An Orgasmic Seder
by Mark Gottlieb Apr 21, 2014
Passover, the Holiday celebrating our freedom from bondage, has attributes that suggest a kinship with OM (Orgasmic Meditation). I will attempt to explore some of these similarities in the context of a traditional Seder bringing elements of psychology and showing the relationship to OM.
In the early part of the Seder, the four sons are introduced. There is the Wise Son, who appears to know much and may appear arrogant. Then there are the others, the Wicked son, the Simple Son, and the Son who doesn’t know how to Ask. It is noteworthy that the questions these sons raise are never directly answered during the Seder, though the questions of the youngest child at the Seder, the Four questions of the MaNish Tannah asked earlier in the Seder, are answered.
There are those who say that the four sons represent aspects of ourselves. I maintain even further, that the four sons are inner voices of ourselves competing for prominence in our inner dialogue and the behavior that follows. Indeed, the Seder can be looked upon, in part, as a liberation from the voices inside of us, literally the parts of ourselves that keep us in bondage. It is only the voice of the youngest child, which is silent within us, that is heard at the Seder Table, perhaps symbolically representing the purity of our essential selves.
The food served during the Seder is yet another example of our liberation from our inner bondage. The food served first represents our bondage to hardship. Much of it is mundane in its taste, or even bitter or harsh. The Matzah, or Bread of Affliction, the Marror, or Bitter Herbs, the Salt Water for dipping, all represent the harshness of our servitude in Egypt, or Mitzrayim, which literally means the narrow or constricted places. It is not by resisting these foods, but by ingesting them, digesting them and alchemizing them and the experiences they represent through the sensation of their taste, that we can transform them into energetic vehicles propelling us onward in our spiritual journey. The Seder Meal, the Shulchan Aruch as it is called, comes much later in the Seder, and is by contrast very nourishing and delicious, representing the high point or peak of the Seder and the attainment of our spiritual quest or journey from bondage to freedom.
We should note that no prayer, or Brachah, is said before we wash for the first food that is served, as if to tell us that we don’t sanctify our hardships and the inner bondage we come to hate. Rather, as said above , we transform these experiences through our sensations that arise from them, into a positive force that empowers us to continue our journey. However, we do say a prayer before washing for the Seder Meal, the Shulchan Aruch mentioned above. In effect, we sanctify the positive experience, the experience of hope and liberation that we attain on our journey toward liberation and freedom from bondage.
Those familiar with the practice of OM (Orgasmic Meditation) know these lessons well. In OM, we bring whatever experiences we have had before the OM and the state of mind we are in about them, to the OM. Though the OM, these experiences are transformed by the shared experience of orgasm. OM, as does the Seder, has peaks and valleys . In the Seder, we repeat the names of all the parts of the Seder that precede the part that we start before we start it. It is as though we are capturing a remembrance of our previous experiences of the Seder as we progress through it. In OM, we share frames, or remembrances of the sensations we experienced during select moments of the OM.
In OM, after we reach our peaks, we are grounded. In the Seder, after the extended peak of the Seder Meal, the Dessert and the Search for the Afikomen, or larger half of the Middle Matzah, we are grounded by the Bereich or Blessings after the meal, the Hallel or Praises to god, and the Nirtzah, or answers from god. In OM. we are grounded during the final two minutes of the OM. The OM has a structure consisting of 11 parts. The OM is not complete unless all of them are done. Likewise, the Seder has 15 parts, and is not complete unless all of them are done. The Seder is the telling of our story as a people. The OM is, as it were, a communication about what is deep within us, our shared orgasm, and continues into all aspects and communications of our life. From the time of the second Seder onward, we count the Omer, or sheaves of grain harvested between Passover and Shavuous, the holiday commemorating the receiving of the Torah. In OM, we are counted, or acknowledged as OMers.
I will close my drosh, my teaching, by another play on words using a Hebrew word of great and lasting significance, the word Shalom. This word has many meanings. It means peace, and wholeness and satisfaction and contentment and completion. It is a greeting expressing a desire for a deep and meaningful encounter. It is a farewell acknowledging such an encounter. I pose, that as people who OM, we adopt a phonetically equivalent phrase, which in its essence, conveys the same sentiments and much more. The phrase is “Shall OM”. May all of us be blessed to OM many, many times and may all of us be blessed to have many, many more Seders, liberating us from the bondage within ourselves that we accumulate each year.