Monday, November 04, 2013

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Eye to The Infinite - Ascending the Ladder (cont.)

by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths
 


Eye to the Infinite (revised) – 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


Having discussed, in previous chapters, the various worlds, stages in perception and steps in accessing an awareness of G-d, we can now look at how it all comes together. The first stage is to make room for G-d (as it were). We do that by making His Will our own and by putting aside our personal interests in order to fulfil His.[1] This is the entrance to the holy path, the door of AYiN and is best accom­plished through action as it corresponds to Malchuth, the Sephiroh connected with the World of Action, Assiyoh. Through this, we are expressing the Nefesh part of our soul.
The next step involves speech and emotion. After involving G-d in my decision making and bringing Him into my life, I can start to speak to Him. Speech, we have noted, is a higher level of man’s expression. It stems from the level of the World of Formation, Yetsi­roh. Through emotion and speech, we access the Ruach (Wind or Spirit) level of our soul. (This can only be done after first entering the portals of holiness through recognising G-d and subjugating one’s ego to Him.)
After opening up a line of communication, as it were, we can now enter the higher, rarefied world of thought, of kavannah. This is the World of Creation, Brioh, the soul level called Neshomoh (Breath), the place we go when we meditate.
 From this vantage, we can touch upon the nullification of all personal desires and ego, which is the Yechida, the level of soul from the World of Emanation, At­siluth, re­vealing itself.


World
Expression
Level in Soul
Type of Soul
1.
Assiyoh
Action
Nefesh
Soul (Rest)
Physical
2.
Yetsiroh
Speech/Emotion
Ruach
Wind/Spirit
Emotional
3.
Brioh
Thought
Neshomoh
Breath
Intellectual
4.
Atsiluth
Desire
Chayoh
Life
Transcendental



Notice the names for the four levels of the soul: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshomoh, Chayoh - Soul, Wind or Spirit, Breath and Life. The word Nefesh is related to the noun nofesh, which means ‘rest’. Starting with Chayoh – ‘Life’, we have an expression of G-d breathing Divine Breath into man, a Divine Exhale, in four stages.[2]
First is the Source of all Life, the level of Chayoh. From this Life comes Breath. (We talk about the ‘breath of life’.) This is the Neshomoh. In the Breath, there is movement – the exhale of Wind: the Ruach, Spirit or Wind. Finally, there is the end of the exhale as the movement of Breath momentarily rests; this is the Nefesh – Soul or Rest.
(Note that Life includes Breath and Breath includes Wind and Rest. This is because the higher level always includes whatever is below it.)
When we want to attach to G-d, we are starting a Divine Inhale, as it were. We begin from the lowest level, the place of Rest, the Nefesh. Through bringing holiness into the world of action, we express this outermost level of the soul and attach ourselves to the Rest of the Divine Breath. Involvement of emotion in one’s relationship with G-d (primarily through speech) causes movement of Breath, of the Divine Inhale, the Ruach – ‘Wind’ or ‘Spirit’.
From Ruach we attach to its source, the Neshomoh - ‘Breath’. The Ne­shomoh - ‘Breath’ is the ‘breath of G-d’. As such, it is always connected to Him. It is the Kisei HaKovod, the Throne of Glory to the Chayoh, the level called Life.

[1] Ethics of the Fathers, 2:4. "Do His will as if it were your own, so that He will do His will as it were yours. Nullify your own will before His so that he will nullify the will of others before you." See also Proverbs 3:6.
[2] See Nefesh HaChaim Gate 1, Chap. 15.

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