Posts tagged Reincarnation

The Experience of the Ladder of Soul Levels

Ladder

I’d like to focus on the ladder of the soul levels, and how they are experienced. We have five soul levels, Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya and Yechida. Of those five levels, two are entrenched in our bodies, one is partially entrenched in and partially out of our bodies, and the highest two levels are completely out of our bodies.

Their location points to their character as well. The deeper entrenched they are into our bodies, the more they have an affinity for our bodies, which is actually their purpose. The lowest level of Nefesh that’s entrenched in our bodies, for example, is that part of the soul which is most connected to the body. It’s the spirituality of the body, of the organs and the sensations, and so forth.

The next highest level, the Ruach, is the part of the soul that’s more connected to who we can grow into. It’s part and parcel of who we are, but it’s a step up from an animalistic level to a humanistic level. Another experiential difference between Nefesh and Ruach is this – Nefesh is like having the experience of going into a library where everybody must be very quiet so that all can concentrate. Nefesh is a quiet type of spirituality, whereas Ruach is more of a bubbly type of spirituality.

Ruach could be described as a house of Torah study, the Beit Midrash. Compared to a quiet library the Beit Midrash is not quiet at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. It’s a place full of bubbly, new ideas being shared. That’s the Ruach. It’s a higher part of our personality which allows us to grow, and to reach out to new levels of consciousness, which we don’t necessarily know about beforehand.

And the Neshama, part inside of us and part outside of us, serves as a guiding light. It has a connection to us and it bridges us to that which is beyond us. The general picture of the soul inside us is like the tip of the iceberg, only it’s upside down. The rest of our soul is outside of us and reaches much higher. Only a very small part of us is inside the body, and that which is outside reaches all the way up to the heavens.

This third level of soul, the Neshama, is a bridge from the small part inside us to the vast reaches beyond the body. And our Sages tell us it’s pure, unsullied and impervious to blemish of any kind. It’s pure and it stays pure. As a bridge to that which is beyond us, it helps us grow.

These three levels, Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama are parts of the soul that guide us to become better people, vis a vis ourselves, even though it also involves our moral relationships with others. But it’s primarily about our own personal growth at these three lowest levels of our soul.

The next level is Chaya, and it is the level of soul in which we experience “working for the cause.” It’s the part of us that’s trying to make the world a better place, to forge a path of rectification and peace. It’s where wrongs are righted, and we feel a sense of belonging in a global way on this higher level.

And finally, Yechidah is the highest level, and it is connected to G-d. A Yechidah personality is solely concerned with connecting to G-d.

These are all very important distinctions of soul levels, so I’ll expound on them a bit more . They are in an absolutely ideal situation with a brand new soul coming into the world, which occurs only once within many generations. They receive their rectification in different stages of a person’s life.

At the beginning we receive a Nefesh, at the age of 13 we receive a Ruach, and at the age of 20 we receive a Neshama. But that’s only for an ideal, new person. Other than that rare situation, perhaps occurring once in several generations, pretty much all of us in this generation reflect different, subcategories of Nefesh, such as the Ruach of Nefesh, the Neshama of Nefesh, and so forth.

And so we graduate from one level to another, and that’s how we grow. The placement of these three levels of soul inside of us starts from the bottom up. The Nefesh level is the seat, and it’s located in the liver. The Ruach is in the heart and the Neshama is in the brain. Those organs are the seat of each level, but of course they spread out into the entire body.

The physical character of those three parts of the body are appropriate for these three levels of our soul.

The liver, which is primarily concerned with filtering blood, which is activity on the physical level, is the seat of Nefesh, the lowest level of soul.

The heart is concerned with pumping the blood, but it’s more spiritual, and it’s the seat of the Ruach.

And the brain, which is located higher in the body, is the seat of the Neshama, the highest level of soul located in the physical body.

Our individual soul is connected microcosmically to all souls, and to all live aspects of reality. So, we don’t live in a vacuum, alone in our own soul. Our souls are interconnected with other souls, with other people, and with time and space. Therefore, we have a microcosmic effect on the world, and the world has its effect on us. I am using the word “microcosmic” to mean that which is outside of us is also inside of us, and vice versa.

That means one person, if he is intent enough, and living on a quality level, can fix up the world. That’s the power of this microcosmic connection to the world.

Another aspect of souls involves the fact that a great majority of us is actually outside of us. In a manner of speaking, when we really plug into our souls we become something like a holy skeptic. We have a sense of knowing that there’s something better than what we’re being fed in this world, and that there is something much higher available.

It’s like what we always say about a mitzvah. When we perform a mitzvah we understand there’s no payoff in this world, because it’s such a spiritual thing and it’s so far beyond this world. The only payoff in this world is the ability to do another mitzvah. There is no payoff that can really satisfy the soul, because the soul is on a much higher level. On its own, it’s even higher than the parallel angelic levels.

We can plug into our soul in different ways and understand it as a guiding light. We can resonate with it, and begin to understand the difference between its guidance and the body’s guidance. Its guidance is described in some books as the Divine soul, the Divine Nefesh inside of us, as opposed to the animalistic soul inside of us. And when we are able to hear its voice, that’s when we’re able to go forward, and to go higher.

There are times we can hear our soul in unusual ways, and we can feel a kind of deep, emotional yearning, which seems to have no connection to whatever we’re doing at the moment. That’s our soul talking to us. We need to find a way to process it, to say some holy verses, to say a prayer or talk to G-d. Just don’t ignore your soul talking to you or through you.

Different kinds of souls come into this world for different purposes. Not everybody can perform the same way in different situations. A midnight person is one who has a midnight soul, to get up at midnight and do the midnight thing. Over the years, I’ve seen many, many people try to do it, but they have failed because they don’t have a midnight soul.

And the same thing is true of Kabbalah. A lot of people try real Kabbalah and simply fall asleep during classes, sometimes for years on end. It’s because they don’t have a Kabbalah type of soul.

Another thing is to be able to hear your soul, and understand what it needs to complete itself in this world. What does it need to learn, which people does it need to connect with, and which situations does it need to perfect? As we’ve said before, we’re here on unfinished business. The soul guides us in order to teach us what that unfinished business is all about.

I think we can say that there are situations where the soul is renewed and even replaced at higher levels, in rare situations. There’s a verse teaching us that when a person has come to the end of his days, and what he’s come into this world to complete is finished, he can use certain verses to use in order to deposit one level of soul and acquire a higher one.

Every night when we go to sleep we renew, or “polish up” our soul. Just as we renew our physical strength by sleeping, in the same way our soul gets polished up, refreshed and renewed during sleep.

The Souls Inside Of Us Accompanying Us

Lights

Continuing with the theme of reincarnation basics, I’d like to talk about the fact that we are all born with the main host, meaning who we really are. But we also have, throughout our lives, anywhere from 1 to 4 guests.

These are people who experience what we experience, and they are usually “soul family” people who are connected with us in the map of souls. They have a like for us, an affinity for us. They are rooting for us and we are rooting for them. They are here, as are we all, to fix up something from a previous lifetime.

My main experience is “me,” but if I develop the sensitivity to do so, I can begin to experience these other personalities, not in a schizophrenic or multi-personality type of way, but in a natural way. You might think of it as the different voices within each of us, reacting and awakening in different ways.

All these various personalities will find their main body to inhabit at the time of the resurrection of all the souls into their bodies, and it will be like a grand old reunion in those days. Seeing yourself in so many generations and nuances is part of the experience.

Another experience is this – the greater the person, the more people that are outside of him or her, those people are actually inside of him or her. And the great person has an affinity for all those people. The greatest example of all is Moshe, Moses, who had everybody inside of him. That is why he was able to counsel and get to the bottom of the Daas, the knowings of each person, and help them know what to do.

Each of us, on our different levels, quantitatively and qualitatively, take people inside us, and that’s how we relate to other people.

The second, related topic here is “ibur.” These are short-term guests, as opposed to a life-long guest within us, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to many years in duration. These people come in a helpful way, to inhabit us, because they either need the tikkun, a mitzvah for themselves, or they are present to help us, because we’re doing something extraordinary. They are present to give us an extra boost of expanded consciousness that comes along with their inhabitance of us.

This is not as creepy or spooky as a dybbuk, or an exorcist-type story, but it’s a natural thing going on inside us. We’re either helping them or they’re helping us.

For example, there was a time when divorce was very rare. Now that is not the case, but in the past there were people who needed to fulfill all the mitzvoth in the Torah, and they might jump in right at the time someone is experiencing divorce. That person will feel a very elevated awakening inside, because there are other souls coming on board, so to speak, in the merit of that particular mitzvah.

These others don’t suffer with us if they are here to help us, but if we’re helping them, then they do feel it, meaning our suffering is their suffering. Our refinement is their refinement.

On Shabbat we have what’s called an “extra soul.” The Arizal teaches us that this is literally another human being from the world of souls, come to give us extra aliveness and pleasure, an expanded consciousness. And they leave us when Shabbat is over, and we feel the loss. It can be sort of a harsh feeling.

And it’s similar when we step up to help many people in a public way. We will get many people from the ibur system to help us get across what we need to communicate to them. And we can become aware of them by developing a sensitivity, the same way as we can become sensitive to other people within us throughout our lifetime. We can cultivate an awareness of getting extra help, as if something from beyond us has come to help us.

And, G-d forbid, the opposite is also true. If we are doing something really bad, it could be that some bad souls are coming to mess us up. It works both ways.

The third topic here is what I call the smoothness factor. The basic idea is this – we all come into this world with unfinished business. We all come reincarnated. We are coming, not to fix up the same things we faced last lifetime, but to fix what remains to be fixed. So, we can heal in every feeling and act and word and emotion and thought and interaction and relationship we have. We can feel if something we’re doing is unfixed, and needs to be fixed.

It may be something that’s not smooth for us, and we have to work especially hard at it, we’re driven to work hard at it. Therefore, even if we get knocked down we’re driven to get back up and fix it up.

Or, it could be the other way around. It may be something we’ve already fixed up previously, and we are in our element, so to speak, then we may have the feeling that everything is going smoothly because we already took care of that thing.

Both of these situations are useful, the hard stuff and the smooth, easy experiences. Both exist to advance us in our tikkun, which will ultimately bring us to our culmination in the end of days.

The same is true of relationships. People come into our lives, as close or as distant relationships, to help facilitate our tikkun, our perfection process. We need to pay attention to that perspective, meaning that they are here from a previous time to help take the sting out of bad feelings we may have about other people. They are sent by G-d to help us go through what we need to go through.

Finally, there’s the Sephirot factor. There’s a Sehirotic soul map and we are connected to people closest to us by a particular Sephira, and we will heal in affinity with people of the same Sephira, too. This is true regarding soulmating, friendships and family relationships, among others.

I’m not going to get into all the various Sephirot because that’s a separate discussion for another day, but the basic idea is this – we are here to maximize our Sephirotic profile and to align it as well.

Kabbalah 101: Gilgulei Yisrael (Reincarnation)

BSTsynagogue

I want to get started talking about some of the basics of Kabbalah, sort of a Kabbalah 101, if you will.

And I figure that a good way to start is discussing the topic of reincarnation of the soul. I’m drawing from a booklet of notes of my work with R. Dardik on Gilgulei Yisrael. He took notes the whole time we were working together, and created a booklet on questions and answers on the topic.

You could think of it as Reincarnation Made Simple. So, let’s get started…

One of the first, fundamental questions is about the ego, going back to Adam. Adam was a container of all souls, basically, and before the original sin, according to the Arizal and others, there were only good souls within him.

The fallout or result of his sin, was a mixture of souls, some of which were not so good. Our task now, and previously, throughout history, is to unmesh or unmix the bad ones from the good ones.

A bad soul is a person who is not yet rectified, very distant from G-d, but in some cases redeemable unless the level is so bad, as defined by the Tanya for example. Unredeemable spirituality is comprised of those things actually forbidden to us. And that’s why they are forbidden, because they are unredeemable.

Potentially redeemable, however, are the notoriously evil rulers and other figures we’ve faced throughout history. This would include Pharoah, Lavan, Esav, all of whom, somewhere along the line in their reincarnations, made the wrong choices and headed down a very, very hard path. Part of their redeemability involves the part each of them played in Jewish history.

I’ll leave it at that regarding bad souls mixed-in with Adam.

Another point I’d like to make here is the fact that we are all old souls. In contemporary culture you have this general conception that uses the phrase, “old soul” to describe a higher, more evolved human being. But, according to the Arizal, we’ve all been here before and we’re back because we have unfinished business, and we have to go through life to finish up our business here.  Hopefully, we resonate with what we need to fix up, and then fix it up.

Unlike this popular concept, we are all, in fact, old souls. Maybe there’s one every so often, across many generations, that’s actually a new soul, meaning one that’s never been here before. And the Arizal is a good example, and also the Baal Shem Tov. New souls don’t have unfinished business to go through, and they can get rectified very quickly. So, what popular culture teaches about old souls is an entirely fallacious idea.

It’s similar to another concept I even hesitate to bring up, and will deal with fully another time. It’s the concept of Rest In Peace – RIP. In reality, there’s not a lot of rest for people immediately after they pass away, no matter who they are.  Especially if they haven’t been too good.  Rest In Peace is simply a mistaken notion. So for now, I’ll just say RIP to that whole concept.

The third fundamental soul concept is another deep one, and it is about the souls of converts to Judaism. Up until the last couple generations the usual definition of a convert involved a person who is not Jewish in their root soul, but have a natural drive to become Jewish. That natural drive is called The Soul Of The Convert, or the Nefesh Gair. It’s a person who is driven to become Jewish, even though they were not born Jewish.

In our generation however, according to some very astute Kabbalists, things are different. Of the many souls who want to convert there’s a good chance they are Jewish at their roots, and in previous incarnations they were Jewish. And for various reasons, in this lifetime they were born as non-Jews. That’s one important idea about converts.

Another is that there will be a pre-Messianic blitz of souls who want to convert. They want to join the Jewish people, which, it should be noted, will not be possible once Moshiach comes. Everyone will see the wisdom of being Jewish then, and we won’t be able to trust their motives for conversion at that point.

An authentic convert makes the decision based on their inner drive, not because things will go better for them when Moshiach comes.  In fact, we understand that a converted Jew is deserving of even more tender loving care, and regard and compassion than a born Jew, because it was a choice.

We are all converts at the root level, but converts are Jews by choice, similar to but not the same as a baal teshuva. The Jew by choice is coming for the most altruistic reasons and we need to respect that. It can be a bit embarrassing to us, as regards our wrong choices, compared to a Jew by choice.

Finally, here’s one more reincarnation soul fundamental principle – use of Torah to perfect your soul. It’s very appropriate now, at the time of receiving of Torah, which is Shavuot,

There are there or four different versions about how Torah and mitzvoth come to fix up different parts of our souls, and all but the last are attributed to the Arizal. The first version is by performing actions, doing mitzvoth, we can fix up our Nefesh, our lowest level of soul. And by learning the Oral Torah we can fix up our Ruach, our second level of soul. And by learning Kabbalah we can perfect our Neshama, the third level of soul.

The second version is this – by performing positive mitzvoth, even without the proper intention, we fix the Nefesh. By doing Torah without the proper altruistic intention we fix up the Ruach, and by doing mitzvoth or Torah with the proper intention we fix up our Neshama.

The third version says that by doing mitzvoth we fix up the Nefesh. By doing the revealed Torah altruistically we fix up our Ruach, and by doing Kabbalah we fix up our Neshama.

The hardest part to fix is our Nefesh, because it’s closest to the evil inclination and it’s farthest from G-d, in the lowest world. The Baal Shem Tov, whose yartzeit is just after Shavuos, teaches us that we can gauge the three levels of soul. Our Nefesh is connected with our possessions, and if we are good and altruistic and straight with our possessions we can fix up our Nefesh.

The Ruach is connected with our spouses and the people in our lives, and the Neshama is connected with the level of thought.

That’s a little run-down on the way Torah and life itself serve to promote and fix-up these different levels of our souls.

 

Jewish Transcendence Meditations [7] Life

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MASTERS OF KABBALISTIC HEALING (Direct Divine Infusion Healing) – Part 2

Continuation of Kabbalistic Healing Techniques

Continuation of Direct Divine Infusion Healing  (Part 1)

)   HELPLESS CRYING DVAIKUT (Clinging to Hashem)

While emoting as much a possible, both internally and externally (crying, screaming, jumping up and down, moaning, etc, go over in your mind, or orally, all of the events of one or more than one dilemma, crisis or any other type of difficulty that you are facing. Discuss all the efforts that you have invested to try to solve your problem.  When you get to the point where you see that you have done all that you can do, and that it is beyond your ability to solve the problem, you’ve arrived at the helpless point.

Now is the time to reach your emotional crescendo and with a primal scream to Hashem, call out “I CANT DO IT – PLEASE DO IT FOR ME HASHEM”.

This exercise can be done very effectively and powerfully with an entire group.

Each person chooses their own private darkened corner of the room and begins to emote.

Then they all come together after a designated time to help each other process.

Part 2 –

TECHNIQUES FOR OPENING THE FLOW INTERNALLY THROUGH BALANCE, HARMONY AND ALIGNMENT

5.  UNIFICATION HEALING

Here the basic principle is to offset or heal the weaker side or half of a pair with a meshing or fusion of the stronger corresponding half.  Therefore focus on the weaker side of the pair (example:  the left brain as opposed to the right brain, or fallen desires as opposed to rectified ones, or a fear as opposed to a corresponding strength, or a traumatic time in your life as opposed to a very self assured time).

Begin to draw down energetically the strength and power from the stronger one of the pair and enmesh the two together until the weaker side begins to feel stronger and reinforced.

If the situation involves two personalities, have the stronger of the two reassure their weaker partner.

In a group situation have all the members of the group draw upon their stronger side to heal the designated person’s weaker side.

6.  TURKEY HEALING

A dysfunctional part of yourself will definitely inhibit a free flow.

Liberating the dysfunction, or “turkey”, reopens the channel for full physic flow.

The healing principle and the name “turkey”, comes from Rebbe Nachman’s story entitled “the Turkey Prince”.

A prince, thinking he was a turkey, sat cockling and pecking his food while he was totally naked underneath the table.

A wise sage eventually healed the turkey with the following steps:

a. Radical non-judgmental acceptance of the turkey just as he is (so much so, that the sage convinced this prince that he the sage, was a turkey just like him).

b. Take very slow, but deliberate “baby steps” towards bringing the “turkey” to a complete recovery.

On the ground, when turkey healing, one has to make a very great effort to lovingly embrace the person and their dysfunction (turkey) just as they are.

This is the key to the healing process.

To the extent that the person feels your unconditional acceptance, they will begin to heal.

CONTINUATION OF PART TWO –

7.  SOUL BODY HEALING

This healing method is based on the idea that the body knows what the soul needs in order to heal.

Sometimes the body overcompensates, and becomes very protective;  for example, a person with chronic fatigue will only be able to function minimally so that the person doesn’t get abused, hurt or otherwise harmed.

We would tell the body that we will strike a deal with you and if you release the person from their chronic fatigue, we will create a strategy whereby the person will be safe from harm.  Therefore, do the following:

Choose any bodily ache, pain or illness.

Contemplate what this pain or illness is intent on protecting in your life.

Next, contemplate an alternative way to protect yourself other than the illness.

Speak to the bodily pain and convince it that you are taking over from here and you won’t need its services any more, but that you really appreciate its services that its done to help.

The body won’t always be so willing to listen, so you must be consistent and persuasive.

PART THREE –

TECHNIQUES FOR OPENING THE FLOW EXTERNALLY (SPARKS-ing)

8.  RAV OOSHER’S PUPPET SHOW HEALING

Rav Oosher (Zatzal) over the years had countless people seeking his healing help.

Most of them were very miserable and depressed.  They felt that they were victims of people’s manipulations and bad luck.  Rav Oosher taught them to reframe their perspective and view life as a puppet show.

All of the bad fortune and abusive people in their lives are merely G-d’s puppets meant to direct them towards their rectification and enlightenment.  The results of this reframed perspective were breathtakingly astounding.

Here’s what to do:

Identify a situation in your life where you feel that you are the victim of bad people and bad fortune.

Bring into your mind an awareness that every aspect of these people and this bad fortune is merely a display custom sent from on High in order to direct you towards the next level of your growth.  Therefore don’t take personally what this person or circumstance is doing against you – they are only puppets.

This technique is a consciousness – be patient.

It takes a long time to reap the maximum benefit from it.  Nevertheless, without a doubt, its got the power to transform your life.

9.   SEFIROTIC LIFE BODY HEALING

The idea here is that there is a direct correlation between the events of our lives and our Sefirotic health.

If one Sefira is out of wack, then that area of life will also be out of wack;  for example:

If a person has chronic pain in their left leg, that points to some disfunctionality in the HOD area of their life.  HOD corresponds to the left leg.  HOD is the Sefirotic character trait that corresponds to our capacity to enable others to do their best.  If this enabling process is too strong or too weak, or is being abused by others, then there is a good chance that this person will suffer in a part of the body that corresponds to HOD, such as the left leg.

Here’s what to do:

Focus on a part of your body which is giving you trouble.

Identify the body part’s Sefirotic correspondence.  (I understand that many people don’t have this knowledge.  In case you are interested, please consult me regarding the Sefirot correspondence to your effected body part.)

Now identify the corresponding Sefirotic aspect of your life.

Adjust this Sefirotic aspect of your life to be aligned and in balance with all the other Sefirotic aspects of your life.

10.   GILGUL (REINCARNATION) HEALING

The principle here is as follows:

A very large part of who we are, who we associate with, the challenges which we go through, our stations in life, etc etc, are a direct result of a trans-life perfection process. What we didn’t get right in previous lifetimes is what we will be challenged with in this life.

The way to identify reincarnation based aspects of our life, is to take inventory of the unique people and situations that we find ourselves in.  Then view these people and situations as being the direct result of what we have come into this life to rectify.

The healing process happens when we take action in the proper way in response to these challenges which are thrown at us.

Here’s what to do:

Identify a unique challenge that you find yourself in life.

View this challenge as being the result of a similar challenge that we didn’t quite get right in a previous life time.

Ask Hashem to enlighten you as to what you are meant to do in order to get it right this time.  (This dialogue with Hashem can also be enacted in a written manner.

Write to Hashem your question, and write what you think He will answer back to you.)

Carry on in this way with all the different people and challenges in your life.

Rav Yitzchak Schwartz

THE PRESENCE SERIES MEDITATION booklets available


Rav Yitzchak Schwartz

Rav Yitzchak Schwartz

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