Running and Returning



Running and Returning

To make music you need to hit high and low notes. A flat line on a cardiograph is not a good sign. Life moves in cycles.

Ups and downs are what to expect. Joy, inspiration, spiritual growth, finances, health – all go through cycles.

We need to become a master at “running” and “returning”. Running corresponds to ascending to a higher level and returning corresponds to our descent.

On the path toward spiritual development, a person runs forth toward the Source, seeking to shed their physical limitations and become absorbed in the infinite. Yet, not being able to remain permanently at this transcendent level they must return to normal consciousness and the physical reality.

Rebbe Nachman reveals a process of how to master the art of returning from a higher state of consciousness – and this can be applied to all areas of returning or descending that we experience.

He explains that when the conscious mind returns from a state of self transcendence to the brain, which is the seat of consciousness, the mentalities (the vessels) are unable to hold the higher consciousness of the transcendent state. This is because the higher consciousness is the aspect of the infinite, total Oneness – the state of entirely good. As a result the brain experiences a sense of suffering.

And afterwards, when ones consciousness returns from the state of self-transcendence to the mentalities (the vessels) – the suffering becomes even more intense.

He compares this process to two people fighting and wrestling with one another. When one sees that the other is gaining the upper hand, he musters greater strength and attacks even harder. Similarly, when the powers of the adversary see that a person wants to overcome his suffering and nullify it through total absorption in the ultimate goal, they muster greater strength and attack even harder.

When our ego is threatened by our ascent to higher consciousness, our physical nature – our identifications – pull us back down because we are not yet in the aspect of the infinite. As we descend, we experience the sting of duality.

However, the increased wisdom we attain while in a state of higher consciousness makes it easier to bare the initial suffering of the return – and is even eliminated by means of new insights we perceive afterwards.

The more we run toward higher consciousness, the more wisdom we bring back to and fill our lives with. The more we reflect on this wisdom, the greater the insights we perceive. And with increased perception, we are able to draw the lessons from our returns, helping to harmonize the cycles of life.

So too is my inspiration to continue writing strengthened by the response I’ve received from so many of you. Keep it coming.



Running and Returning

4 thoughts on “Running and Returning

  1. Rob says:

    Many of us equate running and returning with the intense and often maddening weekly dash to work and back. And we fit in the rest of our lives along the way, compelled by love, limited by scheduling. I like your definitions MUCH BETTER!

    The more we run toward higher consciousness, the more wisdom we bring back to and fill our lives with.



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