We all have those habits, those trappings in society, the ones that we really want to get rid of. And yet, at the same time, we are so afraid of confronting them, we look at them from afar and marvel at their power.
“She’s too much for me. I can’t take it head on.” This obstacle is not something I can transcend, because it owns all the power in the land. We can’t even look our habits in the eye and recognize how miserable they’re making us, because to us, that’s all that exists. We are slaves, and so is our mentality.
When the Jewish people were exiting Egypt, they were commanded to perform a strange ritual, unknown even to the Egyptians who were quite the fan of bizarre rtiuals: to take a young lamb and tie it to their bedpost for several days. Then, they would sacrifice the lamb by roasting it on a spit, and use the blood to paint on their doorposts and indicate that they were to be redeemed, not punished, on the fateful Passover night – the night when the Angel of Death passed over the households of those who would be redeemed, and smote the Egyptians with the last of the plagues.
In ancient Egypt, the lamb was a deity. It represented Divinity. The meekest and simplest creature, was placed on a pedestal and revered as the ultimate in truth and power across the land.
And as the Israelites spent their years sojourning in Egypt, they too began to believe that maybe this lamb was exactly all it had been cracked up to be. Maybe the technology of the day really was just as powerful as the Divinity their forefathers had taught them to acknowledge as the force that powered all creation; including their hearts and souls within.
Maybe we really don’t have any power of it; maybe this is all it’s cracked up to be. The Egyptians will kill us if we disrespect a god in their eyes, if we admit that maybe there is a power beyond money or technology.
But when the commandment came, the instruction was quite clear. The revelation received from Moses; the directive from the Divine; was apparent:
Take those deities you’ve created for yourselves. Those docile beings within which you’ve invested all your power; the ones you put on a pedestal and worship as a power outside yourself, when the truth of redemption lies within.
Take it through into your most inner of innermost spaces. Tie it up to your bedpost, where you dream at night; where you see yourself in the mirror and where you lay next to your most intimate partner and confess your heart’s desires in a whisper.
And look it in the eye, and see the truth in its face. See that it, too, is powerless over you. It’s just a small, meek lamb; when you both connect to the Divine energy that powers each and every one of you.
Look those habits in the eye, the smartphone tied to your bedpost; the need to criticize even your most beloved; those habits that are in your innermost chambers, and cry:
Lamb, little lamb, you little peaceful thing, you seem so quiet and meek, yet you are the most powerful presence on this land, what can you represent?
Look at those structures in the face, those big pyramids and those exceptional magic displays from the greatest country on earth. Look at those buildings and notice that they’re actually crumbling inside; because they’ve been built on the blood of slaves and the faith of people like you who see that they’re nothing more than stone structures filled with gold; not the powerful antechambers to the next world.
My habits, my technology, the things I worship outside myself, you’re actually not that much after all, you’re as simple and docile as a lamb, yet I made you into a deity.
Look at those powers, that magic and technology that runs the country; and realize that you have the same power within yourself.
The Egyptian society was all about technology. They knew exactly how to craft society the way they wanted it, and the Israelites were into it for quite some time. That’s how they became slaves in the first place, after all. Originally content to live quiet, pastoral lives, they moved on to become contract builders for the new cities of Pithom and Ramses before eventually, the enslavement was so real they hadn’t even noticed it creeping on.
Just one more night staying late at the office. Just another time taking on a project without pay for the sake of the resume. Just one more chance to prove myself, and the reward will all come. I’m not a slave, I have free agency, I’m choosing what I want to do and who I want to be. I just choose to be here, right now, in this trapped place of existence because look, it’s easier here. We get fed, we get taken care of, and I don’t have to worry about that big existentialist hole of what I’m really supposed to be doing and why and when.
So we keep bowing down lower and deeper to that tiny sheep in the corner; that meek and placid little creature that’s now become a big bellowing ram with angry horns; telling us what to do and convincing us of its mighty power. We venerate it and respect it.
We cry out to a God that we don’t see and think He will arrive on a white charger to save us. We expect that by letting our own blood and sacrificing ourselves to the greatest deity we will reach the greatness and happiness we’ve always expected to be the result of connecting with Divinity.
But it’s more than that. It’s not just about slaying the lamb. It’s about looking that lamb in the face and having it in your innermost chamber for the week; and knowing that it’s here to teach you: I’m not that big and scary after all. The power, you see, is within you.
So stop treating your biggest traps and your greatest aspirations as a deity of its own. It has no power over you; you have mastery over it instead.
It’s not the sacrifice that creates the Passover liberation; it’s what comes before it. It’s acknowledging your demons aren't as scary than you think and completely powerless under you, because you can operate with the power of Divinity is imbued within you. That the power of salvation isn't invested in another creature, but can be achieved by pulling on the resources and faith you carry within you.
The first step to Liberation on Passover wasn’t a massive display; it wasn’t the thunder and lightning of Revelation at Sinai or the upheaval of nature taking place on the banks of the Reed Sea. It was simple, it took place in the home of every single person, Israelite or Egyptian.
It was a stocktake; a simple reckoning; a perceived reality of visitations of Divinity as the Angel of Death swept its way over the land and every household felt the force of Divine wrath – and Divine redemption.
And it was when painting the doorpost with the hyssop branches dippedin the blood of the lamb that the people finally began to understand – they would be redeemed from Egypt, because they can.
Because they can get out of these boundaries and these households simply by putting their hands up and saying, I’m ready. This lamb means nothing to me. It’s weak and powerless over me, because within me I have Divinity.
I don’t need to worship another, and put my power in the presence of any other – of a wrathful God or a local Deity, it’s not necessary. I need to acknowledge that I have within me all it takes to be completely free; and once I put my hand up and designate my home that way, nobody can remove it from me, nobody can take it away.
Idol worship is not about putting power into an object of stone; or an animal of wool. It’s about putting power into anything that is not our own; that is not the Divinity that powers this universe that we can plug into at any point, that lives within us, that comes down to us in a steady stream if only we open up our USB port, act as a channel, and let it all flow.
So let’s sacrifice the lambs; let’s paint our doorposts with blood. Let’s see that these things have no power over us and we’re ready to be redeemed. Let’s let those habits die and roast them over a fiery spit; let’s share them with our neighbors and help our brothers to do the same, with nothing left over for the morning – not a single morsel of self-doubt; of hatred; of habitual expectation; of believing that within technology and the structures of society lies our foundation.
Let’s take back ownership of ourselves as free people; let’s remember that those who follow meekly are often called “sheeple”. We are strong, we are free, we are saturated with Divine energy. There’s no time like the present to let it all out, to remember that the only way to get out of Mitzrayim is to call out and shout; to acknowledge we don’t want to be here anymore and that when we look for salvation within it opens a door. When we have the faith and know that we can get out of this mess there’s no need to look at the big structures and technologies and start to stress. We know it’s as meek and docile as a lamb, once we take the ram by the horns and let our true divinity shine through.
Ready to get rid of those habits for real? We'll be journeying through letting go of all our boundaries and expectations over a 7 week journey, starting April 22 on The Gene-Sis.