Friday, April 20, 2007

Going Deeper

The average family cannot trace their roots beyond 3 past generations. This means, within 50 years of your death, you are likely to be forgotten by the latest generation of your future family. This being the case, what is the purpose of your material life? The truth is that every day of your life is a day in perpetuity, preserved forever and affecting the future forever. In much the same way that every vote counts at the polling booth, every day, every decision, every word and every action counts toward the world you leave for future generations.

Every step on the journey to a more fulfilling existence begins with an exercise in self control, especially in your developing the ability to think, open mindedly, thoughts that are capable of seeing the whole picture, in detail, in order to put into context current events being experienced by you.

It is well know to practitioners of Torah and psychology that the intellect, once it grasps an idea, surrounds the concept such that the subject is firmly encompassed within the mind. It is only possible for the subject to be retained in the mind if it is fully enclosed and surrounded by the grasp your understanding provides your mind. The boundary established by your understanding an idea is therefore important because without boundaries there would be no possible way of grasping and retaining any idea. Therefore, the idea being grasped must contain one or more fixed precepts in order for the intellect to fully encompass, digest and ultimately articulate it. This often becomes apparent when ideas, which are not fully formed, present as being difficult to articulate, the mind looses focus because it (the idea) failed to capture and an attentive mind. When the defined boundaries (understanding) of the idea have not been sufficiently grasped it cannot be correctly articulated and its explanation will be insufficient to ignite the desired interest in the mind of the recipient of the information.

By studying the concepts written deeply into the hidden aspects of Torah one is drawn closer to its 'idea' which affects your sense of being as a direct result of the many important idea’s that are revealed and grasped in the process. This blog contains just a very small sample of those ideas.

By embracing knowledge of spiritual paths (Sefirot and the 32 paths of wisom) from where thoughts and ideas emerge and by total submission to G-d one can grasp deeper concepts (associated with any idea). This enables the conscious and subconscious mind to elevate to the spiritual level of the soul, outside the physical presence of the brain, through which the deepest appreciation of G-d's external influence can be realized.

When the mind is open, in the way of Torah, to contemplate the emergence of a thought the intensity of this internalized focus may lead some people to experiencee a 'holy light' (overwhelming spiritual intensity) that emanates from G-d's highest universal realm. Therefore, it is essential to correctly shield oneself, by being consciously aware of the excersise because without this grounding several potential disastrous outcomes can occur. In this state of mental openness, complete balance and order are required so that contemplations and meditations are not experienced in ways that could be harmful to the mind.

There is a well know story about three ancient and very famous Rabbis that went into an orange orchard to meditate, it goes like this;

Four entered the Orchard ( Pardes- an acronym meaning four specific modes of interpreting and learning Torah). They were Ben (Ben = Son of) Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher (literally, "the Other", referring to Elisha ben Abuya), and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva warned them (speaking abstractly of the spiritual experience they were about to encounter); "When you enter near the stone of pure marble, do not say 'water, water,' (since there is actually no water there at all), and it is written, 'He who speaks falsehood will not be established before My eyes' (Psalms 101:7)."

-Ben Azzai gazed and died. Regarding him it is written, "Precious in G-d's eyes is the death of His pious ones" (Psalms 116:15).

-Ben Zoma gazed and was stricken with insanity; he went out of his mind. Regarding him it is written, "You have found honey, eat moderately lest you bloat yourself and vomit it". (Proverbs 25:16)

-Acher gazed and cut the plantings i.e. he became a heretic.

-Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and departed in peace....

This story illustrates the potential harm that deep spiritual mediation, as documented by Judaism’s ancient practices, can bring to a person if they are not fully prepared and in a stable mental state. This exaggerates the problem because the vast majority of people will never experience the intensity of the experience of these Rabbi’s and sages, but there is no way of knowing, in advance, who are the righteous ones amongst us, therefore each person trying this should be prepared. Rabbi Akiva was a teacher of Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai whose revelations from the time he meditated in a cave for 13 years are to be found in one of the most famous interpretation of Torah, The Zohar.

Kabbalah includes some of the most intense meditation methods and it is known from the writings of the ancient Jewish prophets, priests and sages that properly prepared people can reach very high and holy states. However, as more is revealed, as people become aware of the deeper meanings within each of the Hebrew letters and as balanced and complete study of the Torah is restored to people, so our minds may begin to, once again, explore the methods that were once practiced and our souls may become elevated to the levels that enabled us to call out directly to G-d and to reach Him through the ways that He prescribed.

In Judaism there is a know precept that says Torah study is equal to all the other good deeds that one must do. This is because Torah is the gateway to life’s purpose and as such it is elevated above every other deed because it is known to shape people in the way that G-d wants them to be.

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