Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Fallen Angels: A Midrash

This is a story the archangel Raphael told me today during my daily meditation / prayer. Being a writer, I embellished it a bit of course.

Long ago, when this incarnation of the universe barely had the shrink-wrap taken off, God created the angels. Or perhaps it might be more correct to say that God (the Elohim) noticed the angels, as the each angel is to God as a cell or an organ is to the whole human body. (The same is true of humans, but that's a story for another time.) So perhaps the Heavenly Host's hive mind became self-aware and decided to be called YHVH, or conversely, perhaps the great YHVH noticed one day that all of its appendages possessed singular intelligence and purpose. This chicken-and-egg problem is also an argument for another time. However, it does point to the possibility that those humans with multiple personalities ("dissociative identity disorder") might very well be created a bit more in the image of the Host than the rest of us, being both singular and multiple at once, but also neither.

All was well within the great heavenly hive-mind system of the Elohim until creation began. Each of the angels was tasked with creating and tending a particular type of thing - a tree, perhaps, or an animal, or clouds or soil. Even a single blade of grass has its own angel, the rabbis tell us. But when the humans Adam and Lilith were created, this was when trouble began. The angels saw that humans had something they did not - not only physical bodies with which to enjoy the universe more fully, but the free will that allowed them to choose to do so. Lilith was free to leave Adam when he refused to respect her autonomy, and in response God created a lesser creature, Eve, out of Adam's side. Could God be fallible after all? There was dissension in the angelic ranks about this point, and so the archangel Samael took it upon himself to test the theory.

What would happen if, in addition to free will, the humans had knowledge of what would and would not harm them (often pronounced "good and evil")? Samael wanted to find out, so he assumed the form of a snake and made it happen. Only those of the Elohim who were also curious about the Host's fallibility knew about this plan, so when it succeeded, the group came together and ejected Samael from their number. The other Watchers who had been with him also decided to remain on earth, as it had become clear to them that their brethren were stuck-up and pompous sticks in the mud. They went on to teach the humans magic, science, architecture, and all sorts of interesting sexual positions and generally to enjoy themselves on earth as they liked.

But here is the point that no one seems to get, which Raphael underscored for me this morning: None of this would have been possible had God (Elohim / the Host) not removed the fallen angels' desire to serve God first. An angel cannot act against its nature; its very name compels it to behave in a particular way and to fulfill a particular function. It's only without the desire to perform that function that said angel can gain something like free will, and so we come to the conclusion that the Host expelled the Fallen not as a curse, but out of love because it was what they wanted. It was only by wandering in the Desert of the Real (to steal a term from the Matrix) that the Fallen could come to appreciate their own particular gifts and heaven itself.

If you love something you've created enough, set it free, and one day it will come back to you when it realizes it loves its creator back.

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