Monday, April 14, 2008

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What Am I?

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* by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

If our bodies, like all creation, are made out of nothing and will either soon return to dust or unfold, then what are we? If my body is merely a vehicle for me to ride around in while I am trying to wake up and fulfill my spiritual purpose, then what is this “me” that is riding around looking for fulfillment?

There is a higher perspective and a lower perspective. When the animal aspects of man rule, he acts like an animal. When the higher aspects of man rule, he acts like a messenger of G-d. Both of these aspects are man’s soul in action. Our lives are animated by our soul. When the soul leaves the body the man is dead. His soul is not dead. It still goes on. It goes on to receive the results of its earthly life. The good that it did will bring tremendous glory, and the evil that it did will bring great embarrassment.

But if my soul is my life force, then what am I? We say my soul, my life, so there must be someone whose soul it is. What is this my? What am I?

The soul can be likened to a ray of G-d on High that is being formed and directed into the object it vivifies.[i] This ray is shaped according to the individual soul’s needs. Although the ray is truly a portion of G-d on High, since it is being beamed into a body, it is limited to the body’s normal functions.

So, if the body is dust that is made out of nothing, and the soul is a portion of G-d on High, what then am I?

Think in terms of water and ice. The ice cube sees itself to be an ice cube. It does not recognize that its ice is merely a temporary condition of water caused by the temperature. But if you would take the water out of the ice cube, what would be left? Nothing. There is only water there. But the ice does not know that it is made entirely out of water. After all, the water is everywhere, and the ice cube is merely in a particular location. The water is free flowing, the ice cube is stiff. They seem to have very little in common.

When the ice cube says “I,” it is referring to the only thing it knows itself to be, an ice cube. The ice cube’s “I,” is its life force speaking from its limited perspective of itself. When man addresses himself as “I,” he is speaking of himself just as an ice cube would speak of itself. It is absolutely true that the ice cube is ice. The ice cube is correct when it sees itself to be one particular ice cube floating in a semi-frozen lake. As long as the ice cube has merely ice cube awareness, whenever it says “I am,” it is talking about the one who is living in, and as, that little ice cube. When the water says “I am,” it is talking about all of the water and all of the ice cubes too.

G-d is the water. We are the ice cubes.

[i] Tanya

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.

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