Psychedelic Mishnah

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Psychedelic MishnahA psychedelic approach to Mishnah, and Torah study in general is not different from that which these disciplines already seeks to accomplish: to recognize and make abundantly clear the connection between all things, which stems from the divine, the One. When one sets out on the quest to acquire a psychedelic understanding of Torah, they must prepare themselves with meditation, contemplation, and intention in anticipation of the perspective shift necessary to acquire such understandings.
Whether the subject of study be Mikra, Mishnah, Midrash, or otherwise, one ought to arrive at the site of study with the awareness that what they will see or hear in engaging the text is not merely that which they will be engaging at present, but the infinite web of possible interpretations and reinterpretations of these teachings throughout time.
The Mishnah hints at this shift in perspective within its very first few teachings, asking: “From when do we recite Shema in the morning?” That is to say: When we arise in the morning and have the first opportunity to orient ourselves, to accept an orientation that is directed towards holiness and divine Oneness what must our perspective be? And the Tanna Kama answers immediately “From the time that one can distinguish between Techelis and Lavan (Turqoise and White). Meaning, our orientation towards divine Oneness is dependent upon our ability to perceive the difference between the “Livnat Sapir” or “Grounded Sapphire” beneath God’s feet – that which is earthly, material, physical, and “Alohei Yisrael” mamash – the nothingness that encompasses the entirety of the Divine. (Shmot 24:10)
Through this perspective, we are able to recognize the truth embedded within the incomprehensible paradox of divinity as seated in the Human. That is to say: when the Human intentionally engages in Torah study from the psychedelic perspective, they are granted heightened awareness of the paradox between infinite possibilities and the limitations of those possibilities as they exist in the present.
However, when one reimagines and refashions the matrix of possible interpretations: jumbling letters, pronouncing alternative readings, sounds, and movements, one has the ability to claim that something so human as Mishnah, is indeed "Min Hashem" or “from God” And this is the reason why the central tenet of the Jewish Creed demands that “Israel” ought to “Listen,” while simultaneously exclaiming “God is One.” Meaning when we purposefully confuse our primary interpretive and creative faculties: speech and understanding, we hearken back to the moment of creation, when Divine Wisdom distinguishes between “TOHU/BOHU” (Raw Confusion) and “Or” (“Light” or Understanding) with a single statement. And this is the very same understanding with which we must orient ourselves every morning: the perspective of Techelis and Lavan, Human being and Divine creator, the Word of Man and the Word of God.
But what truly separates the two, Creator and Creation? It’s nothing other than that which was given to us by the Creator, the breath of life which sustains Creation each and every day anew. As it says regarding the creation of humanity that God “breathed unto them a nishmat chayim” or “breath of life.” (Bereshit 2:7) So too when one recites “Mishnah,” they give life to the “Neshamah,” the breath of life which sustains all of creation. In this sense, one must understand Mishnah as more than just a collection of Rabbinic laws and traditions, but rather the essential meditative mantra of Creation.
Each Mishnaic teaching is carefully constructed with the letters, that is the spoken sounds of those letters, in the order that makes sense to convey that specific teaching. Because Mishnah is a representation of Torah Sh’beal Peh par excellence, It necessarily demonstrates the interplay between Human and Divine dialogue. Therefore, whereas Mikra (the written Torah) must be copied from one scroll to the next, testifying to the immutability of a even a single jot or tittle (the crowns on the letters), and becomes pasul (invalid) if a letter is smudged, the Mishnah demonstrates opposite tendencies.
The natural fallibility of humanity is inextricably intertwined with their inability to transmit Be’al Peh, that which is wholly divine (I.e the teachings of the Oral tradition.) And it is already a well documented phenomenon in the commentaries on the Mishnah that the received traditions are in someway or another lacking! Meaning even though we are commanded to “recite for our children” word for word, the letters and sounds of the Mishnah have changed over time. That is to say: the breath of life which sustains us anew every day in Creation, the mantra of Mishnah, is beholden to the principles of psychedelic transmutation and abstraction. And the one who seeks wisdom and truth in all forms will come to recognize this truth and shift their perspective accordingly.

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