Isaiah 45: 7 – Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates evil; I am the Lord, Who makes all these.
When it comes to choosing which path to go, good or bad, it would have to depend on one’s goal, whether to have the honor of having an audience with The Creator by the end or to simply reach the end and disintegrate. The Creator is saying in the Manual, the Torah, to choose life. It’s true that The Creator made both good and bad, light and dark, but HE would prefer for every human being to choose good over bad, light over dark, life over death.
Choosing good means holding on to the hope of meeting HIM and to dwell with HIM in the next stage of reality. It is also true that choosing the dark, bad or evil would still mean doing something in HIS will (for everything is HIS will) but it would mean choosing the antagonistic aspect of HIS will and choosing not to have audience with HIM in the future.
If it’s the human beings that need fixing, then what changes them?
Circumstance or other people?
Circumstances, like encounters and learning that makes a huge impact on a person either to push forward or change direction. Other people are those whom they love, get involved with, revere or rule over them. They can either love and sacrifice so much for them, get influenced by them, submit and get manipulated by them or get molded by them, like how good leaders do.
But ultimately, it is still up to the person’s willingness to surrender one’s will and yield, to make the decision to change.
I can’t help but notice the elements of Adam and Chava in the futuristic live-action movie Ghost in the Shell, especially when the protagonist, Major Mira Killian/Motoko Kusanagi finally reconnected with her previous significant someone, Hideo, who is now the cybernetic Kuze, in the place where they used to live together with other anti-cybernetic enhancement rebels. In that spot was an old eastern pagoda structure and a very huge and aged tree. The movie is set in a future where everything you see is metal and technology has become the very norm of the citizen’s life, so the huge aged tree is like the irony that serves as a reminder of the past organic life that the old Motoko fought for along with her gang. In a sense it was the only other form of life around in their metallic environment and, dare I say, it’s like the Tree of Life.
What struck me as a resemblance of Adam and Chava was the scene when both cybernetic Motoko and Kuze were bare, with only their synthetic bodies of course, and lying on the floor by the old tree. The sad thing was that they were in a very dilapidated state, Major’s arm and leg torn off while majority of Kuze’s body is gone. It was like a struggle for organic and pure life as the mechanical forces try to destroy them. The sadder part was when Kuze, the supposed Adam, got destroyed. The good side is that he was able to transfer his “ghost” to his better half before his body got crushed by bullets from Hanka snipers.
That means, only Major, or Chava, was the one left, in a way to continue. Though it comes as somewhat vague to me why Major chose to stay instead of leaving with Kuze into his “network”, it also reminds me how Chava was the one who took the first step to take part of the forbidden fruit to further advance G-d’s story of the whole humanity. Adam was actually quite content in the safe haven of Gan Eden, with all their angel servants, constant beautiful weather, and all too comfortable existence. Major’s decision to continue fighting seems to echo this courageous yet risky decision that the mother of all organic human life had to make.
Another very striking element of organic life and soul is how Major and those before her were made. They all had their brains intact. Their “soul” was in their brain, the mind, that is, just like what the Torah teaches. There is also that message again that hints how those who are not willing to cooperate with their bodies to serve their purpose becomes rebellious, confused, and malfunction, just like what happened to Major’s predecessors. This seems to remind me how Callum (from Assassin’s Creed movie) was warned by the doctor to not fight with the Animus so that no harm will happen to his nervous system. The only way to achieve the purpose is to surrender and become one with the vessel while staying true to the goal and to one’s true self.
I just can’t help but be awestruck by these elements that seem to call out to those watching to remember their origin, organic life, and soul.
Why all this fuss about labels?
Some people are promoting anti-labeling campaigns saying that the use of labels is disrespectful or alienating. Oh how this world has turned upside down to its deterrent. I wonder when the indifferent term label became an aversive thing for a modern society?
Reality check, labeling was and is still not solely an antagonistic thing. Like all other things in this created world, it can be used for good and for the bad. Eradicating it is just an impulsive rant. People need to understand that label does not necessarily have to cause divide but rather recognition of essence. Everyday we face labels in the form of names. Only, it has to be used according to what is true.
Things are named according to the fact of its attributes. When Adam was created, his first job was to name other creations. He saw beyond the physical and as Jewish Sages said, he saw the creation codes embedded in each creation and was able to draw names from it. Our very names significantly become our own labels, our own brands. One John cannot be the same with another John but those who know the person will immediately identify the John whom they know.
Labels help us get through each day of our lives. It is not supposed to alienate us because it regulates us. We even use labels to call on Our Creator. The Merciful, Benevolent, The Eternal, The Almighty, these are all attributes of G-d and these are all labels. It gives us an insight as about Our Creator and helps us make a connection to Him. By having labels to different nations and people we become aware of their distinct cultures and we learn how to deal with them accordingly. When we read the manual of a newly purchased gadget we get to know how the use the gadget properly thereby preventing damage due to improper handling. These and countless more.
There is nothing wrong with using labels provided that they are used correctly or else it just defeats the purpose. So, to answer the question, labels shouldn’t be dismissed entirely.
Awakening is like getting pulled out off of the mud, from the intense darkness of futile material pursuits into the reality of existence, into the light. While Adam and Chava had the opposite sort. They awakened from spiritual comfort, got stripped off of the light and clarity into a state of, well, confusion. It’s like being in the middle of the dark abyss and the safe haven. Should this mean that an awakened being treads a line or spot where darkness meets light? However, it has to be understood that the darkness is only a spot compared to the pervading light, like a river to a sea.
I’d like to liken the yetzer hara to a virus. When an active virus is “overcome” and fashioned to become a passive virus, it acts as a defense against other viruses in a form of a vaccine. In this manner, the yetzer hara can become a soul’s armor once it is overcome by a Human. It is integrated into the Human Being, to the Soul, as a gathered spark or a successful tikkun. And sometimes, complete eradication can be impossible, rather, it has to be put under one’s control, to tame it, and to use for a loftier purpose.
This may sound too negative, I know, but this is just me expressing some of my thoughts. I’d like to call this age as the Age of Distraction. So many activities and things can take away one’s focus to connect to G-d, Our Creator, The Source of everything. There is primarily the television, then, there are movies and so many other sorts of secular entertainment. There is also career to keep you busy, or to possess as some kind of social status. People who do not have a career is sort of treated like an outcast. It seems that being busy with work is a hip thing. Or, the other way. Living life to the fullest without minding about work or responsibilities. Distracting yourself by relaxing on travels and frequently going out with friends just to enjoy life. Also, society since time immemorial has emphasized about passion. A person has to have a particular activity he or she is passionate about. You have to pursue it to be happy. Spend your time, focus, and most of your life energy on it and you won’t regret it. Forget about what others will say or forget your family, just focus on your passion and society and future generations will admire you. Lastly, falling-in-love without bounds. Just fall in love with whoever or whatever you want to love and just pour out yourself to that person because love is the sweetest thing of all. Well, that’s just it, it is a THING, another thing of distraction. Too much emphasis on love I’d say, without spiritual content. I’m not saying it’s bad but this generation seems to put so much emphasis on living life without thinking about the responsibilities of being a Human Being, as a created Soul and most of all having a genuine relationship with Our Creator. They clamor for a life made up of a good career, travels to faraway destinations, time spent with friends, even doing foolish things on purpose just so you can try it, and wasting time on entertainment. So many distractions that condition a human being to be complacent on the one thing that truly matters, our connection to The Source, The Creator.
But we are all called to elevate this world and that includes the distractions. It takes being mindful of Our Creator and our responsibilities in having a connection and relationship with Him. In the end, we won’t be asked how many works of art we created, how high we’ve reached in the corporate ladder, how many places in the world we’ve traveled, how many restaurants we’ve eaten in, how many people we’ve loved or slept with, if we lived a physically pleasurable life. We will be asked if we’ve done what we were sent here to do, and that is to always strive to connect with Our Creator, that we have done everything in service to Him.