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Posts by yitzchak
Where I’m going now with my next MMM, is following the same theme as last week, which is Transcendence. It’s will be about male/female relationship transcendence.
I’m choosing this topic now because:
- We’re beginning the book of Shemot, which is Exodus.
- We’re beginning the series of six Parshas, the first letter of which form the word SHOVAVIM, which speak to a period of time that serves as a rectification of the spilled seed of Adam, the first man, and includes the generations since Adam. Fixing the souls is at the heart of the male/female relationship.
- We’re living in a time now, certainly in the Western world, specifically America, when many celebrities of all kinds are being called out as sexual abusers. And the reverberations of this situation and international publicity are causing huge confusion, and even an identity crisis. What is a man? What is a woman? What’s a man/woman relationship, especially a physical relationship? There’s a great need to understand the male/female relationship in order to make is healthy, and something the people can feel good about, but how do you sanctify it? How do you elevate it?
Those are some of the ideas that have prompted me to go in this direction now. Of course, there’s a lot more, too much to cover in one weekly MMM. It would include the concept of being “in love,” compared to “loving,” and also the concept of bashert, meaning the right man or right woman. How do you discover your bashert, and how do you cultivate that relationship? How do you see it through G-d’s eyes and resonate with it? How do you even meet such a person, and how do you make it work once you’ve met?
Bashert is a Yiddish word which is loosely translated as “meant to be.” It applies not only in a male/female relationship, but to each of us in relationship with our home, our career, our calling, to everything. And our bashert relationships many be in need of healing, which we want to understand and cultivateies
Kabbalah teaches us a lot about the male/female relationship. One of the primary analogies of spirituality in Kabbalah is the male/female relationship. What does it take to arouse them, and to have a unification? What are the parameters of that unification? What are the various levels on which it’s happening?
Kabbalah gives us insights into higher levels of unification, which are progressively higher and higher, and through which a couple may become one. And the lower levels are where you find more and more divisiveness. That’s where a couple is not connecting at all.
We need to understand the guiding principles and have the tools to help us come to a unification in progressively higher levels of oneness, which contrasts dramatically with what we see in the world now. People getting married, staying married, staying loyal to each other… these are very important, real issues now. They can’t all be addressed in one weekly MMM, but we can get started.
Prior to the beginning of the Eqyptian exile, the Jewish people worked as slaves. It’s said that the more they were oppressed, the more they were fruitful and multiplied. This phenomenon may be a clue to the relationship between people experiencing pressure and anxiety and being fruitful and multiplying. We need to study this as well, to understand the deeper levels of the male/female relationship, not just a psychological understanding, but how a person’s spouse can be a messenger of G-d to us, and how to work with that in our own lives.
This is the tip of the iceberg on the topic, but it’s the basic direction I’m going in the weekly MMM.
I’m going to share different aspects of transcendence in my upcoming MMM sessions now. I’ve rediscovered that I’m a transcender, and this week I want to focus on timelessness, or transcending time.
Why now? In the Parshas, we see that Yaakov, Jacob, goes down to Egypt and said that he “began to live.” Our mystical Sages say, and also in the Talmud it’s written that Yaakov never died. He was timeless. He lived, and of course we know he died, because there are verses in Torah telling us so. But on another level there’s a part of Yaakov that never died.
It behooves us to explore that, because Yaakov is us and we are Yaakov. That’s what the patriarchs and matriarchs are all about. It’s not just a Bible story for us to enjoy quaint lessons from. In reality, they are inside of us and we have to understand that Yaakov never died because it affects our consciousness.
This is the direction I’m going in my MMM sessions – how to stay alive on many, many different levels. One of those levels is reached by understanding how to stay alive by transcending time.
Time is entropy. Time is death. Time ticks away, from a beginning to an end. When you get beyond time, there is no time. There is no end and no beginning.
So, that’s the direction I’m headed now. And we’ll start with an understanding of what time is. Time is basically rectification, Kabbalistically, in our present world right now we are in the world of time. We see G-d is running the world through a time-oriented facet.
As long as there’s more to fix, as long as we’re in this world to fix up unfinished business, it will be measured by time. Our concept of time becomes transcended to the extent that everything is Perfect AS-IS, and everything is whole as-is, and the direction we are headed.
To get to those places of timelessness, there are a lot of different possibilities. One of them is just to be aware, to be real and to embrace the idea of eternity; it’s the notion that what we do now will reverberate forever. It’s understanding that every thought, word and feeling we have now goes on forever.
When we relate to our thoughts, words and actions in that way, we step into timelessness. We relate to it daily.
Timelessness can be acquired by hooking up into our essence. When a musician hooks up into essence, you never get tired of their music. Whenever a great poet does it, contrasted to a great Biblical poet like King David, we see that King David’s psalms go on forever. His poetry has eternal, lasting value. That same psalm has been recited for the last 3000 years, and it never gets old. It will continue to be recited into the future as well. “The song remains the same…” as goes the song sung by Led Zeppelin. It never grows old.
We can measure our own creative works by measuring their timelessness, too. We are trying to create things that are timeless by connecting up to our essence. Any time we connect to essence we connect to G-d and to limitlessness. When we bring limitlessness into the realm of time, then time melts away. That’s when we are situated above time. As they say, time flies when you’re having a good time. When you’re having a good time you’re connecting to G-d and to endlessness. In many ways, it goes by in a flash.
Jacob was working for his bride, Rachel, whom he loved. Seven years passed in a way that showed time had no meaning at that time in history.
We need to find a way to disconnect with what we understand time to be in order to achieve timelessness. When we do that, we do it through G-dliness and through essence, and also through understanding the connectivity of everything. When something is measured by time it means you’re only seeing one, particular time zone, and not what happened before or is happening beyond this time zone.
To the extent that you think in a more wholistic way, beyond a particular time zone, then you are able to expand time. You can make time disappear.
That’s what I think the essence the mystical thinking about time is all about. It’s to go over time. We don’t really move in a linear way through time, we jump around. A timeline has no real relevance for us, not prior to or following after the present moment.
During a calendar year we revisit the same Parshas and the same holidays, in an elliptical way. We are not just going around in circles because we are going deeper and deeper each time around. We see new things we didn’t see before when revisiting the same places. That’s because, until we grasp all the gusto and all the essence available in a particular time zone we aren’t able to transcend its limitations. We can go beyond it once we experience its essence.
So, that’s who we are and what spiritual time is all about. We are moving from an era of humanity, of a time-oriented period, to an above-time-oriented period. We get a taste of this every Shabbat. Shabbat takes us to the place where we try to train ourselves to not think about time, or think about tomorrow. We have many laws, halachot, constraining us from thinking about what’s happened before and what will happen afterwards. It’s about being “here and now,” in the present.
That trains us to move from the time-boundedness of this world to the unboundedness of the next world.
This week’s MMM will happen during the last half of Chanukah, a time when I’m very much aware of who I am, who I have become since Rosh Hashanah. So, I’m putting together a lot of the different consciousnesses revealed to me and to others during our weekly MMM sessions.
What I came to, somewhat naturally, as a theme for this week is Messianic Consciousness. The MMMs, their themes, their topics and the flow of their presentation are all combining to open the doors to Messianic Consciousness, G-d willing.
And, G-d willing, we are right now on the heels of the Messiah, which is what our Sages call this period, “… the heels of Moshiach.” It’s a huge topic on such a critical time, and it is actually not well-studied or written about.
Research reveals the changes, “on the ground,” so to speak, meaning physically on the earth. There are many books about that. But consciousness is what really interests me, and there’s not a lot written about that aspect of the coming of Moshiach.
So, here are some, but not all, of the differences I see between our consciousness now, at the present time, and what will be available to us in Messianic times. Later, probably next week, I’ll provide more ideas to fill in the blanks I’m leaving this week.
These are the specific topics, in outline form, meaning ways we will be able to carry out Messianic consciousness in the near future:
- Paradising our lives. This means getting back to the Garden of Eden, and the maximum expression of the “I” and the “Thou.” It represents a complete connection to G-d along with a complete connection to myself.
- Understanding what is expected of us as a “chosen people.” This represents a return to our Jewish glory, which the whole world will recognize.
- We will move from a finite consciousness, a finite way of looking at things, to an infinite way of looking at things.
- Fusion with G-d. This means we fuse our own characteristics, our senses and other aspects of our humanity with the so-called parallel aspects of the Divine, and therefore raising ours to a whole, new level.
- It’s a taste of the World To Come, and we rise to an elevated world, an elevated state of being, a perception involving many different connections that are beyond the consciousness of the present dimension.
- Rather than considering ourselves as partial, we need to see ourselves as whole.
- Knowledge of G-d. Daat, the knowledge, the knowing of G-d, the wisdom of G-d, will be the main occupation of the entire world at that time. We need to move towards that reality.
- Ability to carry both sides of a paradox. We will have the ability to make peace between things that seem to contradict each other. We will have a unification of disparate things within ourselves. We will be able to look at the world around us with that ability in our consciousness.
- Accepting and embracing everything that comes our way. The more we have a relationship with G-d’s providence, the more we can embrace, rather than escape the seemingly unpleasant parts of our lives.
- Seeing G-d’s presence in everything.
- Seeing the Hidden Light. The Ohr Ganuz provides the ability to see from one end of the world to the other end of the world, from one end of the process to the other end. And that includes seeing into the future and seeing how the past affects the future. That’s another type of consciousness opening up for us in Messianic times.
- Achieving our calling in life. Everyone will dance around in a big circle, and we won’t be in need of anybody anymore, because we will all have reached our own, personal enlightenment. Of course we can share with others, but they won’t be in need because they have their own.
- Micro-cosmic consciousness. This means we have the ability to see how everything is associated with everything else. We will be living in full-blown, parallel worlds, and we’ll see our connection to the people and the good in the world.
- The feminine principle will be the crown of the masculine principle. Although it’s not apparent at the present time in the world, everything that’s the highest level in principle will be the crown of everything else.
All the above needs explanation, and also proper examples, but I’ll leave this in outline form for now.
My MMM for Chanukah will be about the holiday.
Specifically, I was looking into the most transcendent, consciousness-filled aspect of the holiday, and what I came up with is – Seeing The Invisible. I think that everything about Chaukah, what Chanukah is really all about, IS seeing the invisible.
We were fighting a spiritual war then, and we are fighting a spiritual war now. In the past it was with Greek people, and until this very day it has been a battle with Greek culture. The crux of the battle is whether or not invisible spirituality exists at all.
In the Greek way of thinking, it does not exist. If you can’t show something physically, or in dollars and cents, or prove it mathematically or scientifically, it simply does not exist.
There is beautiful and very profound philosophy, art, academic and athletic ability in Greek culture. These are all things you can prove; you can see them, touch them, and therefore prove them.
What drove the Greeks crazy about us, the Jewish people, was our insistence that the invisible is just as real, if not more real, than the visible. We lived, and we are still living our lives based on the invisible.
The Jewish belief in the invisible did not compute with Greek beliefs. But it’s actually what we bring to the world, because it was the inoculation we received on the first Chanukah. Every Chanukah, then, we celebrate the invisible.
Here’s one example – Chanukah is about three months after Rosh Hashanah, which time is considered a conception that begins a type of pregnancy. Three months into her pregnancy, a woman is showing. So, Chanukah is the time the Jewish people are showing, if you care to take a look at the invisible child within the womb, so to speak.
We can’t see into the womb, but we know there’s a child in there. Chanukah is a good time to see the invisible, the unveiling of our year, of our faith for the whole year that started on Rosh Hashanah.
This is also a time when we are able to see the invisible, hidden light, especially when we light the Chanukah candles. We are able to see a type of light that Adam could see, from one end of the world to the other. I believe that altogether there are a total of 36 lights that are lit during Chanukah, which is also the number of hours the hidden light shone after the creation of the world.
It was a hidden light, an invisible light, but an extremely important, spiritual light that gives us the ability to see beyond any boundaries. We can see the invisibility of lights within the darkness, during the darkest and coldest time of the year. It’s when we’re experiencing the longest nights and the shortest days when we light these tiny, little candles as a normal, weekday thing. They are not large and impressive, but we place them in our windows to show we’re maintaining our connection to the invisible. And we have been doing so for over 2000 years.
The tiny candles and the relative invisibleness is, in fact, very visible and very potent and apparent spiritually.
When the Greeks came and threatened one Macabee family in a town called Modiin, not far from Jerusalem, they were threatening to wipe us out if we, the Jewish people, did not accept the Greek way of life. The Greeks looked into their own power of invisibleness and they told us we have a choice. The power of no choice is also very empowering, and it’s what ultimately led them to win the war against us.
When we light the Chanukah candles we are able to see souls, if we open our eyes to see the invisible. They come and join us at that time, when we are lighting candles. They are parts of our own souls, coming up and asking to be reintegrated into who we are. Of course we are doing that all the time, bringing in lost parts of our souls, but in the light of the Chanukah candles it’s happening in a very powerful and accelerated way. This is another way we reconnect to that which is invisible.
Anything and everything that reconnects us to the invisible, whether it’s learning Torah or keeping Shabbat, the basic belief in an invisible G-d, is how we participate in making the invisible into something that’s visible. And that’s what’s being celebrated at Chanukah.
I believe there are unlimited aspects of invisibility we can find at Chanukah. We can do our best to open up the doors to the invisible and celebrate them in the light of Chanukah.
This week’s MMM is Wholeness. The idea comes from a midrash our Sages bring, which features the main events in the next Parsha.
On one hand we have Yehuda, the son of Jacob, in all of his dealings with Tamar, his attempt to build a family and deal with his circumstances.
And we have Yosef being sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt, and his dealing with his circumstances, his trials and tribulations. And all the other moving parts of Bible stories are going on, hand-in-hand with them, while Hashem is busy bringing Moshiach.
The lesson being learned through it all is a lesson of Wholeness, the wholeness G-d is orchestrating, and has always orchestrated. But we are usually so busy looking at the individual musicians, that we cannot hear the whole orchestra. G-d is always hearing the whole orchestra, and he’s trying to teach us how to hear the orchestra, too, the wholeness of it all.
Recently I head another lecture, in a series of brilliant lectures by Rabbi Mendel Kessin, that provides a Messianic outlook on current events. He describes what’s happening in the world, and how it fits into a bigger, spiritual wholeness.
For example, Edom of America, Yishmael of Saudi Arabia and the Erev Rav of Israel are divisions, parts of the whole world that have been antagonistic throughout history. Parts of the Jewish people as a whole are coming back and doing teshuva, and parts of the Jewish people are going the opposite way. There’s a selection process going on, and we have to be able to see that in the light of wholeness big things are happening, such as the international current events.
A view from wholeness gives a much better idea about what’s going on, rather than focusing on only one part.
We learn from what we know of the essence of Joseph, who represents the Sephira of Yesod, which represents allness and the ability to see the larger, whole picture.
Yesod represents the male organ, which coalesces the allness of a man’s body in the reproductive process. Joseph received that legacy from his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who all reached the level of Kol, which is allness, the ability to see all of Divine Providence as being significant. Significant in terms of time, place, soul and meaning… the ability to see that everything has meaning. They came, therefore, to the end of their life with their days, because they had wholeness in their allness, and they took advantage of every situation, understanding it was crucial to the whole.
That’s the legacy we inherit, too, if we choose to step up and receive it. Trying to emulate the Patriarchs and Matriarchs is a way we can learn to live in wholeness as well, instead of thinking and feeling and acting from a partial place. We all need to react in wholeness.
We need to be able to see with the eyes of G-d, the past the present and the future, the whole picture of every situation. We need to be able to learn and to teach Torah that way, too, seeing the wholeness of every idea.
A person who is a master of the rabbinical code of halacha needs to be able to make decisions based on many ideas, not just one idea, and to see how it applies to the wholeness of life.
My MMM teaching is bringing many different aspects of art, such as poetry and music, and right brain and left brain experiences to bring out experiential Torah, regular Torah and hidden Torah. It all converges in an MMM, a Mystical, Musical Meditation of allness, my way of trying to reach consciousness, a way of seeing life not as an isolated part, but fitting into a larger wholeness that encompasses all of life.
I want to live, 24/7, in allness, in wholeness, in a place of meditation. I want to always be open to receive G-d’s Providence, using much more of my intellect and emotional intelligence and artistic intelligence. I want to immerse myself in a place of complete allness.
Our forefather Jacob was in a place of allness. He was able to look and to see whatever came to him, and to raise it all up. As a result, he received the reaction of receiving a Divine Response of an inheritance that is boundless.
And that’s what we receive from Jacob when we keep Shabbat properly. By keeping Shabbat properly, in its essence, we are saying everything is perfect, and good just as it is. Hashem receives us in allness, and we want to receive him in allness. Our heart’s desire, anything and everything we need can come, when we are able to look at our life, and everything that comes to us, all our challenges are there for us, personally, in order to complete our soul. That is living in allness.
When we’re able to understand that the chaos of our lives is there to be fixed up at all times, we are living in a state of allness as well. Everything that is there is an opportunity for rectification. When we are able to see that happens to us at all times is exactly the perfect thing for us, that’s living in a state of allness.
Our prayer is to rise to the challenge, and step out of a place of partial living into a place of completeness and allness.
I’m going to call this week’s MMM – What Would G-d Say?
In the last few weeks I’ve been very focused on difference ways of experiencing Letting Go To G-d consciousness. Starting with Perfect As Is, followed by Letting Go and Letting G-d, this week continues the series. These mind states are all about being able to see G-d’s hand, being able to feel and believing in, becoming mindful of and submitting to the fact that G-d is running the show. And, therefore, we can let go.
The next logical step, I think, is to believe G-d is taking me to a good place, no matter what that place may be. And I accept that, which represents a major shift of consciousness in myself and in the world. The idea is connected to this week’s Parsha, too.
But I’d like to get more specific information, meaning, what is it that G-d is telling me? What message is he trying to convey?
That’s why I’m taking this MMM to the next level, which is not only trusting in G-d to lead the way, but also understanding what he is trying to tell me. And this inquiry will probably lead to Being Inside of Torah 24/7 as the topic for next week’s MMM.
In the Parshas we’ve been reading we see the Patriarchs and Matriarchs before Mt. Sinai, before the Torah was received. They were able to understand, from their level of spirituality, what G-d wanted of them in every situation. They understood Torah before Torah was given. They understood G-d’s will 24/7 in all aspects of life.
And that’s what we’re going for this week… we’re asking, “what would G-d have to say about it?” To a large extent, we already know what G-d has to say about everything, if we study deep enough and go deep into Torah knowledge. So that’s where we’re going now.
The idea of “what does G-d have to say” can be approached in a number of ways. We can simply ask a question, a series of questions and answers to find out what G-d has to say about a subject or situation. Some time ago a created a piece called Questions and Answers From G-d, which was an experiment with asking a question and then writing what I think G-d would answer.
It’s a great exercise, not on the level of prophesy of course, but we can cultivate a deeper sensitivity, a divine sensitivity within ourselves. We can gain a deeper, more thorough and powerful way. It’s one way to get answers, to know what G-d would be thinking.
Another way is not asking questions, but studying what’s actually happening in life. It’s discovering the messages G-d is sending us through our own life happenings, circumstances, challenges and accomplishments. It’s all about studying the highlights of our lives, studying the events of our lives.
Seeing the events we can see, even though we are making choices what to do, there are still G-d’s own ways of communicating with us through the events in our lives.
Another way to study what G-d wants is to resonate with life, and understand we’re drawn in a certain way, whether things are going smoothly or not, but we’re still drawn toward it and we resonate with it. That’s also G-d’s way of leading us where he wants us to go. We are drawn towards things because they are a lost part of ourselves, and these are called Holy Sparks, the lost parts of our souls.
G-d is providing them so we can regain, recover and redeem what we’ve lost. There’s a wide range of sensitivity to the human body and how to read it, especially in other cultures such as India where some sensitive people can read a person’s pulse.
Like that, we can develop sensitivity to the lost parts of our lives, our desires, what we’re driven toward or obsessed about. We need to be able to hear that language inside ourselves. It’s a language of resonation of the heart, of the soul, of the right brain, instead of the left, logical side of it. We need to develop that as a way G-d talks to us as well.
The will of a person can be hooked-up, or hard-wired into G-d’s will. And a person can know what G-d wants based on that connection.
There are other ways of knowing what G-d is wanting from us, besides Torah. And these are some of the ways. We see one classic example in Torah, which is Jacob’s ladder. One explanation involves angels going up and angels going down the ladder, which means we are sending up signals, which are the angels. Angels work for us. They are our messengers in life, in many ways.
We are sending out signals, and angels are going up the ladder, and we are receiving the results of those signals from the angels coming back down. This is one way of understanding what the sparks are all about.
There’s much, much more to talk about, but I wanted to put out these introductory words on the topic now. I’ve seen that making the choice of a transcendent topic, and exploring it in poetry and song and meditation, you can open up vistas in your life. I want that for myself and anyone else who cares to jump onboard with us.
This topic, in our continuing MMM series, is called Let Go, Let G-d. Or, alternatively, how not to chase things in life.
This topic comes from my own, personal goals, but also relates to the Parsha of the week – Parsha Toldot. In it, we see a lot of chasing going on. This is kind of like an antidote to all that chasing.
Yakov Avinu, our father, Jacob, is a tam, a tamim, because he has a holy naivete, and he’s a non-chaser. But, he’s sort of forced into being a chaser. Because of his nemesis, Esav, whenever Jacob becomes weak, Esav becomes strong. So, Jacob is forced to be smarter and stronger, and to chase success in order to outsmart and overcome Esav.
Jacob’s chase is more spiritual in nature, and Esav’s is more physical. Jacob represents the mouth and Esav represents the hands, which is why Jacob had to disguise his hands to trick his father, Abraham, into thinking he was Esav.
The stronger we are in upholding the posterity of Jacob with our voice, with our learning, our Torah, our prayers, the weaker they are with their hands, doing things in the world that can jeopardize our wellbeing and our success, everything we’re shooting for.
It’s a “cancelling out” dynamic, so it is a sort of a chase. It’s a “righteousness vs evil” paradigm in the world, but it’s also an inner drive in us, probably preparing us for Messianic times to come. That will be a time when we no longer have to chase.
We have an image of all of humanity standing around in a circle in the Messianic times, where nobody is chasing anybody or needing anybody else. Everyone is standing on their own, facing the center, glorifying G-d. Each individual is complete, and others may watch, but there’s no more chasing going on. It’s a Let Go, Let G-d scenario.
So, what I’m trying to do is bring on that kind of consciousness with the concept of Let Go, Let G-d, and not have to chase. On a basic level of tools to use, one way to do this is to release the anxiety of the chase by giving it back to G-d. We can say, “I can’t do this, so I’ll let G-d do it. I’ll let G-d take care of my need for chasing, control and approval. I give all that back to G-d.”
There’s also a dynamic in life, based on physics, demonstrating that the more I chase, the more people run away from me. I am the once chasing in this picture. If I am not the one chasing, then others begin to do so.
Part of this whole dynamic of Let Go, Let G-d is to really be able to bring G-d into your life. We do this by understanding that the more we get out of the way, the more G-d can get involved and do things for us.
The opposite is also true. The more we say, “I got this, G-d. I can take care of it…” the more G-d will not be involved. We have to move in the general direction of not chasing, and of letting G-d organize things instead.
One aspect of this is equanimity. It’s to be able to say, “Whatever G-d sends me, good or bad, that’s the best thing for me.” We discussed this in our last MMM, last week, with the idea of Perfect-As-Is. What we’re talking about now is the other side of the coin. Even in the imperfection it’s all perfect, and whether it’s perfect or not I’m just going to let G-d take care of it. I’m going to trust in that.
I’m going to radically accept life and G-d, and see how life will play itself out in that way. It’s the key to getting back to the Garden of Eden, to the I and Thou relationship. We need to get back to that garden, by maximizing my “I,” meaning, in my life I’ve fully developed the essence of who I am, and also the “Thou,” meaning G-d is completely in charge of my life.
This is the same dynamic that balances Shabbat and the weekdays. Shabbat is a day for “Thou,” when G-d is doing everything to me and through me, whereas on the weekdays our perspective is “I.” The blinders are placed back on me for the rest of the week and I feel everything is all dependent on me. Next Shabbat, I remember it’s actually G-d doing everything through me.
So, there’s this constant tension, this constant dynamic to balance our perspective. The Arizal talks about a type meditation to bring this about, to channel G-d into my life and to do things with me. It’s called the Merkava Meditation.
This idea is extremely important, because whatever I do, whatever senses I realize, G-d’s character traits are doing it through me. This consciousness, this outlook I’m calling Let Go, Let G-d, can seriously bring G-d into your life. It can bring miracles, goodness, and healing into your life, the more you bring G-d into your life. It brings all kind of positivity into your life.
The more you Let Go and Let G-d, the more you make room for G-d in your life and the less you have to chase. The more you’re going with G-d, others may be inclined to chase you. We’re promised, when we do the will of G-d in the world, our work is sort of done for us.
The work of building our land, and our lives, the dirty work, all the other stuff will be done, to the extent we get ourselves out of the way. G-d says, “you guys are royalty because you have made me the king of your life.”
When we choose to make G-d the king of our lives, we know that kings have respect and he doesn’t do the dirty work. A king doesn’t do the menial labor. A king is someone who has other people do things for him. So, that’s part of the Let Go, Let G-d dynamics as well.
Even with something as simple and yet as difficult as making a living, to the extent we can Let Go and Let God, we can expend less effort in making our living in the world, the money, the food, all our needs. It’s because we have an outlook causing our reality to let G-d take care of things.
G-d may be saying “You really believe that? You really hold by that? If so I’ll do it for you. But, if you’re just saying you’ll do it, and you’re not really holding by that, it will catch up with you.”
We can grow, and get better and higher in our ability to Let Go, Let G-d, too. This is a recipe for higher consciousness, and a recipe for bringing the whole world into Messianic consciousness, where we are all moving now.
May it happen soon in our days!
The MMM theme this week is Perfect-As-Is, which is a perspective based on the fundamental Jewish belief that nothing bad comes from G-d.
And by extension, whatever comes from G-d is also personalized for us, even though it doesn’t seem to be, and it’s the best possible thing for us. That concept requires a huge leap of faith for every human being in this universe. But it’s what faith is all about, really. It’s the ultimate challenge of Emunah, of faith.
We may not understand all the challenges that come our way, but we can learn to embrace them, to accept them without understanding, just believing. When we begin to actually believe and move in the direction of accepting that whatever comes to me, every day of my life, is the best possible thing for me, then my mantra is Perfect-As-Is.
This doesn’t mean that things couldn’t be better or easier in our lives… if only this or if only that. No, there are no woulds or coulds or shoulds in this way of looking at G-d and at life. There is simply what IS, and that what IS is perfect as-is, meaning it’s a long way from imperfect.
Grasping to understand the idea of perfect is something that, by nature, will bring up all the imperfections. That’s just the way it works. So, what we are doing, therefore, is connecting to our imperfections, and we’re saying, “if it’s coming from G-d, it’s perfect.”
When we’re able to do that, we can begin to engage in a very intimate relationship with G-d. Essentially, we’re saying to G-d, “whatever you send my way I think is coming from you, and I say it’s perfect.”
And G-d relates to us in a reflective way as well. And whatever we send back to G-d we understand he will accept, just as we accept what G-d sends our way. Our relationship with G-d becomes an above-nature, as a result, and goes beyond what we deserve.
This relationship, one with feedback from G-d, so to speak, is also very healing. Personally, I find it easier to bring up the hard stuff, all the way to the surface where I can examine it. It’s like being my own therapist. When I can see my own stuff, I can accept it and embrace it, even if I don’t understand it. Once it’s brought up to the surface I’ll eventually take care of it.
That’s where the paradox of Perfect-As-Is comes in. We say it in order to escape the paralysis of not being able to process our lives. Our repressed feelings and fears can paralyze us, until we bring them to the surface and get a clear vision of how to fix them. It works, if we take the time to do it.
So, it’s a wanting of what IS in life. It’s a joining of the higher self and the lower self. It’s a place where we are able to step out of fear of whatever comes our way. It’s the opposite of that fear. It’s the road that can lead to true ecstasy and paradise by embracing everything that comes our way.
When we can do that, I believe we connect to what our Patriarchs and Matriarchs connected to, as we read in the weekly Torah portions… they never missed a day in facing everything that came their way and elevating it. It’s because they saw it all as coming from G-d, so that’s what they wanted. They wanted what IS, not could be or should be or might happen. They were fully present.
This is the key to mindfulness – incredible presence. This is the key to transcendent living, in a nutshell. You might say it’s the secret Jewish code.
It’s what the great sage, Nachum Ish Gamcu, said, “This, too, is for the best.” He said it about everything, and because of it he became schooled in bringing down miracles in this world. He completely it, and we can, too, by subscribing to the idea of Perfect-As-Is.
So, that’s our goal, and that’s our MMM for the week and the direction we’re going in. It’s certainly a long-term goal of consciousness for me, a key to extraordinary, providential living, a key to complete self-expression and a key to seeing G-d revealed where he’s normally not found.
Keeping in line with the series I started before the High Holy Days, this week I’d like to talk about MMM itself, what it is and why I do it.
I want to explore it, this consciousness I call MMM, which stands for Mystical Musical Meditations. This, I think, is a new artform, genre, type of teaching and experiential meditation. It’s a type of full self-expression that naturally evolved in my own life, through various presentations with individuals and with groups internationally.
It’s basically an expression of Allness. I sit there with a guitar and play, using up to 15 poems per week as a springboard to get across my weekly theme. It’s using everything that I know. It’s channeling a higher consciousness and allowing G-d to come through.
The MMM is based on mystical, Kabbalistic Jewish teachings, following a consistent theme and usually connected to the weekly Torah portion. But instead of an intellectual approach, it provides an experiential approach to learning. My MMM is my experience of these topics.
To present my unique “take” on a topic, I get myself into a sacred space and I recite poetry to give voice to the topic. I use music because music automatically elevates words. Words, poems, prose, teachings are elevated to a level that the soul can internalize and download more easily. Sometimes I speak in a spontaneous way, like hip hop or rap, and that’s how I’m able to get across a more authentic message.
The thoughts in my mind, my heart and my soul can be received in a fun, effortless way. I am also as much a part of the audience as everyone else present.
If G-d allows me to be a conduit for it, I want these expressions to be Messianic in consciousness, something expressing the energy of King David in those times when his harp would wake him up at midnight, the nights when he created the Psalms. They were composed with Ruach Ha Kodesh, The Holy Spirit. I want to partake of that same King David energy, too.
And I want to partake of a wider intelligence than most of us normally use to express ourselves. We are only using a small percentage of our emotional, creative and intellectual intelligence.
I want the mitzvoth and the Torah teachings to be about consciousness, not just something we understand with the left brain, but something we feel with the heart, and embrace with our right brain and our whole body and soul.
What jazz does to music I want MMM to do to Torah. Jazz takes a message and expresses it in free form, spontaneous art. Whatever comes out just comes out in different rhythms and dialogue.
I want each MMM to awaken exactly what each person listening needs to hear. This can only happen if I go deep into myself and partake within myself whatever a person needs to hear.
I want the music to turn into poetry and the poetry into music, where the words are stripped away into pure energy, on a level where both the higher and the lower self are touched. The fun-loving side of me, the Dennis the Menace within me, and all my memories… I want the MMM to purge whatever is going on in my life at the time.
But I want it to be a selfless giving as well, in a way that can really change people. I want each MMM to be part of the ultimate expression of who I am, giving voice to the greater part of each of us that needs to be expressed. It’s the essential part of ourselves, all of us.
G-d willing, I’m hoping to raise crops of other MMM people who share their own wisdom in their own groups, wherever they are located.
I’d like to make some MMM musical albums, outside of the traditional music industry, that represent the convergence of everything I do with other people, with myself and with G-d. I want to change consciousness with the whole project.
Following along in our holiday series, let’s talk about Sukkot now. It’s basically the second half of the High Holiday period.
The first half of the High Holiday period was sort of a self-discovery process called teshuva, a reawakening of who we are and want we want to do with our lives. We see G-d as our partner in this personal process.
After Yom Kippur, in the second half of the holidays we are ready to bond our newly-discovered selves with G-d in a loving, bonding way. It’s like a courtship or a marriage, and that sets the tone for the holiday of Sukkot. It’s not the same as the strict, fear-filled, first 10 days of the High Holidays. These are the love-filled days of the High Holidays.
The love-filled days culminate as we sit under sukkah, or a temporary booth for 7 – 8 days of use each year. We sit or stand inside it with the understanding that we don’t need the comforts of this world to be sheltered and protected and warm. We can enjoy protection in the flimsiest of abodes when we are trusting in G-d to care for us.
This is an analogy that applies not only to the sukkah, our temporary home during Sukkot, but also to our lives throughout the year. It is sort of an inoculation for trusting in G-d, and believing that even though it may not seem that the odds are with us, our trust in G-d is greater than out natural surroundings. You might say we’re loading up on our trust for the year ahead; we’re building our trust factor.
So, first we have the bonding factor, and then we also have the factor of holy space. Like Shabbat is holiness in time, Sukkot is holiness in a specific, small space. Just as we completely immerse ourselves into a mikvah, we immerse ourselves into a sukkah, and just by being in there we’re immersed in a holy space.
In that holy, G-dly space, we have access to higher beings. We have access to the seven ushpizim, the seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David. We invite all seven shepherds into our sukkah every night, but the main attraction is the one associated with that night. Abraham is the first night, Issac is the second night, Jacob is the third night, Moses is the fourth night, Joseph is the fifth night and David is the seventh night.
We welcome them and literally try to feel their presence with us. We try to discuss their Torah, and their influence on us. It’s a paradigm we connect-up with on that night of Sukkot and for the rest of the year. It’s very timely as well, because right after Sukkot we go into the new cycle of Torah, which is all about the Patriarchs. We are introducing our new connection to the Patriarchs in the upcoming Torah cycle during the holiday of Sukkot.
We “shake off” the worldly aspect of our lives and enter another-worldly, higher-worldly place inside the sukkah. We thereby gain love of G-d, trust in G-d, and also happiness. We go out every night of Sukkot, just as they did back in the days of the Holy Temple, and we participate in a ceremony that emulates or approximates the ceremony of The Drawing of The Waters which took place just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. They brought in the water as an offering, and they danced and sang all night long. We, too, dance and sing all night long.
Sleep is over-rated during Sukkot. If you’re really keeping the holiday the way it should be kept, you don’t sleep at all outside of the sukkah, and of course there’s a party going on every night, so you really can’t sleep anyway because you can hear all the other parties in sukkahs in the neighborhood all night long. Sukkot is not conducive to sleep, which is a form of rectification of the whole sleep thing, too.
We go out into a sukkah, not only to party and to be happy with G-d, but also to gain, as it was said in the old days, a semi-prophetic state of Ruach HaKodesh. The happiness allows us to get to higher levels.
We also take the choice species of nature, the four species – the lulav (the palm vine,) the Etrog, the myrtle and the aravah. We take them and wave them, as though we’re waving the evil spirits out of our lives. That’s one way to look at it.
We are also attaching ourselves to the best of the supernatural by waving in all directions, which represents all the Sephirotic directions. We do that on Sukkot. And we do a lot of circle dancing, around and around the altar in the synagogue, and on Simchat Torah we dance around with the Torah. Circle dancing in Judaism is a type of dance which brings down that which is beyond to that which is within us. Circle dancing brings down the surrounding light by going around and around, bringing that which is beyond to that which is within.
It’s another expression of how we grow spiritually, bringing the part of the soul which is beyond us into the part of the soul within us. So, spiritual growth is happening in our circle dancing.
Happiness may be one of the hardest of the mitzvot of Sukkot because there are so many things that can aggravate us and cause us to get crazy, sad or mad. But we do have a mitzvah to be happy during the entire holiday, more so than any other holiday, even though it may be a challenge. Usually the amount, depth and quality of our happiness depends on the first half of the High Holy Days, the amount, depth and quality of our teshuva, of going within and purging whatever keeps us from connecting with our essential self and our connection with G-d.
The deeper we dive into the first half of the holiday, the deeper will be the happiness in the second part of the holiday of Sukkot.