God, the Infinite. The same is true in our tradition of the Son and Daughter, or Groom and Bride - One Living Presence manifest equally in the masculine and feminine.

There is, no doubt, many more angles upon which to contemplate the love of the Father, and the mysteries of the Abba in the Kabbalah – it’s all so multilayered, but these were a few thoughts I was inclined to share, something of the stirring I experienced after reading your lovely post sister.

Shalom Aleichem!
Tau Malachi
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Re: Our Abba - Knowing the Unknown Father

#4 Postby sheryl » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:50 pm

Greetings Dear Tau, Elder Gideon, and Sister Rose!

Thank you, Sister, for sharing your contemplations with us! It has been a delight to join in them, along with the additional explorations offered by our Tau and Elder this Shabbat Day. Praise Be the Queen of Shabbat!

Beloved Tau, you spoke of Hokmah, transcendence of God or the principle of the Godhead, teaching :

This aspect of God, the Divine, beholds all in the eternal realm, in which there is no past, present or future – no time as we understand it, but all exists in the eternal now, as it is in God, which is to say in its wholeness and perfection. Thus, according to masters of the tradition, the Father, Abba, beholds us in our wholeness and perfection, and this vision of all as it is in the supernal and primordial universe (Atzilut and Adam Kadmon) generates an immeasurable, limitless, unconditional love, such as in our mental and vital being we cannot conceive.


This brings to mind this day - the Shabbat we recognize as Christians, the first day of the week - which points to the Eternal Shabbat and The-World-To-Come as a day of integration of the four relationships, with the Queen of Shabbat, Our Mother, the Revealer of it all. Perhaps we can call this day of Repose, Rest, the Day of Abba, Father?

And in regards to Tau Malachi's teaching on our four relationships with God, our Sacred Feast - the Wedding Feast included in our Shabbat celebration - comes to mind. For those joining us in our online community who might not be familiar with our Wedding Feast, here is a link to the sacred practice.

While contemplating the sacred ritual this day, something new is being heard. If the words come to speak it. We speak of the bread of the Wedding Feast as the body of Christ being broken and the wine, the blood of Christ being poured out, but I had not before heard the entire sacred feast as a shattering and integration of the Olamot. Praise to Abba-Imma for the delights of contemplation!

It seems that the four relationships are inter-woven into the ritual, we being able to see each of these in the words and chants:

Sovereign: Submission.
Parent: Expansion in the understanding of love and nearness.
Beloved: Intimate and passionate embrace
Conscious Unification with the One: mystery of self realization, or the I Am

And then a seal is placed upon this integrated remembrance with the partaking of the bread and wine, perhaps we can say that the bread has been shattered into the four Olamots, or relationships, the wine poured out to gather together in Unity what has been shattered?

The ritual ends with our standing as immeasurable, limitless, unconditional love, standing in faith of what we cannot conceive, fully offering what has been given to the world.

Praise to Abba, the transcendence of God, and to Imma, the emanate of God!

It comes to mind that this mystery is fulfilled in Repose, hence it is in keeping the Shabbat glimpses of Abba, Father might be gifted to our world. We willingly giving all that has been received.

May all find You Abba, in Repose!

Sheryl


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