In the previous articles, we discussed the Hellenization of society—the manner in which the goal and pinnacle of what life is all about has been shifted to external appearances and physicality.
I'd like to share with you another great example of this and a lesson we can draw from it.
Have you ever seen a commercial for the NFL, the National Football League?
The background music will come on sounding like some combination between a symphony and an opera to give the feeling of some sort of heavenly ascendance in which all parts of the orchestra fuse together for a higher all-inclusive purpose. Then, a highlight of a quarterback throwing a spiral football floating in the air in slow motion, culminating in an over-the-shoulder catch in the end zone.
Ah, a thing of beauty.
But do you notice how they're essentially trying to make football into a God experience, into a messianic experience? After all, according to Judaism, in Messianic times all aspects of this world of multiplicity will reveal the underlying unity of God that is at its core. And the NFL is tapping into that.
Similar is the experience of the concert when everyone pulls out their lighter (or cellphone)—each becoming individualistic parts of the greater collective unified whole.
There is a hijacking of the soul of humanity.
Humanity has an inherent soul-desire and yearning for this Messianic age, this God-experience, and the aura of ascendance that comes with that; and our Greek-Roman-Western society puts something objectively meaningless in its place. And the irony is that the whole reason for the interest and passion in the objectively meaningless collection, sports team, or rock concert experience is due to their being empowered by the soul's desire and yearning for that which is higher. Thus, the objectively meaningless collection, sports team, and rock concert experience usurps the soul's thirst for something objectively meaningful, thereby pulling it away from actually attaining its true goal of personal refinement and relationship with God.
Becoming a Fan of God
In order to rectify this situation, what needs to be done is to assert our Free Will and apply the soul's power toward what it was originally intended. This will lead to success in keeping and strengthening the soul's connection to the Infinite despite its being dipped into a culture that is antithetical to the soul and spiritual matters. And then we will hopefully come to understand that when we taste the sweetness of sports or come across commercials emphasizing trivial things, we are getting a dose of a Coca-Cola-like artificial excuse for the Real Thing.
If we are real enough to acknowledge the petty nature of most of the things our society attributes meaning and importance to, the next question becomes: So what then is life about? And, does the manner in which I spend my time reflect the core beliefs that I subscribe to deep down? Or, am I spending most of my time watching someone else pretending to principled choices on TV and the movies? Am I living life in accordance with the way the higher side of myself knows it should and yearns to live? Or, am I squandering my waking hours following the tweets of Hollywood celebs and clicking my life away on YouTube?
Am I aligning myself with reality or am I wasting myself on that which is objectively extraneous?
May we be blessed to open up to and connect with the things in life that are worth cheering for and getting passionate about, and may we be granted the strength to follow up on such ideals and enthusiasm with practical actions.
Author's Note: Rabbi Eli will be traveling across North America in February 2012 to present his empowering and impactful Kabbalah seminars on Spirituality, Relationships, and Self-Help. For a complete catalog or to book a life-altering event contact email@example.com.