Monday, January 13, 2014

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by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths

Eye to the Infinite (revised) – A Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations: How 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 & this post Copyright © 2014 (Aharon Rubin) – serialized on the Mystical Paths blog

Part Two: Introducing Jewish Meditation

Chapter One: An Overview (cont.)

Layers of Consciousness

To appreciate what happens when we meditate, we need to analyse the various levels that combine to make up our con­sciousness and the various levels of the soul. For millennia, kabbalists have describ­ed stages of the mind that have recently become popu­lar terms in psychologi­cal parlance, ar­che­typal states of de­velopment such as the expanded or super consciousness, the “in­ner child,” the left and right brain, the in­ner and outer mind, the rep­tilian brain, etc.[1] Before embarking on this tour of human consciousness, it is imperative to first properly define consciousness, as here lies the crucial difference between the secular psy­cholo­gist or neuro­sur­geon’s view, and that of the enlight­ened scholar.
Consciousness is not brain-induced. For all its as­tounding complexity, the brain is not to be held responsible for our self-awareness and feel­ing of individuality. Consciousness, per se, is the realm of the Nesho­moh (soul), the G-dly spark: the אני ANiY - our“I”, is from the אין (AYiN). Though the brain is in charge of our cogni­tive inter­action, it is merely the outer shell, the Neshomoh‘s tool, the wiring; the Nesho­moh is the power-box providing the current. [2]
To enable us to in­teract effectively within the World of Action, the Neshomoh is given material trappings, the brain, emotions and the five senses, through which it might ex­er­cise its vitality. However, far from being en­hanced thereby, the Ne­shomoh is restricted and afflicted by the (physicality of) its cor­po­real tools, until such time that a per­son manages to purify and uplift those physi­cal vessels, through constant application to holiness and Mitsvos. The Nesho­moh then be­comes the Ba’al Ha­Bayis, the owner of the per­son’s consciousness; its physical trappings be­come transformed to something other than physical, to support the unbounded spiritu­ality of the G-dly. Until then, we need to try to access the Ne­shomoh-conscious­ness before it is con­stricted through the various veils of corporality.
The mystics write that a revelation of one’s own Neshomoh - the Nesho­moh speaking to the person while in a normal state of consciousness - is one of the highest levels of Ruach HaQodesh and holy enlightenment. Though that level is be­yond most of us, it should be possible to plumb the depths of our awareness and finely tune spiritual our sensitivity, so as to be­come more in touch with the soul’s Bas Qol, its inner voice.

[1] See Peirush HoRa’avad, Sefer Yetsiroh, Chap. 1. Sha’ar HaKavonos [Gate of Medita­tions], Derush Tsit­sis and Derush Pesach, Eits Chaim, Derush HaDa’as.
[2] See Eits Chaim, Sha'ar HaMoichin.


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