Sunday, May 06, 2012


States of Conciousness – Part 1

by Reb Aharon Rubin, author of Eye to the Infinite on Mystical Paths

(An extract from the book Eye to the Infinite, updated edition, chapter States of Conciousness.)

Rabbi Avrohom Abulafia[1] writes that the mind is guarded by ‘a re­volving sword’ (an allusion to the sword at the en­trance to the Gar­den of Eden[2]), known today as the gate­keeper or, in more scientific jar­gon, the criti­cal fac­ulty[3]. This ‘sword’ acts like a shutter to the brain, pre­venting an on­slaught of out­side stim­uli entering un­checked into the mind and bombarding the unconscious with messages that might subsequently influ­ence behaviour. Si­multa­ne­ously though, this sword im­pedes con­cen­tra­tion, the ability to lock on to a single subject of inter­est[4], or the fast ab­sorb­ing of knowledge. It also prevents a per­son from access­ing the inner mind, the subconscious or the door to the soul.

Ex­tremely perti­nent is that the sword was put at the en­trance of the Gar­den after Adam and Eve had sinned and subse­quently[5] driven out[6]. Evidently, the sword that pre­vents us entering freely into our own deeper levels of con­cen­tration and understanding is created and strength­ened by mis­de­mean­our, moral or re­ligious errors. Thus, con­versely, moral purity, as de­scribed by the Torah and Masters, can less­en or even remove this sword[7], al­low­ing one to think deeply and forcefully, the powerful depths of the subcon­scious united with the con­scious, the emo­tive im­agery com­bined with the ana­lyti­cal mind.

[1] Se­fer HaTseruf 2b

[2] Genesis 3:24 see also Moreh Nevuchim – Introduction (Friedlander, Pg 3).

[3] Hypnosis is defined as “a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is by­passed and selective thinking established”. Elman, Hypnotherapy, p. 26. (U.S. Gov. Dept. of Edu­c.)

[4] See Liqutei MohaRan 1, 24:8

[5] The sword was only placed after their expulsion from the Garden, not immedi­ately after the sin. There appears to be a time-lapse between sin and the consequential ‘closing of doors’ for the effect of the sin to substantiate.

[6] See Ibn Ezra, Genesis 3:24. Ohel Yosef further expounds on Ibn Ezra: “Even though this story [of Adam] recounts what happened, it alludes to all mankind; everything that was, till Seth was born (i.e. being placed in the Garden of Eden, partaking of the fruit, the subsequent expul­sion and the placing of the Cherubim and the Revolving Sword) alludes to what happens to every person, in every generation.”

[7] Moral purity is the Sefiroh of Yesod. This spiritual ‘sword’ counteracts this sword of impurity.


  1. That was very well stated. It is those moments of deep clarity that keep me.

  2. I found this statement at the link, " as Moses, our teacher says, כי קרוב אליך הדבר מאד בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו – “For it[5] is extremely close to you – in your mouth and in your heart to do it[6]”."

    I learned this from the Baal HaTanya. Did he find it by "Moshe Rabbeinu"? And if so, where?

  3. Neshama,

    The Tanya is based on that pasuk, the pasuk is from Devarim 30:14.


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