Nonduality and Nondual Judaism

Having watched two mind-boggling YouTube videos on nonduality and panentheism entitled What Is God? - A No Bullshit Explanation for Smart People - Part 1 and What Is God? - Clear Answers to 70+ Commonly Asked Questions - Part 2 by Leo Gura this week, I immediately reread Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism by Jay Michaelson and reconfirmed that Hasidism, or at least Chabad Hasidism, which I study now both formally and privately this academic year on sabbatical, is actually a form of nondual Judaism. Suddently the theory and practice of Judaism have started to make perfect sense to me.

On the other hand, I've also realized, especially after reading the following paragraph in this amazing book, that I've never had any belief in what theistic dualism claims:

Any concept we have of God is not God; it is a finite concept, tied to the finite mind, conceptualized in terms of finite substances and ideas which, in their limitation, are not God-in-godself (a concept which itself is inaccurate, because it is a concept). If you have an idea of God, God negates your idea. Any idea or concept imposed upon the ineffable mystical experience actually takes us further from the Divine. Every term is a diminution.

Now followers of conventional, mainstream, dualistic Judaism seem even closer to atheists than to adherents of nondual Judaism as the former two are thinking about the same thing; what differenciates them is whether they accept this finite concept or not. Though I haven't directly experienced nonduality nonconceptually as Leo Gura and other people who have awakened spiritually, I can assume that one can fully understand nonduality only through direct experiences. All the other understandings remain imaginations of our finite mind.

Having read and heard how Eckhart Tolle reintreprets nondualistically those teachings ascribed to the "founders" of a few institutionalized religions, I can also understand that these "founders" must have awakened spiritually and directly experienced nonduality nonconceptually, but their disciples, who had no direct experience of nonduality, simply distorted these teachings with their dualistic concepts. Unfortunately, I can see even today many people who continue worshiping these conceptual distortions and add further conceptual distortions of their own.

Inspired by the above mentioned book, I've dediced to try the practices of Hasidic meditation and prayer as explained by Rabbi DovBer Pinson, a notable Chabad rabbi, in his books Breathing and Quieting the Mind and Inner World of Jewish Prayer as two possible ways of directly experiencing nonduality nonconceptually.


Importance of Direct Experiences as the Way for Reaching Certain Types of Truths and Understandings

Through my own direct experiences as well as study and contemplation I've come to realize that we can reach certain types of truths and understandings only through direct experiences.

We can spend our whole life studying about, for example, Judaism, but as long as we don't experience it directly, we can never truly understand it though direct experiences are only necessary but not necessarily sufficient conditions.

I've also been realizing that many (or all?) mystical traditions in the world, including Hasidism, which I've been studying formally and by myself since last October, are based on direct experiences as the way for reaching certain types of truths and understandings.

I could only giggle when I encountered a few people who seemed to have a blind faith in their rational mind, making fun of one of my direct experiences I had shared with them, as if all direct experiences were prerational, while the truth is that at least some of them are postrational. The funniest thing is that they seem to have a blind faith that they have no blind faith.

Having become aware of these two realizations, I can understand more clearly why I've lost my interest in academic Jewish studies and linguistics as their main (and often the sole) emphasis is on the rational mind. It's no wonder that the most conspicuous fruit of the research of certain researchers, who hopefully constitute the minority, is their bloated ego.

I think I'd rather spend the rest of my life cultivating my soul not only by studying and contemplating but also through direct experiences.