Life was good in the days of Noach. Perhaps too good.
That era ushered in the first recorded affluent society. But rather than turning toward the benevolent source energy and codes of honor they followed to attain that abundance, the beneficiaries collectively turned away.
They separated from the Source and became corrupt in their dealings with one another. As the Cohen Hagadol would later proclaim,
hard it will be for those who have money to enter the kingdom”…
It is said that back then humans possessed enormous physical strength, lived for hundreds of years, and children always outlived their parents.
There was no suffering, no bitter seasons, and the earth produced sufficient harvest on a forty-year schedule. It was a time of affluence, but
that’s not the same thing as harmonious - a lesson which we are all still learning to this day.
It’s easy to lose sight of how good we have it when everything we have is good! The work is in understanding that greater levels of abundance are only channels for greater levels of sharing.
Hoarder energy (modern idol worship) is designed to slow down the network.
Valuing things that are created over the one who created them is certainly enticing. I sometimes cringe at the thought of having to go back to “square one" in order to create something greater than myself. It would be much easier to keep my focus on what I’ve accomplished, been given and become than to connect to the source again in order to create more. It’s harder when you already think life is good. We might fall in love with, worship and want to stay in that goodness - all totally understandable, from a worldly perspective. But there is always more to get when the source is endless.
We must never think that goodness is good enough. Complacence is not neutral; it is destructive.
We must raise the bar and leave it at greatness for the next generation of leaders. In the case of Noah, I can’t say whether or not he understood what it meant to be great, but He was described as “righteous in his generation.” He was a prophet who feared GOD and remained fiercely obedient in a time of great distraction, he was careful about whom he kept company with, and he focused on overcoming his own natural impulses. It may not have been the popular way, but it was necessary in the fulfillment of his purpose, as he would eventually set sail over troubled waters others were made to drown in.
The hardest part about moving in GOD’s own image is cultivating understanding and awareness of our human nature.
We were made part earth, and so will always be susceptible to earthly
influences. As we take control of our earthly bodies and impulses, we too find favor in fulfilling our life purpose. Just as Noah did. And even that wasn’t enough.
He still had to go out and build that ark.
The Sages say it took Noah 120 yrs to construct that ark “for himself”, indicating that civilization at a time of extreme affluence was given a whole lifetime to turn it all around. As always with GODLY matters, grace before judgement. We can all be more conscious of the recurring instances of grace we’ve been given in this lifetime and all the earthly abundance we experience every single day as a result, before we pass our judgement.
Being obedient may get us chosen, but greatness is reserved for those in the game of extraordinary service.
1) Ask yourself: Where have you forgotten the creator and prioritized the creation?
2) Commit to a week without complacence. What happens when you consciously orient yourself toward greatness over goodness?
3) What would it mean for you to “build the ark” in your life right now. What is your ark?