The idea that repentance requires a feeling of remorse or regret for past mistakes could not be further from the truth of what toubo represented in the first century Aramaic culture. The intensity of guilt, fear and shame are absent in the early texts that would ultimately become the New Testament. The ancient Aramaic process of tubo was more about turning one’s focus away from the “outside” world and bringing it within. The late Rev Marcus Borg, author of “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time”referred to this process as “going beyond the mind” or “seeing with the eyes of the heart”.
Until this shift takes place, it is literally impossible to fully comprehend, absorb and live the true challenge of Yeshua’s [Jesus] teachings in the context of his native ancient Aramaic tongue. This transformation will not come from knowing the Bible on the level of the mind. This awakening will not even be possible if your focus is on the mental memorization of chapters and verses rather than on the deep, palpable revelation of an awakened heart.
This “turning back” within can often happen suddenly and without an apparent cause. Much like driving up a mountain road or flying in a plane, our ears can suddenly pop, offering forth a clarity of hearing that we did not previously have. Episcopalian priest Cynthia Bourgeault often speaks of how Yeshua’s [Jesus] parables can help spark this 180 degree change in mind and heart. She reminds us that the parables are, much like a Zen koan, meant to “fry our sockets,” to force our rational, thinking mind to implode upon itself and finally let go. The immense depth of these eternal jewels of wisdom must be experientially realized rather than simply mentally understood, as if that mental understanding were often even possible.
[excerpted in part from Dale’s book “Echoes of an Ancient Dream: Aramaic Toning on the Path of Light”]