by Reb Gutman Locks @ The Mystical Paths Philosphy Club
I have read many spiritual teachers’ works, and they all tell us to “lean toward the formless,” but you say that we must lean toward both the formless and the form. Why?
The spiritual formless is the underlying foundation of Creation. It is, in fact, the actual essence of existence. But, without the physical, the spiritual can accomplish nothing. The spiritual is sent into this world with a mission. It must accomplish its task, or, after its allotted time on earth, it will return to the entirely spiritual world a failure. Its mission is to reveal the spiritual in the physical world. Its method is to elevate the physical so that the spiritual will be recognized and experienced.
Although the spiritual is “higher” than the physical, the spiritual needs the physical in order to succeed. A soul without a body cannot fulfill a single mitzvah.
The spiritual and physical do not exist in two different places. The physical is the spiritual manifesting itself as the physical. The only way the physical can be elevated enough to reveal its spiritual nature is to use the physical for holy purposes.
G-d places the soul in the body in this lower, physical world. Although G-d fills all, and is present at all times, He hides Himself in order that the soul will have to search to find Him. If G-d did not hide, there would be no struggle, no search, and no free will.
The soul’s nature is to go up, to return to the place from where it came, but it is attached to the body until it either fulfills its mission, or its time on Earth runs out. Then, when it returns to the entirely spiritual world, it will be allocated a spiritual portion according to what it was able to accomplish while it was here.
Everything that we “bump into” on our sojourn here in this world was sent to us by G-d, with the hope that we will figure out what we are supposed to do with it. We cannot disdain the physical, nor can we ignore it, as many non-Jewish religions teach. We must be very careful how we treat the physical world. When we use it for the wrong purposes, or even if we use it only for its physical use, without spiritual awareness, it will shackle us to the physical world. We will become its slave. But, when we figure out why G-d sent the physical to us, and use it accordingly, we find ourselves in the Garden of Eden—right here and now.
So, you see that we have to emphasize both the spiritual, and the physical in order to succeed.