Posts tagged life guidance
This is a collection of some ideas about Parsha Shemot.
First, we begin a whole new energetic period of time called Shovavim, which is the weekly Parshas beginning with Shemot and ending with Mishpatim. This is a period of time when we, and of course the people in the Bible times, are coming to rectify something that began with Adam, who was separated from his wife in the Garden of Eden fall-out. Their separation caused scattered seed, which means scattered life energy, and the goal of this period of time is to bring the scattered energy back together.
That’s what we’re going to be doing for the next six weeks, and it parallels the stories about bringing back energy, about interconnected energy. So that’s one thing that begins in Shemot. Essentially, we’re going from the Patriarchal period into an Exile period, which is followed later by a Redemption period. The Israelites were pretty civilized, but tended to sink into slave mentality during the 210 year period of forced slavery.
One of the things that comes up during this period is that the Israelites were rapidly reproducing, and the more Pharaoh tried to oppress them, the more they reproduced. It’s an interesting phenomenon… You leave it to G-d to take care of you, and you can rely on that, no matter what the opposition tries to do to you. So, the Israelites reproduced in great numbers, which ultimately formed the nation of Israel.
G-d promised to Jacob that He would make of us a great nation, and that He will be with us and take us out of slavery also. So, the hand of G-d is operating, even in the midst of the darkness of Egypt, the lowest and most depraved of nations. G-d’s there with us and the miracles are happening, maybe on a more subtle level.
So, we reproduced a lot, and we did that in spite of Pharaoh’s efforts to the contrary, meaning he worked us and he baited us. He promised to come out into the fields with us, and pay us well and take care of us. Pharaoh was the first of the real politicians, saying one thing with his mouth while thinking and planning something else entirely. It was said of Pharaoh, “he had a soft mouth,” meaning he could be very convincing, and in fact he seduced most of the Israelites into doing his bidding, with the exception of the tribe of Levi. The Levis never became slaves, and they learned Torah instead, for the entire 210 years of the Eqyptian exile.
This is an incredible lesson because, spiritually speaking, the spiritual heirs of the tribe of Levi are the Torah students of all generations. So, when other people get seriously seduced into the traps of society (and there are so many of them) the person who sticks to his guns inside of Torah is impervious to that whole influence, as was the tribe of Levi in Eqypt.
Pharaoh induced the Israelites into slavery, and then approximately eighty years after the exile began Moses was born. They looked at him and knew there was goodness there, and there was a whole reincarnation thing going on with Moses as well. It was a reincarnation rectification of Adam. Moses was born good, something recognized through the daughter of Pharaoh, Batya, who adopted the baby Moses. She took him out of the Nile River and she raised him, and even though he was raised in the Egyptian environment, because of his inherent goodness (and Batya’s goodness) Moses kept the pure side of himself. He could see through the façade of the Egyptian royal family all along, and he eventually escaped the kingdom after an episode with an Egyptian taskmaster who was beating up an Israelite slave. Moses killed the Egyptian, so he knew he would be in trouble and that’s when he left and went to Midian, in the desert.
In Midian Moses met his future father-in-law, and he met up with G-d, and the burning bush, with Mount Sinai and with his task of saving the Jews from Pharaoh. All this occurred because Moses began to hear the wordless grunts and screams of the Israelite people. Moses said, “I heard their screams and told Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go.”
At first, Moses displayed a reticence to do that. He thought, “Who am I? Certainly not a man of words…” At this, G-d told him, essentially, “What do you mean you’re not a man of words? Who is asking you to save the Israelites? I’m not a politician, I’m G-d. I’m hooking up my mouth to a human being. I can put the words in your mouth.”
This is an incredible lesson, really, because G-d can do anything, to the extent that we let Him in. The basic question people ask is, “Where is G-d now?” and the answer is, “Wherever we let Him I,” which applies on many different levels. If we let G-d in to do miracles in our lives He WILL do miracles in our lives. But most people cannot believe that because they’re blinded by nature.
Moses was told, “You’re the leader. You’re the one who is going to bring them out, so you’ve got to believe in Me. You’re a stutterer.” And he was. Moses was a stutterer because the Israelites were slaves, and people in that kind of slave mentality were not articulate people. And what happens with the people happens with Moses, their leader. He is a mirror of them and they are a mirror of him. They stuttered, he stuttered. They couldn’t talk, he couldn’t talk.
Moses said, “How am I going to talk? How am I going to be their leader?” And G-d said, “You don’t understand. I will speak through you, for you. We’ll start off by letting Aaron do the talking for you. Your big brother, 3 years older than you is a better speaker.
So, Moses asked G-d, “What do I tell the people about who sent me? I could tell them several different names of G-d. Which one do I tell them that they will truly believe?
And G-d told Moses, “I will be who I will be.” It’s “will be” in the future tense, a Divine Name symbolizing the ability to have patience and wait, the ability to trust that things will work out, the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the ability to hope, (which happened in last week’s Parsha when Jacob was blessing Dan he said a prayer, “For your salvation I hope all day long.”) Hope is the key to Geula, to Redemption.
G-d told Moses to talk to the Israelites about hope, about how it’s a done deal and that they will bring it by hoping and by waiting for Me. And that’s ultimately what happened with the Israelites, as Pharaoh kept kicking and fighting and questioning, “Who is this G-d that Moses should hear His voice?” Since Pharaoh help himself up as a deity and knew nearly everything about spiritual matters in the world at that time he was disturbed because he didn’t know about this Divine Name, this G-d of Moses. Or, maybe he did know, but he denied it. There are commentaries from our sages from both viewpoints.
So, that’s the set-up of this week’s Parsha and the beginning of plagues next week, and the exodus from Egypt the following week, and coming through the Red Sea the following week. The state is being set this week in Parsha Shemot.
Experiences of the Enlightened Ones – based on the ‘Lights of Holiness’ by Rav R.A. Kook ztz’l
Rav Kook taught us in a very articulate and elegant manner–what the experience of enlightenment is all about…..here, in my own humble language is a taste….
Experience the following Soul-stirrings and drives that are felt by those who are well on the their way towards achieving levels of perfection and expanded consciousness and enlightenment;
a…the inner Soul drive to know yourself and to react properly to your inner summons
b…the inner Soul drive to become so clear and enlightened, that you know that a similar awakening of the masses is sure to follow
c…the inner drive to purify and intensify all of your intentions , until you see that most all of your intentions manifest in reality
d…the inner awakening and knowledge that the true experience of enlightenment is not something that you anticipate to experience in the future, but rather something that you constantly are immersed in now
e…the inner awareness that your unique essential self or Soul spark must be completely free to express itself with maximum originality and authenticity
f…the inner drive to liberate your unique ability to create without any interference
g…the inner wisdom to distinguish when to detach yourself from others , in order to strive for deeper enlightenment—–and when to get involved with others–those who need you, though they be on a much lower spiritual level than you are
h…the inner drive to be in a constant state of amazement and celebration of all of the Divine wonder that emanates at all times
i…the inner consciousness of knowing that all there is, is in a state of continual becoming
j…the inner concern for the well-being of the whole Universe and everyone in it and everyone that you personally encounter
This this second part is given to commemorate Rav Kook’s 81st yartzeit. He was an enlightened man, and what I’d like to get across is the brilliance and inner understanding of his enlightenment, and what it’s all about.
So, in my own words I’m paraphrasing what Rabbi Kook got across, the experience of a real Soul Man and what a Soul Person is all about. It’s about the enlightenment of being connected to the soul as a Soul Person.
- The Soul Person has a link to G-d, with all his will, mind and emotion.
- The Soul Person has a knowing that all his interdependence, all his significance, all his limitlessness comes from his link with G-d.
- The Soul Person is a channel for light and life, for everyone.
- The Soul Person is in a state of Always-ness. In other words, he’s always in an expanded state of mind, always coming from his soul, always creating. There’s no such thing as, “waiting to get some inspiration,” because it’s always happening, 24/7.
- The Soul Person’s spark must be absolutely free. His personality must be free and original and expressed and pure and authentic in order for him to receive it and express it.
- The Soul Person must create works of imagination and thought, which are free from any kind of limitation or confinement.
- The Soul Person’s creativity is not his alone, but only a transfer, channeled through him.
- The Soul Person is always experiencing the richness of existence.
- The Soul Person is always desiring or aspiring with love, for the good of the entire universe.
- The Soul Person sees the world as constantly “becoming.”
- The Soul Person knows that the greater the person is, the more he or she must be alone to discover himself or herself.
- The Soul Person longs to be good and compassionate to everybody.
- The Soul Person does not hate anybody or anything, because everything manifests G-d’s grandeur.
- The Soul Person knows that the place of peace is in G-d, and in G-d only.
We are in the midst of a deluge, a flood, a metaphysical and very real plague-like flood here in the streets of Israel. And it seems, by the way things are possibly going, that in a short time the streets of the world as well, people want to kill Jews simply because we exist, for no other reason at all.
Don’t buy all that other propaganda about territorial disputes, including the Temple Mount, or any of that other stuff. It’s all just to play upon the diplomatic sensibilities of the world.
It’s simply that we are Jewish. That’s our cry. That’s why they want to kill us, and the same thing is true for Christians. It’s the Christian’s cry as well.
We’re at a time now where we have to pay attention to what the Torah, the Bible is telling us in this parasha of Noach or Noah. The energy of the parasha of Noah is to our advantage right now because as we all know, it’s about a flood Noah’s Ark was destined to save that seedling of humans and animals from being completely wiped-out by a worldwide flood at that time.
The parallels are strikingly clear right now, in Israel and in other countries around us, and all over the world, including Europe and America, everywhere. Right now, we ALL have to get ourselves into the Ark.
In the past, Noah’s Ark was a place of safety, a shelter from the storm, from the flood threatening to wipe out everyone and everything that wasn’t inside the Ark.
So, we need to figure out how to build our Ark and how to get inside it, to save our lives and to be protected from the flood. So, what I’d like to share with you now is a list of what I believe to be ways we can create Arks in our own lives, to save us from the flood. The Ark is the antidote to the dire danger these current floods are creating.
- We need to jump into the Ark of being constructive, as opposed to the flood, which is destructive. We need to build ourselves an Ark which is celebrating LIFE, as opposed to the flood, which celebrates death and murder. We need to get ourselves into the Ark of G-d’s real, true Word, as opposed to murder in the name of G-d.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of being in-sync with our Holy Land here, as opposed to being out-of-sync with it, which is the flood we have threatening us as well.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of Shabbat, and realize that everything that’s happening in our lives is coming from above, as opposed to the flood of thinking that the strength of our hands is really going to save us.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of Prayer, saying to G-d, “I cannot, Hashem… I can only do it if you help me.” We need to save ourselves from the flood of saying we are the ones who determine what will happen with our own fate.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of having true pleasure in the service of G-d, and in the life force of Torah and mitzvoth, as opposed to the robotic, mechanical service in the world of the flood.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of understanding, “I am a wealthy person, an immense treasure chest, full of spiritual gifts I have amassed over the last few weeks of holidays, as opposed to thinking now it’s just the same-old, same-old schedule of the past.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of knowing we are a member of an eternal, invincible people, as opposed to the mindset, the flood-type thinking that we are vulnerable to everyone’s whims and horrible designs against us.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of knowing that every little bit of goodness and overcoming of evil we do in our lives moves worlds and elicits the support of millions and billions of people rooting for us, as opposed to falling into the flood of despair.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of radical belief, 24/7, that G-d is running our lives, no matter what we think is the cause of everything that’s going on, and that it’s coming from us, as opposed to thinking everything is by chance.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of knowing that every minute of our lives is precious, as opposed to the flood of wanting to kill time.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of trust in G-d, and knowing that G-d will come through for me, just as he has endless numbers of times before, as opposed to thinking that it’s all happenstance.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of knowing, “I am a soul and I have control of all the animal parts inside of me,” just like the animals in Noah’s Ark, as opposed to thinking, “I am a human animal who can only succeed with the laws of the jungle.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of encouragement and love for everybody we see and connect with in our lives, as opposed to the flood of hate and depression.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of seeing others with the eyes of G-d, with compassion and with vision of who they can be, as opposed to seeing others as infidels, not worthy of life.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of what G-d said to Noah, “Come into the Ark and make that light shine, meaning the teva, the holy words of Torah and prayer. We must make that shine by going deeply into it, as opposed to the flood of thinking that everything is purposeless and lifeless, recital without any meaning.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of seeing goodness into being, as opposed to the opposite, which is seeing evil manifest.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of unifying with all the good, as opposed to the opposite.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of the good inclination inside ourselves, prompted by the spice of Torah, to counteract that flood of evil inclination, the Yetzer Hara.
- We need to get ourselves into the Ark of the mikvah, of purifying ourselves, to counteract the flood of impurity.
- We need to get ourselves into the act of being givers, to save ourselves from the flood of takers.
- We need to get ourselves into the act of 40 days of shelter, of going into a process and sticking with it until it gets done, just like the 40 days of the flood, as opposed to being exposed to whatever may happen in our lives and not completing them.
- We need to get into the Ark of seeing the good in people, even if it’s one little, tiny piece of good that will outshine all the bad inside of them, as opposed to the flood of the opposite.
- We need to get into the Ark of making sacred space of who we are, when we are, how we are, with whom we are, as opposed to seeing the exact opposite.
- We need to get into the Ark of talking soul and heart talk to other people, as opposed to talking hate talk, talking senseless externalities.
- We need to get into the Ark of seeing people as souls, as opposed to seeing them as enemies and something to be killed.
- We need to get into the Ark of the house of study and the house of prayer, as opposed to the flood of the opposite.
- We need to get into the Ark of modesty, as opposed to the flood of flagrancy.
- We need to get into the Ark of knowing that there is nothing else in the world, except for G-d.
This talk is called Out Of The Box, and I want to share it now, a couple weeks before Rosh Hashana, because this time of year it’s important to realize that there are no limitations on how we live our lives, what we make of them.
More so than any other time of year, NOW is the time to step up, and to see that we’re much more than what we think we are. So, it’s really important to step up and to jump out of the box to become something we’ve never been before.
Kabbalistically, the idea of “out of the box” is very central to the creation of the world, and the way the world runs. G-d was the only one around at the beginning of time, and he had to create a void, and then from the outside, from out of the box, came G-d’s ever-present reality to fill the void.
All of Creation fills the void from an out-of-the-box way into an in-the-box way. And in Kabbalah there’s a concept called Ohr Makif, which is the surrounding light, or energy, and it is seen as the way we grow spiritually. We take that which is beyond us, which is surrounding us and which includes the level of soul to which we have access, and we draw that down inside us. And that’s the way we grow, by bringing what’s out of the box into the box.
The Jewish people are a great example of out-of-the-boxing. We are people who are constantly drawn to something beyond ourselves, such as a Messianic time, a post-life reality, the essence of our souls, which part is beyond us entirely. And we are drawn to G-d, to strengthen our connection to G-d, which is another out of the box kind of thing.
So, we’re always living our lives in this bridging, back and forth, from outside the box then into the box… that kind of reality. In my own explorations of teachings and spiritual principles I’ve found that we first have to clear out the clutter inside ourselves in order to begin to express ourselves. And the more we do that, meaning clear out and fully express, the more that which is out of the box becomes accessible to us, and we’re able to bring it down into us.
Personally, I have always felt a draw to whatever is out of the box, so I’ve had to transcend reality in order to grasp what was “out there” and bring it to myself and others as we move towards a Messianic consciousness, which is out of the box. We’re all drawn to that, it’s the ultimate draw. The world is being drawn to G-d in a variety of ways. It’s a draw from that which is out of the box into the box, which is the central idea we’re dealing with here.
I have a lot of practical ways for that to happen, but first I’d like to share some of the writings of Rabbi Avraham Issac Kook. In my humble opinion he is one of the greatest articulators of the experience of enlightenment, certainly one of the greatest in the modern day.
Looking at it from this perspective then, a look at out-of-the-box thinking from another, higher perspective. I chose a few specific quotes to illustrate what out-of-the-box consciousness is all about.
Musings From The Beyond
**Drawn from the ‘Lights of Holiness’
—R. Avraham Yitzchak Kook z’tl**
1. CONSTANT RENEWAL
The perception to see the world
Not as finished but as in the process
of continued becoming, ascending,
developing—changes a person from being,
‘Under the sun’ to being ‘Above the sun’
From a place where nothing is new,
to a place where nothing is old
(quoting King Soloman’s famous line from Ecclesiates)
2. SONG OF THE SOUL
Surely the soul sings always…
[if you wait for the time when
Creative spirit will inspire you—
You lack the illumination].
You must raise yourself to the heights of
Confronting your soul…Be ready to listen to
its holy discourse
At all times in every hour
It release streams of its precious gifts
3. SOULS OF CHAOS
The souls inspired by the realm of Chaos are greater than the souls whose affinity is with the established order…They seek too much from existence—from what is beyond their own faculties to assimilate—a very great light……….they can’t bear what’s limited……they descend from a very high realm….they soared on high like a flame and were thrust down……their striving knows no bounds….they aspire constantly to the beyond and to the impossible… they fall [inevitably] in sorrow , despair, —leading to their becoming wicked, destructive……..they especially reveal themselves at the end of days….they rebel against everything…..they seek nourishment in alien pastures and ideals…..they are passionate souls……….. truly heroic spirits know that this force is one of the phenomena needed for the ultimate perfection of the world….in the end , their power will be taken from them and turned over to the righteous ones…..dark clouds will pave the way for great light…”
Now, here are some practical ways to bring some things that are out of the box into the box, into your life: a) The Graduation Speech – Projecting a future “you” and working towards it; b) Partnering with G-d – Take upon yourself to share with G-d whatever profits come your way, in whatever way you think G-d would like it to happen, and have G-d help you in the process as well; c) Seeing With The Eyes of G-d – See people and situations for what they are, were and will be; d) Beyond Limits Yearning Vision Dialogue – If you had no limitations what would you want? This is beginning to live with a post-life reality where every word, thought and piece of wisdom reverberates forever.
And I have a number of tools to help us get answers from above, or beyond, and to live from an incomplete perspective to a whole, complete prospective, and to see how everything is preparing for the birth of something else in your life. These tools help you fuse with G-d, so that G-d can speak through you, think through you, be through you in all of your senses, etc. They help you study the Creator’s ways and emulate how the Creator creates so you can do the same. And they help you ask questions and receive answers that you think the Creator would give you. And they help you have the trust that just as G-d has come through for you in the past he will come through for you again now.
And finally, the ultimate tool – Let Go And Let G-d.
These are practical ways of living out of the box, and of course there are many more regarding how you act, how you see, how you open yourself up and expand yourself. I won’t go into them all right now, but there are many more.