There is a prayer said daily by Hasidic Jews based on the words of the Torah and ideas expounded on by Isaac Luria, (Arizal) who is recognized as a master in the esoteric side of Judaism. (The secretive Kabbalistic tradition)
The prayers themselves use various parts of the Bible and its verses which are integrated into the prayers themselves.
One of these passages got me thinking, it is part of the Shema prayer:
-so that your days and the days of your children may be prolonged on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them for as long as the heavens are above the earth.Chabad Siddur p.43
This is echoed in the New Testament:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (“All these things” are not (necessarily) material in nature, but gifts of the psyche/spirit, which are gifts to man as secondary creators, given by the will of the divine mind itself)Matthew 6:33
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.Colossians 3:1-2
There are of course many different (and valid) interpretations of this, but I want to focus on the Jungian concept of “levels”; Robert A. Johnson does a good job of describing them:
To put it simply “levels” here means the psyche/spiritual/psychological level of human existence as the interdependent/complimentary opposite of material and “physical”.
Heaven being the “visionary world” (The Collective Unconscious or “Self” as Jung described it, or as the “Imaginal realm” as Henry Corbin did) but a similar concept exists in philosophy, the “metaphysical” and in our modern world this has mostly been shunned and forgotten. And so metaphorically the “levels” have been flattened to one, the material/physical. Heaven is either no longer seen, or has been “materialized”. Religious people also do this by literalizing the Bible which brings down its meanings to the physical, but in so doing we have ignored this lessons:
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (by the images/ideas/concepts from the unconscious/Self/G-d)Romans 12:2
By flattening existence to one level, we as collective humanity endanger humanity itself. Because we are again left vulnerable to the (psychological) possession of our base animalistic nature. This cycle is shown over and over in the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon, Egypt, etc, etc… all display this tendency when a people are void of a connection to their spiritual and psychological source.
It is the duty of Jews (but also all righteous gentiles), as commanded by G-d as part of their covenant, to find G-d (or the spiritual dimension) in the material world, to elevate earth to heaven, or bring heaven and earth together, while still seeing them as two distinct dimensions. And so far as we continue to do this, and by we I mean any person that is a seeker of G-d(or however they view the divine), we will continue to grow and “exist”. However, once we stop doing this, we will decline and fall into oblivion as “humans” because the model (archetypal) “human” is itself a heavenly concept.
To use a metaphorical image, the Ouroboros, the head of the snake must always grasp its tail, the tail end of the process of existence must be connected to the thing that gave it “existence” in the first place, the “head”/”thought”; the Divine source.
Or more simply put, as long as heaven and earth are seen as both separate but connected, we will have long life. Modern society has lost this understanding. And so we are going back to the patterns that came before.