Sunday, June 09, 2013

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Eye to the Infinite - Spiritual Sight

We are pleased to offer Eye to the Infinite, a Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations for Divine Awareness, in a weekly serialized form.

Eye to the Infinite – A Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations to Increase Divine Awareness. Copyright © 2013 by Aharon Rubin – serialized on the Mystical Paths blog with permission.

True experience of the Divine frees a person from illusory fears, wor­ries and paranoia that stem from distorted percep­tion. By awak­ening to the deeper awareness of the soul, the spark of Di­vin­ity within, the ego be­comes a vessel for the In­fi­nite, the level called AYiN, and imagi­nary chal­lenges fall away.

The ego is the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil that sur­rounds the Tree of Life. The choice on which Tree to fo­cus – the ego, with its one selfish concern of self-preservation on the one hand, or the inner voice, the dissolving and attachment of the self to G-d on the other – is always at the centre of human consciousness and ex­peri­ence. The ego’s primary purpose is to house the soul and ex­press it as a separate divine en­tity within the physical world. If the ego is at variance with that Di­vinity, it will realise its smallness[1] and apparent vulner­ability and will try to pro­tect it­self through arti­ficial means, blowing itself up and ex­panding in what­ever way it can, even to the ex­tent of blot­ting out its in­ner Light and source of true life, the soul. The ego is thus com­parable to the iris sur­round­ing the pu­pil. Its pur­pose is to shape and focus the inner point, the space of the in­finite: a ser­vant to the soul, not its mas­ter. True spiri­tual vi­sion will therefore al­ways be in­versely pro­portional to the fo­cus on the self.

Al­truis­tic action and con­tem­pla­tion on G-d, experi­en­tially re­alis­ing G-d to be the Ul­ti­mate, Pure Good, lessens the ego’s self­ish ten­dencies. Self­ish love, over-concern for the self, then becomes trans­formed to a love for G-d and all that He loves. This in­ner re­finement and refo­cusing, a turning from ego­cen­tric to Theo­cen­tric, re­sults in an over­whelming feeling of grati­tude, a burning desire to give of one­self to G-d. The more this is devel­oped, the clearer is one’s spiri­tual “sight.” This is perhaps intimated in the Talmudic aphorism, “gitto veyodo bo’in ke’achath”[2] – “his bill of eman­cipation and hand come to­gether.” The “hand” meta­phori­cally re­fers to the per­son’s grasp of the metaphysical,[3] and “bill of emanci­pa­tion” re­fers to liberation from the physi­cal. Higher aware­ness is coin­cident with the di­vorcing of attention from earthly trap­pings. This is not ac­complished through as­ceti­cism but through the ho­listic sys­tem of the Mitsvos, the di­vinely or­dained ge­stalt of medi­tations that inte­grate as­pira­tion, thought, speech and ac­tion to a whole­some fo­cus on G-d, as­similating the soul’s higher focus with the body’s natural intelli­gence.

By lessen­ing one’s grasp on the physi­cal, losing interest in the outer self through fo­cusing on the Infi­nite One, the soul, our umbili­cal cord to G-d, that indi­vid­ual aspect of G-d wherein lies the per­son’s life-pur­pose and unique trait, its es­sence pre­cluding rec­ogni­tion but in­tuitively per­ceived,[4] makes its awareness felt. The pro­phetic spirit awakens.[5]


[1] The ego is the Sephiroh of Malchuth of the individual, the “reflection” of the inner soul; it thus has nothing of its own.

[2] Talmud Bavli, Temurah 25b - גיטו וידו באין כאחת .

[3] The Zohar HaQodosh, and later, the ARI HaQodosh, describe the emotions of love and awe we have for HaShem as “hands” which can climb the metaphysical ladder of the spiritual worlds, and “grasp” spiritual con­cepts and “influences.” There also exists a third hand (perhaps what is commonly called “the third eye”, re­lated to pro­phetic percep­tion [Da’as] and associ­ated with the “Hand of G-d” frequently found in refer­ence to the prophet’s insight and Divine Spirit or Intel­lect that “rests” upon the prophet’s percep­tion. (See also Maimonides’ Guide to the Per­plexed, Chapter 50.)

[4] Midrash Rabboh, Deut. 2:37. Also Zohar, Vol. I, 103b.

[5] See note in previous article.

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