Traditionally, the Sabbath is Saturday—the seventh day of the week—sundown to sundown. In fact, in Spanish, “Saturday” is “Sabado”—the Sabbath.
This changed for Christianity under Emperor Constantine who made use of the new religion for his own political aspirations. He seemed to use the sun god more than any Christian symbolism. Sunday was made an official day of rest for the empire. For all of the new Christians who joined the church because of Constantine, their attachment to pagan beliefs muddied the church with perversions like this. The beginning of the new solar year at the shortest day became the birthday of Jesus—December 25, though there was no known date for Christ’s actual birth.
What is the importance of Saturday over Sunday, or sundown instead of midnight? I don’t know, but I remain open to finding out. For now, I err on the side of caution and because it feels better on a certain level to be doing what was traditional rather than politically expedient for the followers of Constantine. For some, Sunday is now the last day of the week in accordance with God’s day of rest. Others treat it as the first day and squirm at the awkward mismatch.
God’s 7 Days
In Genesis, we learn about 6 days of creation and a 7th day of rest. In my own research, I learned that a creation gains persistence by the source resting or allowing it into manifestation. Before the resting, there was no time or persistence for that item.
Thus, I had learned the pattern of creation and manifestation.
With this pattern, it seems clear that the 6 days of creation all occurred before time existed—or outside of time as we know it. Only with God resting did physical reality gain persistence or time.
So, what were the 6 days? Were they merely metaphor for 6 blueprints or ideas—God’s Word—for what was to be manifested?
The last day of the week—one day in seven—was to be set aside in order to get closer to God. It was to be a day of rest from the concerns of the physical world—thus the prohibition against working.
In physics, we know that any change in motion requires work. Breathing requires work. Walking. Talking. Eating. Everything we do as humans requires the expending of energy to make the physical body move.
So, the prohibition from work is not entirely literal. Christ and his disciples were accused of breaking the Sabbath because they gleaned from the fields enough grain to eat. Christ reminded them that King David had done the same to keep his troops from starving.
An enemy, knowing the Jewish prohibition against work on the Sabbath might choose that day for attack, just as the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor—Sunday, December 7, 1941. But such an enemy would be wrong.
Jews prepare their food for the Sabbath on Friday so that they can have food—or they fast. Surely, they would fight on the Sabbath so that they would have lives for future Sabbaths, because life is sacred.
Moses had been a literalist and was painfully strict with the law he had brought down from the mountain. When one old man gathered firewood on the new Sabbath, people had him stoned to death for breaking the law. Christ would not have done that, for he understood the law for more deeply than did Moses. Also, those were different times. The Hebrews needed a strong hand to help them overcome their rowdiness. So, Moses is honored and forgiven his harshness. We must now understand more deeply the meaning of the law—not as mindless robots, but as active participants.
Healing the World
The Sabbath is all about healing or perfecting the world—“tikkun olam.” And we make the world perfect by first perfecting ourselves.
But what does this mean?
We start each life in sin. This is an emotionally charged statement that makes many people uncomfortable. It remains a vague generality that seems to say, “You’re wrong,” or “You’re bad.” But that’s not the whole picture or intent behind this idea.
All evil comes from self-concern (egoism or selfishness). When a baby is born, it is entirely selfish. This does not mean it is actively evil, but it is self-consumed. That’s the nature of infancy. We don’t blame the baby for this or condemn them for being so self-centered. Without the help and attention of adults, the baby would easily die.
Eventually, though, the baby must grow out of its selfishness—its childish ways. Sadly, most people never quite shed all of their egoism even unto their senior years.
Cog in the Machine
The physical universe is an entirely deterministic machine. Like billiard balls on a pool table, these Homo sapiens bodies follow the physical laws of action-reaction reality. As long as we remain entirely physical, we will have zero free will.
Even a brilliant man like Sam Harris, writing a book about free will, is merely following the programming of physical reality. He is merely a cog in the machine, as are we all.
The only vector of free will is that of deciding to give up our childish ego—our self-concern. The moment we do this, we find ourselves being in the world, but no longer of the world. We are now spirit—sons of God, every bit as much as was Yehoshua of Nazareth, Elijah, Moses, Siddhartha Gautama and Lao Tzu.
Christ once said that the Truth will set you free. Where resting, allowing or “not knowing” a creation will give it persistence, knowing the truth of that creation will return it to its instant of creation—in the timeless state of instantaneity.
Goal of the Sabbath
Our goal on the Sabbath must then be to find the truth of our physical self, as it is, so that we may be free of it. We may still possess the body, but we view the world as spirit.
This does not mean that we make our Homo sapiens body disappear, but we find the physical linkages that bind us to the body. We also find the entirety of ego, for it is also physical.
The ego is made up of dichotomous desires and aversions. Ego is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In fact, ego consists of a set of conceptual dichotomies, things like good-evil, wisdom-stupidity, compassion-indifference, love-hate, victim-perpetrator, generosity-selfishness, and many others.
Our job is to take full responsibility for each egoistic desire and to convert it into altruistic intention.
Notice: Egoistic desire is inward, toward self. Altruistic intention is outward, toward others as if they were self. This is the wisdom of true Kabbalah (Bnei Baruch).
This, then, is the purpose of the Sabbath. The perfecting of self—away from physical, dichotomous ego—toward altruistic spirit with the 4 traits of God:
- Unconditional love,
- Perfect responsibility,
- Utter humility, and
- Fearless confidence.