Sunday, April 07, 2013

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Eye to the Infinite - Forward

We are pleased to offer Eye to the Infinite, a Torah Guide to Jewish Mediations for Divine Awareness, in a weekly serialized form through the weeks of Sefirah following Passover – with permission from and offer by the author…

Eye to the Infinite – A Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations to Increase Divine Awareness. 

A Compendium of Meditations and Techniques, adapted from the Writings and Teachings of the Masters of Kabbalah and Jewish Theology.

The book and this post Copyright © 2013 by Aharon Rubin – serialized on the Mystical Paths blog with permission.

About the Cover -

The Hebrew word for light, אור (Ohr), is repeated five times in the Genesis creation account; this light, says the Zohar, alludes to the hidden Infinite light that suffuses all creation. Called the Ohr HaGonuz, G-d’s hidden Infinite Light, it lies at the heart of all creation, constantly renewing the world ex nihilo.

The holy Ba’al Shem Tov explains that when five alephs occur consecutively in the Torah, they allude to these five times אור Ohr of Genesis, the holy and hidden primeval light that fills existence. G-d’s continuous Communication and Providence with every particular of the world, though hidden and even warped by the veils of physicality, can still be seen; by conceptualising that G-d is everywhere, that there is nothing besides Him, one can break through the husks that hide this inner truth, revealing the Divine Light within. The rows of five alephs on the book-cover represent this Hidden Light. In each of the five rows, the alephs become progressively more distorted, symbolising the five levels of Soul through which G-d’s revelation to the world becomes increasingly disguised, as It approaches the physical.

Excerpts from the Forward -

The title of this book, Eye to The Infinite, עין אל האין (Ayin El HoAyin), is a play on the Hebrew words for eye and nothingness – עין - Ayin and אין - Ayin, which are pronounced the same but spelt differently, and was inspired by the verse, אשא עיני אל ההרים מאין יבוא עזרי – “I lift up my eyes to the mountains, From whence will my delivery come?” (Psalms 121:1) and the homiletic discussion thereon in the holy Zohar (Vol II, 83a2), centring on the word מאין - Mei’Ayin.

Mei’Ayin is normally translated as ‘from whence’. On a deeper level however, אין – AYiN refers to G-d, blessed be His Name. The element of G-d’s incomprehensibility and unfathomable infiniteness is called by the holy kabbalists אין – AYiN. AYiN literally ‘nothingness’ but here means ‘utterly beyond comprehension’ i.e. the Infinite Being. The plain meaning of the verse מאין יבוא עזרי is a questioning “From whence will my delivery come?”, but according to this deeper interpretation, it may be translated as an exclamation of hope and trust: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains… From Ayin - the Incomprehensible One - will come my help”. Dovid HaMelech is saying that by contemplating creation, the awe-inspiring mountains3 and the grandeur of G-d’s world, one may come to a level of humility, a feeling of one’s own smallness before the Creator. This feeling of Ayin – the acknowledgement of one’s own nothingness - enables attachment to the Infinitely Incomprehensible, the Ayin.

The title also has the double connotation of the eye of human contemplation looking up towards Infinite G-d, and the ‘eye’ to the Infinite, i.e. the point from where one may enter and experience the Infinite. The ayin – eye represents conscious awareness, embodied by the seeing eye. In a state of meditative deveikus, this consciousness blends into the ‘eye’ of the Ayin, the Infinite, and so doing, enables the influx of Divine blessing to the benefit of all mankind, as will be explained in later sections.

The Sefer Chassidim [Book of the Pious] says that the title to a sefer (Hebrew book) should bear some hint to the author’s name. After deciding on the title, I saw Providential assistance in that it has indeed the same numerical value as my and my Father’s name.

Today, many people are thirsting for spirituality, seeking the world over for soul-fulfilment. Paradoxically, the answer to their search lies in the power and longing of their thirst. As a woman longs for her husband, so the soul longs to reunite with That with which it was once united. In the longing and craving lies the unmistakeable signature of G-d, the Divine Stamp that imprinted Its mark on their soul as it distanced from its Maker to incarnate within the physical. When cleared of the impurities that clog the consciousness, this Divine Imprint will shine through, allowing the person to behold their Creator, naturally and effortlessly.

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WARNING - The material presented in the serialized Eye to the Infinite articles (and source book) requires a basic standard of (Jewish) holiness in conduct and living as prescribed by the Torah (and described by the Mishna, Gemora and Shulchan Aruch).  Please note: If you are dependent on medication for mental stability, or have thinking problems, please consult with your physician before attempting (thinking) exercises described here.

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