Sunday, September 22, 2013

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What’s the Point?

by Reb Gutman

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Philip asked:

    If there is only One, and when we lose our physical form and become part of One, then there is no "after life" punishment or reward?

The soul is absorbed and dissolved so to speak so there is no point in anything in life really?

I would like your comment please.

Gutman’s response:

     There are a couple of misconceptions here.

     We do not become "part of the one," The One does not have parts. The One is infinite, so it must include all, all of the time. It is always a “simple,” all-inclusive, one. Next, you seem to think that there has to be a physical form in order for there to be reward and punishment. This is not so.

      When our bodies die, we leave them. We do not cease to exist. We go “up” into the entirely spiritual world. If we fulfilled our purpose while in this lower world, we will be drawn out of our body as if by a kiss, swept back into the loving embrace of our Creator. We will leave with a smile on our face. Or, if we did not fulfill our purpose, then we will be torn out of our body as a piece of cotton pulled out of a thorn bush, trying to hold on to the things that we are leaving.

     At that stage we exist as our spiritual self (the soul) without the body. The soul returns to the place from where it was first sent. There, it will receive the results of its sojourn in this lower world. It, so to speak, receives its most vivid report card. It will see the torment that it caused while it was on earth. This will cause the soul great embarrassment and anguish. Then, there will be a review of the wonderful things that it caused on earth. This will bring great joy and spiritual light to the soul. The soul will then experience a position, or a capacity, according to its deeds while on earth.

     After its rewards are spent, the soul will either reincarnate back into this world to finish what it had to do but left undone, or it will stay in that world until the Resurrection of the Dead, when it will come back to experience the joy of the Redemption for 1000 years, or more.

      From there on, what happens is a debate between the sages. One opinion says that things will go on with great joy forever. Some say this will happen with individual physical form, while others say that it will go on with only spiritual form.

     There is also the opinion that says that all existence will revert back to how it was before creation. If this is true, then there is the question, ‘If it all goes back to what it was, what then was the purpose of it all?’

     The purpose of it all is to experience love while we are here…to have a good time... for the gorgeousness that life can give us when we treat it right. And what happens if you have not found that gorgeousness? Then, you will have to come back to this world again and again, right to where you left off, until you do figure it out.

     Just like did G-d put Adam (the first man) in the Garden (of Eden) then, so does He put man in the Garden of Eden today, when he busies himself with Torah and mitzvahs and tshuva.[i] Eden means delight, pleasure, bliss


[i] Zohar 27a

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