Tuesday, July 31, 2012

God has many levels how he reveals himself

The oil painting shown above is by the Israeli artist, Tuvia Katz, and it is entitled "Creation". It represents the Divine energy (depicted at the top of the picture) entering the creative process, going through the contraction of "Zeir anpin" (depicted by the letters "Zain" and "Aleph" in the center of the picture (for an explanation of the concept of "Zain Anpin" seehttp://www.inner.org/worlds/zeiranpn.htm), and culminating in "Malkut", the material dimension of reality embodying our everyday world. 

"A concept that is very well know in Kabbalah and its brought down in Hassidic philosophy, that God has many levels how he reveals himself, the essence of God is so Holy that anything that will stand in front of it will be annulled, kind of like, if you put a man in front of the sun, if you put a man in front of the sun the man will melt in just seconds. It's like the relations with God, if you put anything in front of God with no barriers that thing will be completely annulled just because of the level of Holiness. So what God does, he conceals himself. He puts layers to conceal the Godly Revelation.

This world has the lowest revelation of Godliness, the lowest level, and it corresponds to the name of God Elohim. The numerical value Elohim is Hatava (Nature) What we see in this world that’s nature, that’s God. That's God revealing Himself to us, to the creations of this world and the way he does this is in the shape of nature. So when we see trees and water and sky, animals and vegetation, everything that we see...that is God! You see God all day long. You don’t realize that it's God. You don't accept that it's God. Because its just God concealing Himself so much... that is how we see God. This world is basically bound by sizes. We have days, we have seconds, we have minutes, Kilometers we have miles, everything in this world is defined in a size. Nothing is limitless in this world, everything has a limit. If its a second to a minute, to an hour, to a day, to a month, to a year, or if you go by its size, its one feet, two feet, a mile, two miles, a continent, but nothing is limitless.

Now one level higher of Godly revelation corresponds to the name of HaShem which is Y-H-V-H and if you brake the word into three in Hebrew it's... Past, Present, Future. In that level of Godliness time has no value. The past, present and future are one thing. It's a much higher level of Godliness. It's a level that we can't understand. There's no past, no present and no future, and everything is one thing...It's way beyond our understanding." (from Alon Anava's one last chance) [1]

The Hebrew word for nature is "Teva". "Teva" has two connotations that may help us gain an insight into the nature of nature. "Teva" implies drowning or sinking, because we are sunken into and swallowed up by this physical world.
"Teva" also is related to the word "matbeah" - coin - referring to a coin that has an image impressed upon it. Similarly the natural world impresses; so much so that our senses are so stimulated that any inkling of anything beyond is naturally overwhelmed.
The Hebrew word for "The Natural World", HaTeva, has the same numerical value for the Holy Name - Elokim. Meaning that our definition of nature is actually "repeating miracles." If something happens predictably we call it natural. When it happens once, we call it a miracle. We are alerted, jolted to a super state of awareness, a higher consciousness of reality.

As in so many other areas of knowledge, there is meaningful common ground in the way Torah and science view time. Kabbalah and Hassidic philosophy describe two distinct time concepts: the time of the lower world (zman tachton) and the time of the higher worlds (zman elion). Lower time "flows", with the past gone and the future yet to come. Higher time is eternal: past, present and future co-exist simultaneously.

The theory of relativity describes a four-dimensional space-time continuum, with three dimensions of space and one of time. The time dimension in the space-time continuum shares basic properties with the Higher time of Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy. In classical thermodynamics, time is a unidirectional arrow that shares basic properties with the Lower time of Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy.

One aspect of the war between the Jews and the Greeks, that ended with the Jewish victory celebrated in Hanukah, was about the meaning of time. For the Greeks time was a sequence of events, or its measurement. For the Jews, time is the injection of Divine providence into space.

Kabbalah and Hasidic philosophy teach that time originates from two simultaneous rhythms: "Mati lo mati" (also known as "noge'a lo noge'a"), a movement of Divine energy from the higher realms to the lower realms and back, and "ratzo va' shov", the movement of the soul from the lower to the higher realms, and back.
Space was created first, and time was "drawn" into space. In general, space embodies our ordinary reality, and time "informs" space. Divine providence shapes reality (space) through the dimension of time.

At the level of the soul and human behavior, time has critical importance for our actions.Kohelet (King Solomon's book Ecclesiastes) teaches that there is a time for everything. The two most important collective sins of the Jewish people, the eating from the tree of Knowledge and the building of the golden calf, happened because of an inability to wait for the right time. The all-important process of rectification, teshuvah (repentance), bridgesLower time with Higher time. True repentance shifts our actions from Lower to theHigher time, where past, present and future co-exist. This is the mechanism wherebyteshuvah can physically transform a past transgression into a good deed, and darkness into light.

In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life... all the fountains of the great depth were broken apart, and the windows of heaven were opened...
Genesis 7:11
In the six hundredth year of the sixth [millenium], the gateways of heavenly wisdom and the fountains of lower wisdom will be opened, and the world will be uplifted to prepare for the ascension of the seventh [millenium]...
Zohar I, 117a

Heavenly wisdom is the wisdom of the Torah, lower wisdom is secular wisdom...
Ashmoreth Haboker, ibid.

The Zohar, one of the basic books of the inner wisdom of the Torah, analyzes human wisdom in two distinct areas: revealed (Divine or heavenly) and scientific (secular, or lower). From the writings of the Hassidic masters we learn that the terms for these two types of wisdom are higher waters (mayimelyonim,mayim elyonim) and lower waters (mayimtahtonim.gif 76x13,mayim tahtonim).
The Zohar quoted above predicts that human knowledge, and hence the entire human condition, will go through a paradigm shift when these two types of wisdom are unified – when these two waters are brought together.

The Foundation’s logo is the Hebrew letter aleph.(aleph ) which is graphically constructed from three other Hebrew letters: two symmetric yud.(yud) and a vav.gif 11x12(vav) dividing them. It is explained in the Arizal’s writings that the top yud.gif 17x12corresponds to the higher waters, the bottom yud.gif 17x12to the lower waters, and the vav.gif 11x12that separates them to the firmament that separated them during creation (“And G-d said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide water from water”, Genesis 1:6). As the top yud.gif 17x12corresponds to Divine wisdom, which becomes less palpable as it ascends – the top yud.gif 17x12in our logo starts (at the vav.gif 11x12) from a mid-blue coloring and fades out into whiteness and finally becomes completely transparent. As the bottom yud.gif 17x12corresponds to mundane, scientific wisdom, which becomes more and more factual as it descends, it begins (at the vav.gif 11x12) with a mid-blue coloring and ‘solidifies’ into blackness and opaqueness.

Whereas the firmament only served to separate between the two types of wisdom, the letter vav.gif 11x12(vav) is the Hebrew conjunction ‘and’. It thus serves to bring the two waters back together again into a unified whole of human knowledge, fostering growth and respect between the Divine and the mundane.

[1] http://www.alonanava.com/
 [2] http://www.torahscience.org


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