Wednesday, April 09, 2014

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Eye to the Infinite - Sleep, Sedation and Meditation

from Eye to the Infinite – A Torah Guide to Jewish Meditations to Increase Divine Awareness.

Sleep is a mysterious state that continues to confound scientists. Beyond its physical and psychological bene­fits, sleep also pro­vides a way for the Inner Mind to reveal itself. It is a time when, depend­ing on the person’s soul-root and spiritual level, higher levels of consciousness from higher worlds can filter through.[1]

When we dream, we have little control over what mind-scripts are played out. We generally dream about whatever is on our mind or niggling the subconscious but dreams may also be a rich source of spiritual experience.

While body and mind relax, the Inner Mind or higher in­telli­gence, can “speak” to the person in symbols and allegories, using imagery from the subcon­scious, to give over its message. A fascinating Midrash describes the meta­physical process.

“When a person sleeps, his body speaks to the Neshomoh, the Neshomoh [speaks] to the Nefesh, the Nefesh to the Mal’ach (Angel), the Mal’ach to the K’ruv, the K’ruv to the Master of the Wings, and the Master of the Wings tells be­fore He Who said and the world came into being.”[2]

 The Midrash tells us that during sleep, consciousness (Da’ath)[3] merges with the Neshomoh (Binoh). It ‘con­verses’ with the Neshomoh, relaying every action, thought and feeling of every minute during the day that has been re­corded by the body cells and inscribed on the bones; all this is now relayed to the Ne­shomoh.

The Neshomoh then relays this to a Higher Consciousness referred to as Nefesh. This Nefesh (the collective Un­con­scious of which the individual Un­conscious (Chochmoh) is part) links to higher states and entities – the “Mal’ach” [Angel] and “K’ruv” [Cerub], which connect to still higher lev­els, until the soul’s source in G-d. With a righteous individual,[4] this can result in regular spiritual revelations and messages during sleep.

But perhaps the Midrash is telling us something even more amazing. By relaxing and qui­et­ing the activity of the subconscious mind, we can imitate sleep. Brainwaves during medi­ta­tion are known to be similar to those during deep sleep. Might imitating sleep be a means of ac­cessing the inner mind and higher states of consciousness?

Find out in the next installment...

[1] See Zohar II, 52a, 195b.

[2] Levit. Rabboh, 32: בשעה שהאדם הזה ישן הגוף אומר לנשמה והנשמה לנפש והנפש למלאך והמלאך לכרוב והכרוב לבעל כנפים ובעל כנפים יגיד דבר לפני מי שאמר והיה העולם

[3] There are two types of Da’ath: Da’ath of the mind (see next chapter) and Da’ath-knowledge the body receives at a cellular level.

[4] See Brochoth 6b.

2 comments:

  1. I can't wait for the paper book to be published!! And wish I knew an orthodox rabbi well versed in Jewish meditation that I could connect to..

    ReplyDelete
  2. David,
    Buy Rabbi Gutmans book "Taming the Raging Mind"!
    All his books and music are on his website……
    http://www.thereisone.com/books&music.htm
    HE'S A GOOD TEACHER.

    ReplyDelete

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