Unity, Separation & Transcendence

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Unity, Separation & Transcendence

July 4, 2023 @ 1:30 pm July 7, 2023 @ 3:00 pm

2023 Kallah Course Description

Unity, Separation & Transcendence: Psychedelics in Contemporary Jewish Life

The last few years have seen an extraordinary blossoming of a renewed appreciation of the power of psychedelics as sacred healing medicines. Studies at respected universities have explored the use of psychedelics in treating depression, grief, PTSD, and end-of-life transitions. Many contemporary scholars posit connections between mystical traditions and psychedelics in a wide range of religious traditions including Judaism.

Deeply revered religious leaders including Reb Zalman, z”tl, believed that psychedelics, if carefully curated for well-screened individuals, could be used to occasion primary religious experience.

In this class we will explore relevant Jewish texts, and the developing use of mind-expanding sacred medicines to expose dualistic illusions that create separations between oneself, one another and the divine. In transcendence beyond the ego (the identity which is largely made up of cultural and social constructs and defenses such as notions of patriarchy, gender roles and feelings of social alienation) one can experience: Echad – Oneness; Ahavah – Unconditional Love; Shlemut – Wholeness; and Yichud – Unity with the Divine.

Come delve into these insights and what they can mean for the contemporary power and practice of Judaism. We will look at some of the Jewish healing practices that are better enabling people to walk paths of grieving, deepening of intimacy, prayer and ritual, and a host of sacred transitions including end of life work.


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