by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Obviously, all this discussion of the beam and the overall light is a metaphor for the human condition. In truth, there is nothing beside the one Infinite Being, but He apportions and hides Himself in such a way that each portion believes itself to be a separate, individual being with entirely independent will. The portion is free to act according to its limited awareness. It is acting as a beam acts without knowing what the overall, grand light knows. This is what each individual experiences, and this is the basis for the individual’s free will. It is man’s ignorance of G-d’s Infiniteness, His Omnipresence and Omnipotence that allows G-d to give him rewards and punishments. If man were fully aware that G-d is actually All, then G-d’s giving to man would be like your right hand giving a gift to your left hand. But since man does not know his true relationship to the overall One, he receives as if he were other than this One, as If he were a separate entity.
If the individual could see the overall one, he would not be free to choose between right and wrong. He would be like an angel without free will. He would always choose the proper thing. But, since he is so limited in his understanding he is free to choose whatever he likes.
If all of the beam’s awareness restrictions were removed and it had the consciousness of the overall one, it would see that it is the one light, and it would see itself to be the beam too. It would see that it (the beam) is the one light beaming a portion of itself into beams. In such a case the beam would act with the awareness of the one light and not only with the limited, individual awareness of a beam.
We act and receive as limited individuals. We do not have the overall awareness of the One. We experience the overall One giving to and taking from us. The broader truth is it is the single, wondrous One Who is really being all and doing all.
The beam receives its repercussions according to its actions. From the narrow perspective we see it is the beam that is doing its deeds and is receiving those repercussions. It receives what it receives because the overall One is giving it its due.
From the wider perspective, we see that it is the one light that is all, and does all. The one light is also acting as the limited beams since it has dressed up a portion of itself to become those beams.
The results of a beam’s actions are called reactions or repercussions. The returning results of a person’s actions are called his rewards and punishments.
Is the one light doing everything? Yes, it is. Are the beams also doing their little individual actions? Yes they are. This is a not a contradiction. When we look at the lower perspective we say that the beam is shining the light. When we look at a broader perspective, we say that the light is shining the light.
Since G-d is omnipotent He must be the One Who does everything at all times. He has all the power. Is man doing his share of things? Yes, he is. This is not a contradiction. From the higher perspective we say that G-d is doing all. From a lower perspective we say that man is doing what he does.
This is the same question that was raised before. Is it the hand that is holding up that object, or is it the person who is holding it up? Both are true. From the narrow perspective we say that the hand is holding it up, and from the broader perspective we say that the person is holding it up.
This is the meaning of Hashem telling Moshe that His name is “I Shall Be As I Shall Be”[i] He is the One “I AM” Who is all. All that seems to be other than this One are but tiny reflections, beams, shadows and delusions of this One Existence. Each of us says, “I am,” but really we mean to say, “i am.”
[i] Exodus 3:14
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