L’Shem Yichud is a prayer about the merging of the Heavens and the Earth. It’s a prayer about merging our spiritual lives with our physical lives and, in a sense, about bringing transcendence into the physical plane so that there isn’t a gap or separation. Specifically, this prayer is about bringing spirit into the world to help ameliorate the consciousness of conflict that is currently happening everywhere on the planet. This is the essence of wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to integrate all the levels of yourself and all the levels of consciousness occurring in the world and being at peace with it. By this we create peace. This is peace one piece at a time. It does not happen at once, because people must change their understanding of who they are and what is happening around them. This understanding allows them to slowly open their hearts to one another.
People have their concerns about the Middle East, but conflicts in the Middle East pale in comparison to what is happening elsewhere in the world. I’m not talking about Syria. When I was last in Nigeria I learned that 600-800 Christians were massacred each year, and, the particular year I was there, there had been 1,000 Christians murdered. This type of thing is going on all over the world. While we focus on the Middle East, the numbers elsewhere are huge.
How many are aware that North Korea is essentially currently recreating the German concentration camps in their full moral depravity, viciousness, and violence? Anyone who is possibly politically divergent is put there. People are worried about children being killed in Palestine, but if one is pregnant in a North Korean concentration camp they kill the baby or force the mother to drown her children. Brutality is a global problem.
What can we do about it? This is the role of spiritual wisdom. It is difficult to maintain true wisdom, because true wisdom is heart-based. How does one keep the heart open enough (which is the foundation of wisdom, particularly in these situations) to help people connect and get beyond their divisive ideologies. Unfortunately these ideologies move beyond mere separation and into outright hatred. The word “hate” means separation, so one in separation runs the real risk of moving into hatred. Spiritual wisdom protects against separation and hatred.
I do a lot of work in the Middle East. I’ve been invited into East Jerusalem by Muslim leaders who tell me they are risking their lives to have me in their homes. They ask that I go to these places in disguise to protect these people. They can be killed by radical Muslims just for spending time with me. It is unfortunate, but every time we do these events in certain places in the West Bank, the people who host us are risking their lives but are willing to do so because they see the bigger picture. Many people want peace. They may be a minority of 5%, but they are willing to put their lives on the line for the bigger picture. They risk their lives because they see the value in connecting. Once we were doing an event in the West Bank and our host was the head of a mosque. He had lost his mosque once already, and now here I was sitting in the mosque putting him at risk of losing it again, but this man was committed to peace in light of the bigger picture and our heart wisdom connection. These heroic Muslim people are going beyond the illusory polarities that make us forget our humanity. We all care. These Arab Muslim brothers and sisters share the same higher vision of creating peace. They demonstrate their care by putting their lives on the line for the sake of peace.
In time, the Darkness will tire of fighting, and peace will reign. It will reign all over the Middle East and the world. Heart wisdom understands that peace is inevitable and avoids the hatred and separation that presents us from seeing people. In a world of heart-wisdom peace there is no room for the dark frequency of hatred. Heart wisdom allows us to open our hearts, transcend our minds, and remember our oneness that is above and beyond apparent dualities of religious, racial, tribal, and national identities.
Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD