Sunday, August 25, 2013

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Eye to the Infinite - Self-Appreciation

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

The fact that the A-lmighty gave us the ability to converse with Him should fill us with joy, humility and appreciation. Ap­precia­tion and self-regard, clarity of our sig­nificance and worth is not to be con­fused with egocentricity. Soul-es­teem, knowl­edge of our importance, our inesti­mable value as a child of Avro­hom, Yitschok and Yaakov, aware­ness of the tre­men­dous power our soul boasts re­gard­less of status or po­si­tion in the spiritual hi­erar­chy, en­hances ambition and at­tach­ment to G-d, the foun­dation of any spiri­tual edifice. [1]  Through it, we can ascend the ladder to heaven.Thus its value can­not be over­em­phasised. Without a feel­ing of our own indi­vidual­ ca­pability, there can be no drive to connect to G-d, no feeling, no aspiration or call­ing and no subse­quent trans­for­ma­tion from the per­sonal ANiY to the AYiN of Ein Sof.  [2] The אני ANiY, the I, is our individual Mal­chuth [kingship], the embodi­ment of the Di­vine. Development of this vital part of the psyche leads one to the next at­trib­ute in the Tree of Life, the Sephiroh of Ye­sod, healthy self-discipline and holi­ness, the door to higher awareness and spiritual enlighten­ment. This is the rea­son for the ten­dency to­wards self-ag­gran­dise­ment; [3] an in­dis­pensa­ble tool to­wards spiri­tual maturity. [4] The dan­ger is only when the ego disre­gards the soul, its inner light, and acts con­trary to its func­tion, deaf to the soul’s inner dia­logue with the Di­vine.

[1] See beginning of Sha’ar HoAvoidoh (Gate of The Service) by Rabbi Jonah of Gerondi (1200-1263).

[2] It is only through proper self-worth, true “hon­our” that is not dependent on other peo­ple’s opinions, that the human psyche can draw near to ex­press full gratitude to G-d. This is vividly illustrated in Psalm 30, where King Dovid, the epitome of self-annulment to G-d (see Midrash Rabboh, Numbers 4:4), pleads with G-d, asking Him to revive his soul, so that he may be able to sing G-d’s praises:

"What gain is there in my blood, in my descent to the grave? Will dust thank You? Will it re­cite Your truth? Hear, O L-rd, and be gracious to me. O L-rd, be my helper. You have turned my la­ment into danc­ing for me; You loosened my sackcloth and girded me with joy. And so, my soul will sing praises to You and not be silent, O L-rd, my G-d, I will thank You for­ever.”

In the last verse, King David calls the soul kovod, which literally means “honour.” Hon­our provides the soul with a type of sustenance. This “life-source” is to be drawn from the inner world, not from the ego.

[3] See Midrash Rabboh, Deut. 2:37

[4] See Michtov Me’Eliyohu [Rabbi Eliyohu Dessler] Vol IV, p. 33.


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