How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

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10/2/2015

How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

Inspired by the teachings of my guide, Rav Baruch Gartner.

Life can appear to be bound by the laws of nature.

We really don’t realize how bound we are to the laws of nature when we are living in nature.

The Torah is the gateway to living above nature.

The world is fooling people.

Our consciousness is really nothing more than imagination.

We really don’t know anything for sure, as much as we really wanna believe we know something.

There are a lot of things that cannot really be proven that we are choosing in our minds to believe.

Many people choose to believe a lot of things that are producing a lot of fear and anxieties, rather than choosing thoughts that are empowering us and bringing us closer to the Source. “I’m gonna get sick again”, “the world is coming to an end”, “I can’t get this out of my mind”, “this is not going to work out”.

The sages attempt to rectify our mind so that we can think properly – to raise our consciousness to a higher level – to reach a platform of higher levels of perception.

The sage’s goal is to try to change our way of thinking from being constricted to expanded. And this is called rectifying the imagination.

Through the rectification of the imagination, we ultimately get to a whole different realm – a different way of living and experiencing life.

We go from one level to the next level to the next level to the ultimate place of clarity – we get to a place which is above imagination.

Rebbe Nachman teaches us that God is above time. Really, only children believe that God is a man in heaven. The truth is that God doesn’t have any character traits. The ones He revealed to us simply serve as rungs to rise up through our imperfect imagination – we rise up from not knowing to knowing that God is above time and space.

Rebbe Nachman said that it is impossible for the human mind to grasp this.

However, we see that there are other things which are also above time.

Teshuvah (returning to our true nature through repentance) is above time. The day a person does teshuvah, he is above time. He rectifies the past.

And the holidays are all above time.

A person can at any moment of his life be reborn. At the time of his passing it was this idea that Rebbe Nachman was bringing himself to life with – the concept of being above time.

There is a type of understanding referred to by Rebbe Nachman as transcendental understanding. It is also referred to as “Shefa Elokim” a Godly outpouring – a sort of Divine flow “Ruach Hakodesh” –  a state of Divine inspiration. A supernatural realm which does not come through thinking or working hard for. A channel of higher perception which bypasses the constraints of the intellect.

This type of wisdom will change your whole life and produce something called “V’hitlahavut Halev” a passionate heart. But it is impossible to experience this level unless a person first sanctifies the seven windows of his face.

This is connected to the holiday of Sukkot, when we commemorate the seven Divine clouds of glory which surrounded the nation of Israel throughout their travels in the desert.

Rebbe Nachman taught that the seven clouds correspond to the seven windows of the purification of the human being, required in order to receive the outpouring of knowledge called “ruach hakodesh” which allows for a person to know things in a supernatural way.

The holiday of Sukkot is connected to the idea of a type of knowledge called “makifin” a transcendental intellect that surrounds us – no matter what level you are on you have a surrounding makif – just like God is infinite, so too is our ability to perceive Him – but our minds cannot contain this perception.

So too, our body is not able to fully house our soul. As a person perfects his senses, the person brings into his aura a higher level of intellect , a makif, into his level of understanding. This is accomplished through purification.

There are certain concepts that a person’s mind cannot really grasp. For instance, the concept of free will and an all knowing God. How can I really have free will if God knows what I’m going to do? No human being can perceive this. This is something beyond human consciousness. A person cannot grasp this.

This in itself is the reason that a person has free choice.

As long as a person cannot grasp that understanding then his free choice is in place because he has the ability to choose this or that, life or death.

But as soon as this wisdom comes into his realm, that free choice will dissipate and he will no longer have free will.

We learn that in the future, the sages will be sitting with their crowns “in their heads” (not on their heads) – what is permeating beyond and around them will come into their intellect – into their heads. Our free choice will not be the same. The sages will be “sitting” (ie. not moving from their place)

How do we bring transcendental reasoning into our minds?

First, we must conceive these transcendental concepts. Similar to the way a woman gives birth through crying out, we give birth to our understanding from the hidden realm. This is the deeper meaning of the process of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Hoshana Rabbah – to scream out from our constricted consciousness to God to help us to sanctify these windows with holiness of Hashem so that we merit to reach a place of expanded understanding.

A person brings higher intellect inside, which is the aspect of Sukkah – the transcendental intellect that comes to us from sitting in the sukkah and connecting to the powers of sukkot through observing the spiritual technology of its laws.

Transcending our ways of being obsessed with the past and the future – transcending our thinking to being above time is what Sukkot is all about. A temporary dwelling – transcendence . The makifin – the higher levels of intellect – the culmination of all the holidays.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach.

Blessings,

Etan

How to transcend time | Rectifying the imagination

Raise your head child

Cloud-Heaven

5/29/2015

Raise your head child

Well this week’s post was a tough act to follow.

I can tell you that the blog and social media lit up as heart felt love and directed props poured through the universe. Sometimes the most sane wisdom comes from the darkest moments.

When you open a channel to a constricted pipe you experience an explosion of repressed expression – and when you hear a man in constriction expose his deepest darkest truths, it draws in our attention. We can relate in our own way. We feel proud because it represents raw and honest expression which is a very ventilating concept to those of us trapped in a world of self imposed boundaries and limitations. It’s fresh air that strikes a familiar nerve deep within anyone on the growth path of conscious living. Because on the path, at every turn, we meet our adversary whose purpose is to hold us down and guard us from reaching our potential – from raising our heads upwards.

Many have come out of the woodwork expressing their own darkness this week – and leaving them on the curb left to dry without another dose is just cruel. So here we go.

Nasso et Rosh– RAISE THE HEADS.

Even when we are knocked down, cycling through the mental obstacles we are facing – even when we feel banished from connection with the Source – especially then, we lift our heads.

We show up to service with open arms, open vessels, and plead to the Source like a loved child for mercy – for redemption – for stronger faith.

We raise our weary heads to the Source above, in pure honesty, humility and with the realization that every single thing comes from the Source – there is nothing but the Source above – all apparent duality and multiplicity comes from the One Source.

At service, on that bench, dressed up and surrounded with brothers and sisters – melting away from the grip of the week – with your list of wants and needs and requests for mercy on yourself and your loved ones – raising your head in authentic expression at that moment is a prerequisite.

Nasso, my bar mitzvah parsha, is about lifting my head to Hashem – expressing my desire and love of Hashem and requesting that He help me win this war. Only Hashem can rescue me as there is nothing other than Hashem.

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“When Moses arrived at the tent of Meeting to speak with Him, he heard the Voice speaking to him from atop the Cover that was upon the Ark of the testimony, from between the two Chrubim, and He spoke to him.”

– Numbers 7:89

That same communication is going on today, every moment. The delight of experiencing the Divine Presence is the salvation. That’s winning the war. All other delights are fleeting. Shabbos Nasso gives us the opportunity to raise our heads and break free from our limitations – to re-establish our connection with the Source of our experience.

Our eternal soul is a giver and our temporary body is a taker. The joy experienced through giving is immeasurably greater than the pleasure of receiving. Soul connection is the desire to give, manifested.

The soul is an extension of the Source and the Source is endless blessing.

Soul connection is the experience of joy and sweetness in life. The sweetness of wisdom, connection and giving.

Lifting my head upwards means being in a constant state of gratitude for what appears to be going well and what appears to not be.

As the Baal HaSulam so eloquently put it:

“Eternal life is when you are ready to live every moment of your life forever”

Shabbat Shalom.

Blessings,

Etan

Raise your head child

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope

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5/27/2015

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope

From my nephew, Shmuel:

“So last night I had the most intense raw spiritual connection with God – something I have not experienced for years and completely lost hope in – I finally decided to put on my tefillin for the first time in years – the experience brought me to tears – I was in my room in a psych ward having a heart to heart conversation with God – I was telling Him, asking, begging to please give me the hope and strength to carry on – because I completely lost hope in my self, all humanity, and life in general – I never thought that things would get this bad for me, but for the first time in my life I had a suicide attempt – something that should have killed me – and it is a miracle that I am still in this world, which goes to show that I’m here for a greater purpose than my self and my mental illness.

I was hoping and praying that one day I could really touch the lives of other people in this world struggling like I am – I am in a constant battle with shame and depression – I am in a constant cycle of excruciating pain which I never see myself overcoming – what brought me to tears last night was my hope that God can show me something, anything that can bring me some level of hope – whether that was some kind of sign or purpose in this world.

I want everyone from all walks of life to hear my experience because although not everybody will understand, everybody can understand pain and has their ups and downs – and what I want to express to others is no matter how hard or how tough the experiences you are dealing with are, just know that we are all walking along our own narrow bridge through this world – and through sharing our own struggles and demons we encounter, we can come out of the shadows and break free from the mental and emotional battles that we face every day – break the chains that bind us.

No matter how stagnant you feel and how long you’ve been going through your struggles don’t give up – one day you can really come out of it and make something of your life even though you might not know now what exactly your mission or purpose is.

I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you  – and if these words can reach anyone out there and help in any way then I feel accomplished and inspired to share more.

I almost took my life so I can relate to your pain and struggles. We must all walk this crazy bridge which we call life – be there for each other, help each other through life’s ups and downs – help guide each other through that dark tunnel. What you will come to recognize is that through helping another being you are helping yourself more than you will ever know. Together let’s push through the darkness as one. This is something I’ve come to realize. If there is anyone who can relate to pain and is struggling in their life, if there is any one person I could help, then I feel this blog was worth writing and it was worth sharing my story.”

“The whole world is a narrow bridge, the key is not to be afraid”

-Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Blessings,

Shmuel and Etan

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope

The Atheist’s Out

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3/20/2015

The Atheist’s Out

You don’t have to believe in “God” or the “Source” or any of this – but I think that all of us, as we move along through life start to comprehend cause and effect.

Even on the most basic level – we put our hand on a flame and get burned so we learn to not put our hand in fire to avoid pain – or if we help another person and we feel great, we become more inclined to help again – to satisfy our base or intellectual desire to experience a euphoric rush of endorphins in our cranium. tms_eeg Tight rope walkers need to do more than walk straight. They need to believe they can make it across. An eruption of doubt midstream can cost them their lives. Faith is similar. Faith activates an internal steadiness through our journey. And when it becomes shaky, we are subject to a collapse in our foundation.

The more we fortify our faith the steadier we traverse through our experiences. Once we see how faith works and we practice it for some time, the physical manifestations of it become as real as the energy we get from eating a bowl of Wheaties for breakfast. The physical cause and effect becomes established and apparent.

We leave behind our past levels of “blind faith” as we concretize our new found understanding of how faith evolves to a very real reality – very much like getting a good night sleep gives a child energy, and eating a healthy diet with exercise helps us feel better. It moves from faith into plain old understanding.

And “faith” becomes our passage to the next level up – we take the “blind” out of “blind faith” and realize the only thing blinding about faith is the closed eyes of those who lack it and the blinding illumination of those who are blessed with it. In fact, faith opens the eyes of the “blind”. Faith contributes to healing – faith contributes to joy – faith brings meaning.

Even starting off on a pure psychological level without the whole spirituality thing, and keeping things simple to accommodate the access point of those lurking amongst the masses, it’s a winning way to live with a life of faith. Do you have faith that you will receive your next fresh breath of air? Why? Because you received millions of prior breaths? Because you’re used to it, or the 9% of your brain that scientists say you can use “understands” it?

Faith is the key to unlock the deeper storyline of our lives. Faith is the bridge from here to the higher levels of understanding – and when we get to those higher levels, its faith again that’s the bridge to take us higher.

It’s the passage to higher perception – and when we exercise it we see physical results – so to those with faith, they really don’t look at it as “faith” like they did before they had faith. It evolves to more of a knowing or confidence – and the concept of faith ascends to lead us to the next level of understanding.

That’s why people blessed with faith just can’t seem to stop talking about it – and thank God for that altruistic, yet hedonistic mentality – as faith unlocks a higher level of pleasure to those who indulge in it.

I can understand why people think of faith as a strategy for people who can’t think for themselves. “The fool believes everything,” King Solomon writes, “the wise man understands.” Emunah (the faith I’m taking about), however, is an innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason. Quite the contrary – wisdom, understanding and knowledge can further enhance true emunah.

Shabbat Shalom & Chodesh Tov, New-Year-New-Moon

Blessings, Etan

The Atheist’s Out